Brian Wismann, the lead designer of the Brammo Enertia, recently bought Enertia LE #07 and shared the specs of that bike on Brammo’s Blog. He didn’t get much of a chance to ride it before he and Dave Schiff of Crispin Porter + Bogusky took off on their trip from Detroit to Washington D.C. to “give Barack a bike.” The voyage, chronicled on their website, www.shockingbarack.com may not yet be complete, but Brian is back home, focusing on, and modifying his new baby:
In a recent series of posts on elmoto.net, a forum devoted to electric motorcycles, Brian shared some modifications he has made to his bike:
When we designed the Enertia, one of the primary goals was to make it easy to modify and add aftermarket accessories to. As a designer, I did have to make a few compromises along the way for cost and ease of assembly that I now have freedom to “correct” that I have my own personal bike. Don’t get me wrong, I love the stock bike, I’m just not one to leave well enough alone…
Mods so far: CRG “Lanesplitter” bar-end mirror, Stainless steel bar ends, Saddlebags, Rizoma LED turnsignals (front & rear), Custom reflective “pin-striping”, Brammo forthcoming “performance” set-up… More to come!
Fellow forum posters had many questions, and the “forthcoming ‘performance’ set up” was chief among them. Brian explained (somewhat):
Going to try not to get myself in trouble… the performance package I have includes a new firmware release on the motor controller with some “hotter” performance settings. This is still in engineering test, but due to release very soon. Again, this is all update-able from the connector in the back of the dash with a service tech.
Brian had an interesting comment about high speed:
Official top speed on the bike is 60mph. I’ve hit just under 65mph on this, my personal bike and 70 mph on the Shocking Barack bike in Pittsburgh, albeit on a full charge, brisk night and slight downhill grade. I wasn’t in a full tuck though!
And a nice wrap-up of some details about charging cycles and Brian’s self-deprecating humor about coiling electrical cords:
So, obviously, I’ve spent some time in the saddle with the Enertia over its development. However, I must admit that living with the bike day-to-day has brought to light new experiences and realizations that never would have occurred in a controlled engineering environment. For example, the time it takes to coil a charge cord in a near freezing garage when you’ve got nothing on but what you wore to bed is much more critical than when you’re in a climate controlled work environment fully clothed! Here are my first and most significant observations in no particular order:
1. The batteries probably require closer to 5 discharge and charge cycles before they’re really working optimally. They kind of end up with a “false” balance on the first charge cycle, then diverge and converge again to give full performance in the above stated number of cycles.
2. Coiling the charge cord under the seat into a nice tight ring somehow pushes all of my OCD buttons. I’ve since purchased a small velcro “cable wrap” to keep everything nice and tidy.
3. When the infrastructure is in place, electric motorcycles will be the ultimate in performance customizing. Connecting through the CAN bus connector in the back of the dash, our service guys can adjust parameters to take the bike from forgiving commuter to screamin’ demon in a matter of minutes. On a gas bike, these kinds of performance changes would require A LOT of mechanical work and time.
4. My Ducati Monster 696 now feels like a chore to ride. Still love it for the canyon carving, but it’ll stay parked for the daily commute, that’s for sure.
5. The rear suspension feels just a bit harsh to me. I weigh a bit under the average US male (170 lbs vs. 190 lbs) and so I think the rear shock could be tuned a bit better to my weight. I’ll be talking to Aaron Bland (Lead Engineer) about how to adjust this next week. Perhaps I’ll post the procedure…
6. I like not having to go to a gas station on my way to work or back home!
All for now…