The Silicon Review
“Damon’s all-electric powertrain delivers a head-turning 200 horsepower, and 0 - 60 mph in less than 3 seconds. Fine tune your stability control package to ensure you get every ounce of power.”
When you think of safe, smart transportation, a motorcycle may not be the first thing that comes to your mind. In the United States alone, approximately 90,000 motorcyclists are injured with more than 5,000 killed each year. Little has been done to advance motorcycle safety since the introduction of antilock brakes in 1988. And as well meaning as they are, no amount of awareness campaigns, compulsory riding lights or neon vests has significantly reduced these numbers.
Enter Damon Motorcycles.
Damon Motorcycles believes that the only way to bring about a paradigm shift in motorcycle safety is through the use of radically disruptive technology. The company is on a mission to unleash the full potential of personal mobility for the world’s commuters and has developed some notable technology in its first electric motorcycle, the Damon Hypersport: the world’s safest, smartest, fully connected electric motorcycle employing sensor fusion, robotics and AI.
The Damon Hypersport is an electric superbike with an impressive 200hp and 200nm of torque delivered at zero rpm, a top speed of 200 mph, and a range of more than 200 highway miles per charge. But Damon’s ultimate goal is to prevent accidents on the road. As a result, they’ve created the cutting-edge CoPilot™ 360º advanced warning system that delivers unparalleled motorcycle safety and awareness.
Damon Motorcycles has arrived at a time, when due to climate change and depletion of non-renewable resources, electric motorcycles and scooters are gaining traction. Combustion engine motorcycles are a necessity for 1.5 billion people daily for commuting and transportation services such as delivery, law enforcement and first responders. With accident rates 27 times higher and death rates 5 times higher than driving, motorcycles are simultaneously one of the largest contributors to greenhouse gasses and a global health crisis. Damon’s commitment to producing 100% electric personal mobility vehicles with unprecedented safety features has captured the imagination of motorcyclists worldwide looking for safer, smarter and greener riding alternatives.
Following the successful unveiling of its flagship Hypersport motorcycle at CES 2020, Damon Motorcycles continues to ride a wave of momentum as it ushers in a new era of motorcycling for the next-generation of riders, specifically the elusive millennial market. The company has pre-sold several hundred Hypersport HS and Premier models to millennials, who make up half of the company’s preorders. Since CES, Damon has raised an additional $3M in funding, acquired the IP portfolio of Mission Motors, and recently announced limited preorder availability of two new Hypersport Premier motorcycles: Arctic Sun and Midnight Sun.
Jay Giraud is the Co-Founder and CEO of Damon Motorcycles.
He spoke about the company in an exclusive interview with The Silicon Review.
Below is an excerpt.
What was your inspiration to start the company?
While on a trip to Indonesia, I was amazed by the vast dependence of two-wheeled vehicles compared to North America. Giving it considerable thought based on my experience leading several transportation companies, I had a vision that I could rival existing gas-driven motorcycle options that ultimately offer no safety features. Through common interest in motorcycling, Dominique “Dom” Kwong and I met in 2017. I have a legacy of founding and leading several transportation technology companies including mojio and REV Technologies. Dom brought a legacy of hardware, software, AI, industrial, data science, deep learning, and cloud computing. Together we decided to transform two-wheel transportation and aim to prevent accidents on the road.
How is the company shaping the future of transportation?
At Damon, we believe the future of transportation resides in advancing motorcycles to become friendly, safe and easy to ride, mass market personal vehicles that deliver a high freedom of mobility and zero tailpipe emissions. There are more than 160 million two-wheeled vehicles sold each year in the world (2 times more than cars). There is also a growing demand for smaller, electric transportation options to reduce congestion, emissions and oil dependency. We are fulfilling this need with an electric offering that sets a new standard in motorcycles—smarter, safer and connected.
What type of user experience does this bring the rider?
Designed for daily riders and thrill seekers alike, the Damon Hypersport offers unparalleled safety, comfort and performance. The Shift feature allows for riding in either sport or commuter modes, letting the user determine the type of riding experience he/she desires to suit the changing road and traffic conditions at any given time. All Damon riders benefit from the CoPilot system, which offers unprecedented situational awareness and safety, so that they can spend more time focusing on enjoying the ride.
