Vancouver-based mobility startup Damon Motorcycles has entered the EV arena with a preview of its first e-motorcycle, the Hypersport Pro.
The seed stage company had previously focused on creating digital security technology, such as its 360-degree radar detection system, to augment two-wheelers manufactured by other manufacturers.
Damon has decided to create his own EV model designed to overcome the common defects he sees in existing motorcycle offerings.
“We are in black and white for the first time about the fact that we are a complete producer and we have a motorcycle that we are going to present at CES,” Damon Motorcycle founder and CEO Jay Giraud told TechCrunch.
That machine is the all-electric Damon Hypersport Pro. The news is a prior announcement before the full debut of January, so Giraud would not offer many basic specifications, such as price, range, charging time and performance.
It was clear that the motorcycle is destined to be a direct competitor of the latest e-bikes launched by Harley-Davidson and the California-based company Zero Motorcycles – and for the gas motorcycle market in general.
“We have come to this and the motorcycle problem in a way that no other company has done”, Giraud explained.
“We are trying to change the industry by addressing safety, handling and comfort issues and the problems that have persisted with everyone in the industry, including all e-motorcycle companies”.
Damon’s Hypersport Pro is designed around the company’s CoPilot system, which uses sensors, radars and cameras to detect and track moving objects around the motorcycle, including blind spots and alert drivers to the danger.
Damon has also taken on the problem of one size fits all in motorcycle design, integrating a system into his Hypersport Pro that allows for adjustable ergonomics. The startup’s debut model will allow drivers to electronically change the windshield, seat, footrests and motorcycle handlebars to accommodate different positions and conditions, from more vertical driving in the city to more aggressive high-speed races.
Damon Motorcycles is taking advance orders for its Hypersport Pro and dealers will skip, opting to use a direct sales model and service similar to Tesla. Vancouver’s startup facility is equipped to build 500 motorcycles a year, according to Giraud.
The company recently brought Derek Dorresteyn, the former CTO of e-moto startup Alta, as its COO. Full specifications of the Hypersport Pro will arrive next month at CES, but Giraud offered a look, saying it would be more competitive and more powerful than existing e-motorcycle offers.
Harley-Davidson launched its first electric motorcycle – the $ 29K LiveWire – in 2019 and the California EV Zero Motorcycles startup launched its $ 19K SR / F, both in offers to go to take mass of e-motorcycles -market. In addition to the price gap, both have comparable load times (approximately one hour), performance and range (around 100 miles for a combination of city and highway).
The US motorcycle industry UU. It has been in a very bad state since the recession. New sales have fallen approximately 50% since 2008, with sharp falls in the ownership of all those under 40, and have never recovered.
It is likely that the Harley-Davidon EV pivot will bring e-motorcycle deals from other major gas manufacturers, such as Honda and Yamaha, which are also trying to revive sales to younger drivers.
With Damon’s turn to e-motorcycle production, the startup is not alone. Italy’s Energy is expanding the distribution of its high-performance electric vehicles in the US. UU. Other competitors include the start of Fuell e-motorcycle, with plans to launch its $ 10K flow, 150 miles in the near future.
Of course, there have already been some speed bumps and wear and tear on the market, with three e-motorcycle startups: Alta Motors, Mission Motors and Brammo, forced to shut down in recent years.
So how does Damon Motors plan to succeed as a new participant in a motorcycle market with sales of stagnant new bicycles and increased competition for OEM electric vehicles and established startups?
“We have so many advantages that others don’t have and we are taking advantage of their weaknesses”, said founder Jay Giraud. The company’s direct sales model will result in more competitive prices and higher R&D margins, he said.
Then there is what Damon Motorcycles sees as the comparative advantages designed with respect to its Hypersport Pro over existing manufacturers.
“You’ll love horsepower and range and all those good things, but that’s not what makes Damon different from everyone else,” Giraud explained.
“What’s different is that it is a safer motorcycle with safety features and transforming ergonomics that will prevent you from crashing into someone’s car”, he said.
Not crashing into other people’s cars is undoubtedly an attractive feature to offer on a motorcycle. Time and sales will ultimately tell how Damon is doing in the inevitable cycle of events (profitability, failure, acquisition) that will take place in the increasingly competitive e-motorcycle space.
Also published on Medium.