Mission Motorcycles Debuts Its Mission R

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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?




Source: Mission Motorcycles