First Contact

Photo by skadamo, evocative of Michelangelo's "Creation." Kind of.

People tend to look sideways at me when I tell them that I don’t already own a Brammo Enertia.  The spit-take comes, however, when I tell them that, other than the Enertia prototype at the Chicago Museum of Science and Industry, I’ve never seen one in person.  I can’t say that anymore.

On Monday, May 17, John Adamo (better known as skadamo on Twitter and the proprietor of Plugbike.com) offered to give me a ride to the airport following our great weekend spent at the first electric motorcycle race in the TTXGP North American series, which occurred at Infineon Raceway in Sonoma, California.   We had a bit of time to kill . . . (confession: I got him moving early so that we could have plenty of time t0 hit Best Buy), so we drove past the airport to San Marcos and visited the Best Buy store to pay homage to (and hopefully, to take for a spin) the Brammo Enertia.

It was alternately raining and not raining as we tooled down U.S. 101 toward the store.  I won’t keep you hanging: we did not get to go on a test drive because it was too wet. But the trip was still worth it.

The initial surprise for me was that the Enertia display was not the first thing you saw when you walked in the door of the store.  I had seen pictures, perhaps of the Portland and El Segundo stores, where the display of the Brammo and of the electric bikes and scooters was directly in front of the door.  Not so with San Marcos.  Instead, it was tucked behind the refrigerators and vacuum cleaners and fans, in the rear, left-hand side of the store.

Stuck between things that suck, and things that blow.

I approached slowly and cautiously; step by step, inch by inch . . .  are you kidding me?  I practically ran down the aisle, pausing for a moment as John snapped the pic at the top of this article.

I saddled up:

Astride the electric steed.

I’d been a bit concerned about my first experience with the Enertia.  I had just come from the site of a competing manufacturer who kindly let me climb on its amazing bike (another story).  That bike was designed to be a sportbike, and, admittedly, I’ve never been on that style of motorcycle before.  I had felt a bit intimidated and a little uncomfortable with the riding position, not to mention the sense that I was on an exotic, massive, though elegantly-designed machine.  How would the Enertia feel to me?

(John and I had joked the night before that, having built a legion of followers of my blog and on Twitter, and just a couple days after being named the “Brammo Evangelist of the Year,” it would be the ultimate in revenge plots for this story to conclude with a live feed of my first ride of the Enertia, ending with me saying to the camera: “what a piece of crap!  I’m utterly underwhelmed.”  A fitting final act for my obsessively well-executed plan to get back at Brammo CEO Craig Bramscher for stuffing me into that locker back in high school.  Band Geeks Rule!  Football Jocks Drool!)

No test ride yet, but based on the way the bike felt the first time I sat on it, I see a better ending ahead.

The Comfort Zone

As I settled down in the seat, my feet on the pegs, my hands gripping the handlebars, I closed my eyes.  It felt comfortable and familiar to me.  Understand that the last time I piloted a motorcycle was 25 years ago, when I sold my 1973 Honda CB550.  The angles of my legs, hips, shoulders, and elbows may not have been identical to the 25-year-younger Harry on his Honda, but they were close enough.  It felt like home.

More stories from my brief visit to the Best Buy are on their way, but for now, enjoy a few pictures of the event:

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  1. #1 by Implovator on May 19, 2010 - 4:03 pm

    LOL. I was definitely a little confused why you called me a lucky dog when I got mine. Now I can call you lucky, because yours is the gorgeous new blue. By the looks of your snapshot, you two are going to be a perfect fit.

  2. #2 by James Schipper on May 19, 2010 - 4:54 pm

    It looks much more slimming on you than it did me 🙂

  1. First Contact, Part Two « Brammofan
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