On Sunday August 4, 2013 I was in the right place at the right time and was asked to test ride and review the Mission electric motorcycle (Prototype) basically the Telsa's of the motorcycling world.
About Mission Motorcycles, they're based in San Francisco, they make electric motorcycles that slated for sale sometime in 2014. They'll have two models to choose from, the base modle R and the higher end RS. Prices range from $30,000 to $72,000 depending on features, battery capacity and power output. For more specific details and specs feel free to check out www.mission-motorcycles.com
The Test Ride:
First, what this bike isn't, it's not currently for sale, but you can put a deposit down to be in line for a 2014 model (ala Tesla's purchase plan). ange is about 140 real world miles. Recharge for 1/2 tank in a little as 7 minutes. 0-60 in 3.0 seconds.
Second, it doesn't have a clutch nor any gears, (single speed) and is chain driven. It's truly a ride and go machine. Weighing in at a stout 540 lbs (expect the 2014 product to weigh about 30 pounds less). You do feel the weight especially when parked.
Since there is a gap if you will with combustable engine waiting for the gas to travel through the fuel injections, the butterflies and then combust, all that downtime is gone on an electric drivetrain and power is instant. Mission motorcycles are rated at 150+ hp with 120 ft. pounds of torque. The bike responds like a full liter sport bike, with plenty of power everywhere and has a top speed of around 150 mph.
What you hear is a slight whine that goes away once you're up to speed, as wind noise takes over the sound of the motor.
This particular bike has an Ohlins front suspension and an Ohlins rear shock which I believe are standard even on the base model. The bike was recently tested at the track ridden by (insert name of famous race here
) with very impressive results.
One thing that really stood out is you have the option to dial-in "faux" compression. Since electric bikes don't have a back pressure to slow you down upon deceleration, Mission wisely added an adjustable like feature. You can adjust it to your liking which is really, really cool. It was set to what felt like it was mimicking a 2 stroke engine which made it stand on it’s heels rather aggressively upon deceleration, again pretty cool feature, for my personal preference I’ll have dialed it back a bit.
The breaks were some of the best I’ve utilized. Can you say Brembo monoblock?
Two other traits that stood out was the lack of a spinning crack, you really notice it when leaving a corner but don’t while entering a corner, it enters corners reather well. The bike loves to track wide, I merely went back in time to my sports bike days and countersteered like I was on a Honda 750 Four from the 70’s. Problem solved.
The first time I came to a full stop I tried to pull in the clutch only to say "note to self” “there is no clutch.” The downside is the bike is and feels heavy. The weight is felt underneath and to the rear of where you sit instead of in front of you and down where a normal engine would hang. This may have something to do with the bike traveling wide while exiting a corner, not sure.
I'm looking forward to seeing the final product as the weight may keep this bike from being ready for prime time. However in a few years, I'm be shocked if these bike didn't exceed what is currently available from gas powered motorcycles sooner rather than later.
Triple Threat is an independent, non-paid reviewer of motorcycles and motorcycle related products and gear. And as such, I receive no payment nor any other consideration for my reviews or opinions.