First some bad news: the new 2012 Honda CBR1000RR doesn’t come with traction control. The good news: It doesn’t matter. It’s still an absolute blast to ride. I’ve just returned from the U.S. press introduction of the new CBR from Honda, spending a day at Infineon Raceway in Sonoma, California and another riding the new […]
Mission Motorcycles To Produce Street-Legal Electric Sportbike, Mission RS
Mission Motorcycles’ president Mark Seeger revealed today the company will produce a limited number of the Mission RS, a street-legal version of the Mission R, which won the 2011 TTXGP race at Laguna Seca by 40 seconds. In fact only 40 RS’ will be built, in commemoration of the historic victory.
Mission Motorcycles is the result of a partnership between Mission Motors, developer of the record-setting prototype, and Mark Seeger, known for creating successful, innovation-focused businesses. When asked about the partnership, Jit Bhattacharya, President of Mission Motors responded: “For two years, riders were demanding that we bring the Mission race bike to market. And for two years, we disappointed them. Today, through this partnership with Mark Seeger and the talented team at Mission Motorcycles, the wait is over.”
First the bad news, besides the fact only 40 will exist: the Mission RS will cost $59,999. Lob off $3500 after government rebates. The good news, however, is that if you’re one of the lucky 40, you’ll be treated to Mission’s InfiniteDrive powertrain, featuring a 120 kW electric motor, making the equivalent of 160 hp. Torque number is equally impressive: 120 ft.-lbs., available the moment you turn the RS on. Mission claims zero to 60 in under three seconds, and a top speed of 150 mph.
The battery is of the lithium-ion variety, packing a whopping 17kWh. For reference, the Lightning superbike’s battery is a “paltry” 12kWh, though the same bike we tested would go on to reach 219 mph at Bonneville with streamlined fairings. The RS also features on-board chargers allowing up to nine kW worth of energy transfer during charging. In an age where the majority of e-bike manufacturers are striving for the magic 100-mile range, Mission is claiming max range on the RS is double that amount, though admits 140 miles is more realistic in the real world, measured using the Motorcycle Industry Council’s SAE combined cycle standard. Still, if these numbers are to be believed (and we have our doubts), these are astonishing figures.
What’s more, Mission also claims two hours is all you need to recharge the batteries via the industry standard J1772 Level 2 charging stations. Seeger says, “Even a short rest stop is enough time to add a significant amount of range.” The 4.5 kW liquid-cooled charger features a stunning peak efficiency of 95%, and is integrated with the motor control unit. The on-board charger accepts inputs from 80 to 270V AC, from 45 to 70Hz, and works with SAE Type 1 home charging or SAE Type 2 J1772 public charging.
As interesting as the electric guts of the RS are, perhaps what’s even more fascinating is the amount of technology actually accessible by the rider. The RS features traction control, with the computer making anywhere between 2000 – 4000 calculations per second, ensuring the maximum amount of usable power hits the ground in all conditions.
Other tech: a bespoke operating system called MissionOS, which functions through a seven-inch display on the dash, operable by gloved hands. Usual information like speed and range are displayed, but through its LTE connection (like that seen on cell phones), Google Maps can be linked in to provide real time traffic and navigation, among other things.
And because it’s Bluetooth compatible, it’s possible for information to be transmitted from the MissionOS straight to your helmet. Speaking of which, these guys are in the process of developing one of those, too, completely compatible with the MissionOS and featuring a heads-up display inside the helmet.
Mission Motorcycles hasn’t forgotten its racing roots, equipping the RS with GPS technology that tracks your time around tracks. Telemetry data is also recorded, and can be overlaid onto video recorded by the 1080p camera mounted on the nose. Truly amazing stuff, though you’d expect as much for almost 60 large.
The rest of the mechanical components of the RS are similar to the original racebike, including the trellis frame and chassis designed by James Parker, Brembo brakes, Ohlins FGRT suspension, BST carbon fiber wheels and even a reverse gear! Fortunately, the styling hasn’t deviated much from Tim Prentice’s original design for the 2011 racebike.
Mission is aiming to launch the RS, along with a more affordable R model, with Ohlins RT suspension, Brembo monobloc calipers, Marchesini forged aluminum wheels, and choice of 12kWh, 15kWh, and 17kWh battery packs, by 2014. Each bike is designed, built and assembled in the USA. Prices for the R model will start at $29,999, after a $2500 Federal tax credit. Check out Wired magazine for more info, or get the full scoop on the Mission Motorcycles website starting June 3.