Electric bikes are the future. We’ve already started seeing some electric bikes hit the road. And two such bikes, the Energica EGO and Lightning LS218, piqued our interests.
Although they seem like your regular award-winning record-breaking sports bikes, they’re a lot different at their core. While the Energica has a top speed of 240 km/hr (an impressive number, no doubt), the Lightning has that of a whopping 350 km/hr.
And just like that, countless dissimilarities must be pointed out. So, without any more banter, here’s our complete Energica vs. Lightning comparison and review.
Energica has its roots in 4 prototypes built for world championships. It all started when the fourth prototype, eCRP 1.4, won the European Championship. The eCRP team realized they could create a fully-functioning road version of the bikes, which later became Energica. It stands today as a significant Italian electric motorcycle manufacturer.
Lightning Motorcycle was founded in 2006 when its founder Hatfield converted a Yamaha R1 into an electric bike. Later on, it would produce electric bikes that would conquer both the roads and the racetrack. It is now the manufacturer of the LS-218 and the Lightning Strike, two of the most powerful electric motorbikes.
Energica EGO vs. Lightning LS218 – An Overview:
The Energica EGO was the fastest electric motorcycle when it was first made. Designed like a performance bike, its main focus is on speed and torque, longer battery life, and Italian aesthetics. This bike is available in EGO+ and RS versions as well.
However, with a top speed of about 240 km/hr, it easily competes with high-end gas motorcycles. And with its smart power management, it lasts for over 124 miles.
Dubbed a “Superbike,” the Lightning LS218 is a record-breaking electric motorcycle. It continues to hold the fastest street-legal production bike, gas or electric since it was made in 2014. The main focus here is on speed. And the bike incorporates many elements to provide a more sustainable user experience.
This bike performs like no other with an incredible top speed of 350 km/hr and a fast-charging time of 30 minutes.
|Feature||Energica EGO||Lightning LS 218|
|Fuel & Vehicle Type||Electric sports bike||Electric sports bike|
|Max Range||124 miles||180 miles|
|Charging Time||3.5 hours Fast Charge: 20 minutes||2 hours Fast Charge: 30 minutes|
|Max Power||145 hp||200 hp|
|Max Torque||200 Nm||227.78 Nm|
|RPM @ Max Power||4,700 RPM||10,500 RPM|
|Weight||568.8 lbs.||495 lbs.|
|Rear and Front Suspension||Front: Marzocchi adjustable shock Rear: Bitubo mono shock||Front: RaceTech fork (upgradable) Rear: Ohlins TTX36 Shock|
|Rear and Front Wheel Size||Front: 17″ Rear: 17″||Front: 17″ Rear: 17″|
On an electric bike, the motor is at the heart of the performance. Let’s take a look at the motor’s performance in the Energica vs. Lightning.
The Energica uses a permanent magnet AC motor that can spin at a maximum rate of 10,500 rpm. The type of motor they use offers a peak torque of 200 Nm up to 4,700 rpm. But after that, the power output remains mostly constant, at about 145 hp.
But it’s not so much the engine’s power as it is the acceleration that interests us. This bike can reach a top speed of 240 km/hr. And it can accelerate from 0 to 100 km/hr in just 2.6 seconds. Those numbers aren’t mediocre. Of course, on the road, you should always follow the local speed limit.
Although the Energica’s specs are impressive, the Lightning LS218 completely changes the game. It uses its proprietary Superbike Motor that is an IPM liquid-cooled electric motor.
Moreover, it has a higher peak power (200 hp) and a higher max torque (227.78 Nm) than the Energica. This is what enables it to reach higher top speeds of 350 km/hr.
So, when you put it into perspective, the Lightning LS218 has a more powerful motor. And as such, it’ll run faster than the Energica EGO.
Battery and Range:
Aside from performance, the range and battery life of the E-bike are also essential when comparing the Energica vs. Lightning.
On the Energica EGO, you get a powerful lithium polymer battery with a max capacity of 13.4 kWh; but that’s the max capacity. The nominal capacity is around 11.7 kWh. If you’re not familiar with those units, consider this: the Energica EGO can ride for 124 miles on city roads. On urban roads, that number gets reduces to 80 miles.
The battery features a Fast and Slow Charge Mode and a Long Period Rest (LPR). The LPR is of particular interest here since it maintains the battery during extended periods of rest. What’s more, you can configure the vehicle to stop charging when the charge reaches a certain level.
Besides, Lightning’s LS218 doesn’t have nearly as much technology, but it does give you three battery options. You get to choose from a 12 kWh, 15 kWh, and 20 kWh battery pack.
Each has a range of 100-120 miles, 120-150 miles, and 160-180 miles, respectively. This is quite a convenient feature since you get to decide what terrain your bike will be riding on.
However, if you want a battery that will last for more cycles and maintain itself, you should go for the Energica. On the other hand, if you want a battery with more range, then consider Lightning.
No one likes a bumpy ride, especially if you’re off-road. Fortunately, Energica understands that sentiment. Their bike uses a Marzocchi 43mm front suspension. It has an adjustable rebound and compression damping.
Jargon aside, this means that both your suspension’s compression and decompression can be adjusted. So, you’re in full control over how your ride feels. In addition to that, the rear mono-shock is from Bitubo and can also be adjusted, although only the rebound (decompression) is adjustable.
It’s a bit different on the Lightning, though. It features a RaceTech fork that can be upgraded to the Ohlins FGRT inverted fork. And the rear features an Ohlins TTX36 shock with a linkage system. Both these can be adjusted for their spring preload, compression, and rebound. But the rear suspension can also be adjusted for the ride height and high and low-speed compression.
