By Troy Siahaan
If you’ve been following me on social media at all in 2020 (I’m @motrizzle, in case you’re wondering), you’ve probably noticed my feed is littered with pics of a certain orange motorcycle. It’s not that common for a single bike to dominate my feed considering the different number of bikes I get to ride (pre-pandemic, anyway). But this one is different. Both literally and figuratively. The Lightfighter electric superbike plays such a dominant role in my feed because I have a personal stake in it. I helped develop it. And now, for version 2.0, a physical object built around my feedback would be the proof in the pudding to determine whether I have any idea what I’m talking about.
For those unfamiliar with the Lightfighter, let alone version 2.0, you can read all about the bike’s genesis here. But if you want the quick Cliffs Notes version, here’s a brief recap. The Lightfighter is a one-off electric racing motorcycle designed and built by Brian Wismann and Ely Schless. The former is the VP of Product Development at Zero Motorcycles, while the latter has been riding, racing, designing and fabricating for decades, with a client list of all different genres, including aviation and aerospace.
The idea for the Lightfighter was to build an electric superbike with a geometry-first design brief instead of the battery-first machines that had become the pseudo standard. The starting point was the geometry of a current-generation Yamaha R1 and linkage which Wismann bought directly from eBay. Everything else was then built around it, including the custom steel trellis frame and battery – both built by Schless.
This was the point where I came in as the lucky sap who got to ride and develop the bike. Wismann, Schless, and I had an …read more