By Troy Siahaan
Back in December of 2020 I wrote about the second coming of the Lightfighter electric superbike I’ve been fortunate enough to pilot over the course of the past two seasons. For those unfamiliar, in early 2019 two electric motorcycle die-hards – Brian Wismann and Ely Schless – designed and built a battery-powered racing motorcycle in their free time focusing on a geometry-first design ethos as opposed to the battery-first design that had basically become de rigueur in the e-bike world.
Through some miracle twist of fate, my phone was the one they called to be the rider of the bike, which Wismann would later name the Lightfighter. Beyond just sounding cool, the name carries with it a few meanings: on the surface, Wismann thought of the name because it was the name of a street he’d pass on the way to his day job as VP of Product Development at Zero Motorcycles. On a deeper level, it was a simple descriptor for what Brian and Ely had in mind with the bike: to create a lightweight electric racing motorcycle that could compete – or fight – with gas bikes. It wasn’t until later that Wismann learned about the name’s military background, which then raised the importance of the name even more since his father is a veteran.
Over the course of the 2019 season, we tweaked and improved Lightfighter v1.0 to make it an incredibly potent weapon that turned heads both on and off the track. We were even lucky enough to bag a few race wins. But there were some fundamental issues with the bike needing to be addressed. Chief among them was the lack of chassis flex when the bike was fully leaned over and the suspension wasn’t able to do its …read more