Tweakability and Customer service, above and beyond

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Hawkeye (on the left) with Josh, from Brammo.

I just heard from a favorite source, Hawkeye, the owner of Brammo Enertia #4, who hails from Greater Iowa City, Iowa. He had mentioned last weekend that, in addition to Brammo informing him of the price drop and promising him that it will be “passing on the saving” to him, Hawkeye also indicated that a technician was going to fly out this week to update his Enertia.  True to their word, Brammo sent BrammoJosh out.  Here’s Hawkeye’s report:

Josh was out on Thursday (all day) to upgrade my bike. I though he was just going to plug in his laptop and do a quick software update. Instead, he told me that there had been improvements to the firmware/software in several parts of the bike (my bike was #4 off the line, the other bikes already have these). This included updated firmware for the batteries, motor controller, dash etc.

At the end, we tuned the bike while it was on the stand. There are dozens of settings for throttle response, power, coasting, engine braking etc. He set these settings to the new “factory” settings, except for a little tuning, but he said that on their personal engineering test bikes that they have custom settings that they have played with for more power/torque. It sounds like they further refined these settings while on the “Shocking Barack” tour and the result just may be the “performance” update that Brian referred to. Josh tried to get me the “performance” update but it wasn’t quite finalized yet. However I should be able to install this update myself as soon as it’s ready. Even without the performance update the bike has noticeably more power in the 15-45 mph range, the range itself has increased and the range remaining display on the dash is more accurate.

Lots of information to digest in that little update.  First, the ability for users to install software updates is something that had been hinted at over the past few months, but had never been acknowledged.  It seems pretty important that owners should have this ability – if they’ve already sold 100 bikes, they can’t have BrammoJosh jetting here and there all the time, updating software.

The “dozens of settings for throttle response, power, coasting, engine braking etc” is another acknowledgment that this bike has the potential to be a different bike each time you take it out of the garage.  Going on the highway a bit today?  Tweak the settings.  Going on some errands all over the city?  Tweak.  Taking it on some dirt roads and and across the pasture? Tweak.

Finally, what can you say about a company that flies a technician to a third world country Central Iowa to update a product’s software?

Thanks again, Hawkeye, for keeping us updated on your Enertia.

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  1. #1 by jpm on November 15, 2009 - 3:19 am

    That was very nice of Brammo to do that and give the man a discount. I wonder why Brammo didn’t instruct the owner on how to do it…would have been a much greener thing to do. How hard could it have been since the geek squad will have to do it?

    • #2 by brammofan on November 16, 2009 - 10:14 am

      I wouldn’t discount this as so easy to do the even the Geek Squad can do it. Brammo is training certain GS folks to work on the Enertia. These folks are brought to Brammo headquarters and their training includes building an Enertia from the ground up. That said, it sounds like Brammo will soon be rolling out the ability for owners to do at least some of the updates themselves. I agree with you that it is a “greener” method. It would also save Brammo a lot of green cash to not have to fly a tech out to each owner.
      Hawkeye was one of the early early adopters, so his bike may have more need of updating than most.

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