Lotus C-01 Motorcycle – Look For a 200 hp V-Twin

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Lotus C-01 Motorcycle

The Lotus C-01 motorcycle, which was announced six months ago, is rumored to be equipped with a 200 hp V-twin engine with full details about this new bike being revealed at the end of next month.

The C-01 is the result of a joint venture between Holzer Group tuning and the Kodewa racing team, both of which are based in Germany. The link to the famous Lotus sports car company is that Kodewa is responsible for the Lotus LMPS (Le Mans Prototype 2) race car. The C-01 will not be manufactured by Lotus but made under license by the German consortium.

Sources close to the project have confirmed that a V-twin engine in stock form is being used with around 170 hp, but for the production version of the Lotus bike, it’s anticipated this may be increased to 200 hp. The origins of the engine are not public knowledge yet, but it has been confirmed this unit is a current production V–twin. So, perhaps Ducati or KTM?

Lotus C-01 Motorcycle
Lotus C-01 Motorcycle

Renowned automotive designer Daniel Simon, who previously worked for Bugatti and VW, has designed the Lotus C-01 motorcycle.  More recently Simon’s work has been seen in Hollywood films such as the Tron Legacy where he was responsible for the design and styling of the Lightcycle.

Testing is underway at the moment on the Lotus C-01 with thousands of miles apparently already completed. There are also reportedly two development bikes – one with full carbon fiber bodywork and one without.

However, aside from announcing the Lotus motorcycle, the German consortium has issued no images, technical details or exact launch date. It has though confirmed that further information will be available at the end of February.

  • Bad Kev

    You mean this thing?

  • Flying Couch

    I would be far more interested if Lotus made lightness the focal point of the design, much like they do with their cars, and we were hearing about some weight reduction design points.

  • Justin McClintock

    Unlikely to be a KTM or Ducati engine. My money’s on it being a Rotax built unit….the same one in the EBR machines.

    As for the actual machine…I hope they kept the reigns on Simon. He’s most well known for sketching sci-fi transportation that has absolutely no business in the real world.

    • Gonfern

      Didn’t he design the Tron bike? LoL this should be good

    • Chris Davis

      Being that I am almost certainly priced out of the market for a Lotus motorcycle, I want to see the reins let loose. Let’s see how out there a motorcycle can get.

      On a side note, he seems to put his own logo on half of his concepts. Kind of a genius move. If you didn’t know, you’d never know. http://danielsimon.com

    • RossLH

      I’d bet all my money against the 1190 being used in this. The 1190 is not a Rotax engine.

      • Justin McClintock

        It may not be exactly the 1190 ,but the 1190 does (or at least originally did) start life as a 1125cc Rotax built engine.
        http://www.motorcyclistonline.com/firstrides/122_1109_2012_erik_buell_racing_1190rs/
        4th paragraph covers it.

        • RossLH

          Believe me, I know all about it. It may roughly resemble the 1125 engine (and with good reason), but it is quite different. Rotax has never had any part in building the 1190′s, the last engine they made for Erik Buell was the 1125.

          • Randy Singer

            So please, do enlighten us. Even Ride Apart calls the 1190 engine a “Rotax”:

            http://rideapart.com/2011/02/erik-buell-racing-teases-1190rs/

            • RossLH

              It’s pretty cut and dry. Rotax doesn’t make the engines, EBR does. Rotax made the 1125, but the contract between Buell and Rotax died when HD shut Buell down. In that article, Erik is quoted as saying “we can get the [1125] engines from Rotax, we’re going to have to convert them into an 1190 ourselves,” and he did just that. He got the 1125 drawings from Rotax and went from there. Rotax is not associated with the 1190 engine.

              • Justin McClintock

                Ross, that goes against everything that every article that’s been written on the engine says about it. Every single one says that Rotax builds the engine, sells them to Buell, then Buell modifies them. If you have a link that says otherwise, that’d be terrific, but even the quote you’ve posted from Erik himself above supports that the engines start life as a Rotax motor. Buell’s great and all, but they’re not a foundry.

                • RossLH

                  I’ve said what I can say. If you want to believe that Rotax makes the 1190, believe all you want. That won’t make you right.

                • Justin McClintock

                  Again, a link or something would be great. Otherwise it’s a bunch of articles from notable industry magazines and websites vs. some random dude on the internet with no proof. Gee, tough call.

                • tbowdre

                  Ross is most likely right.

