In the motorcycle community, it’s easy to dismiss some of the smaller startups out there in the presence of giants like Harley-Davidson and Yamaha. With environmental concerns taking center stage in recent years, many manufacturers are introducing electric models to their lineup, possibly highlighting a new trend for the coming decade. Motorcycles are definitely thrilling and fun, but they come with specific dangers and threats by nature of being a two-wheeled vehicle. While technological advances have delivered a number of safety features to automobiles, motorcycles have largely remained unchanged.
This is where Vancouver-based startup Damon Motorcycles comes into the scene. The company strives to improve both the safety and comfort of motorcycling. Their new model, the Hypersport Pro electric motorcycle features the company’s proprietary suite of advanced safety features known as CoPilot. CoPilot effectively creates a bird’s eye view of threats by monitoring 360 degrees around the bike. The system uses sensors including radar, multiple, cameras, non-visual sensors, and artificial intelligence to track speed and direction of up to 64 moving around the bike at any time. Riders receive collision-warning alerts via haptic feedback vibrations in the handlebars and LED warning lights on the edges of the windscreen. Damon designed the system to feel intuitive to the rider so that it increases the rider’s awareness without requiring an additional focus point.
Damon doesn’t stop at improving the safety of motorcycling, they’re looking to improve comfort as well. One of the most fascinating things (as if the safety features weren’t cool enough already) about the Hypersport is a shape-shifting design for the bike known as Shift. Conventionally, a motorcycle rider would have to choose a single type of geometry in their bike, which typically boils down to either a very forward tucked sport bike or an upright cruiser bike. Damon’s CEO explained the inherent drawbacks of this inflexible geometry when he spoke to Electrek: “Sport bikes are great when you’re out on the highway, but they don’t perform as well in cities. ON the other hand, an upright cruiser is great for the city, but then it turns you into a giant sail when you’re on the highway.”
The Shift system of the Hypersport Pro electric motorcycle’s is designed with adjustable geometry that can change and adapt to riding conditions. Riders can change the geometry of the bike to fit their ride with the push of a button, which will then move the bike’s windscreen, seat, foot pegs, and handlebars in unison to different positions. The seating positions range from that of a fast supersport motorcycle all the way to a full upright commuter bike. This flexibility of the Hypersport Pro gives riders the benefit of owning multiple styles of motorcycles that they can toggle mid-ride.
The bike is set to debut at CES 2020, during which Damon will release tech and performance specs. In the meantime, it’s exciting to see how the startup will change the motorcycle industry in terms of safety and comfort.