Revealed: Damon Motors’ high-voltage HyperDrive powertrain, two HyperSport bikes

by Autocar Pro News Desk , 18 Nov 2020


Damon Motorcycles today released details of the HyperDrive, the world’s first 100 percent electric, multi-variant powertrain platform that redefines motorcycle performance, safety and design. As a platform for future Damon motorcycles, HyperDrive is a monocoque-constructed, high-voltage powertrain that a wide range of models and sub-models can be built upon.

To showcase the HyperDrive platform, Damon also announced the release of two new motorcycle models for pre-order: the HyperSport SX and HyperSport SE, each with HyperDrive at their core. Configured with 15kWh, the Hypersport SX develops 150 horsepower from its HyperDrive and delivers over 150 miles / 240 kilometres trvel range; the HyperSport SE with 11kWh, which produces 108 hp, can race along for over 100 miles / 164 kilometres.

In partnership with Freedomroad Financial, Damon has also announced a dynamic subscription plan offering for all HyperSport models. Customers can choose from 24, 36 and 48-month subscription plans with a guaranteed residual value, providing customers the freedom to exchange their HyperSport for updated models at the end of the term. As hardware gets updated, customers can always expect next-generation technology without the hassle and trade-in losses that occur with legacy dealerships and brands.

“As we at Damon continue to reinvent two-wheel mobility, the HyperDrive lies at the heart of our innovation,” said Jay Giraud, founder & CEO at Damon Motors. “The HyperDrive serves as the nucleus of our creations and will allow us to further evolve our technology and continue to introduce the world’s most exciting and groundbreaking electric motorcycles.”

“Damon continues to electrify the entire motorcycle industry with unprecedented features and next-generation technology that sets it apart from the competition,” said Rob Enderle, principal analyst at Enderle Group. “The Damon team has set a new standard in modern motorcycling with its ongoing commitment to maximizing all aspects of its motorcycles from the ground-up to deliver an unparalleled riding experience.”

Highlights of the HyperDrive
The HyperDrive is optimised for maximum performance, design and safety.

450 nominal volts HyperDrive is the first-of-its-kind, all-electric powertrain designed as a future-ready platform.

High-energy packLiquid-cooled and thermally managed high-energy pack enables a multitude of battery capacities for various future motorcycle models and supports the HyperSport SE with 100 miles/164km range, SX with 150 miles/ 246km range, and HS and Premier with 200 miles / 328km range.

Track-ready performance Using industry-leading cells delivering over 200 Wh/kg pack level density, all HyperSport models can deliver track-ready performance with a >3C continuous discharge to the ultra-dense, direct-oil-cooled, 6-phase internal permanent magnet (IPM) motor.

Lightweight motor Spinning at a peak 16,000rpm and capable of delivering over 200 hp and 200 nm of torque, HyperDrive’s motor weighs in at just 48 lbs.

6.6 kW integrated charger Developed in-house, HyperSport can charge at ubiquitous Level 1 and Level 2 public charging stations found around the world and is also capable of 25 kW DC fast charging in under 45 minutes. It can also be charged at home on 110V outlets.

Proprietary 150+kW inverter Allows Damon to control traction, engine braking and performance like never before with proprietary algorithms and a unique safety-focused architecture.

Battery as a structural element
Damon Motorcycles says its HyperDrive includes the most energy-dense pack in transportation at over 200Wh/kg, but that has not stopped the company from pursuing every opportunity to increase range and performance.

Designed to perform Damon has rigorously focused on optimizing HyperDrive’s final form factor, which plays a crucial role in the HyperSport’s overall performance. The company’s focus on aerodynamic design, using extensive wind tunnel testing to reduce drag, enables Damon to deliver more speed, acceleration and range than its competitors.

Slim design To achieve the slipperiest profile possible, the pack’s total cell count, cell orientation and layout, heat dissipation materials, optimization of liquid-cooling performance, and material selection are all engineered to create the slimmest possible battery pack, without compromising energy density or output.

Dual purpose To further reduce weight, HyperDrive is engineered to act as a structural component of the motorcycle itself. The battery enclosures not only optimise weight distribution for high-speed stability and handling, but also act as the motorcycle’s load-bearing frame. This saves both weight and cost, and further reduces bulk, compared to conventional framed motorcycles.

“Motorcyclists love to see motorcycles as visual diagrams of how they work,” said Dom Kwong, CTO at Damon Motors. “We aimed to emphasize this in a modern electric powertrain for the first time. The structural aspects of HyperDrive celebrate the optimization of mechanical design and performance as its central design expression.”

Safety kit
CoPilot advanced warning system
Like a modern fighter jet, Damon’s 360-degree CoPilot system uses embedded radar, cameras and other sensors to track the speed, direction and velocity of dozens of objects at a time. Using an onboard neural net, it anticipates a threat to warn the rider who is then alerted with LED’s for blind-spot warnings, vibrating handlebar grips for forward-collision warnings, and displays rearward threats with a digital rear-view mirror fed by the motorcycle’s embedded, wide-angle rear-facing camera.

Machine Learning Every time a rider responds to a threat warning by way of swerving or braking, the onboard system captures and tags the incident details in 360º. It then transmits data to Damon’s cloud over its embedded wireless connection, so that the system can learn to detect more threats faster over time.

“We’re on a mission to radically improve motorcycle safety,” said Jeff Sand, design director at Damon Motors. “Our core values permeate the vehicle's design and the systems in them. From passive thermal propagation resistance in our battery packs, to redundancy in critical drive systems, to our novel CoPilot 360deg collision warning system, our aim is to invent the future of motorcycle safety and performance.”

Damon Motorcycles will ship the new bikes direct to customers on subscription plans to drive scale.  Based in Vancouver, Canada, Damon is founded by serial entrepreneurs Jay Giraud and Dom Kwong. Damon’s investors include Round 13 Capital, Techstars, Fontinalis, Extreme Venture Partners, and Pallasite Ventures.

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