PDA

View Full Version : RideApart reviews the 2014 Mission RS



Richard230
02 August 2013, 0728
Here is a link to Wes Siler's RideApart's review of the production 2014 Mission RS "collector's addition" $59,000 model.

http://rideapart.com/2013/08/rideapart-review-2014-mission-rs/?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+HellForLeather+%28Hell+For+Le ather%29

If only I had $59,000 + 9% sales tax + DMV fees + an unknown amount for the insurance premium, I would love to have this bike. Of course I would have to unlearn my Luddite tendencies to understand how the instrument panel works. Right now I have enough trouble focusing on my speed and rpm, turn signal and neutral indicators. But I guess if I owned an RS I wouldn't have to worry too much about the neutral indicator light. :cool:

teddillard
02 August 2013, 0740
HA! Looks like ol' Wes has flipped on the transmission-needed-for-serious-motorcycle-proper-ride (http://evmc2.wordpress.com/2012/08/23/zero-zf9-vs-brammo-empulse-r-talking-with-wes-siler/) dogma he was pitching before:

"... Initially, going this fast on electric motivation does feel completely alien. You lack the reference points provided by revs and gears, which makes judging corner entry speeds difficult. Adding to that weirdness, the Mission guys had dialed up the regenerative braking before my ride, something they’d been getting good feedback on from some of the faster guys they’ve had test it so far. Those factors, combined with some innate conservatism that comes with riding someone else’s fancy motorcycle limited my corner speed through the early part of the ride. The Mission still walked away from every other bike on the road.

Once you get over the initial weirdness of it all, it becomes apparent that the character of this electric bike is empowering, not limiting. Gone is the distraction created by the need to chase gears, so too the feedback blunting vibrations created by the motor. Feel is increased to a nearly unbelievable degree simply by completely eliminating reciprocating mass..."

frodus
02 August 2013, 1205
I'll include the rest......

"......as on the Brammo Empulse, your right hand feels hard wired to the back tire."

Doesnt sound to me he's saying much about the transmission.....he only said that gears can be distracting.

teddillard
02 August 2013, 1251
"The rest" amounts to one more phrase? lol! I think if you read the whole thing, and maybe even my post on it that I linked, along with his comments on that post, as well as maybe even his previous reviews, you'll have a pretty clear picture of where he was and where he is now.

At any rate, I risked the embarrassment of him giving me **** for not having any degree of reading comprehension and asked him if it was fair to say he'd softened on the issue, or turned around completely. Or not. So we'll see.

frodus
02 August 2013, 1306
I think the phrase is relevant as the Brammo is one of the only bikes with a transmission... Lol

Lets see what he says! It does sound that he's kinda contradicting between the two. Would be good to see his response.

podolefsky
02 August 2013, 1758
Interesting reading.

I don't see his different views as a contradiction - seems like pretty good confirmation of the "it depends" answer to the transmission question. If you have 160 HP on tap, you're beyond the point where a transmission will make you any faster (or, at least, it's already so fast that a transmission is unnecessary, and might actually get in the way). If you've got 50 HP, it can give you the acceleration off the line + top speed that a single speed lacks...if you're into that sort of thing.

So, it seems like his revelation about what a single speed could achieve came when he got on a bike with 160HP. I didn't get the impression that his experience with the Mission would make him go back and change his view on Zero vs Brammo - will be interesting to hear what he says.

liveforphysics
02 August 2013, 1912
Interesting reading.

I don't see his different views as a contradiction - seems like pretty good confirmation of the "it depends" answer to the transmission question. If you have 160 HP on tap, you're beyond the point where a transmission will make you any faster (or, at least, it's already so fast that a transmission is unnecessary, and might actually get in the way). If you've got 50 HP, it can give you the acceleration off the line + top speed that a single speed lacks...if you're into that sort of thing.

So, it seems like his revelation about what a single speed could achieve came when he got on a bike with 160HP. I didn't get the impression that his experience with the Mission would make him go back and change his view on Zero vs Brammo - will be interesting to hear what he says.



