Pricing and claimed performance stats have been released for the Damon Hypersport electric superbike and they include some very impressive numbers. Actually, it's pretty much just one number: 200.
The tech firm reckon their new bike will have a 200-mile range, a 200mph top speed and generate 200hp (around 197bhp) and 200Nm (147ftlb) of torque. Not only that, but the Hypersport will purportedly hit 60mph in less than three seconds and can be charged in three hours.
Battery technology can be heavy, but Damon say the Hypersport will weigh around 200kg or 7kg more than Ducati's flagship V4R superbike.
Top spec electric projects like this often come with enormous price tags, like the £90,000 Arc Vector, but Damon are asking around £20,000 for the Hypersport. While this isn't cheap, it is in line with top spec petrol superbikes these days.
The first 25 models to come off the production line will be fitted with Brembo brakes, Ohlins suspension and a single-sided carbon fibre swingarm to be sold as limited edition examples (at a higher price) with a standard trim version, still including the firm's CoPilot and Shift tech detailed below to follow.
New tech down the line: Damon Motors and BlackBerry aim to revolutionise motorbike safety
First published: 07 January 2020 by Ben Clarke
A Canadian electric motorbike firm called Damon are aiming to shake up the way we think about motorbikes and revolutionise safety with their new Hypersport Pro model.
The superbike uses the firm’s Shift system to electronically adjust its riding position on the move. This moves the pegs and handlebars between a focused high feet/low hands sport riding position and a more spacious low feet/high hands touring position.
The Hypersport will also use a combination of radar, telematics and cameras to build a 360-degree safety net predicting hazards and warning the rider.
Damon want to attract younger people to motorcycling and believe that the industry isn’t doing enough to move with the times.
"Resting on the laurels of 100 years of history and with an inventory of bikes nostalgically designed for specific riding styles, the complacency shown by manufacturers has resulted in today’s motorcycles not meeting Millennials’ generational needs," says a whitepaper released by Damon CEO, Jay Giraud.
The document, entitled The Case for AWSM: An Accident Warning System for Motorcycles, cites the perceived risk and danger associated with motorbikes as a major contributing factor to a decline in motorbike sales. That’s where CoPilot comes in.
CoPilot uses a platform created by BlackBerry (the phone people) combined with cameras and non-visual sensors to track the speed, direction and velocity of dozens of objects at a time around a motorcycle. This is all processed by onboard computers to anticipate threats and warn the rider through LEDs, vibrations (haptic alerts) or visually on a digital rear-view mirror.
What’s more, any time a rider reacts to a warning by braking or swerving, the data is beamed to a cloud to allow the system to learn and adapt. Updates are then periodically released for all users with the improvements.
Damon foresee three levels of AWSM becoming available:
- Level 1 – Basic Detection: A motorcycle is equipped with the necessary sensors to see a potential collision from all sides and warn the rider.
- Level 2 – Anticipatory: A motorcycle is equipped with the necessary sensors and capability to track the direction, velocity, and speed of surrounding vehicles to anticipate their approach and potential for impeding the rider’s right of way.
- Level 3 – Critical Automation: A motorcycle is equipped with the necessary sensors and capability to understand the rider’s abilities and intent.
This third level will use real-time environmental and road condition information to adjust throttle, brake, and other control functions to ensure the motorcycle is not piloted to exceed the ability level of the rider and/or the conditions of the road.
This advanced system can include tyre traction, curve radius of a given corner, or available braking distance to a decelerating or fixed object.
For the more sceptical who see this as a passing gimmick, Damon raise an interesting point: "Ungoverned by emotional distractions or irrational reactions, computers react far more quickly than humans.
"As the world shifts towards autonomous driving [in cars], the need for safer, more intelligently enabled motorcycles will grow at the same pace.
"A comparable system of safety features will, therefore, become a critical factor for their continued growth as a viable means for interurban transportation."
The Damon Hypersport Pro will be unveiled at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas on Tuesday, January 7. There’s no word yet on performance or pricing.
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