We've been smitten with the Mission R electric motorcycle from Mission Motors since it was first revealed at the tail end of 2010. It looks beautiful, both stripped down naked or dressed up just enough to be street legal. Now living in something of an active retirement after handily winning the only road race it ever entered, the bike has recently found its way into the hands of a select few journalists, where it continues to make big impressions.
The latest example of such a scribe is Jensen Beeler over at Asphalt & Rubber. Though not philosophically opposed to electric motorcycles, he hasn't exactly been impressed by what's commercially available at this point in time. Given the chance to take the Mission R on an extended ride through town and country that included a climb to the summit of Mt. Tamalpais, it seems he's now beginning to understand the potential benefits of an electric drivetrain. Indeed, after his experience he wrote, "...the connection between rider and machine is surprisingly more entrenched on the Mission R than any other motorcycle I have ridden."
You see, besides offering obvious noise and air pollution reductions, the battery-powered bike also does away with something else: rotating mass. The lack of internal parts moving about makes this machine feel a lot lighter and maneuverable – flickable, even – than its 550-lb weight might suggest. In conjunction with its superb chassis and the power to easily lift the front wheel at 70 miles per hour, the Mission R deftly illustrates how electric bikes can offer a superior experience than their gas-sucking counterparts.
Check out Beeler's lengthy ride review here (along with some great pictures). If that's not enough journalistic praise for one sitting, you can also read Alan Cathcart's similarly positive piece over at Cycle News. Pressed for time? Scroll below and watch the Mission R set a NEDRA quarter-mile record on the drag strip with a speedy 10.602 second pass.