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180 kg Lotus C-01 motorcycle to use 200 hp 1200cc V-twin


February 21, 2014

Wearing one of the most revered names in motorsport, the Lotus C-01 certainly looks the part, with styling and paintwork that immediately identify the heritage of the brand, translating it successfully from four-wheels to two-wheels.coming years.

Wearing one of the most revered names in motorsport, the Lotus C-01 certainly looks the part, with styling and paintwork that immediately identify the heritage of the brand, translating it successfully from four-wheels to two-wheels.coming years.

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Lotus Motorcycles has released the first images of its new lightweight C-01 superbike, produced by a collaboration of motorsport veterans led by Dr Colin Kolles of Kodewa, with support from the Holzer Group, all under license from Group Lotus plc.

The C-01's external bodywork has been crafted by acclaimed designer Daniel Simon while the bike's geometry and construction is the work of Holzer, a company that has had a hand in designing several Moto One and Moto Two world championship motorcycles, not to mention Formula One and LMP2 cars. So apart from the name that carries so much gravitas, the team behind it comes with serious credibility too. The limited edition (100 only) 180 kg Lotus C-01 is powered by a 200 hp, 75 degree v-twin Rotax motor similar to that used in the KTM RC8R superbike.

Wearing one of the most revered names in motorsport, the Lotus C-01 certainly looks the part, with styling and paintwork that immediately identify the heritage and provenance of the brand, yet translate it from four-wheels to two-wheels, and that's not surprising given the portfolio of Simon, a designer we're certain to see interpret many well known brands in coming years.

Simon is a former designer for Bugatti, but is best known for the ‘Lightcycle’ in the 2010 Disney motion picture ‘Tron: Legacy’ and the ‘Bubbleship’ used by Tom Cruise in the Universal sci-fi hit ‘Oblivion’. The German is also responsible for the black and gold livery of the Lotus LMP2 sports cars.

Simon says of his most recent work: "With the Lotus C-01, we have only one ambition: to create a unique state-of-the-art machine that carries its brutal forces with elegance and style, a high-tech monster in a tailored suit. The C-01, with all its top notch components and materials, is first and foremost emotional, heartbreaking, at times playfully retro, and always clearly a Lotus. Lotus is a glamorous name with a rich history, and the C-01 celebrates it proudly: the shapes of the marvelous Lotus 49 were a main inspiration, and all color schemes pay homage to iconic Lotus racing liveries, such as the dashing black and gold. The intersection of past and future always fascinates, and so does the unique idea of the C-01.”

The original idea to create the C-01 came from Kodewa’s Dr Colin Kolles. Speaking about the project he said: “We set out to create a bike that isn’t just great to ride but also represents a piece of art in motion. Over the years I have seen my fair share of style over substance, what this bike brings to the market is a unique combination of both - state of the art technology with a truly jaw- dropping aesthetic.”

Commenting on the C-01 Güther Holzer, CEO of Holzer Group said: “I was one of the first people to ride it and I have to say I was very impressed. Together we have found that delicate balance between raw, aggressive power and breath- taking handling. The team has created something very special, it looks incredible, it sounds fantastic but above all, the ride is sensational. I’m very happy.”

Most other available details of the new C-01 are contained in the spec sheet, which is reproduced here in its entirety. No price has yet been released, but don't bother asking unless you are a person of very independent means.

About the Author
Mike Hanlon Mike grew up thinking he would become a mathematician, accidentally started motorcycle racing, got a job writing road tests for a motorcycle magazine while at university, and became a writer. As a travelling photojournalist during his early career, his work was published in a dozen languages across 20+ countries. He went on to edit or manage over 50 print publications, with target audiences ranging from pensioners to plumbers, many different sports, many car and motorcycle magazines, with many more in the fields of communication - narrow subject magazines on topics such as advertising, marketing, visual communications, design, presentation and direct marketing. Then came the internet and Mike managed internet projects for Australia's largest multimedia company, Telstra.com.au (Australia's largest Telco), Seek.com.au (Australia's largest employment site), top100.com.au, hitwise.com, and a dozen other internet start-ups before founding Gizmag in 2002. Now he writes and thinks. All articles by Mike Hanlon

...but then they ruin it by putting a fat, rumpled, old human on it....


