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.