Damon Motorcycles has built what it thinks is a safer motorcycle. After first deciding to make that praiseworthy goal, the company set out to develop a helmet loaded with sensors. But after thinking about it for a while, Damon’s lead men, Damon Kwong and CEO Jay Girard concluded that it would be better to include that safety tech into a motorcycle. And, after years of development, Damon recently unveiled the “Hypersport” motorcycle at the 2020 Consumer Electronics Show (CES 2020).
A Safer and adjustable electric motorcycle
Electric propulsion was chosen because the duo decided that electric motorcycles will become the standard going forward. Even though most current electric motorcycles have significant limitations. But the Damon team persevered and the Damon Hypersport has arrived with some pretty significant specs.
Damon says the Hypersport has 200 hp and 200 miles of highway riding range. In urban scenarios, the Hypersport’s range is a claimed 300 miles. The machine comes with a rather substantial 21.5 kWh lithium-ion battery pack and weighs in at 440 pounds.
The bike also comes with electrically adjustable ergonomics. The bike’s seat, footpegs, handlebars, and windshield all adjust. One setting is for a more track-oriented riding position while the second offers a more upright position.
The Damon HS has adjustable riding positions depending on the bike’s mission for the day. Photo credit: Damon
But what Damon claims make the bike safer is what they refer to as CoPilot. CoPilot is a suite of sensors connected to an onboard computer. It scans ahead and behind for hazards. The system then warns the rider through a set of LEDs on the trailing edge of the windscreen as well as through haptic feedback through the handlebars.
But the Hypersport does more. While the sensors scan the vicinity of the bike with 1080p cameras and 77 GHz radar, CoPilot is also monitoring the rider. It scans the rider’s grip force on the handlebars, the rider’s position on the seat and the smoothness of the rider’s control inputs. These factors can be used to govern the Hypersport’s power or other rider aids like traction control and ABS.
Proactive warning systems
Not only are there reactive alert systems on the Hypersport; there are proactive warning systems as well. To be effective, Damon says these types of warnings must be given to the rider in the most simple way possible.
The Damon Hypersport uses several sensors to monitor the environment and provide warnings to the rider.
If a forward collision is imminent, a solid bar of red LEDs illuminates and the handlebars vibrate. To provide blindspot warnings, the Hypersport uses amber LEDs on the left and right sides of the windscreen.
The dash and windshield trailing edges warn riders of threats.
A rear-facing camera uses a wide-angle dash to display what’s behind. If the system detects a vehicle approaching the rear of the bike threatening to rear-end the motorcycle, it alerts the rider on the display.
Kwong says the rear collision system provides riders 3 different choices to avoid being hit.
- Move the bike.
- Jump out of the way.
- Brace for impact.
He claims these options provide the awareness to take action before an accident. Similarly, the haptic feedback through the handlebars offers riders a proactive warning prior to an accident.
Will these systems make motorcycling safer?
Clearly, there are a lot of electronic warning systems on this bike. And, some people think that systems like these will make riding safer. So much so that the Hypersport won a 2020 CES Best of Innovation Award.
So some people think that these systems will help a rider avoid crashes. Others may think the systems are too complex to really help avoid an accident. What do you think about the Hypersport’s warning systems and do you think that they will make motorcycling safer? Let us know in the comments below.
All photo/image credit: Damon Motorcycles