Damon Motorcycles Announces Game-Changing Hypersport Pro

The revolutionary electric prototype will be unveiled at CES 2020.

Hypersport Pro
Damon will debut its prototype Hypersport Pro motorcycle at the upcoming Consumer Electronics Show in 2020. The bike integrates a 360-degree warning system and electronically adjustable ergonomics.Damon Motorcycles

Damon Motorcycles has announced it will be debuting the prototype for a “revolutionary electric motorcycle,” the Hypersport Pro, at the upcoming CES 2020 show. Called an “entirely new kind of electric superbike,” the Hypersport will bring Damon’s revolutionary CoPilot and Shift technologies to the fore when it’s unveiled in Las Vegas this January. To show just how serious it is about the project’s development, Damon has brought powertrain veteran Derek Dorresteyn, formerly CTO of Alta Motors, onto the management team as well. With this last bit of info, it sounds like Damon has gone well beyond the prototype stage.

Hypersport
Built from the ground up with an electric powertrain at its base and advanced electronic safety features at its core, the Hypersport hopes to compete with ICE motorcycles by beating them on performance and shaking up the status quo.Damon Motorcycles

As you may or may not remember, Damon is a technology company based in Vancouver, British Columbia, that wants to shake up the motorcycling status quo, for a number of reasons. The first is to tackle the issue of motorcycle safety head on, which it says the major manufacturers simply refuse to do, and the second is to address the struggle for ergonomic adjustability on bikes, which—you guessed it—manufacturers also aren’t too keen on addressing. To back up its argument, Damon pulled out some traffic studies from the last several years.

In 2018, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) found that motorcyclist fatalities occurred nearly 27 times more frequently than passenger car occupant fatalities in traffic crashes per vehicle miles traveled in 2017. And Damon says the industry’s current head-in-the-sand approach just isn’t doing anything to change that—the perception of motorcycling being inherently dangerous remains unchallenged.

But there are ways to mitigate the carnage, says Jay Giraud, CEO of Damon Motorcycles. Collision warning technology has the potential to prevent almost half of all vehicle crashes, according to the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety. Which is why Giraud is keen on the company’s CoPilot (an advanced warning system), which it employs on the new prototype motorcycle. He’s joined by Chief Technical Officer Dom Kwong, who takes it a step further: “Damon’s flagship…Hypersport Pro with CoPilot expands the reach of your senses 360 degrees, giving you that extra second you need to react to keep you safe on the road.”

CoPilot technology
The CoPilot technology uses a system of cameras, radar, and sensors to pick up possible hazards all around the motorcycle and alert the rider.Damon Motorcycles

The CoPilot technology which we experienced in beta form several months back on a test mule when it was known as the Advanced Warning System for Motorcycles (AWSM) uses innovations in sensor fusion and AI, including radar, cameras, and non-visual sensors to track the speed, direction, and velocity of up to 64 moving objects around the motorcycle to anticipate possible hazards. To keep the rider’s attention up front where it should be, CoPilot gives forward collision warnings with patent-pending haptic vibration in the grips. Blind spot alerts for the pilot are given via amber LED lights on the left and right edges of the windscreen, and rear collision threats are displayed to the rider with a bright white LED bordering the windscreen, with redundant high-definition visuals popping up on its 6-inch LCD display, which doubles as the Hypersport’s instrument cluster. Unlike collision warning systems on modern cars, Damon says its CoPilot intuitively monitors traffic in 360 degrees, forming a bird’s-eye view to anticipate the behavior of cars, bicycles, and other objects to alert the rider.

If it sounds pretty similar to the proprietary AWSM, I’m pretty sure CoPilot is the next-level version 2.0 release of AWSM, refined and revised.

Halo
The Hypersport Pro’s new CoPilot technology sounds like a revised version of the AWSM seen on this previous proof of concept bike, the Halo. Will the new bike look similar to this (which uses a heavily modified R1 chassis?Damon Motorcycles

For the next bone of contention, the current nonadjustability and comfort level of modern motorcycles, Damon has also gone to the technological well, employing the new Shift feature set on the Hypersport Pro. This tech allows you to electronically adjust the bike’s ergonomics on the fly; with the push of a button, the Hypersport’s windscreen, seat, footpegs, and handlebars all slide and realign in unison, adjusting the riding position from tucked-in, high-speed supersport, to more relaxed sport-touring, to a full upright commuter position for denser urban scenarios. The company says, “It’s akin to having two bikes (or in this case, three) in one.”

ICE bikes
Damon Motorcycles says it will do much of the design and packaging in-house; repurposing existing ICE bikes doesn’t always make sense with new tech. The additional motors and sensors have increased space demands (seen here on the Halo bike).Andrew Cherney

The bikes we rode previously were a re-tooled Yamaha R1 and an MT-07, but it sounds like Damon wants (and needs) to take some of that design and manufacturing in-house; the tech features are so dense and space-demanding, only a custom, ground-up layout would ensure the best packaging of the necessary components for high performance. To that end, the company has recently added electric powertrain veteran Derek Dorresteyn to the team to head up operations and powertrain development as new COO. Derek led the engineering and manufacturing teams at Alta Motors from 2008–2018, and his vision was instrumental in Alta’s podium finishes against ICE motorcycles. It’ll be interesting to see how his extensive experience in lithium-ion battery design, high-voltage systems and inverters, power-dense motors, and high-performance chassis systems translates to the new Damon Motorcycles’ vision too.

prototype
The rearview of…the new prototype bike? Not exactly sure, but what we’ve seen looks an awful lot like the Halo we rode a couple of months back.Damon Motorcycles

“For electric motorcycles to go mainstream, they have to outperform their ICE

counterparts. By marrying all-electric high performance with rider aids like CoPilot and Shift,

Damon will redefine the motorcycling experience,” Dorresteyn says.

As for Giraud, he’s pumped on the possibilities. Damon already has a proprietary electric drivetrain and what it says is “the world’s safest, smartest, fully connected electric motorcycle employing sensor fusion, robotics and AI.” Damon motorcycles, he says, will ship direct to consumer on subscription plans to drive scale; the company already has preorders, he adds. With performance specs to be released at CES, Damon’s advanced prototypes are set to hit the roads in mid-2020 in limited numbers. Beyond that Giraud foresees many more units for 2021.

For more information on Damon Motorcycles, please visit damonmotorcycles.com.