Damon Motorcycles is a Vancouver-based start-up that’s on a mission to change the way we commute. It was created after co-founder and CEO, Jay Giraud, took a trip to Indonesia. He was amazed at the country’s deep dependence on two-wheeled vehicles compared to North America.
With a legacy of leading several transportation companies, including MOJIO, REV Technologies and Yamaha Ventures, Giraud had a vision that he could rival existing gas-driven options with cleaner and safer motorcycles.
In 2017, Giraud, together with current CTO Dom Kwong, decided to start Damon Motorcycles in a bid to transform two-wheel transportation.
Its first major product launch was the Hypersport, that was unveiled to the world at CES 2020 in Las Vegas. It’s an electric motorcycle that employs sensor fusion, robotics and AI. It boasts a top speed of 200 mph and a range of more than 200 highway miles per charge.
But the Hypersport wasn’t just built with the highway in mind.
Giraud explains: “Shift is Damon’s patented rider ergonomics that lets riders electronically adjust the Hypersport’s riding position between sport and commuter modes while in motion with the push of a button. Shift allows the user to determine the type of riding experience he/she desires to suit the changing road and traffic conditions at any given time.”
Enjoying The Ride
Another one of Damon’s patented technologies that’s showcased in the Hypersport is the CoPilot 360˚Advanced Warning System.
Giraud tell us: “CoPilot is powered by Blackberry QNX technology 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. CoPilot intuitively knows what’s around you at all times by tracking and warning riders of danger through haptic feedback on the handlebars, integrated LEDs on the windshield, and an always on 1080p rear view camera.”
He adds: “CoPilot sets a new standard in motorcycle safety so that riders can spend more time focusing on enjoying the ride.”
Deeper Learning for Damon
For Damon, data gathering and utilisation is also a highly important. “The Damon Hypersport’s embedded 4G connectivity and onboard AI collects road and traffic data from each Hypersport, allowing the company to remotely update the onboard computers, increasing the motorcycle’s ability to detect vehicles with every mile ridden, and ultimately making it perpetually safer and smarter over time,” comments Giraud.
Dom Kwong, Damon’s co-founder and CTO, says: “We prioritized data-driven thinking at the epicenter of the company, employing radical innovations in sensor fusion, robotics and AI.”
“This level of deep learning and connectivity are unprecedented, ensuring each rider a smarter, safer and connected ride; not only for individuals but for entire communities, with the goal to reduce incidents worldwide,” adds Kwong.
Millennials make up more than half of Damon’s pre-orders.
Damon launched the Hypersport to show that interest in motorcycling is stronger than ever, but in need of an overhaul to address the unmet needs of millennials. According to Giraud, millennials have driven a 3X growth in used motorcycle purchases since 2007.
“Millennials love their technology, but also care about social issues, with climate change being at or near the top of the list. Damon’s commitment to producing 100% electric personal mobility vehicles with unprecedented safety features has captured the imagination of millennial motorcyclists worldwide looking for safer, smarter and greener riding alternatives.”
Giraud adds: “The fact that millennials make up more than half of Damon’s pre-orders shows that unique features like CoPilot and Shift, combined with Hypersport’s ground-breaking electric performance, are what this generation of motorcyclists want.”
In March, 2020, Damon announced that it had acquired the IP portfolio of Mission Motors, a developer of high-density EV powertrains. It will be used to accelerate Damon’s capability to build the highest performance, motorcycle drive trains.
“The purchase of the Mission Motors IP will add to Damon’s capability to build the highest performance drive trains in motorcycling,” comments Derek Dorresteyn, Damon’s COO.
“The portfolio includes Mission Motors’ PM200 electric motor, Mission Inverter and Skyline Telematics. Damon intends to improve upon it considerably to take motorcycling into an entirely new level of performance,” concludes Giraud.