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Lightning Motorcycle Unveils the Strike

It’s Here In All Its Glory

Lightning Motorcycles has teased its new Strike for weeks now, and the company finally revealed it. The bike gets three different battery configurations, each with its own range. The first is the Standard Strike and it has a range of 70 miles highway and 100 miles city per charge. The second is the Strike Mid-Range. It has a range of 105 highway miles and 150 city miles. The final version has a range of 200 miles in the city and is called the Strike Carbon Edition. 

Only the Standard Strike gets the $12,998 price tag that was teased early on. The Mid-Range gets a $16,998 price tag, and the top-dog comes with a $19,998 price tag. That’s still considerably lower than the Harley LiveWire, but not quite as good as I was hoping.

All three models get a liquid-cooled, AC induction motor that puts out 90 horsepower and a massive 180 lb-ft of torque. That’s a crap ton of torque. All will work with Level 1 and Level 2 chargers. Level 3 fast charging can be added for $1,500.

With the Level 1 charger, you’re looking at an overnight charge. The Level 2 charger makes it take two to three hours. With the Level 3 charger, it’s only 35 minutes, and you can get 100 miles of range in just 20.

From a design and aesthetic standpoint, the Lightning Strike looks a lot like the LS-218. The Strike is less aggressive, but you can tell the two bikes are related. You can order a Performance package if you want that will add things like Öhlins suspension, Brembo brakes, and an AIM Strada racing dash. If I were buying one, that’d be on my list of options.

Overall, the Strike looks like a heck of a bike. The company priced it reasonably for what you get. I wish the base model offered a little more, but this seems to be where the technology sits at the moment. 

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Moto E Releases Revised Schedule

A New Schedule Adds Races

Following the devastating fire in the paddock that housed all the bikes in Jerez, Spain. Moto E has released a new schedule that actually adds races to the calendar. According to the new schedule, there will be four events and six races held to finish the season.

Here’s a look at where and when the events will be held:

  • Sachsenring, Germany (July 5 to 7)
  • Red Bull Ring, Spielberg, Austria (August 9 to 11)
  • Misano World Circuit Marco Simoncelli, San Marino and Riviera di Rimini (September 13 to 15)
  • Circuit Ricardo Tormo, Comunitat Valenciana (November 15 to 17)

The events in Germany and Austria will hold one race each. The final two events will have two races each. This allows the end of the season to land in November at the same time that the MotoGP 2019 season will close, according to RideApart.

It’s a shame the schedule needed to be updated at all, but it’s good to see the officials for Moto E managed to make a new calendar work. The addition of the final event in November is a smart move, and it will be good to see the season conclude on a high point. 

The fire that necessitated the new schedule is still under investigation. None of the bikes were charging at the time of the fire, so a charging issue has been ruled out as the cause.

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World’s First Exhibit Featuring Only Electric Motorcycles Coming To LA

“Electric Revolution” brings copper and wire to that bastion of internal combustion, the Petersen Museum

The new electric-motorcycle-only exhibit, Electric Revolution will be the first of its kind in the world when it opens this April 2019.
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Does Harley Have a Grand Electric Plan?

It Could Have a Large Selection of Electric Bikes

If you thought the future of Harley-Davidson and the motorcycle industry, in general, was all about high-powered electric motorcycles, you were wrong. I see speedy electric motorcycles as part of the HD portfolio for sure, but it will only be one part, and likely not the most important part. 

As Cycle World points out, the recent purchase of StaCyc hints that Harley has grander plans for its lineup. One that hits multiple ages and multiple areas of the market. Gone are the days of HD catering to one specific area of the market. The company seems to have learned its lesson.

Harley-Davidson StaCyc
Image from Harley-Davidson

The publication lays out a groundwork for Harley to have bikes at four different levels in the industry. The first level is for little electric bikes for kiddos (StaCyc), the second level is for electric bicycles for adolescents and adults (think your typical e-bike), third level is for lower-powered electric scooters and small electric motorcycles, and the fourth is for machines like the LiveWire (but hopefully much better than the LiveWire).

It’s an idea I stated when the news of Harley buying StaCyc. If Harley can get a kid riding a Harley electric bike when he’s young, he’ll want one when he grows up, too. Cycle World doesn’t discuss what would happen to its gasoline-powered bikes. I would assume those would stick around for quite a long time. People won’t want to give up on gas bikes, and Harley will still make a boatload of money selling them.

