Moto News from CES: A New Damon Electric, New Alpinestars Airbag Vests

·6 min read
Photo credit: Damon Motors
Photo credit: Damon Motors
  • A new electric motorcycle from Damon Motors debuted at CES.

  • The Hyperfighter Colossus ain't cheap at $35,000 but Silicon Valley yuppies will eat them all up.

  • Alpinestars pioneered the wearable airbag for motorcycle riders and continues adding models for different types of riding.

On top of all the expected unveilings of gadgetry aimed for fun and productivity, this year’s Consumer Electronic Show featured more compelling futuristic cars and car tech than we’ve seen in a while. It also was the site of some cool two-wheeled—and two-wheeled-related—news.

Damon Motors’ Electric Motorcycles

We first saw Damon at CES two years ago. Back then it was showcasing a new electric motorcycle called the HyperSport that could switch from sport bike to touring bike at the push of a button: handlebars raised up, windscreen raised, pegs went back, seat slid forward, and voila, you go from hunched-over sport bike to more comfortable sport touring bike. At this year’s CES Damon Motors showed off its new limited-edition HyperFighter Colossus, “the ultimate stripped-down urban assault sportbike derived from Damon’s first bike, HyperSport.”

“The HyperFighter Colossus motorcycle redefines the streetfighter category with a powerfully-charged limited edition model,” said Jay Giraud, co-founder and CEO, Damon Motors. “The HyperFighter is a stripped-down demon of a bike that is not for the faint of heart, so that riders can fight traffic, fight gas, and fight compromise. We’re excited to give the naked sports bike fanatic everything they want, coupled with the unrivaled technological features found only on Damon bikes. Only 100 HyperFighter Colossus motorcycles will hit the road, making them highly coveted.”

Photo credit: Damon Motors
Photo credit: Damon Motors

The new bike promises 200 hp, “more than” 148 lb-ft of torque, 0-60 mph in less than three seconds, and a top speed of 170 mph. No mention of range, though the HyperSport of two years ago was said to go 200 miles. Damon says HyperDrive is the key to the bike’s alleged performance. Damon describes HyperDrive as the “world’s first monocoque-constructed, 100 percent electric, multi-variant powertrain optimized for maximum performance, design and safety,” which, to be frank, is more than a little vague.

Both the new HyperFighter Colossus and the HyperSport will come with Damon’s CoPilot—“a 360-degree advanced warning system that uses radar, cameras, and non-visual sensors to track the speed, direction, and velocity of up to 64 moving objects around the motorcycle for unparalleled situational awareness.” Both bikes will also get that transformational setup, dubbed Shift: “At the push of a button, patented electronic ergonomics allow riders to transform their riding position with adjustable handlebars position and a retractable windscreen to dramatically reduce wind resistance and increase long range comfort, all while in motion.”

The Damon website says HyperFighter Colossus retails for $475 per month or $35,000, and can be reserved with a fully refundable $250 deposit. Prices for Damons start at $17,000 for the HyperSport.

Is it vaporware? Sure hope not—it looks so cool! Damon announced December 8 that it had garnered $30 million in a Series B Funding round led by House of Lithium. A search for House of Lithium on Google shows a beachfront home in Newport Beach and a website showing a tattooed tough guy speeding about on an electric bicycle. House of Lithium makes electric bicycles and looks to be led by a guy named TJ. So Damon Motors is getting help from a like-minded investor. Looking forward to riding one of these someday.

“It’s been a very busy Q4 for Damon, marked by massive momentum for the company, having secured an additional $30M in funding, global expansion into Europe, announcement of a 110,000 square-foot manufacturing facility in Surrey, British Columbia, Canada, to begin production in 2022; awarded 6 issued patents for its technologies, and surpassing a $45M milestone in orders for its flagship HyperSport motorcycle,” Damon said in a release.

“Our global team is working hard to deliver against our vision to change the future of transportation,” said Giraud.

Photo credit: Alpinestars
Photo credit: Alpinestars

Alpinestars Autonomous Airbag System

It’s like an airbag for your body! Alpinestars has been making airbag vests for motorcycle riders for years, including for riders competing in MotoGP. It sells three models now and introduced three more at CES. Currently on the market are the Tech Air Race, Tech Air Street, and Tech Air 5. Added at CES are the Tech Air 3, 10, and Off-Road. Those are six different systems for six different kinds of riding.

The Tech Air 10 is a vest that covers the rider’s shoulder, chest, full back and hips. It can be worn under any Alpinestars Tech-Air-ready suit, or any third-party leather suit with 1.6 inches of space around the circumference of the rider’s chest and 0.8 inch around the circumference of the rider’s hips to accommodate the inflation of the airbag, in the event of a crash.

The Tech Air 3 is meant to be worn over a jacket for commuters. It can be taken off, folded up and stowed easily when you get to the office.

The Off-Road V2 looks like something Darth Vader would wear on a dirt bike, with hardened shoulder, elbow and chest protection combined with an airbag system made for the specific conditions encountered off-road.

“With this complete selection of advanced airbag technology, Alpinestars is enabling riders of all disciplines to benefit from a standalone, wearable garment featuring all of the protection that Tech-Air delivers, regardless of the bike they ride, or the style of riding they do.”

Remember, ATGATT (All The Gear All The Time, as in, wear all of your gear every time you go riding. Ask me how I know this…)

Photo credit: Bugatti
Photo credit: Bugatti

Bugatti Electric Scooter

Yes, Bugatti has partnered with a Brooklyn, New York-based company called Bytech International to make a Razor-type foldable electric scooter, a prototype of which was revealed at CES. In terms of branding outrage, this is surely worse than the Aston Martin Cygnet. And so, the world as we once knew it is over.

“Bugatti is at the pinnacle of automotive excellence,” reasoned Wiebke Stahl, managing director at Bugatti International. “Partnering with a company such as Bytech gives us an opportunity to expand our reach in the electric mobility space with an experienced partner and a product that can be enjoyed by consumers around the world.”

This is not an April Fools’ joke.

Top speed in (not kidding here) sport mode is 18.5 mph. Range is a claimed 22 miles. Weight of the scooter is 35 pounds, but its magnesium alloy frame can hold up to 242 pounds. And it has lights and turn signals in its ergonomically designed handle grips. No word on when it’ll be out or how much it’ll cost, but this could be the first indication that the world is ending.

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