Brammo - A Viable Electric Bike?

Electric bikes have a few major shortcomings in comparison to their internal combustion brethren, perhaps the biggest one is range. Brammo has taken a pretty big bite out of this problem with their new model dubbed the Empulse. The bike was unveiled in their tent at Laguna Seca on July 24th, during the Red Bull Grand Prix weekend. The Empulse is available in three capacities, the highest (and of course most expensive) providing a claimed 100 mile range, which is in the ballpark of what a typical commuter bike will do. Weight is perfectly acceptable too, especially given that you don't have to add 40+lbs of fuel to the quoted weight of 420lbs. Power is acceptable (compared to commuter bikes) at a claimed 54hp, with good torque at 59ftlb. Top speed is listed at 100mph+, which is plenty for anything you _should_ be doing on the street. Thankfully you don't have to go flying by people in a blur to hide bad aesthetics, as this unit is actually a pretty good looking bike (even without the umbrella girls draped all over it).

You can get yours starting at $10G, though the full spec model with 100mile range will add an extra $4G whacking you with a bit of sticker shock at $14,000 for the top kit version. Brammo claims their may be significant Government incentives that might apply, bringing that price way down, but we'd recommend triple checking that before placing your order for one. Of course, government incentives don't really make it any cheaper, since every taxpayer helps pay for those incentives.

A pretty attractive overall package then, at least for anyone who is interested in electric bikes. But this is the net, where news is old as soon as it is announced, so... what's next? Brammo says they are concentrating on incremental improvements in their product and mainstream battery technology. According to Brammo, batteries promising much greater capacities are out there, but are far too expensive for public consumption. Brammo told Bikeland that they're choosing not to waste R&D monies chasing dreams that would push up their product price even more. Thankfully this segment is still so young that even "minor" improvements on existing technology can mean big differences, so expect Brammo's offerings to get more and more attractive.

Full specs and model info from Brammo below.

Brammo says:

Brammo, Inc. announced today it will begin production of an electric sportbike, calling it the “Empulse.” Brammo demonstrated a pre-production prototype today and all three production models of the Empulse will be capable of sustaining 100 mph. The three models will have different battery capacities, all utilizing an innovative proprietary array, the Brammo Power™ battery and vehicle management system. The Empulse is available for immediate order and deliveries will commence in 2011.

Craig Bramscher, Founder and CEO of Brammo said ”motorcycle riders have been requesting increased speed and range and I am proud and delighted to reveal these game changing Brammo electric motorcycles. Our customers expect Brammo to design and produce the world’s most exciting (and affordable) electric motorcycles and that’s exactly what we have done.” Bramscher continued, “Today’s announcement promises no more range anxiety for Brammo customers.”

The Empulse Trio
All three models of the Empulse will be freeway capable and will enjoy a top speed in excess of 100mph. Each of the three models will offer customers a different average range from a single charge. The Empulse 6.0 is capable of 60 miles average range, the Empulse 8.0 is capable of 80 miles average range and the top of the line Empulse 10.0 is capable of a travelling 100 miles on a single charge. Range of all three models can be extended by traveling at lower speeds.

The estimated MSRP for the Empulse trio when deliveries start next year are; Empulse 6.0 $9,995, Empulse 8.0 $11,995 and Empluse 10.0 $13,995. All three models will be eligible for Federal and State tax incentives. For example, the Empulse 10.0 may cost as little as $7,000 in certain states after Federal and State incentives.

Empulse Technology
Today’s announcement sees the first application of Brammo’s innovative Brammo Digital Drivetrain™ including the Brammo Power™ battery pack and Brammo Power™ vehicle management system. Brammo’s breakthrough in price/energy density is at the heart of today’s announcement and is unequaled in the electric vehicle industry. The Empulse is also the world’s first production electric motorcycle to have a water cooled motor.

Brian Wismann, Director of Product Development at Brammo and designer of the Empulse said, “The Empulse reveals the significant price performance that we can deliver using Brammo Power™ technology. Just like it did with the Enertia Powercycle, Brammo has again raised the bar in terms of electrical drivetrain innovation and time to market.”

Empulse Availability
Customers can place their order for an Empulse by visiting the Brammo website . Deliveries are expected to commence in mid-2011 and orders will be filled on a first-come, first-serve basis. Customers placing an order will be expected to place a refundable deposit once their Empulse is within 90 days of delivery. The Brammo range of motorcycles will be available globally through select motorcycle dealerships and participating Best Buy stores during 2011.

Brammo Distribution
Brammo is expanding its dealership network both within the USA and in Europe and Asia. Organizations interested in selling and servicing the Brammo range of motorcycles, which includes the award winning Enertia, can register their interest by visiting

Adrian Stewart, director of Sales and Marketing at Brammo said “We are always looking for individuals and organizations that want to enter into a long term business partnership with Brammo to sell and service our range of electric vehicles. JCAM, our distributor and dealer in Hong Kong and Singapore is an excellent example of such an organization. “

Forged in the Heat of Competition
Brammo Power™ technology employed in the Empulse is race proven in the Brammo Empulse RR race bike. You can see the Empulse RR in action at the 2010 Red Bull Grand Prix, Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca. Brammo will race the Empulse RR in the FIM e-Power series which will see 15 electric motorcycle teams from around the world compete on this demanding circuit.


Empulse 6.0 - Empulse 8.0 - Empulse 10.0

Sealed Permanent Magnet
AC Synchronous
Peak Power: 40kW
Max Torque: 80Nm (59ft-lb)

BRAMMO Lithium-Ion Battery
Battery Pack Capacity: 6kWh - 8kWh - 10kWh
Battery Pack Voltage: 88.8V - 88.8V - 111V (nominal)
Level 2 Recharge Time: 1 hour - 1.5 hours - 3 hours
110v Recharge Time: 8 hours - 10 hours - 12 hours (approx)

Top Speed: 100+ mph (160+ km/h)
Average Range: 60 miles (96 km) - 80 miles (128km) - 100 miles (160km)

Weight: 360lbs / 163 Kgs - 390 lbs / 176 Kgs - 420 lbs / 190 Kgs
Seat Height: 32 inch / 81 cm
Overall Length: 81 inch / 205 cm
Overall Width: 31 inch / 78 cm (21 inch / 53cm peg to peg)
Overall Height: 42 inch / 1.6 cm
Wheelbase: 57 inch / 144 cm

Empulse Key Components
Frame: Lightweight extruded and welded aluminum – serves as battery tray (patent pending)
Suspension – Front: OE Spec 43mm inverted forks, adjustable preload, compression & rebound
Suspension – Rear: OE Spec Works Performance Shock with adjustable rebound and preload
Brakes – Front: 2 x Nissin 4 piston, fixed caliper
Brakes – Rear: Brembo Single piston, floating caliper
Tires Front/Rear: 120/70-17; 180/55-17 Avon VP2 Supersport

Brammo’s Warranty Obligation
All Empulse models come with a 12 months limited warranty against defects in material or workmanship.
This warranty begins on the date of purchase and is transferable free of charge via a Brammo dealer.
Extended warranties (including batteries) will be available for the second and third year.

Brammo products used for racing do not carry a manufacturer’s warranty.

All specifications are subject to change without notice.

The bike being unveiled...

The Empulse in action. Handling prowess is as yet unknown.

Bike looks nice from the front

...and from the rear

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