OLPC designer styles goes-like-stink electric motorbike
Lots of Tesla DNA in there too
'Leccy Tech The metaphorical dust cover was yanked off the latest 'leccy motorcycle at the TED (Technology, Entertainment, Design) conference in Long Beach, California, yesterday - and an arresting looking bit of kit it is too.
Mission Motors' Mission One: striking looks
Called the Mission One, the bike has been designed by Yves Béhar – who also has the Jawbone Headset and OLPC XO laptop on his list of design credits – and come 12 June, you'll be able to see it do its stuff at the “carbon free” TTXGP race on the Isle of Man.
According to the folk from Mission Motors, the bike will hit 150mph and has an average operating range of around 150 miles. Power comes from a liquid-cooled, three-phase AC induction motor that puts out 100lb-ft of torque via a single-speed transmission.
Wheels of Steel - or something more eco-friendly?
The lithium-ion battery pack can apparently be recharged in eight hours from a 120V outlet or in just two and a half from a 240V outlet. The battery can be replenished on the go from an adjustable regenerative rear-wheel brake.
The Mission One will also come “wireless enabled”, allowing riders to download technical data and performance profiles and make system adjustments directly from their laptops, Formula One-stylee.
How many Fireblades can I get for that?
If you like what you see, the first 50 “Special Edition” bikes will be ready for sale in 2011 at $68,995 (£47,178/€53,949) a go. Not cheap, we grant you – you could get five Honda CBR1000 Fireblades for that sort of money - but highly desirable nonetheless.
At least desirable to those of us who fancy the idea of a twit-proof twist-and-go super bike. Will it appeal equally to the serious supersport-loving biker brigade who, in our experience, are fiercely proud of their ability to tame and control their complex and powerful mounts? Time will tell.
Complete with F1-style telemetry downloads
Either way, come the summer Mission promise to announce the cost of the regular, “affordable” version of the One, though as Forbes.com has pointed out, the $1.5m it has so far raised from private investment and venture capital is only enough to keep it going for six months. Without further, and substantial, investment, the One could remain a pipe dream, albeit a striking one.
While perusing the list of who's who at Mission Motors, the first thing that hit us – after the pretty impressive list of technical and engineering talent on display - was the number of ex-Tesla bods on the payroll, including CEO Forrest North, Finance VP Dan Kaplan and Product Manager Jeremy Cleland - who also served time with Ducati North America.
We are taking the Tesla staff DNA as a good thing – after all the Tesla Roadster has actually made it to the consumer, albeit with the aid of Elon Musk's deep pockets. ®
It's nice, but.....
As much as I would like to see a good, high performance leccy bike showing their backwards 4-wheel brethren how to do the job properly I feel this won't quite be the one. And that's a shame because I'd love to see this be successful. As the detailed spec doesn't seem to be available - well, I couldn't find it anyway - it's difficult to comment about the layout beyond that it appears to have a clutch; if it contains a small CVT in the drivetrain then it would really get me very interested.
The relative silence of such a bike wouldn't be the major handicap you may think either. As any biker will tell you, you don't hope other people hear you, it's more whether the average car/HGV/bus driver is actually conscious that it uppermost in your mind.
But the killer is the price. £47,178. That's more than a Ducati Desmosedici RR, and one of those would go very nicely indeed with my Monster 750 and old 750SS. Why namecheck a very nice Honda when you could instead plump for an outageously gorgeous Italian?
Anyway, I think I'll go and wipe down my Termi's.........
>Being me I would have built the motor into the rear wheel.
Then you need to read up on "unsprung mass".
Also generally it's beneficial to put the heavy stuff in the middle rather than out at the back end, although you could put the rider lower down if there was a gap there...
>This is a piss poor example of some idiots putting available 'old' tart technology with a bit
>of crapton fibre and aluminium with holes in it to come up with something that is 'pretty' (shit).
While I agree with the sentiment, they haven't done that at all, all they've done is drawn a sketch of how they'd like it to look.
O-Ó It's twice as fast as theirs and is made of recycled yack dung so it's even more environmentally friendly.
Mr "High and Mighty" Master Control
Yes, but can it turn corners at 90 degrees, just like in Tron? Or Automan? Does it explode into half a dozen polygonal chunks when you crash it into a wall? Does it fold up into a small glowing stick? Where is this information in the article?