First Images: Lotus C-01

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Lotus C-01

These are the first official pictures of the Lotus C-01 road bike that have just been released showing the first prototype that is road registered and currently under final development and testing.

Lotus C-01

Although it has the famous Lotus name, that is the only connection to the famous British sports car company, as the C-01 prototype has been produced under license by German car racing team Kodewa and tuning firm Holzer Group.  These two companies have a connection to Lotus having prepared and run Lotus sports racing cars for several years.

It’s claimed the Lotus C-01 has a 200hp engine, which is actually a tuned version of the KTM RC8R’s 1195cc v-twin. There’s a steel, titanium and carbon fiber frame, inverted forks and a claimed dry weight of 399lbs. That for the moment is all we know.

The official press release issued this week from Kodewa stated: “Following two years of careful planning and intense development, Kodewa is delighted to announce that the prototype of the world’s first motorcycle to bear the legendary Lotus marque is now road registered and ready for action.

Lotus C-01

Kodewa has been granted a license to produce the motorcycle by Group Lotus plc, the world renowned sport scar manufacturer and engineering consultancy.

‘The C-01 combines ample power via a V-twin engine with a distinctive body designed by Daniel Simon integrating carbon fiber, titanium and aerospace quality steel.

‘The Lotus C-01 motorcycle is not designed, engineered or produced by Group Lotus plc but is the result of a collaboration between motorsport veterans under the leadership of Kodewa, lead by Dr Colin Kolles. The development on the Lotus C-01 was carried out with the support of Holzer Group (co-owners of Kalex) and design guru Daniel Simon. Drawing on their wealth of motor sport experience, the team of engineers has designed a unique high performance superbike.

If the bike seems a little science fiction there is good reason behind it. The aforementioned designer, Daniel Simon, has been satisfying your inner Spock for the past decade on the big screen. His futuristic designs have been the center of many blockbuster sci-fi movies including, Disney’s TRON:Legacy (the ‘Lightcycles’), Tom Cruise in Oblivion (the ‘Bubbleship’) and his wildly popular design book Cosmic Motors.

No prices or definitive specification have yet been issued for the Lotus C-01 but it is thought the first bikes will go into production within the next few weeks in Germany and will then be available for sale in late spring this year.

Lotus C-01





2-cylinder 4-stroke engine, 75° V-style


1.195 cm³


105 mm


69 mm


Approx. 200 HP


6-gear jaw-type shift transmission


Dry sump lubrication

Main shaft ratio


Lay shaft ratio



Water cooling


Hydraulic anti-hopping clutch



Aero tech steel/Titanium/Carbon fibre frame


Upside down

Suspension strut

Twin suspension strut

Spring travel front

80 mm

Spring travel rear

70 mm

Brake system front

Twin brake disc, ø320mm, four piston calipers

Brake system rear

One brake disc,ø220mm, two piston calipers


X-Ring resp. O-Ring

Head tube ang


Fork ang


Wheel base

1.645±15 mm

Ride height

90 mm

Height of seat

710 mm

Fuel tank capacity

10,5 l

Dry weight

181 kg

Wheel front

3,00×19; 120/70 ZR19

Wheel rear

6,00×17; 190/55 ZR17

  • Alexander Dang

    That looks really uncomfortable.

  • Comic Chuck Ludwig

    That is one of the coolest looking bikes I’ve seen in a long time. I love it.

  • the antagonist

    An internal combustion bike with the aesthetics of an electric? Not sure if I get it. Looks sexy from the rear, though.

    • Comic Chuck Ludwig

      I thought that too. This is what that ugly-stick-beaten Lito should have looked like.

  • MrDefo

    I had some serious reservations about this Lotus project. Admittedly, I still do – but I really like the visual style here. Unless it seriously undermines some mechanical aspect of the vehicle, the “futuristic” look of these bikes is welcome, and something I would like to see from other manufacturers.

  • Jack Meoph

    Looks stunning/aerodynamic, but the only thing I can think of is my chiropractors phone number. Would look better with a SSSA and monoshock. It also need a hole in the front of the seat so your hard-on has somewhere to go.

    • Randy Singer

      It look aerodynamic with no rider on it, but the rider will actually be hanging out in the breeze. Not even the small flyscreen looks like it was designed with an actual rider in mind.

    • Jack Meoph

      Only 100 copies to be produced according to the BBC. You can customize your own paint scheme and a few other bits. So the price will be steep. But I’m sure if they sell them out quickly, they’ll make more.

  • Justin McClintock

    It’s not as wildly crazy as I was expecting out of Simon. That said, I’m not real sure what it’s trying to be. It looks kinda like they took a V-Rod, threw a full fairing on it, then added some insanely placed rearsets to it. Maybe Diavel like, but with worse ergos? I dunno. The ergos and the styling seem extremely at odds with one another. Like it’s a drag bike that quite literally is only meant to be ridden 1/4 mile at a time….because anything longer would break your back and leave your knees permanently kinked. Just…weird.

