We first introduced readers to Mission Motors last February. A San Francisco-based startup that began in a Mission District garage, Mission Motors debuted the all-electric, high performance motorcycle, dubbed the Mission One only months ago at the TED conference in San Diego.
Mission Motors is the vision and brainchild of co-founder and CEO Forrest North, a Stanford-educated engineer who cut his teeth on the school’s Solar Car Team and later went on to work at Tesla Motors. While at Tesla, North dreamed of using the concepts of high-end sustainable design he learned at Stanford and Tesla to build a high-performance, sustainably designed and built, all-electric motorcycle to help prove his conviction that “sustainable” didn’t necessarily mean sacrificing high-end performance
Last week on the Isle of Man, North and his team, including professional motorcycle racer Tom Montano, pushed the dream a little bit further after a strong showing at TTXGP, the worlds first carbon-free Grand Prix.
When the going gets tough…
After qualifying for last Friday’s main event, the Mission One team ran into a series of technical difficulties, the most challenging being the loss of the drive train on the second day of practice runs. The setback Forced the team into an all-nighter to prepare the bike, using sub-optimal parts, for the race the next day.
Despite the difficulties, Montano rode the Mission One to a fourth place showing in a field of 13 starting bikes (4 bikes didn’t finish the course). Montano ran the 37.73 mile course with a time of 30:33:26, averaging 74.091 MPH and crossing the finish line at 100.3 MPH.
“We’re disappointed that we weren’t on the podium, but are thrilled to have had the opportunity to compete in this historic event,” said North. “We feel strongly that racing is a great way to push the technology in a direction that is consumer oriented. Essentially, we were able to do about 6 months worth of R&D in about a week, working out kinks and gathering valuable data to improve our production bike.”
The TTXGP was an important step in bringing the Mission One to full production, North and his team are back in San Francisco to continue work on their “Mission” of sustainable, high-performace design. The next step comes this July 24-26 in Lexington, Ohio, where the Mission One will compete at AMA eGrand Prix at Mid-Ohio the first international gathering of electric road-race bikes in the United States.