Make Way Earthlings, Lotus C-01 Superbike will be roaring in your Neighbourhood
What’s the first thing that comes to mind when you lay your eyes upon the Lotus C-01 superbike? ‘Majesty’, ‘Monster’, ‘Oh my God’, ‘It’s a beast of a…’, ‘The biking alpha-male’ – many thoughts jetting your mind at once it leaves one dumbfounded; for many, it’s just jaw-dropping. And rightly so.
When Lotus first revealed computer-generated images of the C-01 in January 2014, the reaction that ensued was akin to that faced by scientists who made life-changing discoveries back in the day. ‘Outrageous’ many called the daring styling, saying Lotus would never pull it off, and if it did, then it would never work out.
Fast-forward several months later and behold! The latest images of the finished product almost resemble the very first comp-generated design images.
Marvel at the Majesty of the C-01
Whether you love motorcycles or hate them, you have to swallow it and admit this is the most gorgeous motorcycles ever created. Just cast another look its way and absorb it all. Stunning. Mind-boggling. Gorgeous and masculine at the same time. It’s wicked and awesome in every possible way. This is the definition of what a 200hp 21st century superbike ought to look like.
And guess what else makes it all the more amazing? The C-01 is the very first motorcycle to come out the Lotus production line. British luxury auto-maker Lotus Cars, well known for their sleek supercars, decided to give the biking world a go. So, they sat down and decided to create a beast of a bike that will have the world sit up and take notice.
The hyper bike has been a partnership between Lotus and KPM (Kodewa Performance Motorcycles), flanked by the Holzer Group. It is Dr. Colin Kolles – KPM’s lead – who came up with the idea of a superbike in the first place.
Speaking to the press earlier in the year, he said that they embarked on a mission to build a bike that would not just be a great idea but also one that would typify ‘a piece of art in motion’. He also reflected on the good number of bikes oozing style over substance that he’s seen over the years. And it is a combination of these two attributes that rode him into this farfetched idea that aimed to combine ultramodern technology with a ‘truly jaw-dropping aesthetic’.
The C-01 may carry a moniker with much gravitas, but the team behind its creation comprises several industry bigwigs.
The external bodywork is courtesy of renowned designer Daniel Simon (former Bugatti designer who was also behind the Disney motion picture Tron: Legacy, and Tom Cruise’s Bubbleship in Oblivion). He calls his latest creation a ‘high-tech monster in a tailored suit’.
The Holzer Group, with several Moto One and Moto Two world championship bikes as well as Formula One and Lotus LMP2 sports cars under their belt, is responsible for the geometry and construction.
To avoid risking unnecessary problems by getting bespoke parts to function, the team decided to go with the engine from the KTM RC8R superbike. The 1195cc water-cooled V-twin Lotus C-01 engine packs 175bhp, powering the rear wheel through a 6-speed transmission and hydraulic clutch.
Made of carbon fibre and lightweight metals, this mean machine boasts 180 kg without a rider, fuel, and oil, on par with the world’s fastest superbikes.
Frame-building experts at Kalex are behind the chromoly trellis frame. These guys are famous for assembling and welding frames to within 30-micron tolerance. The colour is custom, based on the customer’s preference.
The wheels too are carbon fibre and are courtesy of South African firm BST who had to design custom wheels for the C-01 given their slightly unusual size: the fronts measure 19” in diameter with the back measuring a traditional 17 inches. Together, they span 65 inches (almost five-and-a-half feet).
It also boasts Brembo twin disc brakes, with 320mm calipers, radially mounted. There is traction control, but no ABS-shocking.
Twin Ohlins have been fitted between the swingarm and subframe given there’s no room for a single shock. The front features Sachs forks placed upside-down, but they have been covered in aerodynamic sleeves in a bid to preserve the oval fork design contained in the original comp-generated design images.
Oh, we can’t forget to mention that the C-01 will be a limited-edition creation with only 100 examples being manufactured. And with a $137,000 price tag to its name, most of us can only gaze at this wonder from the confines of our Internet connections.