Posts Tagged Brammo Owners Forum
One of the more active (and vocal) members of the Brammo Owners Forum has written a novella about his experience with the Brammo Enertia electric motorcycle. The company let him take it on a test ride that can fairly be described as “extended.” It may be lengthy, but it’s an easy read and a recommended read for anyone considering making the switch to electric vehicles and, specifically to a Brammo bike.
Congratulations to Brammo for winning the necessary points in the TTXGP North American series to allow it to clinch the title of “Champion.”
As I described in this post, Brammo needed to finish last weekend’s race at Miller Motorsports Park with a 7th or better placement — and this, only to defend against Mission Motors’ attack on the title.
Now we know that:
1. Mission Motors did not show at Miller
2. Brammo finished 3rd, behind first place (and new TTXGP participant) MotoCzysz, and second place Lightning.
3. There was no way for Brammo to finish the race and end up in any worse position than fifth (sixth, if the second Lightning bike had finished the race).
In the graphic, above, the points for Miller have not been posted but Brammo earned an additional 16 points for its third place finish, giving it a total of 57 points. MotoElectra got another 13 points for its fourth place finish, giving it a total of 46 points and the Second Place North American Championship title. Lightning received another 20 points, giving it a total of 45 points, and the Third Place title. Lightning, once again, “missed it by THAT much” and, no doubt sorely regrets not competing in the race at Infineon in June 2011.
Congratulations to the Brammo Racing Team and rider Steve Atlas for putting on a consistent and reliable effort this season!
What does it mean?
The accomplishment represented by Brammo holding the “TTXGP North American Champion” title can be attributed to the spirit behind this comment by Brammo’s Brian Wismann from a post on the Brammo Owners Forum:
It’s been a great season and it was truly a team effort combined with a rock solid reliable race bike that made the championship a possibility.
Wismann would be the first to admit that the Empulse RR was not the fastest bike in the TTXGP paddock. He and the team changed the gearing to take advantage of the bike’s available power but in the end, it was no match for the faster, one-off bikes of Mission, MotoCzysz and Lightning. But, as they say, showing up is half the battle. Here, it was showing up + finishing + staying in the game that gave Brammo the much-deserved title of champion. As Wismann said,
Rest assured this technology will hit the street with the Empulse production bike and next year’s race bike will move our performance on to the next level! What an exciting time to be involved with electric motorcycles!
Keep watching this space for more news and amazing developments that Brammo intends to share in the coming weeks. No laurel-resting here. There is work to be done.
Remember a few weeks ago when Brammo’s CEO, Craig Bramscher, agreed with Tech Crunch editor Michael Arrington to give away a Brammo Enertia to one lucky person at Tech Crunch Disrupt 2011? Here’s the link. The winner was a woman who made a compelling pitch about giving the bike to her son.
The bike was delivered last week:
Misha writes to Brammo:
Dear, Mr. Bramscher
Today at 4pm I received a call from the Fedex guy that I had a special package waiting for me downstairs, I immediately put on some shoes and ran downstairs! The Fedex guy was wondering what could possibly be in this package, I told him I had a Brammo Enertia motorcycle in there, he peeled away some of the cardboard and we both got a small peek of the bike. We were both amazed how beautiful the bike looked, I actually had a huge smile on my face.
As soon as we got it out of the truck I got to work on stripping off all the cardboard and getting those metal frames off, after a couple minutes it was time to sit down on the bike and unloosen the two belts holding the bike in place. After the bike was free, I put the key in the ignition and started up the bike. All my neighbors and pedestrians that were walking by on the street couldn’t help but look at the bike, and were surprised such a cool looking bike was electric. I told them it was the bike of the future. It was one of the best feelings I’ve ever experienced in my life. I never thought that I’d be an owner of such a great bike. I’ll make sure to take care of this baby. Thank you guys so much for giving me this motorcycle, I’ll never forget this day!
Congratulations on your new bike, Misha! I hope you find the time, between riding and admiring it (while it charges) to join us over at the Brammo Owners Forum. As for that “huge smile” on your face, I know the feeling. Gear up. Ride it. Enjoy it. And stay healthy, kid.
After squinting at fuzzy pictures this morning, I finally scored two great pictures of the Brammo Empulse with the new upright handlebars:
Gone are the clip-ons that made this naked sportbike into a cafe racer-style bike that had us older guys groaning at our weak wrists and achy backs. When the Empulse debuted, about the only discussion that could be considered negative (beyond the usual, “give me Harley or give me death” and “how long of an extension cord you gonna need, ahilk, ahilk, ahilk”) was these guys who immediately began surmising about how one might put an upright handle bar on it. Brammo answered fairly quickly that, when the Empulse begins production, it will come standard with uprights, not clip-ons.
