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Thread: RideApart reviews the 2014 Mission RS

              
   
   
  1. #1
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    RideApart reviews the 2014 Mission RS

    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/rideapa...For+Leather%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.
    Richard - Current bikes: 2018 16.6 kWh Zero S, 2016 BMW R1200RS, 2011 Royal Enfield 500, 2009 BMW F650GS, 2005 Triumph T-100 Bonneville, 2002 Yamaha FZ1 (FZS1000N) and a 1978 Honda Kick 'N Go Senior.

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  3. #2
    teddillard
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    HA! Looks like ol' Wes has flipped on the transmission-needed-for-serious-motorcycle-proper-ride 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..."

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    Empulse R #24 frodus's Avatar
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    Re: RideApart reviews the 2014 Mission RS

    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.
    Last edited by frodus; 02 August 2013 at 1241.
    Travis

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    teddillard
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    "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.

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    Empulse R #24 frodus's Avatar
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    Re: RideApart reviews the 2014 Mission RS

    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.
    Travis

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    Señor Member podolefsky's Avatar
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    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.
    - Noah Podolefsky -
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    Quote Originally Posted by podolefsky View Post
    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.

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    Senior Member Skeezmour's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by liveforphysics View Post
    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.

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  12. #9
    teddillard
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    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 ):

    "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. )

    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.
    Last edited by teddillard; 03 August 2013 at 0324.

  13. #10
    Senior Member protomech's Avatar
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    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)
    2006 Suzuki GS500, sold
    2012 Zero S ZF9
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