On paper or in pixels, the Damon HyperSport is the finest electric motorcycle yet. Two hundred miles per hour, 200 hp and a claimed 200-mile range will do that. No electric bike in current production can touch those figures. Of course, right now neither can anyone who’s put in a preorder for a Damon.
The tech world is defined by bluster before results. Assuming Vancouver, Canada-based Damon can deliver, the HyperSport will be paired with the HyperFighter, Damon’s latest potential streetbike. Up first is the $35,000 (or so) limited-edition HyperFighter Colossus; Damon claims that bike will be followed by two future HyperFighter Unlimited models, trimmed of the Colossus name and about $10,000 from the sticker. Only 100 Colossuses are planned for production.
Damon says that, as with the HyperSport, the HyperFighter Colossus will feature Copilot, Shift, and HyperDrive, all proprietary systems that push various envelopes of what electric motorcycles can be. The HyperDrive powertrain is a monocoque-mounted battery and motor said to be capable of 200 hp (150kW), 146 miles (235 kilometers) of range, and a 20kWh battery. Claimed top speed is 170 mph. The Copilot system is a 360-degree advanced warning system using radar and cameras to give visual and haptic warnings to riders. Claimed to be capable of tracking up to 64 objects at a time, it could be a game changer for urban riding. The dash provides a rearview look at what’s behind the rider.
But the star of the promotional materials is the Shift system, which Damon says will allow for on-the-fly ergonomic adjustments. That’s a fancy way of saying that ride height, handlebar position, and footpeg placement can be changed with the push of a button. Technically speaking, your HyperFighter could become a standard bike, a tourer, or even track-ready at rider command.
But the show-me-the-money specs are charging time and curb weight. A 110V power supply will take a claimed 15 hours to fully charge, while a built-in fast charger is claimed to charge up to 80 percent in as little as 45 minutes. Weight wasn’t disclosed, but the HyperSport weighs in at a claimed 440 pounds.
The prototype unveiled at the 2022 CES show in Las Vegas was likely unfinished, as COO and co-founder Dom Kwong pointed to a nearby HyperSport to demonstrate the Shift system in action. Curiously, the word “commuter” came up often in CEO and co-founder Jay Giraud’s remarks. But he also made reference to “traffic Ninjas,” so streetfighters haven’t gone completely mundane.
Purely from the point of view of a marketing exercise, a streetfighter is a smart move. That’s not necessarily a slight; marketing is a tool for moving product, and unveiling a new model at CES puts Damon back into the news cycle and drives additional interest. And it shifts focus from other potential narratives, such as “Exactly how many HyperSports has Damon actually delivered?”
Ambitious dreams and amplified hopes should meet with healthy skepticism. A streetfighter is, by definition, a quick-and-easy adaptation requiring little more than a design face-lift. Plus, the existing HyperSport platform means its ergonomics can remain unchanged, Shift system use notwithstanding. Still, as things sit now, any Damon HyperSport or HyperFighter that leaves the factory for delivery will be a win for motorcycling. Any optimistic skeptic wants to be proven wrong.
And one cause for optimism, left unmentioned save for a brief shoutout at CES, is 23-year-old Italian designer Noemi Napolitano, who penned the HyperFighter. It’s her first-ever new motorcycle design, and therefore, brava. Even if the bike is delivered in 2023, you might not see one of her 100 HyperFighter Colossus designs in the flesh. But you should definitely be looking for it.