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Common Tread

Damon Hypersport electric motorcycle unveiled at CES

Jan 08, 2020

Every time the Consumer Electronics Show comes around, we keep an eye out for new motorcycles and moto gear that might debut there. CES has grown to become almost the EICMA of electric bikes.

That’s why electric motorcycle startup Damon Motorcycles chose to launch their Hypersport electric motorcycle there. I’ll whet your appetite with some numbers Damon sent me, then get into the details: 200 horsepower, 200 mph top speed, 200 miles of highway range, 300 miles of city range, and a price tag of $24,995 (before EV rebates).

Let’s start with the bike itself. The Hypersport looks to be a giant battery with a sport bike wrapped around it. (Those triangles along the battery pack remind me of the Victory Empulse.) 

Damon Hypersport
200 miles of range is a very appealing number for an electric motorcycle. Damon photo.

That highway range figure “is estimated using the SAE J2982 ‘on highway electric motorcycle range standard’ and references a mix of highway and urban cycle. Straight 70 mph highway range is ~161 miles. Straight 60 mph highway range is estimated at 201 miles.”

Damon Hypersport
Notice that the bike does not have mirrors. A 1080p camera in the tail sends real-time video to the bike’s dash. Damon photo.

Damon reports a 0-60 time of under three seconds, and a charge time of under three hours when using a Level 2 charger. I reached out to Damon for the bike’s weight, and they said the production bike will be “under 500 pounds.”

Damon Hypersport
The Premier edition gets fancier components and a very limited production run. Damon photo.

A $40,000 Premier version will be available with upspec components like Brembo brakes, Öhlins suspension, and a single-sided swingarm made from carbon fiber. Only 25 Premier models will be produced.

Damon Hypersport
The CoPilot system is designed to monitor objects around the rider... and flag possible threats. Damon photo.

The Hypersport’s video and web page show some advanced tech onboard. “We’re on a mission to unleash the full potential of personal mobility for the world’s commuters, while reducing rider incidents on the road,” said Damon co-founder and CEO Jay Giraud. “To address this, we spent the last three years developing an AI-powered, fully connected, e-motorcycle platform that incorporates CoPilot, our proprietary 360º warning system. By building it on BlackBerry’s best-in-class technology that is safety certified, Damon motorcycles will be the safest, most advanced electric motorcycles on the market.”

Damon Hypersport
The styling isn't a radical departure from the bikes we're used to. The tech is a different story. Damon photo.

CoPilot uses “cameras, radar and other sensors” to monitor the bike’s surroundings and alert the rider to threats when needed. That’s accomplished using lights in the windshield and haptic vibrations through the grips. Damon says CoPilot can “collect and tag traffic behavior, road conditions and rider intent data,” then share its findings with other Hypersport bikes to build a more robust accident warning system. Up to 64 moving objects can be monitored at a time.

The Hypersport’s other party piece is called Shift. The Hypersport literally shifts its windshield, footpegs, handlebars, and seat from “sport mode” to “commuter mode” with a single button, while riding. The adjustability of the Hypersport is intended to make the bike more adaptable to different styles of riding, and to make it fit a wider range of riders.

Damon Hypersport
Tesla won't build a motorcycle. Nothing stopping future Cybertruck owners from loading up an electric motorcycle of their own, though. Damon photo.

Damon wants to advance their rider aids, but they aren’t looking to take control from the rider at any point. “The fully autonomous vehicle is on its way, that’s a fact,” writes Giraoud in Damon’s white paper on their technologies. “But the day when riders entirely surrender control of their motorcycles to autonomous driving systems is one we hope will never come. There is a purity to motorcycling that no rider would voluntarily relinquish in favor of convenience or simplicity.”

Damon hopes their technologies, particularly their safety systems, will reduce crashes and reshape the world of motorcycling. At the very least, they’ve taken a very different approach than existing competitors like Energica, Zero’s SR/F or Harley-Davidson’s LiveWire. If the Hypersport’s range and power are as good as Damon claims, they’ll have a very competitive offering in the game.