                  I follow BUELL stuff pretty religiously and they are calling the 1190RX engine an “ET V2″ for East Troy V-Twin. As in, that is where it is manufactured…. Not a Rotax… and I love, love my 1125R rotax equipped machine

                • tbowdre
                • Justin McClintock

                  I have a feeling EBR builds engines like Ruf builds cars.

                • tbowdre

                  yes, I would agree…… and I hope so

                • Michael Howard

                  But they’re still referring to the 2013 1190RS simply as a “liquid cooled v-twin”.

                • RossLH

                  Don’t get me wrong, I have nothing against the Rotax units–my dream bike is the 1125R, and it has been for a long time.

              • Michael Howard

                From Motorcyclist magazine’s road test of the 1190RS:

                “The 1190RS is much more than a reskinned 1125R. Essentially every component has been improved based on data gathered from the Buell 1125RR that Geoff May races in AMA Superbike competition. The aluminum frame still holds 4.5 gallons of fuel, but it has been redesigned to accommodate a larger ram-airbox and geometry has been “normalized” with a longer wheelbase, less rake and more trail. The bulbous, side-mounted radiators are gone, replaced with a conventional cooling unit wrapped in slimmer, more aerodynamic bodywork. The 72-degree V-twin has been enlarged to 1190cc and hot-rodded to the hilt, every remaining component optimized to save weight, improve performance and, ultimately, win races.

                Starting with brand-new, 1125cc Helicon engines purchased directly from Rotax in Austria, EBR builds competition-ready powerplants using
                the same aftermarket components as May’s racebike. Cylinders are bored 3mm and filled with high-compression forged pistons worked by forged rods and a lightened crank to reduce reciprocating weight. Heads are reflowed and fitted with bigger valves and racing cams. The airbox, now twice as big as before, incorporates showerhead-type secondary injectors to improve sustained high-rpm fueling. The end result is a claimed 160 rear-wheel horsepower in EPA-legal street tune-approximately a 35-bhp increase over a stock 1125R.”

                Link to article: http://www.motorcyclistonline.com/firstrides/122_1109_2012_erik_buell_racing_1190rs/

                • RossLH

                  So far, 3 people have linked me to articles which are 3 years old (two of which were the same link), all talking about a bike that is no longer in production. Those articles both accurately describe the early and very limited production of the 1190 engines for the 1190RS.

                • Colby Bradfield

                  “Starting with brand-new, 1125cc Helicon engines purchased directly from
                  Rotax in Austria, EBR builds competition-ready powerplants using
                  the same aftermarket components as May’s racebike”

                  This is wrong

                  P75 all the way on the right, I suggest reading the whole article though.

                  http://cyclenews.uberflip.com/i/262687/70

        • Randy Singer

          I’ve written to EBRacing to ask which it is. I’ll post the answer here.

          • Justin McClintock

            Cool. Hopefully they get back to you quickly. I’m certainly curious.

            • Randy Singer

              They got back to me quickly, but so far they have avoided giving me a direct answer to my question. Apparently EBR doesn’t want to “speak to specific suppliers”. They say “Our 1190RX engines are built from components from domestic and international suppliers, and are assembled in their entirety at our facility in East Troy, WI. ”

              I’ve continued to press them for a more direct answer. I’ll let you know if I get one.

              The question in my mind is…what is keeping them from giving a direct answer? Are they ashamed of the Rotax roots of their engine? Could it be that they are now getting some parts from India and that they are ashamed of that? (That’s the problem with not being forthcoming, it leads folks to imagine all sorts of things as being possible…)

              • Justin McClintock

                Hmmm…interesting. On the surface of things, I’d say it’s probably still a Rotax motor. I doubt they have the capability of actually making an entire engine as of yet. That said, it wouldn’t shock me if there’s plans in place to transition some of that to an Indian supplier given their newfound ties to India. Just not sure if anybody in India is really up to building a motor like that one just yet.

                • Randy Singer

                  Just got this from EBR: “Not only are the engines not coming from Rotax, no parts on this engine are sourced from Rotax.”

                  No mention of where this engine lies in the familial line originating with the Rotax engine that was previously being modified by EBR, but this is probably as much information as I’m going to get out of them. EBR did say that most of the articles printed about this engine have been incorrect. Maybe someone from RideApart can do an article on this and get more info out of EBR. I do wonder why asking them for information elicits responses that make it sound as if I were asking Coca-Cola for their secret formula.

