Lighting Motorcycle’s 2502

and 50+ Years of Corbin Design

Lighting 250 - 250 Electric Motorcycle

Corbin has a long history of groundbreaking design work and has never been afraid to tackle any project. So when Richard Hatfield of Lightning Motorcycle approached him about teaming up on the body design of a new special project motorcycle, of course, the answer was a resounding Yes.

QuicksilverBefore we get too caught up in the details, there is something interesting about this particular collaboration you should be aware of. You know how we like to brag about Mike setting a land speed record that went unbroken for almost 40 years? Well, Richard is the guy that finally broke that record!

One would think there might have been some kind of competitive disgruntlement due to this, but not so. Clearly, there is mutual respect at work here.

Lighting 250/250Back to the point, this is a new custom bike built by Lightning Motorcycle. Since a catchy name hasn’t been announced yet, we’re going with 2502 (Two-Fifty Squared) and here’s why. The purpose of this special build is to take it out on US highways and obtain a range of 250 miles per charge and follow it up with a 250 mph run at Bonneville. This is going to take some slippery bodywork.

Enter Mike Corbin.


Petersen Auto Museum

Mike has been developing electric motorcycles since the early 1970s. His accomplishments landed him in the pages of National Geographic and he was the first person over 100 mph on an electric motorcycle. He followed that up with a land speed record the next year with Quicksilver running just over 165 mph. As we mentioned, this record went unbroken for 39 years. In short, many consider Mike Corbin the Godfather of electric motorcycles.

Not one to rest on his laurels, Mike has always remained a strong proponent of electric vehicles, founding Corbin Motors in the 1990s to develop the Sparrow and other microcars. Corbin Motors went on to produce hundreds of the diminutive 3-wheelers well before Tesla became a household name.

As a Bonneville veteran himself, Corbin welcomed the challenge to help others with their land speed record pursuits. Mike and his design team created slippery bodywork for Streamliners and Side Cars while practically re-writing the rule book for partial streamliners. His revolutionary pilot-as-bodywork design (in a co-op with Carls Speed Shop) has become the De facto standard for this class today.

And now, Mike and his designers Vince Zavala and Fred Amezcua have thrown their expertise into the body design for Lightning’s newest pursuit. Constructed completely of Carbon-Fiber, the bodywork weighs just a little more than the paint applied to it. The integrated fender keeps the airflow extra smooth and the familiar tapered tail strives to leave little turbulence in its wake.

Creating the molds and laying up the Carbon-Fiber was also performed in-house by Corbin’s team headed up by Ignacio Zuniga. Making it pretty and laying down the finishing colors was a collaboration of Lightning and Corbin folks with the final application done by Corbin’s painter Sergio Hernandez.

Plans are currently in development to post some official range numbers this year and we expect to see it on the salt in August. Good luck guys, we’re pulling for you!