    • Justin McClintock

      You know, if you put the pegs right about where the exhaust is, it looks like it would be really comfortable. Of course, then it would never be able to get around a turn. So then there’s that.

  • Scott Otte

    When I think of a Lotus car I think light, and nimble (no idea if that’s actually the case) these don’t look light and with forks raked that far out I doubt they’ll be that nimble. Maybe it’s all just a bad optical illusion?

  • 480272

    great to see something original.

    • Dave Mason

      Like a chopper covered in carbon fiber instead of chrome? Yawn.

      • 480272

        There is certainly obvious mistakes and it will be very much a show bike if only 100 are being made. Very surprised it’s not an electric bike. …. but it is original.

  • mms

    Huh. I wouldn’t kick this out of bed for eating crackers. From the measurements it’s much smaller than it would appear to be in pictures, for those of us who aren’t metric it converts to 28″ seat height and only 399 lbs.

  • Guy Simmonds

    I can’t tell whether it’s trying to steal fans from the Diavel or Hayabusa camps. Maybe both?

  • Theodore P Smart

    All hail the new brick.

  • JP

    dat rake.

  • Bryan Woody Wood

    Typically to make a raked out chopper type chassis go around corners half way decently you rake the triple tree and extra few degrees, which makes the trail number the same as a bike with a much steeper steering neck angle. For some unfathomable reason this bike went the other way; the fork is raked less that the frame which gives you even more trail. Eyeballing it I would guess this has nearly 12″ of trail. Normal bikes, even factory choppers typically have no more than 6″. This is what happens when you design for style, not function first. You are basically looking at a Lotus themed custom chopper.

    • Robotribe

      “You are basically looking at a Lotus themed custom chopper.”
      Exactly. Or, I’d call it a “Lotus themed drag bike”, which goes around a corner just as poorly as said custom choppers.

  • CaptainPlatypus

    Sports car, not “sport scar.” :)

  • FastPatrick

    There are bikes which are different, but in ways that make at least some sense (like Buells and the Britten). Then there are bikes that are just weird.

    Never mind that the whole Lotus thing is just a contrivance. (You want a two-wheeled Lotus, get a KTM RC390.)

    Apologies if I’m not excited about this.

    • zedro

      Good point, Lotus is supposed to be about lightness and suspension over power, this ones backwards.

    • Reid

      On the facebook page I wrote exactly what you did about the RC390. It really is likely going to be the closest thing to the spirit of Lotus in the moto-verse.

  • Bacis

    I like it. I’d love to see this design/style find its way to a smaller (<500cc), affordable bike.

  • G-Moto

    Ummm… what’s it for? Drag racing? Is it even street legal? I’m scratching my head over this whole thing. Definitely NOT my style, at all. I’d have loved to see something more along this line:

    • Tim Watson

      The C-01prototype is street legal and it seems that from the info we have seen it’si a major point that the company wanted to stress. The C-01 will be for the road. The picture you’ve posted is sadly just a concept drawing that was being considered at one point.

      • G-Moto

        Right on, thanks Tim. I’m just baffled by the lack of a headlight, indicators, license plate mount, speedo, gauges, you know, the street-legal stuff.

        Yeah, I know this drawing was just a concept… One of the first “imaginings” of what a Lotus motorcycle might look like (probably drawn by someone who actually RIDES). Well, I wouldn’t be able to afford the C-01 anyway, so I’ll leave it to those with more money than sense.

      • zedro

        Then they must just be showing the race trim, no lights, signals, reflectors, licence holder with the appropriate dimensions and placement.

        And boy those CGI tires are shiney!

      • grb

        “is street legal and it seems that from the info we have seen it’si a major point that the company wanted to stress. The C-01 will be for the road”

        Yet the images the company is putting out seem to empathize its race spirit more then its street nature… seems like everything about this bike is about fashion/show-off and nothing about actual riding, Seems like the designer is not a motorcyclist, as if he was designing this for a movie, not from a motorcyclist’s point of view.

    • grb

      I also think a Lotus bike should look something like that. Who ever designed the C-01 bike doesnt know anything about sport bikes or Lotus cars. Lotus builds sport vehicles specificlly to go fast by means of lightness and agility, noyhing to do with what this bike represents. This is not a sport bike, its more like a cruiser, look at the rake angle of the front forks, the seat hight. Anybody who has ever ridden a motorcycle can tell this thing handles horribly, not sporty. Evidently the designer, while good, hasn’t riden a motorcycle, and was obviously a mistake as the designer for a Lotus bike.

      • Send Margaritas

        I think you nailed it. They should call it the ‘Lindsey Lohan’. Might look hot at times, but it would be a nightmare to live with. Looks like a joy to work on! I was getting tired of pulling panels off my FJR.

