Damon Motorcycles bring in tech and expertise from Alta and Mission
Canadian electric bike newcomers, Damon have released details of two new versions of their Hypersport model, the Arctic Sun and the Midnight Sun.
The two new model variants are the latest premium version of the bikes following on from the Founders Edition, which was limited to 25 units featured Öhlins suspension and Brembo brakes and sold out soon after its announcement.
It’s unclear what spec the two special editions will have, but you can put your name down for one with a refundable deposit of $1000 (just over £800).
Damon, who burst onto the scene with some big claims at the start of 2020 also announced that they have taken on talent from the now defunct Alta Motors and have acquired the IP portfolio of Mission Motors.
Alta were at the cutting edge of electric off road competition machinery and made enduro and motocross machines before ceasing trading at the end of 2018. And Mission built the multiple record-breaking Mission R that set electric land speed records and competed at the Isle of Man TT Zero before folding in 2015.
What both of these companies have that Damon didn’t seem to is experience of designing and building electric bikes.
"The purchase of the Mission Motors IP will add to Damon’s capability to build the highest performance drive trains in motorcycling," said Derek Dorresteyn, COO at Damon.
"Mission Motors was a technical leader and we are happy that some of that competitive DNA has passed into the Damon Hypersport."
According to the brand, they have also attracted over $13m (just over £10m) through pre-orders and investment since the start of 2020. This includes ‘several hundred’ deposits for the Hypersport, which is claimed to make 200bhp and have a top speed of 200mph combined with a 200-mile range.
It also uses HD cameras to create a 360-degree safety net around the bike with haptic alerts for the rider. And its final party piece is that the footpegs and handlebars can be electronically adjusted to change the riding position depending on your situation.
Read on below to see the futuristic tech and staggering performance claims Damon have made.
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Electric news on the way: Damon Motorcycles have an announcement coming
First published: 24 March 2020 by Ben Clarke
Damon Motorcycles, the Canadian electric bike start-up who made some really bold claims about their first model, the Hypersport back in January have said that they will be making a special announcement on Tuesday, March 31.
The news came as part of a Covid-19 update email alongside an image of a bike under a dust sheet.
"We’re also going to let you in on a secret -- there will be a special announcement at the end of the month that will lift rider spirits! It couldn’t have come at a better time," said the statement.
The first 25 Hypersports to roll off the production lines are to be special versions with Brembo brakes and Öhlins suspension and are sold out. It could be that the announcement is an unveiling of the mass-production version.
200hp, 200mph and 200-mile range claimed for Damon Hypersport electric superbike
First published: 7 January 2020 by Ben Clarke
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.