Lightning Motorcycles recently returned from a nearly two-year absence when it announced a partnership with Niobium specialist CBMM for a new speed record run. During that period, the firm downsized its Hollister, California, operation, moving into a corner of motorcycle saddle brand Corbin’s headquarters. That shrinking footprint hasn’t shrunk Lightning’s ambition, though, and the startup has big plans for the future.
Lightning isn’t keeping the project under wraps either. Deemed the Streetliner, drawings of the fully-enclosed electric motorcycle have already seen the light of day. Lightning even shared a video of the Streetliner in action with electric vehicle outlet Electrek in June, 2020. The footage not only shows the prototype testing on the street but also reveals Lightning’s aerodynamic testing apparatus.
That technology isn’t solely reserved for the Streetliner. Lightning is also turning to streamlined bodywork for its latest Bonneville project, the Lightning 250. Corbin even posted images of the latest build to its website, showcasing the large front and tail fairing that should help the electric bike approach Lightning’s goal of 250 mph. While the Lightning 250 isn’t a fully-enclosed design, the speed record attempt should deliver valuable aerodynamic data and feedback.
The Streetliner isn’t the only trademark that Lightning has recently filed, however. The firm also applied for rights to the name AeroBlade. Given the moniker, the potential project could also benefit from the Lightning 250’s upcoming Bonneville attempt.
With that said, we should take all this information with a grain of salt. Lightning’s record on the salt flat may be indisputable but translating that success to the consumer market has repeatedly proved more challenging than anticipated. Production delays stalled the rollout of the brand’s LS-218 model and the budget-conscious Strike didn’t succeed with critics or customers. There’s still a long way to go before a fully-enclosed Streetliner ever hits the street, but it’s always intriguing to see Lightning try to adapt its speed record developments for the road.