To me, it seemed like he finally "saw the light" so to speak, and now understands the ultimate performance drivetrain solution would never include hiccups/interruptions in your power delivery (even more important on a motorcycle than car).

In a few of my bicycle vs motorcycle videos, you can see the sportbike had a chance at winning, the GSXR-1000 in particular could out-accelerate it in the meat of the power band, but the bicycle not having the few 1/10th of a second for shifts still enabled it to cross the line first.

I want to ride the Misson RS so bad! 160hp electric has gotta pull like a freight train.

Skeezmour
02 August 2013, 2225
I want to ride the Misson RS so bad! 160hp electric has gotta pull like a freight train.

Yes....Yes it does! Look forward to riding one again.

teddillard
03 August 2013, 0250
Here's the part that struck me on the Q/A in my post (my emphasis, and posted here so Travis doesn't have to turn the page :D):

"Is it the transmission?"

"Yes. It seriously does build back in a much-needed element of man/machine interaction. Thanks to it, the Empulse feels like a motorcycle. Without it, the Zero feels like a transportation appliance.

Where you just pin the Zero and try not to be too disappointed, on the Empulse you’re chasing a powerband, downshifting as you enter corners to use the engine braking and to get ready to achieve maximum acceleration out, and just generally using both hands and both feet and climbing all over the bike to make it go as fast as possible."

Thus, my statement, he felt that a "real motorcycle" (his words elsewhere) needed a transmission.

Now, in this Mission story, he says in the first paragraph: "Why you’re going to sit down and read every single word of this world-first review is simply because it’s a superior performance motorcycle to any yet made. Period." (Funny. He doesn't seem to have ridden the production Lightning. :rolleyes:)

That, along with the quote above (in my previous post), and his conclusion on "The Ride": "So, an entirely new level of feel, more precise control than has been previously possible, backed up with incredible performance that’s always just a twist of wrist away and handling that’s equally fast and more confidence inspiring? "

I don't know how you could feel it's not a contradiction - at the very least a change of his position. If he said in his first reviews or stories that he'd ridden the big, powerful bikes and felt they were "real motorcycles" it would be one thing, but he doesn't. He dismisses them (curiously) as vaporware. Here's the exchange:

Domenick Yoney:
"Regarding the whole single-speed versus multi-speed gearbox discussion, I lean towards favoring a single gear, if only because I grew up riding snowmobiles instead of motorcycles.

Given enough voltage and a big enough motor, I believe any advantage of the multi-speed transmission goes away. Really hope HFL can ride the Mission R, or something from Lightning Motorcycles. Or, MotoCsysz. Or, even Münch."

Wes Siler:
"We’ve ridden the MotoCzysz E1PC. Mission and Lightning are, in my opinion, fairly irrelevant in that they’re prototypes that don’t really set out to achieve anything new. No new tech, no new ideas, just big motors in relatively conventional configurations. In the history of electric bikes, they’ll be (fast) footnotes. Show me real consumer products or genuine innovation if you want me to get excited, I’m tired of vaporware.

You’ll like that gearbox when you try it. I understand the argument that a big enough electric motor doesn’t technically require one, but it’s a very welcome re-integration of man/machine interaction and the ability to multiply and divide torque is always useful.

Most of the talk of not needing the gearbox seems to come from people that don’t spend an awful lot of time riding bikes."

(That was pretty much the point that I felt he had dropped his guard a little and got into a bit of a bitch-slap with Domenick, to tell the truth.)

Not that I think that the guy is god's gift or the last word or anything. I just feel he's a knowledgable guy who's ridden a crap-ton of bikes, with a moderately objective point of view in his work. I will say I feel he suffers from the basic reviewer's challenge - you've gotta give the product some good spin or they're not gonna give you the chance again - but to come out and say it's the best motorcycle made goes far beyond that particular problem. You'd never go out and say something like that in a review if you didn't believe it, mostly.

He also has a habit of making strong, bold claims that, when you start to look closer, are a little shaky in their basis, then just moving on. It's controversial. That is what builds readership, and he's good at building readership.

