After years of rumors about the Lotus C-01 Superbike the announcement finally came that the bike will begin production in the near future. The bike was designed by Daniel Simon, best known for the design of the Lightcycles in the 2010 Disney movie Tron remake, as well as being a former designer for the automakers Volkswagen and Bugatti. Observers have likened the sport cruiser’s design to a high-tech update on the Norton Manx, produced by English manufacturer Norton Motors Ltd. from 1947 to 1962.

The C-01 will be a limited production motorcycle, with only 100 copies of the superbike to be produced. This steel, carbon fiber, and titanium museum piece is a joint effort by the tuner Holzer Group, German racing firm Kodewa, and British sports car manufacturer Group Lotus PLC, and will sell for an estimated US $137,000. Holzer Group has a fine pedigree, taking part in the design of a number of world championship Moto One and Moto Two racing motorcycles, and Lotus has the reputation for producing some of the finest handling automobiles in history.

The Lotus will feature a powerful 1200cc V-twin engine putting out 200 horsepower to a 6-speed transmission. The 75-degree Rotax motor is similar in design to the KTM RC8R superbike. According to the manufacturer, the chassis is built of aero tech steel, titanium, and carbon fiber. With a 65 inch wheelbase and a seat height of 28 inches the bike seems more laid back than your average racetrack ready superbike. The braking duties are handled by disc brakes front and rear, with a 4 caliper system up front and a 2 caliper system behind.

The C-01 features more carbon fibre than you would find in the custom mods section of an aftermarket auto parts center, where you find the lightweight hood, trunk, grilles, bumpers, and spoilers. The dry weight of the motorcycle is only 181 kg (400 lbs.), which with the 200 horsepower engine, should be sufficiently quick from 0 to 60 or in the quarter mile. There are no official specifications for performance at this time, but estimates for the 0 to 60 mph time to be around 3.1 seconds, 0 to 100 mph to be around 5.5 seconds, and the quarter mile time in the low 9 second range.

The reaction among automobile enthusiasts has been mixed. With the history of Lotus being one of the best handling sports car brands, the design that emphasizes straight line speed over handling has many Lotus fans wondering what they brought to the table, other than the name and the logo. Dr. Colin Kolles of Kodewa says that the bike “represents a piece of art in motion.” He suggests the design is a combination of both state of the art technology and “a truly jaw-dropping aesthetic.”

Motorcycle enthusiasts have been more accepting of the C-01, with positive comments on blogs about the design, while still having some reservations about the handling. Still, the new Lotus is a cutting edge motorcycle, and the 100 people who will be lucky to have one in their garage are expected to be quite pleased.

Photo credit: Lotus-motorcycle