This week, the Mission Motors Mission R electric superbike appeared on Jay Leno’s Garage. It’s a great looking bike—perhaps bettered only by Honda’s RC-E concept, and has some very impressive statistics. It has a 55-degree lean angle, a 14-kWh lithium-ion battery pack, and a 120-kW electric motor. That setup produces 161 bhp.
Engine-braking is useful for spirited riding on the street, but electric motors don’t provide the same level of off-throttle drag. To provide the illusion of engine-braking, the Mission R engages regen when the throttle is shut. There are street and race regen settings, and it’s fully tunable. Regen is a great solution to the lack of engine braking (It should be noted that it’s possible on some electric motorcycles to twist the throttle backwards and vary the regen on the fly).
Mission Motors produces hybrid and electric vehicle technology that’s used by a whole range of car manufacturers, but created the Mission R to show off the very best of their battery and software technology. The packaging on a motorcycle is constrained and the batteries are very important in an all-electric bike.
When Jay rides it at the end of the episode, it looks fantastic, and sounds like a spaceship. We’re not quite ready to trade in our superbike, but if this is the future, we’re excited for it.