Mission Motorcycles Debuts Its Mission R

06/03/2013 @ 4:53 am, by Jensen Beeler13 COMMENTS

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Fresh off the news that it would be making the highly touted Mission RS (previously known at the Mission Motors Mission R), Mission Motorcycles announces its own version of the Mission R, a $30,000 (base price) electric superbike that builds off the pedigree of its namesake.

Like the Mission RS, the Mission R features a 160 hp liquid-cooled three-phase AC motor as its power plant, which is mated to a single-speed gearbox with a gear reduction. Also featuring that same James Parker designed “Quad-Element” frame, the Mission R makes its differentiation from the Mission RS in the spec of its components.

Coming with Öhlins RT suspension rear and aft, Brembo M430 monobloc brakes, and Marchesini forged aluminum wheels, the component company names are of course the same, albeit not the WSBK/MotoGP-spec kit that comes on the RS. Available in 12 kWh, 15 kWh, and 17 kWh battery options, the lower-spec equipment (high-spec by any other metric) helps lower the price of the 12 kWh machine to a paltry $29,999 (after a $2,500 federal rebate), with the 15 kWh & 17 kWh machines presumably priced with larger price tag (Mission left that part out of the press release).

Mission Motorcycles says the 17 kWh bike is capable of 140 miles of mixed riding (50/50 city and highway riding at 70 mph), while the 15 kWh and 12 kWh bikes are rated at 120 miles and 102 miles, respectively. Of course if previous mileage claims from EV manufacturers are any indication, real world mileage will vary — especially with pure highway riding.

A motorcycle design we have seen for some time now (we’re pretty sure the photos supplied by Mission are just photoshopped versions of the Mission RS), perhaps what we are most anxious to see is the company’s MissionOS, which brings both an appealing and highly advanced user experience to the motorcycle cockpit.

Complete with an LTE wireless internet connection, riders will enjoy maps and directions in the dash (it’s about time), along with a bevy of other possibilities as developers will have access to an SDK prior to the Mission R’s customer delivery.

However, we still think that Mission’s announcement of now two machines on the company’s debut is a curious one, and it will be interesting to see how Mission Motorcycles handles having two bikes in the $30,000+ price range on the market at the same time (especially when they are nearly identical visually). Perhaps we just need to start thinking of these announcement as one bike, with several trim levels.

The company’s position of shipping the Mission RS to its 40 potential owners is of course one way to handle things (the higher price tag helps to some degree as well, though we imagine the type of buyer for both of these machines is a lot less price sensitive than your average motorcyclist, and a good degree of cannibalization will be at work here.

Equally confusing is the branding and naming of the machines, which should keep the press busy between making the distinction of the old Mission R, which is now the Mission RS, with the new Mission R…see what we mean?

Also confusing for consumers will be the differentiation of Mission Motors (still an OEM electric drivetrain provider, though formerly a motorcycle company) and Mission Motorcycles (a client of Mission Motors, and only in the moto-business). If the branding is confusing you, just chalk it up to déjà vu.

What is compelling is that the “more affordable” Mission R from Mission Motorcycles brings electric street bikes into a performance parity range with petrol bikes, and though we think true motorcyclists will want the extended range of the 17 kWh bike, the 12 kWh Mission R hits a price point that is squarely inline with bikes like the Ducati 1199 Panigale R, Erik Buell Racing 1190RS, and other premium sport bike offerings, and offers similar exclusivity and performance appeal.

Considering the type of aspirational buyer that buys those machines, Mission Motorcycles could see some success in the marketplace with the Mission R, that is of course assuming that the green startup can deliver on its Summer 2014 delivery date. Leave your thoughts on the Mission R in the comments section. Just what the doctor ordered for your EV itch? Or too late to market with the original Mission R design?

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Source: Mission Motorcycles

Comment:

  1. JoeD says:

    Nice design and one for the garage, just not the only one. IC engines can refuel in minutes vs hours for the electrics. Not a problem if your destination is work with a charging dock. Sunday Morning just became an all day affair and forget actually seeing anything trying to tour on one. Half of the vacation is spent refilling the electron bank. Every hour.

  2. Jake F. says:

    A gorgeous and fascinating bike. I wish them massive success so they can keep improving the technology and building economy of scale. If that happens, I could see myself buying one of this Mission R’s descendants in 5 years. Of course, that’s also dependent on reliability and customer support.

  3. Gutterslob says:

    Looks-wise, it’s a winner.

    Still waiting for info on what kind of servicing/maintenance/upkeep it requires compared to a regular petrol-burning sport bike. Another thing that concerns me is battery life – not life per charge, but how much those use/charge times deteriorate (like phone and laptop batteries) through the months/years. Hopefully we’ll see some long-term reviews in a years time.

    Can someone explain what this federal rebate thing is? Something exclusive to electric/low-emission vehicles, or just a tax-related thing that applies to all Americans?

  4. Haven’t talked to Mission, but if they’re like others in the field, periodic oil changes for the gear reduction will be the big maintenance item, along with chains, sprockets, and tires of course. As far as pack life, most the stats I’ve seen, the pack outlives the bike. You laptop is rated to what, 2000 charge cycles? That’s 5.5 years if you discharge the pack completely every day for that time period.

    As for the rebate, that’s for electric vehicles. Some states have/had rebate programs as well. IT was just pointed out on Twitter, the current federal rebates expire in 2013, though it wouldn’t surprise me to see them renewed…something to consider though.

  5. Silas says:

    How much does it weigh?

  6. protomech says:

    @JoeD: Touring might be too much of a compromise for many, but it definitely has range to have some fun on the weekend. A one-hour stop to charge midway should allow total ranges around 200 miles @ 55 mph or 160 miles @ 70 mph.

    A dedicated individual could put a very long 600 mile day on the Mission bike. Figure 11 hours riding @ 55 mph, 6.5 hours charging .. or 8.5 hours riding @ 70 mph, 9.5 hours charging.

    Mission has the technology to build a touring version should they choose to do so – perhaps a competitor to something like BMW’s K1600. 20 kW of charging from either AC or DC would reduce charge times down to a couple of hours.. little penalty for everyone but iron-butt riders.

    Seems like very little differentiation between the R and RS bikes. No doubt there are individuals for whom the extra $20-30k is a fair trade for the ultimate in track brakes and suspension .. but perhaps few and far between.

  7. “You laptop is rated to what, 2000 charge cycles?”

    I think the typical number for laptops is 1,000 these days. My early-2008 MacBook battery is only rated for 300. Technology has marched onward for sure.

  8. Norm G. says:

    the MV Agusta of electrics.

  9. Richard Gozinya says:

    It certainly is purty.

  10. Norm G. says:

    re: “Mission has the technology to build a touring version should they choose to do so – perhaps a competitor to something like BMW’s K1600.”

    somewhere in bavaria, engineers in lederhosen chuckle.

  11. Kevin says:

    Jens,

    Funny that to me the rear drive mechanism looks striking familiar to the earlier MotoCyzsz drive images.
    I may be wrong but funny how technology development can end up looking similar in the end.

    Cheers,

    K

  12. Yeah, they both have a very similar gear-reduction setup. Lightning on the other hand doesn’t, and thus has HUGE rear sprockets. Compare the Mission R to the Shinden Ni when you get a chance. Interesting things there as well.

  13. Alex MacPherson says:

    Love this bike! I hope Mission becomes a Tesla-like success story!