What is the difference between a Damon Hypersport and a regular motorcycle?
The Hypersport is the world’s safest, smartest, fully connected electric motorcycle. The electric superbike boasts well over 200hp and 200nm of torque delivered at zero rpm, a top speed of 200 mph, a range of more than 200 highway miles per charge, and is outfitted with the cutting-edge CoPilot™ 360º advanced warning system powered by BlackBerry QNX technology that sets a new standard in motorcycle safety, awareness and connectivity. Some of the key features include:
Who is your target audience? Is this a motorcycle for everyone?
Damon is ushering in a new era of motorcycling for the next-generation of riders, specifically the elusive 25–34 year-old millennial market, who make up half of our preorders. The Hypersport represents the first viable solution to bring millennials into motorcycling in a meaningful way. Our preorder data has presented some surprising insights: many of our customers prefer to use motorcycles as their primary transportation as a means to avoid congestion and reduce commute times or due to a lack of available parking spots in modern condos. Some state they used to ride, but quit due to safety concerns, while others state they were not willing to consider motorcycling until now. Unlike all other OEM’s, Damon is attracting an entirely new customer segment to motorcycling.
What are your plans for the future development of your company? Can we expect Damon expand its business to electric cars sector?
The Hypersport is Damon’s flagship motorcycle, designed as a multi-variant motorcycle platform. Look for other Personal Mobility Vehicle offerings in the future. With the growing backlog of interest for the sold out Hypersport Premier Founder’s Edition, we’ve created a limited run of two new Hypersport Premier Offerings: Arctic Sun (white-gold) and Midnight Sun (black-gold). The Hypersport Premier also features unique paint schemes, a single-sided swing arm and top-of-the-line brakes and suspension. Arctic Sun and Midnight Sun retail for $39,995 USD and can be reserved now with a $1000 refundable deposit at damonmotorcycles.com until they sell out. Also, to accelerate development, we recently acquired the IP portfolio of Mission Motors, developer of high-density EV powertrains. The purchase of the Mission Motors IP will add to our capability to build the highest performance drive trains in motorcycling. The portfolio includes Mission Motors’ PM200 electric motor, Mission Inverter and Skyline Telematics. We intend to improve upon it considerably to take motorcycling into an entirely new level of performance.
Explain the company’s success to date.
Damon Motorcycles officially unveiled the Hypersport HS motorcycle at CES in January 2020.
Since then, the company has been riding a wave of momentum. Highlights include:
How do you distribute the Hypersport?
Designed as a platform for worldwide line extension, Damon motorcycles ships direct to consumer on subscription plans to drive scale.
Is there anything else you might want our readers to know about you or your business?
Damon is on the fast track to deliver on our mission and will have the first Hypersports on the road in 2021. We are now entering advanced development and test validation phase of our full stack electric vehicle and cloud computing platform. With an embedded 4G connection, road and traffic data collected from each Hypersport will allow us to remotely update the onboard computers, increasing the motorcycle’s ability to detect vehicles with every mile ridden. We aim to be production-ready late next year. The Hypersport will be built in Canada and bypass many of the challenges of product manufacturing overseas. People interested in ordering, partnership or investment opportunities can contact firstname.lastname@example.org
Mastermind behind the success of Damon
Jay Giraud is the co-founder and CEO of Damon Motorcycles. A serial entrepreneur, Jay has focused his efforts on redefining mobility with Damon, creating a safer, smarter and seamlessly connected motorcycle experience. Jay is the author of multiple patents and for the last 12 years has spoken extensively about automotive, mobility and cleantech at conferences globally. In addition to his entrepreneurial efforts, Jay is an extreme sports enthusiast. He traveled the world as a top-ranked professional snowboarder in all four freestyle disciplines in 1998-2002. Jay has been riding motorcycles for 25 years and has ridden hundreds of different motorcycles on track and the road. His favorite place to ride is Northern California and aims to tour Montana and Wyoming in the future. Jay has a passion for sport and supersport bikes, as well as an appreciation for touring bikes. Jay has ensured the experience of all three is captured in the Damon Hypersport design. The company name “Damon” is Jay Giraud’s first name.
“Damon’s award winning 360° Advanced Warning System delivers 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 rearview camera.”