Mission One Superbike | First Ride

Mission improbable

By: Alan Cathcart, Ari Henning, Photography by Kevin Wing

2011 Mission One
Hard Parts

Battery
The flat-sided architecture of the next-generation lithium-ion batteries in the Mission One permits much denser packaging than the more common-place cylindrical cell, which is an important space-saving issue in a minimalist vehicle like a motorcycle. Produced by EIG in South Korea, the LI cells use a chemically stable and physically durable solid polymer electrolyte and flexible foil casing. Highway cruising will yield approximately 100 miles of range, while aggressive sport riding will drain the battery in about 70 miles. A full charge takes 2.5 hours when plugged into a 220-volt/30-amp socket or 8-10 hours in a standard 110-volt wall socket.

Electronics
Transmitting the batteries' charge to the motor dictates the use of an ECU, termed the "controller." Channelling upwards of 100kW of power requires robust electronics and generates enough heat to warrant a dedicated liquid-cooling system. The MM-developed controller is the soul of the motorcycle and is responsible for power delivery and throttle response, which can be tailored to a degree that MotoGP teams only dream of. The bike's software interface allows riders to adjust throttle maps, tweak regenerative braking, set power limits and pre-set multiple riding modes.

Motor
Game-changing power comes from an electric motor the size of a soccer ball. The Mission One's 350-volt AC brushless motor produces a respectable 136 horsepower and abundant torque: some 115 lb.-ft. from 1-6500 rpm. That's 10 lb.-ft. more than Harley's ground-rippling V-Rod Muscle! The motor gets hot enough to warrant its own oil-cooling system. The only moving parts in the motor that could potentially fail are the bearings supporting the rotor.

Chassis
Battery and motor packaging directed much of the Mission One's frame architecture. The trellis frame is constructed from chromoly tubing and was designed with input from James Parker, the U.S. chassis guru best known for the hub-center RADD front end on the Yamaha GTS1000. An aluminum box-section swingarm supports the rear tire and pivots on the primary gear housing, while trail can be altered between 90 and 105mm via the Attack Performance adjustable triple clamps.

Suspension/Brakes
As the debut limited-edition model, the Mission One will be laden with top-shelf components. Both front and rear forged-magnesium Marchesini wheels will be controlled by Öhlins dampers-a race-ready, TiN-coated 43mm fork up front and a TTX36 shock out back. The pre-production bike we rode was outfitted with ISR brake parts, but when the bike goes on sale early next year it will be equipped with Brembo components. The regenerative braking system is incorporated into the rear wheel to convert kinetic energy to electrical power while providing reassuring engine braking.

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