Haven't heard back from him, I'll post it when I do.

protomech
03 August 2013, 0716
Wes is a good writer, but IMO he has significant weaknesses as a journalist.

His positions regarding the transmission systems of the Empulse and the Mission are somewhat contradictory, but the Mission bike also produces 3x the power of the Empulse. On the Empulse he had to "[use] both hands and both feet and [climb] all over the bike to make it go as fast as possible" .. basically he had to cane the bike to ride it quickly (compared to similar 450+ pound sportbikes). On the Mission bike the power alone was enough for rider engagement.

Vaporware = he wasn't invited to a special event or given an exclusive to ride it. Lightning and Mission (at the time) hadn't stroked his ego.

The 2013 Zero and 2013 Empulse are a much closer comparison for purposes of arguing for the effectiveness of the transmission; and he hasn't said a peep about the 2013 Zeros. I have a little suspicion that there's some ill will between Wes and Zero after his multi-week review of the 2012 DS. (capstone of the video review was feigning surprise after purposefully riding it along the interstate until it ran out of energy .. that and urination)

podolefsky
03 August 2013, 0911
I don't know how you could feel it's not a contradiction - at the very least a change of his position. If he said in his first reviews or stories that he'd ridden the big, powerful bikes and felt they were "real motorcycles" it would be one thing, but he doesn't. He dismisses them (curiously) as vaporware.

I think it's not so much a contradiction as a refinement of his thinking. In my reading, he didn't dismiss the bigger bikes because of performance or because he thought they needed a transmission - it was because they were vaporware and he wanted something he could actually buy (plus he just didn't see them as doing anything special, which is kind of a weird statement, but whatever).

What I'm saying is that I'm not sure his experience on the Mission would change his mind about using a transmission on a smaller bike (Zero vs Brammo). As I've said, the whole transmission debate is more complicated than a simple yes/no. Saying no to a transmission on the Mission doesn't mean saying no to it on the Brammo/Zero. It's like asking will my bike handle better with a 130 or 180 width rear tire? ...well, it depends - do you have a 250 or a 1000?



Haven't heard back from him, I'll post it when I do.

Cool.

__Tango
03 August 2013, 1024
Ok, stepping away from transmissions for a minute, I want to know more about this:


Recharge time? Well here’s another trick unique to Mission. They built the charger into the battery controller, using the motor as a transformer. That means, so long as you can find a 220v outlet (the same as most houses have to run the dryer and washing machine), recharge time is just an hour. No special equipment, no special charging stations, just a laundry room outlet and zero to full charge in around 60 minutes.

Really? Wha? Inquiring minds want to know.

teddillard
03 August 2013, 1245
I think he's talking out of his ass. On the Mission page (https://www.mission-motorcycles.com/rs) they say:
"The Mission RS is delivered with the most advanced onboard charger ever designed for two wheels. The 4.5 kW liquid-cooled charger features a stunning peak efficiency of 95%, making it one of the most power-dense charging solutions ever designed for an EV. The charger is integrated with the motor control unit and shares the same liquid-cooling system.

The on-board charger accepts inputs from 80 to 270V AC, from 45 to 70Hz, and works with SAE Type 1 home charging and SAE Type 2 J1772 public charging. This allows you to plug in anywhere, from your typical 110V and 220V outlets, to many of the available public charging stations."

They also like to talk about the drivetrain as a computer controlled integrated unit. "At the heart of the Mission RS is a 120 kW (160 hp) electric motor integrated with our proprietary Mission Motorcycles InfiniteDrive™. The InfiniteDrive™ powertrain offers unprecedented levels of control and performance never seen before in any electric vehicle." etc etc.

