Mission Motorcycles Will Sell Electric Motorcycles with 150-plus MPH Speed

By · June 04, 2013

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Mission RS from Mission Motorcycles

Mission Motorcycles announced on Monday that it will start production of the Mission R and RS high-performance electric motorcycles in mid-2014. The new models are based on a prototype built by Mission Motors.

This story begins when founder Forrest North unveiled Mission Motors onstage at TED 2009. The San Francisco based startup made claims that it would electrify the motorcycle industry—but economic realities forced them to shift focus to developing and selling electric powertrains and battery system components. In 2011, Mission Motors unveiled the Mission R prototype, describing it as a test-bed system for developing components. With Steve Rapp riding, Mission beat the competition at Laguna Seca to establish a lap speed record that still stands today.

The new Mission R and RS bikes are being commercialized by Mission Motorcycles—a new company formed by a partnership between Mission Motors and Mark Seeger.

The Mission R has a 160 horsepower (120 kilowatt) liquid-cooled AC motor, that delivers 120 ft-lb of torque. The frame, designed by James Parker, is made from aluminum and chrome-moly, and uses both the battery pack and motor as stressed members. It is built with a single-sided rear swing arm made of aluminum, with Ohlins shocks in the rear as well as the front. It uses aluminum Marchesini spoked wheels and Dunlop Sportmax tires, with Brembo brakes front and rear.

The R comes in three battery pack capacities, with a 12 kilowatt-hour pack providing 173 miles of city range, 105 miles combined range, and a top speed of 140 miles an hour. With a 15 kilowatt-hour pack, the range jumps to 200 miles city, 120 miles combined, and a 150-plus miles per hour top speed. With a 17 kilowatt-hour pack, the range jumps to 230 miles city and 140 miles combined. The time for a 50-percent recharge is one hour, or two hours for complete recharge.

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Mission OS Dashboard display

The Mission RS offers the same base specifications and comes with a 17 kilowatt-hour pack. The suspension and wheels are upgraded with race-ready components equal to what's used on MotoGP bikes. The company is building a limited production run of 40 RS units.

Both bikes use the MissionOS user interface. It's a cellular-data enabled, touch-sensitive screen with integrated GPS, bluetooth, an image stabilized HD camera, turn-by-turn navigation, and other options for use on the track including access to a telemetry data feed.

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2011 Mission R, in the corkscrew at Laguna Seca

The battery pack capacity, top speed and riding range all exceed the specs of all but one other electric motorcycle manufacturer. Brammo has a bike whose specs are similar to the Mission R/RS, but the Brammo Empulse RR is solely used for prototype development and racing, and the company said they have no plans of manufacturing the Empulse RR. Lightning Motorcycles also has a bike that meets, or perhaps exceeds, the specifications of the Mission R/RS, and is in limited production. Lightning's 2011 electric motorcycle land speed record of 215 miles an hour still stands today. Zero Motorcycles has not built a bike with this much power.

These powerful machines from Mission are not cheap. Pricing for the Mission R starts at $32,499, though it qualifies for a $2,500 federal tax credit in the U.S. Pricing for the Mission RS starts at $59,499, and it too qualifies for the $2,500 federal tax credit. Deliveries of the Mission RS start in the summer of 2014, followed by the Mission R.

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