If Tesla ever got into motorcycles, a Canadian electric motorcycle company with a rival Autopilot system would give it a run for its money.
Damon Motorcycles unveiled its newest Hypersport bike at CES on Tuesday (January 7). The e-bike is a veritable speed demon, with a top speed of 200 mph and a 200-plus mile range. It starts at $24,995 before electric tax credits and incentives.
Tesla CEO Elon Musk has vowed to stay away from motorcycles after a near-death experience as a teenager. However, at Tesla’s Cybertruck unveil in November, an all-electric ATV was tacked onto Tesla’s electric lineup. But still, technically, it’s no electric motorcycle.
Damon’s advanced warning system called CoPilot 360 isn’t semi-autonomous like Tesla’s Autopilot, but it gives a full overview of the rider’s surroundings using BlackBerry sensors, cameras, and radar. Yes, the same BlackBerry of cell phone fame. A front screen displays the road and even shows what’s behind the motorcycle.
During a demo ride with a VR headset, I experienced visual and tactile warnings through vibration about a car in my blind spot that came up over my left shoulder, a quick stop for suddenly slowed traffic, and other alerts. The handle bars started shaking, so you knew to pay attention. The advanced warning system claims it can detect up to 64 objects around the motorcycle.
Like Tesla, the motorcycle gets over-the-air updates to modify or improve the software that controls the ride and safety system.
It seems this is as close to the Tesla of motorcycles as we’ll get.