Posts Tagged Adrian Stewart

2012 Enertia Secrets Revealed

One of the Brammo Faithful dropped into the Brammo Owners Forum yesterday and shared lots of new developments with the Enertia platform for 2012:

The 2012 Enertia which is in Europe now and arrives in the US shortly has a number of changes that you will also see on the Enertia Plus:

  • Low speed maneuverability is much improved.
  • EU and UK homologation and Bold New Colors !
  • New motor controller allowing for greater configuration options and more robust communications with the Vehicle Control Unit.  This change is mostly transparent to you the customer, it may provide room for growth into “sport” or “economy” driving maps in the future.
  • New forged triple clamp with much improved steering lock and slightly modified geometry and ergonomics.  Reduced trail plus the increased lock makes for a dramatic improvement to low-speed maneuverability, without sacrificing any stability at speed.  The handle bar position is roughly 1″ higher and 1″ back towards the rider which was judged to be more comfortable for a wide variety of rider shapes and sizes.
  • New cast aluminum headlamp brackets clean up the aesthetic of the front end and make servicing to any of the parts in that assembly much easier (i.e. more room for tools).  They also reposition the dash closer to the triple clamp and change the angle slightly. The new brackets were also designed to accept accessories like the windscreen with a simple bolt-on kit.
  • New upgraded motor. The power level is the same, but the motor features greater efficiency which reduces the heat generated, allowing more performance to be pulled out of the bike.
  • New auto-start module integration – The Enertia now starts with the key switch and does not require the button press.  The start button has been replaced with a tasteful stamped aluminum Brammo bull head badge.
  • The Enertia also charges when plugged in to AC power, no special key position or steps required.
  • New mirrors and new handlebar grips.

All of these are great news for aspiring Enertia owners.  Even something that may sound mundane to you has a lot of meaning to the owner of the 2010 and 2011 bikes.  For example, the “much improved steering lock” might not sound important, but it will come in handy while trying to maneuver the bike into narrow places.  I’m actually jealous.

My favorite of the updates is probably either the motor controller that may provide for the possibility of a “launch button” at some time, or perhaps the upgraded motor.  But darn it, I also want the headlamp bracket so I can bolt on a windscreen.  I want it all, as usual.

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Brammofan Motorcycle of the Year – 2010

Rhapsody in Blue

(Kansas City, Missouri, December 7, 2010) – Brammofan, the blog with the mission of “covering the momentum of Enertia” has announced the awardee of its coveted “Brammofan Motorcycle of the Year” award for 2010.  This year’s recipient: the 2010 Brammo Enertia.

Artist's re-creation of actual trophy.

Brammofan, a/k/a Harry Mallin, announced the award today to a packed house of media representatives and electric vehicle dignitaries attending the first annual “Brammofantasy Ball” in the spacious Shawnee Ballroom at the White Haven Motel, Overland Park, Kansas.  Holding the golden lightning bolt trophy above his head, like Zeus upon Mt. Olympus, Mallin broke the news to the surprised crowd.  “Enertia!” he bellowed.

“We were totally surprised” said one attendee.

“I am thrilled to finally share the recipient of this year’s award,” said Brammofan.  “The Brammo Enertia is already the recipient of several awards, but I’m sure the gang in Ashland has saved a special spot in the trophy case for this one.”

Craig Bramscher, Brammo CEO, was unavailable for comment, but Adrian Stewart, Brammo Director of Channel Development, who was also unavailable for comment, would likely say something British and zany, like “we’re thrilled to get this award. Bloody thrilled. It’s all part of our cunning plan to save the planet. Cheerio.”

Brammofan will be announcing other awards throughout the remaining days of 2010.

“I am thrilled to have the opportunity to announce the Past Tense Intransitive Verb of 2011.  ‘Thrilled,’ of course, was the winner of the PTIV for 2010 and it was put to good use in many press releases.  Many.  I don’t want to give you any useful clues for what 2011 holds, but let me state that you just might be titillated to finally hear what it will be,” said Brammofan.

Brammofan also screened the following teaser from the epic film about Brammo that he is producing in conjunction with Spielberg*.

*Izzy Spielberg. No relation.

Stay tuned for more surprising announcements coming later this month.  And yes, Bill, there will be a Brammo Babe of the Year award.

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Brammo musings on Range

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:

Brian Wismann with the Enertia

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:

Adrian Stewart, third from left, enjoying a break with the Brammo Waifs.

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.

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Laguna Seca to Feature Empulse… and Brammofan

Now that the news is out about Brammo racing at the e-Power electric motorcycle race next week during the Red Bull U.S. Grand Prix, Mazda Raceway (Laguna Seca), I get to spill my own little pot of beans:  I’ll be there.

Brammo will be doing a formal “handing over of the keys” to me at some point during the weekend.  In case you’re new around here, I won the title of “Brammo Evangelist of the Year” and received the prize – a 2010 Brammo Enertia. Although I’ve already taken delivery of the prize, Brammo wanted to do it up right.  The challenge, of course, is going to involve me handing the existing key over to them, so they can hand it back to me.  It’s all about trust. (note to self- leave extra key at home).

