The last time we passed through San Francisco, we had the unique opportunity to visit and spend some time with the team behind Mission Motorcycles; manufacturer of the high performance Mission R and RS electric superbikes. They’ve just announced that final production versions of both highly anticipated motorcycles are ready to hit the streets. Curious why is this of any relevance to the overlander? Read on.
As we look to the future, it’s important to look at current trends in the automotive industry. Mission’s business model is particularly interesting as they’ve already planned for future upgrades in their motorcycles. Not new bikes, but future upgrades you can make to a bike you buy today—like new software, engines, and batteries.
For example, the current battery packs are good, with a 140 mile real-world range, but the Mission engineers recognize that battery technology is improving every day. Their solution? In a few years when your battery pack’s performance is obsolete, you can swap it out for a new one, perhaps one that charges faster or has a greater range.
The same with the user interface. The bike currently has a bluetooth connection for your phone. Want to use Google maps to find your way to your friend’s house that’s stored in your phone’s address-book? No problem, it’s all connected. The bike’s touchscreen interface is a work of art. And when you buy your new iPhone 8 in a couple of years, just download the software upgrade to your bike.
We won’t get into all the technical specs of the bike here, except to repeat that it’s impressively, maybe scarily fast. That’s not the bit that’s relevant to an overlander. What is relevant is the idea of vehicles that are designed to be improved and upgraded, just like a laptop, or a phone. Given how much we often spend on our overlanding vehicles, it’s the idea behind Mission Motorcycles that we really like.