                • Justin McClintock

                  Hmmm…cool to know. Wes! Sean! Tim! We need more info! I’m still extremely skeptical that EBR is actually fabricating much (if any) of these engine parts themselves. So it would be nice to know where the parts ARE sourced from.

                  All that being said, let’s go back to the Lotus bike….I still think IT is using a Rotax engine.

                • Randy Singer

                  It occurs to me that EBR may be being coy because HD still owns the rights to the original 1125, and EBR doesn’t want to be seen as putting into mass production an engine that is too much like the 1125.

                • Troy T

                  Randy, you are mistaken. Harley does not own the rights to the 1125R. They sold them. The 1190R engine is Eriks. Your right on the Coca-Cola comparison. Call Ducati or KTM and ask the same questions.

                • Randy Singer

                  Once again, that’s not what all the motorcycle magazines reported. Where did you hear that HD sold the rights to the 1125R engine?

                • Troy T

                  Look it up. Its published. Harley sold the rights back to Rotax. Money talks. The engine going in the LC is from KTM. That was published as well.

                • Randy Singer

                  Look it up where, and where is it published?

                • Troy T

                  Follow this link. http://cyclenews.uberflip.com/i/262687 The answers you seek are on page 75 and 76. My work here is done.

                • Colby Bradfield
  • Gonfern

    If its anything like their cars, it will break down a lot, a few will catch on fire, and then they will just give up and buy a powertrain from a Japanese manufacturer.

    • Tim Watson

      Tough crowd today… ha ha… I think the Lotus you are referring to is one of about 30 years ago when some of their cars did what you say. However, in recent times they are up there with the best in terms of build quality, reliability etc. However, all of this is irrelevant as the Lotus motorcycles are not going to be manufactured or assembled by Lotus. Instead the German consortium that has the license to use the name on a bike will be making it, so we’ll see what happens!

      • Gonfern

        The “Lotus of today” you speak of, is what the last part of my statement was about. They now use Toyota powertrains. Don’t let my pessimism fool you. I actually really hope it’s something cool. I’ll take mine in British Racing green.

    • Dustin Coury

      Lotus was being smart about using a Toyota engine tried through and though. Why not use the most reliable engine on earth and make it amazing with light components, balanced chassis, simple controls, and all while being affordable. I don’t now what car you’re speaking of, but LOTUS executed the Ellise, and Exise perfectly. Alas, like Tim said “all of this is irrelevant as the Lotus motorcycles are not going to be manufactured or assembled by Lotus.”. I love seeing companies take out the ego of a brand and make it better. I look forward to what happens.

      • Kevin Broce

        Yamaha actually had a hand in the Toyota motor used in the Elise and Exige.

        • Dustin Coury

          I think they tuned it?

  • Richard Gozinya

    Or you could try to get your hands an NCR M16.

    • Justin McClintock

      Given the way this is moving, I’ll bet the NCR would cost less too.

  • TraderJoesSecrets

    Ask Kenny Roberts how hiring car guys to build a fast motorcycle worked out.

  • Stuki

    Am I the only one starting to get the impression that absurdly overpowered VTwin sportbikes, are the new Custom Choppers of the past decade? WIth CAD, modelling, robot welders and CNC, any old yahoo can slap together a big, fast engine these days; probably even the guys at OCC. Whose former buyers have now moved on to Panigales from hardtails as their favored piece of kit to show off parked in the garage next to their big rimmed Bentley.

  • Guy

    Looks like our favourite Brit bike mags have released some details. The renders are apparently ‘from the factory’ and it’ll use a KTM V-Twin. I’m not excited about these renders and I’ll hold judgement until I see the final bike. I hope that it’ll at least be useful instead of an over-stylized, two-wheel homage to Lotus race cars.

    http://www.motorcyclenews.com/upload/301872/images/2-3-Image_Blue.jpg
    http://www.motorcyclenews.com/MCN/News/newsresults/General-news/2014/January/jan11514-Lotus-superbike-MCN-world-exclusive/

    http://www.visordown.com/motorcycle-news-new-bikes/revealed-new-lotus-c-01-superbike/24321.html

    • Ken

      Sadly I think that thing will be as useful as a chocolate kettle. Nice of them to render it a paddock stand though, just so it doesn’t fall over. Speaking of which, what’s that reflection in the fairing? The Hethel Post Office?

    • Chris Davis

      So generally the air box of the F1 car, an old timey tail section, and the head angle of a chopper.

  • DucMan

    Vapor Ware.