Seeing this, it’s evident that the Lightning’s suspension has more adjustability. Combine that with the upgrade option on the front suspension, and the Lightning wins this round as well.
Comfort is a major buying factor for most riders, especially sports riders. Being electric performance bikes, both the Energica and the Lightning feature a sporty riding position.
But that’s where the similarities end. The Energica EGO uses a hard seat that, at the surface, shouldn’t feel very comfortable. But considering that it’s a sports bike made for short rides, it’ll take a long ride for you to feel the effects.
As for the bike’s chassis, the handlebars are relatively low while the pegs stand high, perfect for a sports bike. The windshield does feel a bit too low, as it only deflects wind away from the chest. But since you’ll be wearing a helmet, it shouldn’t be much uncomfortable.
On the Lightning, the seat is a Corbin saddle with a small bump-stop at the back. Since you’ll be using the bike for extreme levels of acceleration, the bump-stop fits perfectly.
Being sports bikes, the seats don’t go very deep. But the Corbin seat on the Lightning is too shallow. You can practically feel the chassis of the bike digging into your bones.
Due to the more comfortable seat in the Energica vs. Lightning, the Energica takes the cake in this round.
There are many electronic components on a bike that ensure safety, convenience, and versatility.
The Energica EGO has quite a large pool of electronics. To start with, it features a Vehicle Control Unit that implements power management and adaptive energy algorithms. If you’re fond of slow-riding, the EGO features Cruise Control just for you. And for those who like to test their limits, the bike features six levels of traction control along with Bosch ABS and eABS.
In contrast to that, the Lightning LS218 hardly has any electronics mentioned. However, there is one technology that they’re bold about the regenerative braking. Regenerative braking conserves braking energy. This reduces motor power consumption and giving you a longer ride.
Aside from that, there’s the full-color TFT display and the Telematic Control Unit (TCU). TCU, in particular, is a great way to connect with the outside world through Wi-Fi and Bluetooth.
But seeing the sheer lack of any electronic technologies, the Energica EGO wins by default.
Aesthetics and Looks:
Now, here’s where we struggled. Being shaped like typical sports bikes, the Energica vs. Lightning look similar. And we mean strikingly so.
They both wear that classic shark-beak design at the front with fenders that hug the wheel a bit too intimately. It’s only when you look at the back that you notice the difference.
While the Energica’s rear fender sits much lower, the Lightning’s rear fender pops out. This is not only an aesthetic feature but a functional one too. It helps disperse more of the dirt and debris kicked up by your rear wheel. And there’s also the bump-stop behind the seat that makes the bike look more integrated.
For this reason, Lightning has a better aesthetic. But as always, everyone has a different tase, and there’s no clear-cut winner here.
Finally, we come down to the pricing. Perhaps the most important buying factor, an unjustifiably high price, is a deal-breaker.
And that’s where the Lightning LS218 fails. While the prices do seem pretty close, it should be noted that the difference is in the order of thousands of dollars.
The Lightning has a higher price considering it misses out on many of the important electronics. The main selling point here is that it holds the World Record for the Fastest Bike. But speed alone isn’t going to make a comfortable or convenient bike ride. However, we will give it credit for the suspension and the long battery life.
With that being said, the Energica EGO has a more justifiable price.
Energica EGO vs. Lightning LS 218 – The Similarities:
Aside from the differences, there are a few similarities that connect the bikes, such as:
Fuel and Vehicle Type:
While different in top-speeds and versatility, both the Energica vs. Lightning are sports bikes. They’re made to deliver higher torques than regular commuting or touring bikes. And they’re better suited for long open roads instead of a cramped city and urban roads. You shouldn’t use these bikes for off-roading, as they’re not designed for it.
Additionally, these bikes run on electricity, delivered via in-house batteries. You’ll need to find your nearest recharging station to charge them up.
Motor and Performance:
While the motors differ in how much power they output and their top speeds, they’re just motors at the end of the day. Yes, the Lightning rides faster. But since you’ll want to stay within legal speed limits, all that extra speed will merely be hypothetical. They’re both excellent in performance and accelerate better than other sports bikes.
Electric bikes aren’t like gas bikes. They don’t use gears and don’t have a transmission. Instead, the drivetrain is directly connected to the motor. Instead, several electronic circuits help you lower the motor torque and maintain a steady speed. And that’s precisely what makes the Energica EGO and the Lightning LS218 so similar.
Aside from all the features mentioned above, you should consider that both the bikes use ABS brakes. They also feature full Bluetooth and Wi-Fi connectivity, along with a GPS and a large control panel.
To add to that, both these bikes feature aluminum wheels that will stand the test of time and never corrode. And both the front and rear wheels are 17″ on both the bikes.
Energica Ego vs. Lightning LS218 – Pros & Cons:
- Features Cruise Control.
- 6 levels of traction control.
- Smart power management.
- More comfortable seating.
- Durable battery pack.
- No rebound adjustment on the rear shock.
- Shorter battery range.
- Longer battery range.
- More adjustment on shocks.
- Bluetooth and Wi-Fi enabled.
- Small bump-stop behind the seat.
- Fastest production motorcycle.
- Not advanced electronically.
- Lower battery durability.
And that’s it for our Energica vs. Lightning comparison! With all things considered, it sure was a wild ride comparing the two.
But now it’s time for our final verdict. And the winner is “Lightning LS-218.” Although it lacks many important electronics, you can’t just ignore the fact that it’s the fastest bike on Earth. This is an electric bike that puts even gas bikes to shame.
And all of that comes on a bike that’s pretty easy to control and maintain. Plus, it hardly takes 30 minutes to charge on Fast Charge.
But you’ll only know it when you try it!