If you happen to notice a drop-dead sexy motorcycle stalking the streets of San Francisco in stealth mode, it's quite likely to be the Mission R from Mission Motors. Yes, the very same all-electric machine that won last year's joint TTXGP - FIM ePower race at Laguna Seca might now be spied on its way to the neighborhood bakery or, as was the case recently, the local Dainese D-Store. Although there a number of race facilities in the area, it's a lot less logistically cumbersome to collect data by sending a lucky employee out for cupcakes than it is to arrange track time.
Of course, it has received some note-worthy modifications to qualify for a California license plate and make it more manageable for street use. It now sports urban-appropriate tires, softer brake pads, and a modified throttle map, though the most obvious change for observers is the handsome new light-equipped front fairing. From a rider's perspective however, the most conspicuous difference is likely the sweet Android-powered Samsung tablet integrated under the windshield that displays all the info one might expect in an electric vehicle.
If the aforementioned cupcake-retriever gets "confused" during his mission and decides to take a coastal cruise down Highway 1, the Mission R has some built in tech to help track him down. Called Skyline Software, the Mission-developed setup sends info from the battery pack (down to the cell level), vehicle computer, motor controller and GPS system over 3G or WiFi networks to the cloud from whence it can be viewed remotely using the Skyline Web Navigator.
Sadly, the Mission R can not be purchased for either road or track. The engineering marvel remains a two-wheeled development platform and will continue on with the tedious task of further testing. More sadness? The company is so swamped fulfilling its core commitment of product development for OEMs that it won't be participating in any racing programs this season. At least, not directly. Less sad, however, is that this technology is finding its way into an assortment of vehicle types and will eventually make its way to consumers.