    • das not compute

      I like the new design. Pretty Exciting, I know it’s a prototype and will look toned down from it. But the above sketch looks like every other R1, R6, GXR, CBR etc… This is different. I’m sure if you put an R1 beside your grandpa’s Yamaha from back in the day, he might question it’s styling as well. Bottom line is, as long as it handles like or better than a modern bike, then go for it.

      • grb

        You didn’t get it, we are not questioning the styling, but rather its geometry, its intention, what we expect from what Lotus represents, how its going to ride, etc. The styling is first class for sure, and if it was more like a standard/naked/fighter kinda bike I think it would be pretty cool, but definitely not this cruiser/show-off bike, its terrible, specially because its the opposite of what Lotus stands for

        • das not compute

          Fair enough. Yeah the styling sure gives me a woody, but who knows, maybe the geometry will be changed in later versions to give the bike a sportier ride. Yeah the rake on it is pretty excessive. I do remember the rake angle on Ninja 500′s was pretty big too but they were great little track bikes… With style to rival this lotus ;)

          • Piglet2010

            The Ninja 500R had a rake of 27° and a trail of 3.6 inches – not race-replica territory, but hardly cruiser-like.

            • grb

              Yes, and without even mentioning the difference in seat heights

  • Paul Cypert

    I loathe most “sporty” bikes. But man is that thing look sexy. An evolution of the racer type and miles away from the normal “Michael Bay wet dream” most designers seem to favor these days.

  • Nate Terrill

    Looks great from every angle except the left and right side on view. Way too much flat (I assume) plastic from the side for my liking.

  • Heath Collins

    Look at the rake! What happened to light and nimble Lotus?

  • Nathan Haley

    FWIW my girlfriend hates bikes she saw it over my shoulder and she thinks it looks amazing.

  • JT

    Which flavor does Jay Leno add to his collection?

  • Clint Keener

    Can’t wait till it actually exists. And not just a rendering.

  • scottdc

    Really disappointed in the offerings from both Lotus and Caterham after all the PR before the reveal. I was hoping for something more in line with their car offerings, a lightweight, exceptionally handling sportbike.

  • KeithB

    Pop up ad windows now Wes?!?
    Just like we feared would happen with the move to Ride Apart.
    Very disappointed. Time to take my eyeballs to another site.

    • imprezive

      I don’t get any pop ups. You sure you haven’t been visiting the seedier side of the ‘net?

      • KeithB

        “Seedire”…I don’t know what you mean…..;-)
        It was a car ad, as I recall, and this is the second time in a month so maybe it’s some other Chrome Browser thing.
        Not happy about it.

  • HammSammich

    This is an attractive design for the “power cruiser / muscle bike,” genre, but as others have pointed out, the design and specs are antithetical to the Lotus branding, and is certainly not fit to be called a “Superbike.”

    • HammSammich

      Also, if any engineers out there know better, please correct me, but I’m guessing the “aerospace quality steel” is largely marketing gimmickry, right?

      • Braden

        That is absolutely a bs marketing term.

      • Marc

        There ARE some very high tech aerospace steels (notably aermet) but from the wording, I’m guessing he just means plain old 4130 chromoly (the same thing in your cheap no-name fixie) which is readily available in aircraft quality.

  • 200 Fathoms

    Beautiful paint.

  • AHA

    Even though I’m Team Orange, that’s a rather prosaic choice of engine isn’t it? There are already two production models available with a vastly superior and next gen development of this.

    Just add obsolescence?”

  • 480272
  • Send Margaritas

    With a rake like that, I’m not optimistic on the handling.Am I too pessimistic?

  • Dimitri Hettinga

    Lots of show but no go. At least not corner wise. The wheelbase is insane. This bike, in this guise, will never ever pass any type approval. Probably only road legal on the Galapagos islands. Good luck and dream on.

  • Piglet2010


  • ThinkingInImages

    It looks “Honda”, like a Pacific Coast (or DN-01) setup for racing. The profile is awkward, like box hanging from a pipe – with wheels. I see a bit of Spitfire aircraft reference to the design but it doesn’t translate well. This will be an interesting design in a crosswind. Maybe if the side panels were clear. It’s a shame to hide the engine.

  • pedro

    This looks like a prototype from 1955. Twin suspension on the back…really?! I’m just surprised they didn’t used Drum brakes..

  • Geist

    All the hype over this design. I am not sure what is cool beyond its looks. The claim of excellent handling is baffling with 54 degrees of rake, really? 19in front wheel? Any real sportbike on the market is somewhere half of that on a 17in. The dual shocks pointed out elsewhere here too. The way the moto media has sucked this down like candy is interesting. Its all over and everyone gushes about it. Given the guy designed the Tron bikes does not translate to something beyond movies as a workable set up. If that were the case then we would have “Bat” bikes with giant lawn car tires all over the place. Anyway its a nice fantasy bike and it gets people talking which is good. Drag bike, landspeed runner it may be, but a sportsbike it is not.

  • Justin Penney

    “Simplify, then add lightness” — Colin Chapman

    This is neither of those.