Lotusforums.com has released photos and a bit of information regarding the sports car maker’s initial foray into the two-wheeled realm, and it’s either a stunner or … something else, depending on your tastes.
Called the C-01, the V-twin powered machine is for real and a pre-production unit is undergoing road testing, according to the post on Lotusforums.
Only 100 will be built and we doubt the price tag will come anywhere close to “affordable”. Of note, the bike is not built by Lotus itself, “but is the result of a collaboration between motorsport veterans under the leadership of [racecar builder] Kodewa.”
First up, the styling. A mashup of looks from bikes like the classic John Player Norton (JPN) and the light cycles from Tron:Legacy, the C-01 looks to lay its pilot down across the bike in a way more reminiscent of the Ducati MHe900 than your garden variety GSX-R track machine. That’s fitting since the bike’s designer, Daniel Simon, actually penned the Tron:Legacy light cycles. So there’s that. It has a look all its own, that’s for sure.
In terms of hard parts, the 1,195cc 75-degree short-stroke V-Twin sits hidden behind a carbon fiber hull while the rider straddles the seemingly drag-bike geometry from a back-sloping solo seat. Switchgear looks traditional with brake, clutch, and gearshift levers in the normal spots controlling a six-speed gearbox that also features a hydraulic slipper clutch. Final drive is by chain so if the engine truly makes around 200 horsepower, expect close to 180+ hp at the wheel driving the 400 pound (dry) bike forward. That should make for some fun stoplight races.
Under the seat are two remote reservoir shock absorbers; whether that’s another nod to the JPN icon and a step backward from a more modern monoshock setup remains to be seen. Rearward view is courtesy of two bar-end mounted mirrors, a choice pulled from today’s street-savvy streetfighter builders that contributes to the clean lines. An instrument pod not detailed in the photos tucks into the top of the gas tank just below the lip of the comically low fly screen.
The bulbous cowl cradling the engine hides any details of engine and frame design but looks to hold a radiator to keep the monster inside cool enough to prevent spitting fire or internal parts out the exhaust. The frame is constructed from “integrating carbon fibre, titanium and aerospace quality steel.” Radial front brake calipers grip twin 320mm drilled front discs (which may be ceramic or even carbon fiber) and the front fork looks like an upside-down-type covered by cowls bearing the LOTUS branding.
Low-exit exhaust plumbing helps keep the look as clean as possible and the C-01 looks more prepared to streak across the salt at Bonneville than to leisurely roll down to the pool hall with your mates. The forums page shows the bike in three palettes, including a Norton-ish black with gold stripes, a green and yellow combo Green Bay Packers fans will love and a white version with red and blue strips that seems to be yet another nod to the JPN bikes of yore. Customers can also request more personal tweaks and colors.
While DOT-mandated bits like headlights, turn signals and brake lights seem absent, Lotusforums claims one of the bikes is plated and out on the street, so perhaps some hidden LEDs are providing illumination and legal compliance.
Sadly, with a run of just 100 bikes, the majority of these Lotus exotics are destined to sit in climate-controlled collections with zero miles on their clocks until they crumble into dust. Let’s hope at least Jay Leno gets ahold of one and gives it a proper thrashing.