We found out… Lightning isn’t ready. Their “bike” unveiling Saturday revealed an unrideable, non-final chassis. Not only did the “bike” lack a battery assembly, but by the company’s own admission (to multiple people) it’s not final yet. They didn’t even want picture taking.
I’ll give them that a $38,000 motorcycle will have weird plastics, with puckers, flat spots and paint issues. At that price you’re in handbuilt territory, and won’t have Honda quality and consistencies. But they claimed they’d make this announcement in April, and riding season is now here… meanwhile, the ship date was the previous ‘in 2014,’ and no production date. Sound familiar? Brammo and KTM trotted out this line in years prior… then said zilch as Dec. 31 tore off. BRD at least gave excuses.
But don’t take my word- Lightning themselves said
Okay, so there were in fact changes for 2014. The bodywork is clearly not the same as the race bikes, or a putative “2013” Lightning. But a hundred custom shops can do styling and chassis, with someone else’s V-twin and transmission dropped in. Orange County Choppers is a tribute to that fact- you can build low-rate chassis without professionalism, or even caring. Lightning has yet to demonstrate to me that their saleable units (not the 2 or so race specials) will be any more rigorous than OCC driveway queens.