The first official Hero MotoCorp/Erik Buell Racing collaboration, is ION which is as the beginning. This year’s radical ion prototype is perhaps the most forward-thinking motorcycle concept ever created, with a spec sheet that reads like pure science fiction. Power comes from a hydrogen fuel cell producing electrical power stored in cutting-edge lithium-air batteries, which use revolutionary, high-surface-area carbon-nanotube technology for a claimed energy storage density of 12 kWh/kg—comparable to gasoline.
“The radical ion prototype has a spec sheet that reads like pure science fiction.”
The ion is two-wheel drive, transferring power to hubless, zero-friction maglev (magnetic levitation) wheels via electric traction motors that do double duty as regenerative brakes. M-Link “anthropomorphic linkage” suspension utilizes active electromagnetic damping to continuously vary the damping characteristics in real time, while Flex-Axis steering rotates both the front and rear wheel/suspension units around the central power module, with multi-axis gyros and accelerometers modulating ride-by-wire steering for stability at all times.
Ride-by-wire steering is just one advanced control technology. Fingertip commands from the Vehicle Control Module (the VCM, or “handlebar”) are electronically converted to power, braking, and steering signals. A complex Vehicle Situational Awareness system will communicate with electronic traffic sensors to provide collision detection and avoidance abilities, issuing automatic corrections to the VCM if necessary. Full vehicle information and communications will be transmitted wirelessly to the rider’s helmet, of course.