Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Mission One electric bike hits 241.5km/h at Bonneville


An electric bike that can do 241km/h?! You'd better believe it...

Mission One, US-based Mission Motors’ electric bike, recently hit a top speed of 241.5km/h during the annual BUB Motorcycle Speed Trials at the Bonneville Speedway, taking the AMA top speed record for electric motorcycles in the process. The Mission One achieved an average speed of 241.5km/h over a two-pass one mile run at Bonneville, though it got up to one-way speeds of 257.6km/h during the record setting attempt.

‘We set this record on our first visit to the Bonneville Salt Flats on poor salt conditions and in high cross-winds. And to set it with our production prototype vehicle, not a custom Bonneville bike, is truly amazing,’ says Edward West, Mission Motors Founder and President. ‘It’s a watershed moment for electric vehicles and further proof that the era of the electric superbike has begun. Electric is no longer the future of high-performance motorcycling; it is the present,’ he adds.

‘The Mission One is just an incredible motorcycle. This is a bike that can rip up the track at Infineon Raceway, do power wheelies at 128km/h and then come out here to Bonneville and dismantle the prior electric world speed record. It pulls hard all the way from 0 on up to 257km/h, all in one gear, with incredible torque. It’s a riding experience like no other. The important thing to understand is this is not a one-off race vehicle, this is a production prototype,’ says Jeremy Cleland, the AMA and AFM racer who shares duties as product manager and test rider at Mission Motors. ‘It is the same bike that we raced at the Isle of Man and features the same powertrain that we will be delivering to our customers in 2010,’ adds Cleland.


The Mission One electric bike in action at Bonneville. Awesome...

Indeed, the Mission One, with its top speed of around 250km/h and 250km range, does seem to be an incredible machine. Mission Motors aim to sell around 300 units of this bike in 2010 and you can reserve yours via the Mission website now. However, before you rush off to book one of these bikes, brace yourself for the price – a mind-blowing US$69,000.

While it’s mega-expensive, the Mission One is also one hell of a high-tech motorcycle. The usual bits are all there – fully adjustable Ohlins suspension, Brembo brakes with four-piston monobloc calipers, Marchesini wheels and so on. And then there’s a fully equipped data acquisition system and wireless communication capability. Riders can adjust throttle maps, tune regenerative braking, and create multiple ride settings via their laptop computer. Try doing that on your R1!

With bikes like the Mission One coming to market next year, it does look like the ‘electric superbike’ is getting ready to go mainstream. Current price levels are, of course, a massive downer but that issue should be resolved over the next few years, as prices of lithium-ion battery packs and electric motors come down. Looks like the good old internal combustion engine will soon have a very, very big fight on its hands…


Soon, the Mission One could be ready to take on your R1s, GSX-Rs and Fireblades etc

Mission One: Tech Specs
Battery Pack: Lithium-Ion, with integrated thermal management system
Motor: Liquid-cooled, 3-phase AC Induction
Torque: 135Nm@0-6,500rpm
Transmission: Single speed
Final Drive: O-ring chain
Suspension: Fully adjustable 43mm USD fork (Ohlins), fully adjustable monoshock (Ohlins)
Front Brakes: Twin 310mm discs with radial-mount four-piston callipers (Brembo)
Wheels and tyres: 17-inch Marchesini forged aluminium, with 120/70 (front) and 190/55 (rear) race compound tyres
Top speed: 250km/h
Range: 250km
Recharge time: Less than two hours @ 240V, or about eight hours @ std 120V
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