It wouldn't be much of a stretch to confuse the InfiniteDrive hoo-haa as including the charger, considering they share a cooling system and are probably all in the same box, especially with Mark in one ear and only a vague understanding of the tech in the first place ("battery controller"? lol!).

frodus
03 August 2013, 1251
It might actually use the motor as part of the charging circuit as an inductor. AC Propulsion did it years ago. Nothing new but it's a good use of technology. Why have a charger when you've got the power electronics you need already on board.

podolefsky
03 August 2013, 1323
So...I didn't realize they were using an AC induction motor. That makes the "Tesla of motorcycles" even more apt.

teddillard
03 August 2013, 1529
"Hey Ted,

Read the thread on ElMoto, but I can't seem to find my login to participate there. Mind posting my response for me?

On the subject of transmissions: Brammo's really helps it overcome relatively limited straight-line performance. Gives you something to work with rather than just waiting for it to get up to speed, as on the Zeros.

The Mission is so fast that you're not really worried about what it does or doesn't have as it shreds a tire out of a corner. Just managing that thing delivers plenty of man/machine interaction.

I think some people are making a little much out of my positive opinion of Brammo's transmission. It's just that, I like it, nothing more.

Oh, and tell the guy that suggested I take money for reviews this: **** you.

Lots of love,

Wes"

podolefsky
03 August 2013, 1538
Nice. Thanks for posting Ted.

teddillard
03 August 2013, 1702
On the charger, I'm not sure:
On Sat, Aug 3, 2013 at 3:35 PM, Ted Dillard - The Electric Chronicles <ted@evmc2.com> wrote:
"So what's the deal on that charger? It makes no sense. "

"How so? I'm no electrical engineer, it's completely likely that I screwed up something in its description. "

podolefsky
03 August 2013, 1857
It might actually use the motor as part of the charging circuit as an inductor. AC Propulsion did it years ago. Nothing new but it's a good use of technology. Why have a charger when you've got the power electronics you need already on board.

Yup. The AC propulsion system can do 18kW from a 240V, 80A plug. That would charge a 17 kWh pack in under an hour. Tesla used this system in the roadster for a while.

http://www.acpropulsion.com/products-reductive.html

Here's how the AC propulsion system works. One of the motor phases is disconnected and the motor becomes a transformer. The inverter (controller) works in reverse, turning AC into DC to charge the battery. Renault has a similar system (http://myrenaultzoe.com/index.php/zoe-description/charging/) that can do 43 kW from 3-phase.

http://img.imgur.com/B9Mc5.png

protomech
03 August 2013, 1906
Did Tesla replace this system with a discrete charger in later Roadsters? If so, I wonder why.

podolefsky
03 August 2013, 1944
Did Tesla replace this system with a discrete charger in later Roadsters? If so, I wonder why.

No longer AC propulsion. Tesla's site says the charger is integrated into the drivetrain, but I don't know if it uses the motor/interverter the same way.

From Wikipedia (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tesla_Roadster#Development):

Before Tesla had developed the Roadster's proprietary powertrain, the company licensed AC Propulsion's EV Power System design and Reductive Charging patent which covers integration of the charging electronics with the inverter, thus reducing mass, complexity, and cost. Tesla then designed and built its own power electronics, motor, and other drivetrain components that incorporated this licensed technology from AC Propulsion. Given the extensive redevelopment of the vehicle, Tesla Motors no longer licenses any proprietary technology from AC Propulsion. The Roadster's powertrain is unique.

Richard230
04 August 2013, 1412
Mission Motorcycles (based in San Francisco) didn't waste any time displaying their $59,000 + production RS race/steet bike and $30,000 + 2014 R production street motorcycle at Alice's Restaurant today. The guy with the camera is apparently someone of note, but I didn't catch his name. Photos of the "R" are attached.

Richard230
04 August 2013, 1414
Here are photos of the "RS".

I might add that I asked what changed the company's focus from being a consultant back to being a motorcycle manufacturer and I was told that an investor swooped in, dropped a bunch of money on Mission Motors and the result is that they are going into the consumer motorcycle manufacturing business. Needless to say, they plan to produce the highest spec motorcycles that money can buy and it looks like Lightning is about their only competition, although the Mission rep that I spoke with (naturally) didn't think Lightning would match their product quality or production ability.