Private Preview 2014: Quick and Quiet

  • Amanda Millin

In the case of the Mission RS electric motorcycle, sound can be deceiving. Instead of roaring, the bike’s 150 kW motor softly hums while it generates 160 hp and 120 ft lbs of torque. This is at least 20 ft lbs more torque than the gas engine powering Ducati’s new 1199 Superleggera (see “FrontRunners,” page 46) produces. And unlike a gas engine, the RS’s electric motor does not have to rev up to perform: It produces its maximum power almost instantly.

Mission Motorcycles, which was founded in 2012 in San Francisco, expects to begin delivering the RS this summer. The company plans to limit production to 40 examples and price the bike at $59,000. (Because the RS is a plug-in electric vehicle, buyers will qualify for a $2,500 federal tax credit.) The $13,000 GP package includes upgrades to the standard carbon-fiber wheels, Brembo brakes, and Öhlins FGR200 gas-charged fork.

The company claims the RS has a range of 140 miles, a zero-to-60-mph time of less than 3 seconds, and a top speed of 150 mph. It also notes that without the vibrations of an internal-combustion engine, the RS offers a more stable ride and more precise steering than its gas-powered counterparts. The bike is equipped with a touchscreen that gives the rider access to a 1080p video-capable camera, Bluetooth, and Google Maps.

Mission Motorcycles is also planning to release the Mission R model, which offers comparable performance but less range (when equipped with the base 12 kWh battery) than the RS and has a suspension and wheels that are a notch below those on the RS. Depending on the battery, the price of the Mission R will range from $32,500 to $42,500.

Mission Motorcycles, www.mission-motorcycles.com

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