Taiwanese companies powering game-changing two-wheeler: a conversation with Damon Motors CTO Derek Dorresteyn

Jay Liang, DIGITIMES Asia, Taipei 0

Credit: Damon Motors

Damon Motors, the company transforming electric motorcycles that redefine riding with its award-winning HyperSport, plans to manufacture "well over 50% of the components" for its motorcycles in Taiwan.

Damon Motors CTO Derek Dorresteyn revealed that NXP invited the company to showcase its new HyperFighter electric motorcycle at CES 2024. However, the Canadian company also met with their supply chain partners, and "at least one of them was a Taiwan-based company, a very large one," said Dorresteyn.

Faith in Taiwan's excellence

Talking to DIGITIMES Asia, Dorresteyn revealed that Damon Motors "strongly believes in the capabilities of Taiwanese companies to supply us with very high-quality, very high-performance, and competitively priced products. There's so much technical and manufacturing know-how in Taiwan." Damon Motors already announced a partnership with Sinbon Electronics, which the Canadian firm is bullish on, and recently announced a strategic partnership with E-One Moli Energy Corp. (Molicel) in January 2024.

Damon Motors and recent tests were conducted using Molicel batteries to power the HyperSport motorcycle against a top-of-the-line internal combustion engine motorcycle. The company believes that "to be the future of anything, you've got to be better than the past," as the Molicel-equipped HyperSport performed quite favorably while not having any advanced rider aids turned on during the tests. According to Dorresteyn, the rider aids will be included in the final product as the company is still testing what will eventually be delivered to the market. The company's CTO stated, "With the rider aids, it's potentially going to be a landmark moment in the history of motorcycles."

Credit: Damon Motors

Credit: Damon Motors

CES 2024 and AI

Damon Motors was invited to showcase the Damon Hyperfighter at the NXP booth during CES 2024 and highlighted the NXP content within the newly-announced electric motorcycle. The company took advantage of this great opportunity and the significant traffic at the booth to meet with current and potential customers and connect with supply chain partners.

With this year's theme being "AI," Damon Motors' first iteration of its advanced warning system, "Co-Pilot," will not feature on-board AI computing. However, Dorresteyn told DIGITIMES Asia that future generations will include the feature as they are very excited about the prospects of using AI to enhance motorcycle safety.


Introducing the company, Damon Motors was co-founded by Jay Giraud and Dom Kwong, and the idea originated when Giraud was on a trip to Indonesia, where dependence on two-wheeled vehicles is much higher than in North American countries. "I was aware that the motorcycle industry is the 2nd worst emitter of greenhouse gas emissions, and was also aware that riding motorcycles is far more dangerous than driving cars. I had a vision that I could rival existing gas-driven motorcycles that ultimately offer no safety features with an electric option that prioritizes safety." Damon Motors was formed in 2017 and now has over 90 million global orders as they work to put the innovative two-wheeler into production.

Damon Motors' CTO Derek Dorresteyn joined the company in 2019 and led the development of the innovative HyperDrive powertrain, but previously founded Alta Motors and built off-road electronic performance motorcycles. According to Dorresteyn, Alta Motors also featured a Taiwanese supply chain for its components and manufactured some street-legal motorcycles. Alta's Redshift gained notoriety for being the first production electric motorcycle to challenge and beat internal combustion motorcycles in professional competition.

Credit: Damon Motors

Credit: Damon Motors

Future plans and going racing

With over 50% of the components being manufactured in Taiwan, Dorresteyn did not rule out using the country as a hub to market its products in Asia. The CTO stated that Damon Motors is "pretty happy with the performance of our Taiwanese supply partners" and noted that the company has generated significant interest within the country due to its ties with local companies.

However, most of the interest in Damon Motors' products is coming from North America and Western Europe, according to Dorresteyn. The company plans to initially sell its products in North America and anticipates selling them to Western Europe in the future.

With other companies such as Energica and Ducati supplying electric motorcycles to race in competitions such as MotoE and MotoAmerica, Damon Motors is excited about the prospects of competing in motorsport. As a former racer, Dorresteyn stated that the company looks forward to MotoE opening up to allow multiple manufacturers to race against each other in the same category, "We definitely want to go racing at some point."

Credit: Damon Motors

Credit: Damon Motors