We’re still waiting on the Mission One electric motorcycle, but that isn’t keeping the San Francisco startup from building a race-ready ride for the TTXGP electric motorcycle grand prix.
Mission Motors rolled into the International Motorcycle Show with a gorgeous e-moto that looks like something you might see from Ducati. That trellis frame is super sexy, Marchesini wheels always look hot and the specs on this beast are impressive.
“We are excited to announce the Mission R, our compact and powerful factory electric racebike,” founder Edward West said in a statement. “This bike represents the culmination of all the company’s learning in both electric powertrains and motorcycle engineering.”
A look at the numbers suggest this could be a formidable competitor in the TTXGP race series. The liquid-cooled AC induction motor is good for a claimed 141 horsepower and 115 foot-pounds of torque. The motor draws juice from a 14.4 kilowatt-hour battery, which is big for a bike when you consider the Mitsubishi i-MiEV has a 16 kWhr pack. The high-tech drivetrain features a Mission EVT 100 kilowatt motor controller with customizable throttle and regenerative braking maps. Mission claims the bike can hit 160 mph, which seems realistic considering the Mission One hit 150.059 at Bonneville.
The range will depend upon how hard you’re flogging the bike, but Mission said it should be on par with the Mission One’s 150 miles. We’re going to assume you aren’t riding like Valentino Rossi to get that kind of range. Drain the pack and you’re looking at two hours to charge it at 220 volts.
The billet aluminum and chrome-moly steel chassis was designed by noted suspension designer James Parker. The motor is a stressed member and the battery pack — which uses a carbon-fiber casing — is a semi-stressed member. The rear swingarm is billet aluminum with an Öhlins shock. The fork also is from Öhlins. More top-shelf components include Marchesini forged magnesium wheels and Brembo billet brake calipers. The bodywork was designed by Tim Prentice, who designed the 2010 Triumph Thunderbird, among other things.
The bike weighs 545 pounds ready to ride. That’s 208 pounds heavier than a Ducati 1198. But Mission says the best way to win races on an electric motorcycle is to ensure you have plenty of power and energy storage, and to package it in a chassis designed specifically for the task. Mission promises that “because the heaviest parts of the powertrain have been packaged tightly around the center of mass, the bike handles beautifully.”
We’ll have to take Mission’s word for it, because the Mission R is a one-off built for the TTXGP electric motorcycle grand prix series. You can’t have one.
Although the company competed in the inaugural race in 2009, it skipped the 2010 season when capital dried up after the economic implosion. That’s why the Mission One motorcycle, which we’d expected to see this year, has been delayed until, well, Mission hasn’t said. Meanwhile, Mission has launched Mission Electric Vehicle Technology, a sideline developing EV drivetrains for the automotive and motorcycle sectors. The Mission R uses hardware developed by Mission EVT, so clearly the bike is a platform for showing what it can do.
Mission says the R will hit the track in early 2011 and will compete in the TTXGP racing series along with other races, events, and demonstrations.