So, beyond looking at something that appears one step closer to production, what do these photos show us?
One thing that popped out at me: gone is the omnipresent Alpinestars gear usually worn by the riders at Brammo. In its place is gear by ICON. Nothing is ever done by accident at Brammo (anyone remember the TTR racebike photo that CEO Craig Bramscher “inadvertently” left up on his computer monitor during an interview?), so I predict we’ll see more ICON gear and perhaps some more indication that the two are hanging around the same roller rink, timing their visits to the concession stand. Maybe ICON will be the first company to commit to developing a line of gear specifically for electric motorcycle riders. Who knows?
In related news, visitors to the Portland International Auto Show next week will be able to see this Empulse and maybe even hoist a leg over and experience its non-back-breaking comfort. Apparently, on Friday of the show, there is a conference about Oregon’s charging infrastructure that might be worth a listen. Looks like the Nissan Leaf will be featured, as well.
Over on the Brammo Owners Forum, a thread about range has been brewing. As often happens, someone from Brammo has added to the discussion. This time, two Brammo folks have chimed in: First, Brian Wismann, Director of Product Development:
Just wanted to take this opportunity to discuss range a bit more completely. After many thousands of miles of testing and reviewing data from multiple rides with the same rider, different rider, varying conditions, varying temperature, varying road surface, etc, etc… I can hopefully shed some light on what range figures mean when they’re presented by a manufacturer.
The 42 mile Enertia range claim is based on actual dynamometer testing of the production bike on the EPA’s LA4 (FTP75) drive cycle which is intended to represent urban driving. This testing was done as a part of a thorough product qualification initiated by Best Buy as they did not want to end up with customer complaints over range. FYI – This is the same drive cycle that Nissan uses to claim 100 miles range on their Leaf and a piece of the drive cycle used by Tesla to claim their 245 mile range as well (they combine it with a highway drive cycle). This is also the drive cycle that is roughly meant to be replicated by the Pomona Loop CARB test in California to qualify for the $1500 CARB rebate. True to the dyno results, the Enertia was able to travel the required 38 miles (two 19 mile loops) on a single charge without going into a “limp mode” and in fact still had greater than 20% battery capacity remaining at the end of the 2 loops.
The truth is that the LA4 drive cycle seems to be a rather poor representation of actual usage of vehicles these days as drivers are becoming more aggressive and speeds in general are increasing. So… while the range claim is true (as opposed to being the result of an optimistic marketing department), it obviously does not accurately predict everyday riding range by a variety of rider types and weights. The effects of even the same rider driving at varying average speeds (i.e. different driving cycles) can be as dramatic as a 2x decrease in riding range. Our attempt to better illustrate this for predictive purposes was originally shown with this graphic and we are working on ways to explain these issues even more concisely. Unfortunately, it is a complicated and variable metric that we (and other OEMs) are attempting to condense into a single figure for the benefit of easy digestion by the customer with varied success thus far…
As a side note, Rob, our Zen and the Art of E Motorcycle Maintenance rider, has the record for range on a single charge. He was able to pull multiple stints of over 55 miles on his Enertia!
and later, Adrian Stewart, Director of Channel Development* at Brammo added this:
The rider does make a huge difference. We have customers who consistently get 50+ miles plus on a single charge. And we have riders like me who love the feel of going from zero to 30 at every opportunity around town and I get about 30 miles. Although that’s a guess as I never get below about 30% state of charge.
Talking with Rob who rode from Minnesota to San Fran recently, it was fascinating to hear how he adapted his style to maximise range….more of which another day.
The orginal 42 miles was calculated by MNSU:
The test involves driving the vehicle on a dynamometer that “simulates” driving on the road. This is required to make sure that every vehicle is driven under the same conditions each time the test is run to eliminate variability. The drive cycle is called the Federal Test Procedure 75 LA4 (FTP LA4) and simulates a driving cycle on US highway #4 in LA, California. Figure 2 is the trace the vehicle must follow when conducting the test. The “X” axis is time in seconds and the “Y” axis is vehicle speed in MPH.
*Director of Channel Development: Not sure what he actually does at Brammo, but according to my sources it has something to do with llamas.