Ted Rich Blog post: “Riding Lightning – What’s it like?”

He posted it up on my Facebook page, so I am making the assumption he is trying to spread the word on his latest blog post.

Here it is, enjoy:

Riding Lightning – What’s it like?

I am often asked, “What is it like to ride an Electric Superbike?”  The closest comparison I can give is to that of riding a gas bike.  Well, sort of.   The same throttle twist makes the bike go, just as a brake squeeze makes it stop.  You chop the throttle and there is engine braking (regenerative of course) just like its gas counterpart.  However, there is no transmission, only a 10,000 RMP power band that is butter smooth and incredibly easy to modulate.

The most noticeable feature of the Electric Superbike is the clean lack of sound.  A smoothly silent acceleration seems to defy both logic and physics.  This alone has altered my adrenaline paradigm, as all my life the rule of all things fun was that ‘if it was fast it made a lot of noise.’  Not so, with this sleek piece of machinery.  The Electric Superbike slices silently through the night.  The only thing you hear is a slight wine from the drive chain and the wind whistling by your helmet.

Track riding requires a shift in thinking as well.  When riding on the track, the lack of a transmission initially messes with your sense of speed.  Because of a completely flat torque curve from 1 to 10,000 RPM and no mechanical loss from a transmission, the bike pulls the same at 100 MPH as it does at 10 MPH.  The power never falls off (we usually gear it 10% higher than the top speed for the track we are testing at), making it seem that if you don’t lift you will continue to accelerate through the sound barrier!  Getting your rhythm on the track is different and requires a couple of laps to adjust to a lack of up or down shifting and the lack of sound.  On the street this would not apply, however.  The Electric Superbike is quite actually superior to a gas bike in this particular medium.  No shifting means there is one less thing competing for your attention – attention you can give to other traffic and your surroundings.

As the development rider for Lightning Motorcycles, I have ridden the prototype superbike many times in the last nine months.  I give the engineers feedback, they make changes.  I try them out, make more suggestions, etc…  This cycle allows us to constantly improve the bike and make adjustments applicable to both the track and street world.  Each experience I have with the Electric Superbike surpasses the previous.  At this time, this machine is a 200mph bike that anyone with basic motorcycle skills can ride. Yes, it’s just that good.

Right now, at this very moment, you can order your own street legal, 200 Mph, Lightning Electric Superbike.

The last test was February 11-12, 2012 at Chuckwalla Valley Raceway at a Socal Trackdays open track day.  This one was particularly extraordinary because Isle-of-Man TT rider and “Real Road Racer” John Burrows flew in from the UK to try out the changes we have made since he rode it last year.   His initial response was “I can win the TT on this”.  Of course he is talking about the Zero TT, the Electric Bike race during the Isle-of-Man TT.   At this test, we tried out some new suspension parts as well as some electronic settings and continued our progression to perfection.   In addition, we had professional photographer Franco Valentini on hand to document the occasion.  Photos are available at www.francosp.com and I encourage you to see this wonder of the world for yourself.   We also shot a great deal of on-bike video and had AMA Superbike rider Jake Holden video me from behind, chasing me on his ESP BMW S1000RR that he will be racing in AMA Superbike this season.   These videos are on www.youtube.com/aztrackday.  They’re worth viewing and experiencing vicariously.

I hope this answers any and all questions you yourself may have about the incredible Electric Superbike.  And if there are a few I haven’t addressed… Well, I invite you to come see for yourself.  The Electric Superbike is truly an Electric Experience.

A special thanks to Micky Grana of SoCal Trackdays & Chuckwalla Valley Raceway for allowing us to shoot video during the lunch break and JakeHolden and the ESP team for taking time out of their test to help us out.

Follow our adventures developing and racing the world’s fastest electric superbike at www.facebook.com/aztrackday

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