Saturday, December 18, 2010

Mission R electric racebike announced

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The Mission R features an impressive powerpack and is fitted with high-spec chassis, suspension and braking components. But there is no mention of range or battery charging time...

Mission Motors have unveiled their new electric racebike, the Mission R, which they claim is the ‘most advanced electric racing motorcycle in the world.’ The bike has been designed by Tim Prentice of Motonium Design and features race-spec components from manufacturers like Öhlins, Brembo and Marchesini.

The Mission R’s powerplant consists of a liquid-cooled three-phase AC induction motor that pumps out 141 horsepower and 156Nm of torque from zero to 6,400rpm! Now that’s definitely something no conventional motorcycle can match.

Mission Motors' press material goes on to describe some things that we don’t really understand – things like MissionEVT battery modules with an integrated battery management system, carbonfibre casing with dielectric liner, swappable architecture, 14.4 kW•h of total energy storage and MissionEVT 100kW controller with integrated vehicle management system, but we suppose it’s all very impressive... in a slightly mysterious sort of way.

The Mission R also features adjustable throttle mapping, regenerative braking, WiFi and 3G data connectivity (whoever would have thought you’d want that on a motorcycle!) and single-speed transmission. The RADD-designed chassis is made of billet aluminium and chrome-molybdenum and uses the powerpack as a fully stressed member.

Up front is an Öhlins FGR-000 TTX25 gas-charged fork that’s adjustable for preload, ride height, and high- and low-speed compression and rebound damping. Rear suspension is via fully adjustable Öhlins TTX36 monoshock and linkage system, and the single-sided billet aluminium swingarm allows linear wheelbase and chain adjustment. Brakes are races-spec Brembo units and the bike rides on 17-inch forged magnesium wheels from Marchesini.

Mission Motors do not quote any acceleration figures for the Mission R, but we do think those could well be very impressive. Claimed top speed is in excess of 260km/h. Since there is no mention of range or battery charging time, we guess the technology isn’t ready to go mainstream yet. In addition to power, speed and acceleration, things like range, charging time and price would also be important factors for regular sportsbike buyers, and Mission Motors might still be 2 – 3 years away from being ready with a street-legal machine that can be a viable alternative to a ZX-10R, GSX-R1000 or S1000RR. But that the street-legal electric superbike’s time will come, now looks increasingly inevitable.

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