With that said, the future is electric. Harley-Davidson could be setting itself up for success. It needs to, too, with the way its bike sales are currently going.

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Mugen’s E.Rex Electric Dirt Bike Is Pretty Similar to Honda’s CR Electric

Similar But Not the Same

Mugen revealed an updated version of its E.Rex electric dirtbike at the Tokyo Motorcycle Show. We reported on the electric superbike Mugen showed off there. We thought it’d be best to highlight the E.Rex, too. The E.Rex appears to share much of its powertrain with the Honda CR Electric that debuted at the same show. Seeing as how Mugen and Honda are closely tied together this isn’t very shocking.

The Mugen bike may have similar bones to the Honda, but the styling and aerodynamic elements are different than Big Red’s bike. As MoreBikes points out, the Mugen E.Rex takes cues from the Shinden Hachi electric superbike whereas Honda turns to its CRF line.

Mugen E.Rex

Unfortunately, Mugen didn’t release technical specs for the bike, so all I have to go off of are the images floating around the web. The bike gets some knobby Dunlop tires, Showa front suspension, and the same style twin-spar aluminum frame as Honda’s machine.

Mugen is known for its Shinden superbike, among other things, so it will be interesting to see if the E.Rex ends up racing. I wouldn’t put it past the team to enter it into some hardcore off-road races down the line to show just how impressive this machine is.

I’ll keep an eye out for technical specifications in the future. I’d be interested to know the power figures for the E.Rex’s powertrain. It looks different than the previous prototype, and that could mean Mugen has made some leaps forward with the technology.


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The Mugen Shinden Hachi Is Ready for Isle of Man TT

An Electric Speed Demon Debuts In Japan

At the Toko Motorcycle Show, Mugen debuted the latest iteration of its Shinden electric superbike. The company named the bike, now in its eighth version, Mugen Shinden Hachi. The previous version raced at the Isle of Man TT, and this bike will do the same.

Mugen hasn’t made major changes to the powertrain of the motorcycle. However, the superbike’s aerodynamics received some serious enhancements.

According to Asphalt and Rubber, the biggest changes appear at the front air intake and the tail section of the motorcycle. Both feature a new design that should let air slip around them more quickly and effortlessly.

The electric motor putting out the power will remain the same. With that said, Asphalt and Rubber suggests the bike will benefit from improved battery technology. That paired with the improved aerodynamics should help the bike be the leader in the TT Zero segment of the race.

Piloting the Mugen superbike in the race will be a team headlined by John McGuinness and Michael Rutter. The two men and the rest of the team know the Mugen Shinden well, and should be able to lead the bike to success at the Isle of Man.


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Fuell’s Flow Can Go 125 Miles Per Charge and has Removable Batteries

Not the Best But Nothing to Sneeze At

We recently reported on the Fuell electric motorcycle called the Flow. Fuell is a company put together by former Harley engineer Erik Buell and Francois-Xavier Terny. Together the two have created one of the more interesting electric motorcycle startups out there. There will be a mix of both lightweight urban electric bikes and full-blown electric motorcycles. One of the company’s first models is the Flow.

We reported on the Flow’s unique wheel motor not long ago, and we said it might be what sets it apart. Now some more information has surfaced via a press release. According to the new release, the Flow will have a roughly 125-mile range thanks to two removable batteries. That’s not a ton of range, but with removable batteries, you could conceivably ride until you run out of juice and then pop in some new battery packs and keep going.

The rear wheel motor is really what makes it such an interesting bike, though. With the motor out back and out of the way, there’s plenty of room for the batteries and whatnot up front. There’s even generous storage space totalling 13 gallons. All of the details of the rear wheel motor have yet to be released, but the press release notes 100 nM of torque (roughly 73 lb-ft of torque), which is quite a lot of power. 

Fuell sees the Flow as a machine for commuting. The company will have Flow motorcycles in New York City for the next few days to try to woo some investors. Interested parties can see the bikes by appointment only. The bike’s full official reveal will occur on April 23. We’ll keep you posted with the new info once it becomes available.

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Harley Looks to Lime and Bird Scooters for Future of Mobility Market

More Electrics and Possible Ride-Sharing Are Coming

We all know what Harley-Davidson is focusing on a greener, electric future to help the brand pivot as it attracts a new customer base. A recent report from CNN suggests the company is seriously looking at electric scooter companies like Bird and Lime for its future. 