That would do a 0-60 around 3.1 0-100 5.5, very neat style. I'd turn into a tumbling metal meat popsicle though so I'll pass :)


I love it, not because it's especially beautiful (to my eyes/brain), though it is stunning in a high tech way, if that makes sense. I really like the fact they haven't judged the other boring mainstream makers as the benchmark, they've made it better.

I have written letters to Honda etc complaining about bikes using the exact same styles, layouts, power outputs for way too long. When I started riding Honda brought out the VF750, v4, water cooled, anti dive brakes (on my vf400rr) though ppl didnt like them, I loved using them. I think by now bikes could have elec motors in front hubs to pull us out of trouble (especially off rders), hybrid/hydrogen/thorium batteries etc etc....come on bikers get shouting and maybe they'll change the game again for us. What about a hover bike, rides 2 feet off road and flies over accidents....lol. I hope you understand where I'm coming from, bikes are fun, crazy, fast, rebellious, gorgeous, dangerous, amazing.....


How sad and depressing that Lotus, founded by a true visionary (Colin Chapman) can turn out what is effectively a polished t*rd. There is nothing new on this extremely conventional bike (even the paint schemes are ironic vintage "tribute"). Chapman's designs were all about lightness, simplicity and making things get round a track as fast as possible. This is the antithesis of Chapman's ideal. A true tribute to his vision would have started from nothing, thrown out the century-old motorised bicycle layout, placed the rider in the best ergonomic and aerodynamic position and built the rest of the vehicle around them. The Peraves Monotracer is doing it right. This is doing it wrong!


By the way, what the motorcycle aficionados say?


Looks great! Like a high tech version of a Norton manx


This is the BEST scientific Newsletter I have ever found. I would like to share it with you all. Enjoy

Thomas Lychywek

"Like a high tech version of a Norton manx"

It couldn't be less like a Manx Norton - they were designed from the ground up for handling.


This Lotus will be abysmal in the bends.

Keith Reeder


Syd Meade would be thrilled... right on target!


Island Architect

Hey Demon Duck, that's a bit harsh...

."..but then they ruin it by putting a fat, rumpled, old human on it...."

Mike and I resemble those remarks.......

Martin Hone

I love how ppl who obviously haven't ridden it, make judgement on "Handling", when THEY Haven't "Handled" It! The experts said it handles extremely well, and its very light, with superb stiff (laterally) forks and a stonking 200hp....geeze what do they want for a 1st bike...and yes Colin would spin in his grave a little, but he loved the Lotus 7, Elan era when he conquered big manufacturers with his purity of design, today alas buyers do want luxuries, but this bike is VERY light for big bikes these days. A BMW S1000RRcc weighs 180 Kg Dry, 205Kg wet and has 20 hp less. Not a heavy bike.


I think that is way cool. When it is actually ready to be driven on the street, I would not mind driving it. With 200 hp, it should go very fast.


Which "experts", Paul - the ones that designed it? In particular, the ones that specced the geometry?

Oh yeah, they can be relied on for an unbiased opinion...

Physics and a basic understanding of bike design tells you all you need to know about how this thing will handle: when was the last time you saw a WSB machine this long, with such a flat rake angle?

IT MATTERS, as does the 19" front wheel.

This is FAR closer in design terms, to a drag bike - and they're explicitly made to go in a straight line.

(Here ya go - seperated at birth: http://1.bp.blogspot.com/_qX_C6pKTUwY/TS-oqkfvOfI/AAAAAAAADdA/9tuL84lVMUo/s1200/honda_switchblade_drag-bike-concept_right.jpg)

Still, you go ahead and keep believing the laws-of-physics-altering "experts", and I'll keep reading the comments on the bike forums, where they're LAUGHING THEIR SOCKS OFF at the prospect of this thing "handling" - and I'm with them all the way.

It's a cruiser, pure and simple.

Keith Reeder

I'm with Keith R. Well said Sir.

Alberto Lara

The spec sheet say 1.195cm3 not 1,195cm3 LOL

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