Our first look at the only motorcycle that physically transforms when you change ride modes

Damon Motorcycles commands some pretty impressive technology, and the factory brings that to bear in the EV bike market with its new Hypersport HS. The bodywork will look familiar to fans of the Big Four, same with the brakes, but it’s the stuff under the hood that really sets this bike apart. Performance- and safety-based electronics combine to deliver a potentially safer riding experience and a more thrilling one at the same time. Could this be the bike to pull in that all-important Millennial buyer base?

  • 2021 Damon Hypersport HS
  • Year:
    2021
  • Top Speed:
    200 mph
  • Price:
    24995
  • Price:

2021 Damon Hypersport HS Design

  • Direct factory-to-customer relationship
  • LED lighting
  • Rear-view camera
  • Blind-spot monitoring
  • Variable riding position
2021 Damon Hypersport HS
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2021 Damon Hypersport HS
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Damon acquired the intellectual property for the Hypersport HS from Mission Motors and raised three million dollars to push out products based on same. So far, the factory has enjoyed some early success with the 19-to-39 year olds that now make up 25% of the workforce and are the next major buyer base that spans the Gen Y (Millennials) and Gen Z divide.

We’re on a mission to unleash the full potential of personal mobility for the world’s commuters, while reducing rider incidents on the road,” says CEO Jay Giraud. “To address this, we spent the last three years developing an AI-powered, fully connected, e-motorcycle platform that incorporates CoPilot, our proprietary 360º warning system. By building it on BlackBerry’s best-in-class technology that is safety certified, Damon motorcycles will be the safest, most advanced electric motorcycles on the market.

It’s just exactly this kind of tech integration that is pulling in the first generation to be fully digital-native. On top of that, this marque is built entirely around e-commerce as there are to be no brick-and-mortar dealerships, only a direct relationship between the factory and its customers.

As for the build itself, I’ve heard a few fanboys whinge about the similarities between the HS and some of Yamaha’s products, specifically from the YZF-R family, but to them I say suck it up buttercup, there’s bound to be similarities with someone. A full front fairing and bubble screen cuts much the same figure as any of a number of smoker bikes, and the sportbike scoop up front reinforces that look. The “regular bike” design extends down the flyline through the graceful faux fuel tank hump and upswept tail section. LED projectors ride in artistic, angular arrangements for both headlights and taillights for two-way visibility.

The instrumentation is bundled into a wide, configurable digital display that uses the feed from your rear-view camera as the background. Not only is this cooler than the other side of the pillow, it virtually eliminates the need for mirrors and provides, in this writer’s opinion, superior situational awareness. Additionally, the HS comes stock with a radar function that monitors your blind spots and communicates with you through vibrating handgrips and LED warning lights.

There’s another interesting facet to the technology in the variable ride-position feature that lets you shift between a relaxed, cruising-friendly rider’s triangle and an aggressive, tucked in stance on the fly. The reason I’m not sold on it is because I, for one, rely fairly heavily on muscle memory when I ride, and while it’s one thing to swift from bike to bike, it’s quite another to change the feel of a bike under way. On the flipside, it does let you have the best of both the sport-riding and cruising worlds, and I recognize that there is some value to be had there.

2021 Damon Hypersport HS Chassis

  • Öhlins suspensions
  • Brembo brakes
  • ABS
2021 Damon Hypersport HS
- image 895143
2021 Damon Hypersport HS
- image 895150

The details on the Hypersport HS structure, so far, is pretty sketchy, but here’s what we know so far. Inverted front forks float the front end with a monoshock to spring the rear end, both from Öhlins, but no word as yet as to the adjustability thereof. If I had to guess, I’d expect the full spectrum of tweaks to be available.

Cast, 17-inch rims mount a 120 mm wide front hoop and a 200 mm wide rear, both of unknown aspect ratio. Dual, 300 mm discs and what look to be four-piston Brembo calipers slow the front wheel, and out back, a single-piston anchor takes care of business with ABS oversight.

Front Tire Size: 120 mm 17"
Rear Tire Size: 200 mm 17"
Front Brakes: Dual 300 mm Discs
Rear Brakes: Single Disc

2021 Damon Hypersport HS Drivetrain

  • 21.5 kWh battery pack
  • 200 hp
  • 0-to-60 in less than three seconds
  • Level 2 recharge in less than three hours
2021 Damon Hypersport HS
- image 895148
2021 Damon Hypersport HS
- image 895144
2021 Damon Hypersport HS
- image 895142

The limiting factors for mainstream acceptance of EV bikes, honestly, comes down to convenience, performance, and range. With that in mind, it seems like Damon has addressed at least a couple of those points on the Hypersport HS, and according to Meatloaf, two out of three ain’t bad. The 21.5 kWh battery pack can be fully recharged in something less than three hours, which is nice and all, but you’ll need a Level 2 charger to achieve that. However, if your trips are less than 200 highway miles in length or 300 city miles, and I’m betting the vast majority are, then that’s not a problem as you can just plug it in when you get home.

As for the performance, I’m going to call it 200 cubed for 200 horsepower, 200 Newton meters (147.5 pound-feet) and 200 mph top speed. That’s stupidfast folks, and it’s plenty fast enough to get yourself in a whole heap o’ trouble, to be sure. It’s quick too, with a 0-to-60 time under three seconds, and since it comes stock with traction control, you can be confident trying to get the most out of it.

