Mission Motors Shatters eBike Speed Record

All-electric Mission One achieves a 161-mph top speed

Last winter, when San Francisco-based Mission Motors first revealed its Mission One electric streetbike prototype, Product Manager Jeremy Cleland made some bold claims: "This bike will achieve 150 mph," Cleland told us in an exclusive interview. "That's our minimum target."

Proving the company was not just blowing e-smoke, Cleland himself rode the Mission One prototype to a new AMA electric motorcycle speed record of 150.059 mph at the BUB Motorcycle Speed Trials on the Bonneville Salt Flats on September 1, 2009. The record speed represents the average of two flying passes through Bonneville's mile-long speed trap. The Mission One's highest one-way speed recorded at that event-161 mph-was even more impressive, especially considering the poor salt conditions and strong crosswinds that Cleland encountered.

Cleland set the record aboard the same Mission One production prototype that finished fourth at the Isle of Man's TTXGP zero-emissions road race competition this past June. Mission Motors' engineering staff has been steadily improving the prototype since that event. Lessons learned under racing conditions at the Isle-and now, at Bonneville-are being applied directly to Mission Motors' production model. Boosted by successes like these, Mission says it remains on-schedule to deliver the first 300, street-legal Mission One motorcycles to retail customers by the end of the 2010 model year. The first 50 Premier Limited Edition models are available for reservation through the company's web site, www.ridemission.com, right now.

"The important thing to understand," Cleland says, "is that this is not a one-off race vehicle. This is a production prototype. It is the same bike that we raced at the Isle of Man, and features the same powertrain that we will be delivering to our customers in 2010."

"This is a bike that can rip up the track at Infineon Raceway, do power wheelies at 80 mph, and then come out here to Bonneville and dismantle the prior electric world speed record," Cleland continues. "It pulls hard all the way from 0 up to 161 mph, in one gear, with incredible torque. It's a riding experience like no other."

With this record, Mission Motors proves half its promise: producing an all-electric motorcycle with a top speed equivalent to its petroleum-powered competition. The company's other equally bold claim-a 150-mile range-remains to be demonstrated. We have no doubt that making good on that claim is the company's next priority, and we're looking forward to seeing the results.