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Lightning to run 220+Mph Electric Motorcycle at Bonneville



US electric motorcycle maker Lightning are planning on breaking the 220 mph barrier with their new prototype during Bonneville Speed Week.

The current model available for sale by Lightning is the LS-218 – so named because its official top speed at Bonneville Salt Flats way back in 2012 was a more-than-respectable 218 mph.

Now five years later, the company are back again with a new – and as yet unnamed machine – that they are hoping will find favour and fortune at the famous event. And it looks like they’re going to achieve it too; just a couple of weeks ago, the same prototype ran at the same El Mirage event that Indian had such success at and hit a standing start mile speed of 211.73 mph.

“This new design has the potential to smash our own production bike world speed record of 218 mph!”

(To put that into context, the LS-218 has its record at the same event set at just 189mph).

So why is the new bike from Lightning currently without a name? Well, if the last machine was called the LS-218 after hitting 218 mph, we can only assume that this new motorcycle is waiting for a top-speed run to offer it a suitable, number-based moniker.

According to Lightning, what makes this bike even better and even faster is their higher density battery pack – developed in collaboration with Farasis.

They say that the new battery technology powering their ‘next step in electric drive systems’ provides a torque “Curve” that is not actually a curve at all – in fact, dyno runs show a straight line from 100 rpms to 9,500 rpms.

And before the electric naysayers come on board bemoaning the quality of an electric race bike, please take note that the LS-218 that broke 218mph at Bonneville in 2012 was back a year later at Pikes Peak and won the Race to the Clouds by over twenty seconds.

The electrics are coming… Granted their doing it quietly, but they’re coming!

Source: Lightning

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Custom of the Week: Yamaha SR500 ‘Scrambler’ by Daniel Peter




SCRAMBLERS ARE A HOT TOPIC. Build one, and you’re sure to be judged solely by how well equipped it is for hardcore off-piste use.

But that’s not all that scramblers are about. Daniel Peter compares his latest build to his childhood BMX—and it’s pretty much how we feel about modern-day scramblers too.

“When I was four years old, my BMX bike became my life,” he explains. “It was so simple, yet so fun. Just wheels, pedals and brakes. I’d ride it to the beach, jump a few curbs along the way, race my friends. Those were the good days.”

“30 years later, I set out to build a motorcycle based on the same principles. There’s nothing on this bike that doesn’t need to be there. It has wheels, a punchy engine and great brakes. I didn’t even put a speedo on it, because I never looked at the one on my last bike.”

Daniel works as a photographer in Chicago, but wrenches during the winter to keep his passion for riding alive. He keeps a workshop in Chicago’s Logan Square neighborhood, outfitted with a tool cabinet, a welder, and a 1940s South Bend lathe.

This 1978-model Yamaha SR500 is the fourth Yamaha 500 he’s built to date. “It’s the most simple, yet the most thorough, of the bunch,” he says.

The motor’s been bumped to 540 cc, with a grocery list of go-fast bits that includes a lighter XT500 crank, a new piston from JE and a Megacycle cam for better torque down low.

R&D valve springs with titanium caps, a Powerdynamo ignition and a high-flow oil pump from Kedo round out the package.

Hoos Racing refreshed the crank and cut new valve seats for Daniel, but he tackled the rest of the rebuild himself. Every single bearing and seal was replaced along the way too. As for the carb, it’s been swapped out for a 39 mm Keihin FCR flatslide number, fed by a fat K&N filter.

The exhaust system is a combination of a custom made stainless steel header, and a Cone Engineering muffler.

The SR rolls on 17” supermoto wheels, borrowed from a KTM (front) and a Honda CRF450 (rear). They’re wrapped in Pirelli MT60 Corsa tread; a 120 up front, and a chunky 160 on the 5” rear rim. (“It juuust fits,” says Daniel.)

The brakes have been upgraded with a mix of Brembo and Beringer parts, with an RCS 14 radial master cylinder up front.

On top is an aluminum Yamaha XT500 fuel tank, wrapped in a paint scheme “inspired by an unforgettable riding trip through Baja.” Just behind it is a new saddle from MotoLanna, with a new kicked-up subframe loop.

It’s just about spring in Chicago, so Daniel must be itching to rack up the miles on his SR500. And we’re betting it’s going to be impossible to get him off it.

A version of this article first appeared on Bike Exif. It’s republished here with permission.

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Icon claim back the streets in their latest, epic video



Street’s Not Dead.

Regular readers will know that we eagerly await anything released from the US streetwear firm Icon Motorsports. So the moment that a video drops from the Portland firm we’re bound to pay attention.

That’s an interest piqued double when they post it alongside what is essentially a call to arms…

“Street’s not dead. If you think it went away, you’d be wrong. Street’s still here undermining pompous authority, rejecting standards, and bucking the status quo..”

And they’re not kidding either. With the Icon clad rider thrashing their Kawasaki ZX-10R through city streets, car parks and even a public fountain at one point, there’s a lot to take in.

Couple that with their usual loud, Icon style and you’ve certainly got a statement of intent.

(Don’t try this at home kids).



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