I’ll be at the Brammo Paddock/Tent/Headquarters along with the usual suspects: CEO Craig Bramscher, Product Development Director (and designer of the Enertia and the Empulse) Brian Wismann, Marketing guru Adrian Stewart, and the rest of the Brammo minions.  Aaron Gobert, Brammo’s rider and AMA speedster might be hanging out as well.  I hear that, along with the Empulse-based race bike, they will be bringing the Empulse prototype, the Shocking Barack bike, and maybe an Enertia or two for test rides.

Will Ali Afshar and the ESX Motorsports crew be there?  Likely.  Lady Gaga?  Not so likely.  Jay Leno? Possibly. Jackie Chan? I couldn’t say.

I may even be accompanied by Ms.Brammofan, but she’s been scouting out some shopping venues in nearby Carmel-by-the-Sea (sounds Hazardous-to-my Wallet), so no guarantees you’ll actually get to meet her. If you’re going to be there, be sure to drop by Brammo HQ.  If you say “Hi! I’m a Brammo Fan, too,” I’ll even waive the usual surcharge on having your picture taken with me.  Unless, of course, you’re a certain EV advocate who still owes me the surcharge plus interest and penalties from the last time I agree to have my picture taken with her:

For some reason, Ms.Brammofan is very interested in meeting Ms. Sexton.

Drop on by, see the Empulse, meet the Brammo Boys, and let’s watch some great racing together.

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Thanks to Brammo and Brammo Fans

Mine.

It’s been a very Happy Enertia Day in Kansas City.

If you’ve been following this post, then you know that my Brammo Enertia has arrived.  Ride reports, videos, and pictures will follow, but first I want to emphasize that amazing days like this don’t happen by accident.  I wouldn’t be able to caption that photo the way I did without some hard working people, some luck, some friends, and some major patience by my family.

My biggest thank you goes to the people who made this possible: all the folks at Brammo in Ashland, Oregon.  Craig Bramscher, Brian Wismann, Adrian Stewart, Aaron Bland, Bruce Gilpin, Ron Hom, Dave Lawson, Laura Frantz and a bunch of others I’m too addle-brained to recall right now.  You have built a fantastic machine, a well-executed dream on wheels, and THANK GOODNESS for the fact that it doesn’t have an unlimited range, or I might never see Ms.Brammofan and the Brammokidz again.

There’s a host of others who have helped me reach this point, and I’m not going to be able to remember all of them, either, but if you follow me on twitter (and curses to you if you don’t), then you know the great folks on there among the “Brammofan mutual admiration society.”  Top thanks to John Adamo, a/k/a @skadamo a/k/a Plugbike.com who helped me figure out that my dear wife was wrong, and that Twitter was not a “complete waste of time” (this would be one of the only times Ms.Brammofan was even marginally wrong, by the way.)  Without him, I might have given up long ago, and certainly, there would be no Brammo Owners Forum.

And yes, humongous thanks to Ms.Brammofan and my kids, who have had to endure my obsession for many months and who I’ve probably ignored a few times while searching for more Brammo photos or reTweeting the latest news.  It’s not easy to be the Brammo Evangelist of the Year, but it’s really a challenge to be related to him.  They were more patient with me than I deserved, and more loving than I could wish for.  This Enertia’s for you, family!… except no, you may not ride it or touch it.

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Brammo Test Ride – Ashland Localsguide

Brammofan can’t pass up a story with a line like this:

I ran into Brammo’s Marketing Director Adrian Stewart at the Science Works Earth Day celebration back in April.

It turns out it was a worthwhile read.  Authored by “AaronsAutoWerks”  of Ashland, Oregon, it includes a well-written review of his ride of the Brammo Enertia.

Adrian Stewart's Enertia?

I joked with him to let me ride it and I would write a story about it in the LocalsGuide. Well the next thing I know I had a demo bike at my shop charged up and ready to go. I received an extension cord and a quick “how-to” instructional from the Brammo technician who delivered the Enertia. I quickly donned my helmet and threw a leg over the bike and felt right at home. My first impression is that this is a real motorcycle not some one-off kit bike.

More impressions and the full ride review along with a great collection of must-see folks if you ever happen to find yourself in Southern Oregon, at his blog:

Ashland Oregon Locals Guide

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Pictures from AMA Article

I just came across the following pictures from a photoshoot the Brammo Boys did for the magazine that gets delivered to members of the American Motorcycle Association.  Brammofan is not a member of that venerable organization, so I will have to wait until it posts the article on its website before I’ll get to read it.  But we can all enjoy the pictures right now, as I don’t discriminate between members and non-members of the Brammofan Secret Society:

Brammo Lead Designer Brian Wismann, after borrowing Adrian Stewart's bike (with permission, we hope).

Brammo CEO Craig Bramscher, while Brian Wismann silently approaches from behind.

Lead Engineer Aaron Bland, showing off the Enertia frame.

Lead Assembly Technician, Richie Tatum builds an Enertia that comes with the optional Oregon license plate (?)

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