“It’s a huge opportunity,” Marc McAllister, vice president of product portfolio at Harley-Davidson, told CNN. “For people who are using Bird and Lime today, how do we give them a much better experience with a Harley-Davidson brand and lifestyle?”

The company doesn’t exactly have plans to roll out its own version of the scooters just yet. It seems Harley is just studying the market and trying to decide how it will fit into the sharing economy. One option for Harley-Davidson would be to just brand a bunch of the scooters that already exist. Many of the scooter ride-sharing companies out there use the same model. Harley likely won’t do that, though.

Its approach will most likely use something more like the small electric concept bikes that it showed off a while back. Instead of selling them outright, though, it could look to some kind of ride-sharing solution.

Arun Sundararajan, a professor at New York University’s business school and author of “The Sharing Economy,” told CNN he thinks Harley could position itself as an alternative to Bird and Lime. He said that it shouldn’t try to compete with those companies directly. I have to agree with him. Haley should let Lime and Bird do their own thing and find a path that is their own. What that path is, though is yet to be seen. However, one thing is certain, the future Harley-Davidsons will look far different from the bike’s it’s currently known for.

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The Fuel Flow’s Electric Wheel Motor Might Be What Sets It Apart

A Unique Motor for a Unique Bike

We recently reported on the Fuell motorcycle and ebike. While the ebike is interesting, the electric motorcycle called the Flow is what really grabbed our attention. Erik Buell and Francois-Xavier Terny are two of the guys making this company happen, and Motorcyclist Magazine got to sit down with Terny to discuss the company. 

In the second installment by the magazine about their conversation, Terny discussed the electric wheel hub motor and how it will help set the Flow apart from the competition. He discusses electric motorcycles in general, saying that there are only a few suppliers of the batteries out there and the battery on the Flow is really nothing special. What is special is the wheel motor.

The wheel motor is a different thing. Erik is at the forefront of that; it’s his pet project and he’s so excited about that. It’s about creating a powerful yet very light wheel motor that will address the issues of weight, torsion, and suspension. Fundamentally, one of the reasons for the wheel motor is that Erik has thought a lot about the wheel motor invention. The problem with the wheel motor is that it’s super heavy usually, so it can imbalance the riding of the motorcycle. Our hub motor has an incredible weight-to-power ratio.

What exactly that power to weight ratio is, is still up in the air. The company plans to unveil the stats and all of the good details on April 23 of this year. What I find interesting about the wheel hub motor is that it removes the motor from the center mass of the bike. For Fuell, this opened up 13 gallons of storage space that can be used to store whatever you want.

A Missed Opportunity?

Storage is something I’d personally love to see integrated into the actual design more often on motorcycles. However, I think Fuell may have missed an opportunity here. That’s 13 gallons worth of space that you could add more battery cells and potentially extend the range of the bike beyond what the competition is doing. 

With that said, I’m just a mildly intelligent moto-journalist, so I don’t know how much additional range, Fuell could squeeze out of a battery that would fit in that space. Also, adding a battery to that space could also throw off the balance of the bikes weight and make it less enjoyable to ride. Fuell likely knows what it’s doing here, but I think the removal of the motor from the central area of the bike could open up some interesting possibilities. I can’t wait for more information about the Flow in April.

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Patent Filings Show Interesting Kawasaki Electric Motorcycle Details

Is Kawasaki Getting Close?

Kawasaki patents of an electric motorcycle have surfaced before. Now more details are coming out thanks to more recent patent filings. The latest patents focus on the actual cooling of the batteries that will be used on the bike. It seems that Kawasaki is focusing on some kind of liquid cooling solution.

When I say liquid cooling, your mind immediately goes to some kind of water-based coolant, but it looks like Kawasaki could use some kind of oil cooling system to cool down the battery. Which is somewhat surprising, but as RideApart notes, it actually makes a lot of sense. Water and lithium-ion batteries don’t play nice together, so an oil-cooled solution for the battery could be a way to get around that.

Most batteries on motorcycles get sufficient cooling from the air passing around the bike. This special cooling system suggests that Kawasaki anticipates the batteries getting quite hot. It’s unclear how hot they could get or what this means for the bike. My assumption is that it will be a high-powered machine and the cooling would probably be for fast-charging purposes, too.

The patent drawings are actually quite detailed, and there’s probably more here that I’m not seeing. All I know for sure is that Kawasaki has an electric bike in the works, and that gets me pretty excited. I’d love to see the company challenge the other big names in the electric motorcycle world. 

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