There’s news from Damon Motorcycles, which presented the performance electric motorcycle Hypersport with a solid range and loads of hi-tech in January. Damon now generated an extra $3M and acquired the intellectual property of an e-drive.
The IP is from Mission Motors, a Californian manufacturer of electric drives that ceased operations in 2015. Though Mission’s EV development outran its funding back then, the company’s technology achieved some benchmarks and publicity. Taking over, Damon claims the acquisition will provide the start-up with “proven, cutting-edge technology” and would add to its capability “to build the highest performance drive trains in motorcycling,” according to tp Derek Dorresteyn, COO, Damon Motorcycles.
PR speak aside, the Founders Edition of the Hypersport, limited to 25 copies, does indeed pack some power and the Canadian company says it sold out already. At the unveiling at the CES in January, Damon specified top speeds of 200 mph (320 kph) for the 150 kW driven machine. Plus, a liquid-cooled battery pack with 20 kWh capacity claims a range of 200 miles (320 km) in highway riding and city traffic even 300 miles (480 km).
In the meantime, however, the standard model Hypersport HS can be pre-ordered, which costs 24,995 dollars and requires a deposit of 100 dollars. Also offered under the name Hypersport Premier are two new colour variations called Arctic Sun and Midnight Sun, which cost 39,995 dollars and need a deposit of 1,000 dollars.
Damon further claims it is now entering advanced development and test validation phase of its “full-stack electric vehicle and cloud computing platform”. With an embedded 4G connection, road and traffic data collected from each Hypersport e-motorbike will allow the company to update the onboard computers remotely.
Apart from gathering data, the bikes pack more tech for driving. For example, an assistance system called CoPilot uses radar sensors and cameras to monitor the motorcycle’s surroundings and can track up to 64 moving objects. The system warns the rider of too close objects via vibrations in the handlebars and LED lights in the cockpit. Another new system increases comfort. The rider is usually positioned on the motorcycle in a fixed geometry trimmed for sportiness. However, Hypersport drivers use a shift system to move the windshield, handlebars, footrests and seat to various predetermined positions at the touch of a button – upright and comfortable in the city or aerodynamically flat on the highway.
“The technologies we have developed at Damon have been a huge hit,” said Jay Giraud, co-founder and Damon CEO. He added that the pre-order volume was “growing daily” and considers Millenials the company’s prime target group.
Damon aims to be production-ready late next year and says it will ship directly to consumer on “subscription plans to drive scale”.
Investors in the electric motorcycle builder include Round 13 Capital, Techstars, Fontinalis, Extreme Venture Partners and Pallasite Ventures.