There’s a lot to unpack in the Lightfighter story. This is why Part 1 was dedicated to the concept and build of the electric sportbike. As a quick refresher, the Lightfighter was born because Brian Wismann and Ely Schless wanted to prove an electric racing motorcycle could exist – and thrive – with a geometry-first design. They did just that, building an electric motorcycle around a Yamaha YZF-R1 swingarm, not a big battery. Knowing Wismann and Schless though, simply building the bike wasn’t enough. It had to be good. Hence why they equipped it with Öhlins suspension, Brembo brakes, and OZ Racing magnesium wheels. Further technical support came from Parker Hannifin, in the form of the GVM 210 motor, Kramer Motorcycles and their svelte bodywork, and Pirelli tires, who made sure the bike had the stickiest Diablo Superbike slicks available.
We teased you recently with a dyno shootout between the Aprilia RSV4 RF and the Ducati Panigale V4 S, with the Ducati blowing the doors off the less powerful – and smaller displacing – Aprilia to the tune of 187 hp for the Panigale and 168 hp for the RSV4. This set the stage for our track shootout between the two Italians nicely, as on paper, anyway, the Ducati seemingly has the Aprilia’s number. A bigger engine clearly gives it a power advantage, while 20 pounds less mass on the official MO scales and electronic Öhlins suspension prevails over the RSV4’s extra heft and manual Öhlins bits. But what does that all translate to once the tire warmers come off and fast lap times need to be set?
There seems to be much doom and gloom in the motorcycle industry surrounding the state of sportbikes these days. We keep hearing about dropping sales and shifting consumer interest, which will combine to turn the sportbike as we know it into a museum piece one day, gone the way of the Dodo bird.