Motor: PMAC Liquid Cooled 160 kW peak
Horsepower: 200 hp
Battery: 21.5 kWh
Charge Time: < 3 hrs @ Level 2

2021 Damon Hypersport HS Price

2021 Damon Hypersport HS
- image 895139
2021 Damon Hypersport HS
- image 895145
2021 Damon Hypersport HS
- image 895143

The Hypersport HS will roll with a starting sticker at $24,995. I say “will” because they are not in production just yet, but you can pre-order one for just a single Benjamin. Prior to shipping, you’ll receive log-in information to make your color choice, and I assume, select options.

Warranty: 2 Years
Service: Damon service centers, Partnered electric motorcycle dealers, Mobile service at front door via van
Colors: Selectable prior to shipping
Price: $24,995

2021 Damon Hypersport HS Competitors

2020 Zero SR/S
- image 891601
2020 Harley-Davidson LiveWire
- image 804461

While there are some unknowns with the Hypersport HS, I think we can agree that the most important metrics involve the drivetrain, and toward that end we have plenty for a bare-bones comparison against a couple of the current frontrunners.

Harley-Davidson LiveWire

2020 Harley-Davidson LiveWire
- image 814090

First, let’s look at Harley-Davidson’s long-awaited EV bike, the LiveWire. The MoCo claims 146 miles in the city or 95 miles of combined range from a single charge to fall well behind the 200-mile max the HS brings to the table to give Damon the edge in range.

That advantage continues into the performance category as the H-D motor generates only 105 horsepower, which is just about half of that of the HS, and a top speed of 95 mph against an admittedly ridiculous 200 mph from the HS. Convenience is a tad harder to quantify, but it looks like owners will have to park at a dealership or a public charging station with level-3 DC output to meet the charge times claimed by Damon. Home charging is something closer to an overnight process.

H-D’s LiveWire rolls for $29,799, which is higher for sure, but it’s hard to put a price on the brand recognition The MoCo enjoys.

Read our full review of the Harley-Davidson LiveWire.

Zero SR/S

2020 Zero SR/S
- image 891603

Zero Motorcycles is widely regarded as a top-shelf marque in this field, and its SR/S matches the 200 mile range of the HS, but only if you spring for the almost three-grand Power Tank accessory. That said, the $19,995 sticker on the standard SR/S leaves lots of wiggle room to boost the range without getting upside down on the price.

The Zero will achieve a top speed around 124 mph, and while that’s lower than the HS, it’s plenty fast enough by most standards, and honestly, anything over 100 mph is a waste on public roads anyway. Charge times are all over the board depending on which accessories you choose, but the quickest recharge time is 80 minutes for a 95-percent charge. Yeah, that’s quick, but it’ll cost you both in the upfront cash output and the potential range. In order to achieve that time you’ll have to opt for the Charge Tank option rather than the Power Tank, and that’ll cut the range down to 161 miles in the city to leave the HS in an advantageous position.

Read our full review of the Zero SR/S.

He Said

“ Ya know, this is exactly the kind of performance and range that’ll push mainstream acceptance of EV bikes. At 200 miles, the range is already far beyond my day-to-day bike usage, and with the quick charge times, I can see this as a viable commuter and grocery-getter as well as a weekend funbike.”

She Said

My wife and fellow motorcycle writer, Allyn Hinton, says, “So I’m looking at the bike thinking this is pretty cool. It’s sharp looking and performance is spot-on and then I get to the part where the rider triangle transforms when you change ride modes. Did you watch the video of the SHIFT action? That’s some sci-fi stuff, right there. And in case anyone was wondering, the bike does come with mirrors for areas that require them even though the rear camera is so much better than mirrors.”

2021 Damon Hypersport HS Specifications

Motor & Charging:
Motor: PMAC Liquid Cooled 160 kW peak
Horsepower: 200 hp
Battery: 21.5 kWh
Charge Time: < 3 hrs @ Level 2
Chassis:
Front Tire Size: 120 mm 17"
Rear Tire Size: 200 mm 17"
Front Brakes: Dual 300 mm Discs
Rear Brakes: Single Disc
Dimensions & Capacities:
Wheelbase: 55"
Seat Height: 32"
Weight: Under 440 lbs
0-60 mph: < 3 Seconds
Range: 200+ Miles (combined hwy + city)
Top Speed: 200 mph
Electronics:
CoPilot system: Included
Shift: Included
4G Connectivity + Data: Included
Camera: 2 x 1080P
Details:
Warranty: 2 Years
Service: Damon service centers, Partnered electric motorcycle dealers, Mobile service at front door via van
Colors: Selectable prior to shipping
Price: $24,995
TJ Hinton
T.J got an early start from his father and other family members who owned and rode motorcycles, and by helping with various mechanical repairs throughout childhood. That planted a seed that grew into a well-rounded appreciation of all things mechanical, and eventually, into a formal education of same. Though primarily a Harley rider, he has an appreciation for all sorts of bikes and doesn't discriminate against any particular brand or region of origin. He currently holds an Associate's degree in applied mechanical science from his time at the M.M.I.  Read More
About the author

All images featured on this website are copyrighted to their respective rightful owners. No infringement is intended. Image Source: damonmotorcycles.com, harley-davidson.com, zeromotorcycles.com

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