The Mission One electric motorcycle, brought lots of comments about styling, range, sound (or rather the lack of it) and everything else but only a few of you were interested in the torque numbers. Mission Motors cites figures of 100 foot pounds of torque everywhere from zero to 6500 rpm which translates, according to their figures, to speeds of 0 to about 60 mph. How much torque is that, exactly?
The March 2009 issue of Motorcyclist magazine has a cover story comparing the new 2009 V-Max and the 2009 B-King. Here’s what they say about the V-Max:
Acres of bottom end torque make the ‘Max feel ridiculously quick on the street but overpower the phat rear Bridgestone at the strip. Nothing else cuts a swath of triple digit torque this wide.
They might soon have to qualifiy that statement with, “nothing gasoline powered cuts a swath of triple digit torque this wide.” The V-Max delivers 109.7 foot pounds at 6500 rpm but it doesn’t break into triple digit torque until about 4500 rpm, below that, the Mission One has more, while the B-King, tops out at 97.5 foot pounds, never breaking 100.
The V-Max, of course, brings just the right mix of muscular looks, lumpy idle and the exhaust sounds bikers expect, the Mission One, on the other hand, at idle, … well, it doesn’t idle, it just sits there making no noise whatsoever, with maybe a light to tell you the power is on, there’s no aural symphony for the senses. There’s no indication that you have more torque instantly available, should you decide to call on it, than the big, hulking V-Max. The styling is hi-tech sportbike not muscle bike, it’s more Dr. Jekyll, Mr Hyde is well hidden.
Think, too, about where that torque is available on the Mission One, right down there at low speeds where you really want to roll on hard, down in the speed range where you often find yourself wanting to accelerate, with no need to stab at the shift lever to get some revs up, you just twist and go.
Is there a drawback to all of this torque? Yep, I see a big one, initially the torque will be so irresistible, range will suffer, constant hard acceleration will bring big smiles to the rider while drawing the batteries down faster than really necessary but that may be something owners adjust to after a while and with a restrained right wrist, the range will be fine. (As an aside, the V-Max doesn’t go much over 100 miles before you need to look for a gas station …)
Personally, I like pipes that sound good, a deep rumble is always satisfying and the right looks can add a lot, too, but the approaching era of electric motorcycles may require an adjustment in thinking, motorcyclists may soon have to get their heads around the idea that quiet can be quick, … really quick.