Vancouver-based Damon Motorcycles has just released the long-awaited specs on its high-tech, shapeshifting Damon Hypersport electric motorcycle.
And those specs were worth the wait.
The Canadian-grown Damon Hypersport is seeing a lot of the number 200.
The Hypersport gets a power rating of 200 hp (150 kW).
It gets a top speed rating of 200 mph (322 km/h).
And it gets a highway range of 200 miles (322 km). Yes, highway range.
Keep it in the city, and Damon says riders can achieve 300 miles (483 km) of range.
Those are some of the best range figures in the electric motorcycle industry right now, and they’re thanks to the Damon Hypersport’s large 20 kWh, liquid-cooled battery pack.
To put that in perspective, Zero Motorcycle’s standard battery pack is 14.4 kWh, while the Harley-Davidson LiveWire packs in a 15.5 kWh battery. Only Italian electric sport bike manufacturer Energica offers a pack of comparable size to the Damon Hypersport after unveiling its newest 21.5 kWh pack at EICMA late last year.
Damon Motorcycles is planning to release its standard edition Damon Hypersport for $24,995. But that will have to wait, as it will be following an initial limited-edition run of 25 premium Hypersports priced at $40,000 with deliveries planned for 2021.
And if you’re wondering what’s commanding that lofty price, it isn’t just the high-speed or long-range specs. The Damon Hypersport is full of some of the most advanced tech available anywhere in the motorcycle industry today.
Damon has spent the last three years creating a suite of advanced safety features known as CoPilot. The CoPilot system employs an array of sensors including radar, multiple cameras, non-visual sensors, and AI to track the speed and direction of up to 64 moving objects around the bike at any time. CoPilot uses a patent-pending system of haptic feedback vibrations in the handlebars and LED warning lights on the edges of the windscreen to provide riders with collision warning alerts. It can monitor 360 degrees around the bike, effectively creating a bird’s eye view of threats.
The system is designed to feel intuitive to the rider so that it increases the rider’s awareness without requiring an additional focus point.
But the Hypersport isn’t just about improving the safety of motorcycles, it’s also about improving comfort. And to do this, Damon has developed a fascinating shape-shifting design for the bike known simply as Shift. Since the beginning of motorcycling, riders have had to choose the single type of geometry they wanted in a bike, such as an aggressively forward tucked sport bike or an upright cruiser bike, which has always come with drawbacks. As Damon’s CEO Jay Giraud explained to Electrek:
Sport bikes are great when you’re out on the highway, but they don’t perform as well in cities. On the other hand, an upright cruiser is great for the city, but then it turns you into a giant sail when you’re on the highway.
Instead of locking riders into a single geometry, the Damon Hypersport electric motorcycle’s Shift system is actually designed with adjustable geometry that can change and adapt to riding conditions on the fly. Riders can literally just push a button to set in motion the bike’s windscreen, seat, foot pegs, and handlebars, all of which will move in unison to different presets. The options can provide seating positions that range from a fast supersport motorcycle to a sport touring bike to a full upright commuter. It’s the equivalent to owning multiple styles of motorcycles that you can hop between in the middle of a ride.
I find the Damon Hypersport interesting on two fronts: 1) it is helping push the industry forwards in terms of embedded tech and rider aides, and 2) those speed and range specs are pretty enticing!
The only bummer here for me is the pricing. And it’s not even that it is that expensive. Don’t get me wrong, $25,000 isn’t cheap. But for a 200 mph and 300-mile range electric motorcycle with AI and shape-shifting tech, it’s not gouging either. It fits into the pricing structure of today’s market. The problem is that even if the price is fair for the tech, it’s not helping get more mainstream riders on electric motorcycles. The Damon Hypersport will still be a premium electric motorcycle that isn’t realistically affordable to the masses, which is a shame. But at the same time, I understand that you can’t innovate AND enter the market with industry leading prices at the same time. There’s a progression.
And you know what? That’s ok. There’s a whole new crop of low-cost electric motorcycles coming our way from Asia including NIU’s new motorcycle, the Voge ER10 and the Sur Ron Storm Bee. These companies can help younger, less affluent riders get on their first electric motorcycles, while companies like Damon help push the industry forward with game-changing tech.
I can get behind that.
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