Lightning partners with niobium supplier CBMM for 250mph+ sportsbike bid

After smashing records with its LS-218 electric sportsbike, Lightning Motorcycles pens deal with niobium supplier CBMM in bid to exceed 250mph


Lightning Motorcycles - one of the first motorcycle companies to bring a full-size electric motorcycle to market - has announced it is working on its next generation of machinery with a view to extracting more power through the use of niobium materials.

The American firm made headlines back in 2014 with the launch of the Lightning LS-218 electric sportsbike, which with a top speed of 218mph made it the fastest road-legal production motorcycle in the world.

While the EV motorcycle sector has taken time to get off the ground, the Lightning LS-218 stands fairly alone as a high-performance sportsbike with zero emissions, though it’s a niche that will be widened this year with the launch of the Damon HyperSport .

As such, Lightning is looking to the future with a view to pushing the boundaries of performance to exceed the 250mph (403km/h) barrier with a next generation model that could even target the commercial motorcycle Land Speed Record.

Key to this goal is the integration of niobium into its powertrain after signing a deal with the world’s largest supplier of the material, CBMM.

Niobium is a more resistant that can enable improvements in the braking system such as reduced wear, greater durability, and better efficiency; to its use in the cathodes and anodes of vehicle batteries in order to obtain unique characteristics, such as ultra-fast charging and greater energy density, compared to technologies used in traditional lithium-ion batteries.

“Light weight and high efficiency are essential for high-performance motorcycles, we have used some applications of niobium to achieve these goals," says Lightning Motorcycles CEO and Founder Richard Hatfield. Confident in the partnership, he states. 

"We are excited to work with CBMM to further innovate niobium technologies that can be translated into meaningful benefits to not just high performance electric motorcycles but to all types of vehicles.”