Posts Tagged Ariel Atom
Brammo CEO Craig Bramscher was at TechCrunch Disrupt NYC yesterday and, although he wasn’t planning on it, he ended up giving away a Brammo Enertia to someone. Disrupt is part technology conference, part hackathon, and part Sand Hill Road-East Coast version. Venture Capitalists rub elbows with doe-eyed computer nerds who have emerged from their mothers’ basements for the first time in weeks. CEO’s from successful start-ups chat about what worked for them and how they’d do things different and blah blah blah.
But you’re not reading this article because you wanted to learn what Disrupt NYC is. You want to know who got to ride this sharp-looking Brammo Enertia home:
First, the lead up to this story. Bramscher was on stage along with Donald Runkle, an annoyingly talkative guy who had some misconceptions about electric vehicles that Bramscher didn’t really get a chance to correct.
At the end of the scheduled talk, however, Michael Arrington, Editor of TechCrunch, who had been riding the Enertia around backstage (until security stopped him), decided it would be cool to give an Enertia away. Hilarity ensues. Short version: the crowd was allowed 10 seconds to pitch reasons why they should win it. It was awarded to a woman whose son is thinking about enlisting with the military. She hopes it will convince him to stay home and ride quietly up and down the streets of their neighborhood, rather than blowing things up in a foreign land. If only there were a Brammo store next to every recruiting office . . . .
But I digress.
You’re probably wondering if the lady just saddled up and drove that Sunburnt Orange Enertia home.
Oh no. Not THAT Enertia.
That Enertia belongs to That Guy we dredge up from time to time when it’s a slow news day and we need some time to reflect on the fact that, no matter how carefully we budget, we may never have quite enough money to build that race track behind our motorsports museum. And isn’t it a shame that our Ariel Atom will never look exactly like That Guy’s Ariel Atom, unless, of course, we have some orange paint and a hot blond wife?
Yes, it’s the Enertia owned by Alan Wilzig, the first man East of the Mississippi to own two Brammos (the Ariel counts as #1, the Enertia, #2). He loves them both. He was there at the beginning. Here’s what he wrote to me today, after I asked him how his ride to and from the conference went:
I was basically mobbed going in and coming out of the conference. 3-4 guys came over and were all over the electric vehicle thing. They asked the typical questions — Range / speed / cost – how it handles the city ( of course I had to slip in that “café owners welcome you , chicks dig you….guys want to be you”)
Then they asked how long ago I bought it – and I finally just let my hair down and fessed up that “I am probably the 2nd person (not named Bramscher) that knew Craig was on the ‘the next big thing’ and that’s why I invested in the company. And happy I did.
I explained how he built Jay Leno Ariel Atom #1 and I got Ariel Atom #150 — the last Brammo-made Ariel. (they all started talking about Clarkson / Top Gear / Youtube Ariel Atom ) and how Craig was going to make an electric one and then realized bikes were ready for electric, cars, not quite yet”
So I bought into much more than the bike. I bought into the man , the vision , and the amazing team he has assembled. That’s why I’m not just an owner — I’m an investor. RIGHT NOW is about the last chance to get in on Brammo before it’s too late to be an IPO-winner.
According to Alan, he’s going to have some sort of event at Wilzig Racing Manor on July 9-10. Unless he manages to crash it again, chances are he’ll have his trusty Enertia with him, too, offering rides to some of the lucky folks in attendance.
As for the other lucky person, the woman who won the Enertia at Disrupt NYC, her new bike will be shipped to her from Brammo’s Ashland, Oregon headquarters. Probably on a FedEx Ground truck.
I think I know just how she’ll feel.
Alan Wilzig, our favorite rich dude who’s too cool to hate, just sent another one of his priceless emails that begs to be shared with us proletariat masses:
Subject: Brammos prevent simple conversation
Sure – when astride one, you can talk to anyone you like.
But sitting on a sidewalk bench in SOHO , trying to talk to your friend when the Brammo parked next to you is quite obviously yours, given the helmet and such on the bench ?
45 people photographed the bike in 100 minutes.
12 insisted on chatting about it.
60 made favorable comments and / or asked a confirmatory question.
If I had a hot dog cart with a DMV terminal and a credit card machine I could have sold 35 bikes this afternoon.
Whomever has the NYC franchise for these things has to be required / supplemented – to have 5 people ( half girls) riding them all day for $10/hr handing out cards until they have sold 100 and it’s no longer necessary.
I’ve told you similar anecdotes in the past – but today was just f@$%ing ridiculous !
I’ve also experienced the “Brammo Butt-in” – the name for the phenomenon of people interrupting your Enertia-nirvana in order to ask questions about your unique mode of transport. One of my favorite things to do is to talk about it, so it’s always a welcome interruption to me. But Alan’s numbers seem . . . problematic to me.
Because he’s like mishpocha to me, and because he made his money in the banking industry (supposedly due to his aptitude with numbers, not because his dear father – may he rest in peace – handed him a job on silver platter), I have to ask:
Alan, how, pray tell, can the NYC franchise have 5 people, half of whom are girls, riding the Enertias all day? Two boys, two girls, I get, but does the 5th one have to be a hermaphrodite? Or is this your way of telling the Ashland crew that the Enertia needs a wider and more forgiving seat?
And this helmet that sat next to you on the park bench in Soho for 100 minutes, was it the one you were wearing in this picture of you at Jerez?:
Alan, bubelah, we have to get a closer look at the helmet:
Yes, that helmet. Was that the one on the bench? Because if it was, it might explain at least some of the attention you were receiving that day. It’s a conversation piece with a chinstrap. Even when it’s sitting next to you on a bench and not smushing your face, it screams “look at me!” That is the kind of helmet a guy like me could only dream of owning. And just to prove my point, here’s a picture of my boring and DOT approved (circa 1990) helmet:
But enough about me. Let’s talk about some of Alan’s other exploits.
Alan and his lovely wife, Karin, will be appearing in a new reality television series called “Robinhood Rally“. Their team, Team Wilzig, can be found on Facebook. Make sure to visit and “Like” them. Alan’s a big Subaru fan –
and he loves driving his Ariel Atom, assembled a few years ago by a then-little-known-company in Ashland, Oregon known as Brammo Motorsports:
He’s also, quite obviously, a fan of the color orange.
One last thing –
Alan walks into his Rabbi’s office and says, “Rabbi. I want to have a mezuzah for my Lamborghini.”
The Rabbi looks puzzled and says, “What’s a Lamborghini?”
Alan: It’s an Italian sports car.
Rabbi: I can’t condone that. Go see a Rabbi over at the Conservative temple.
So Alan goes to the Conservative synagogue and asks the rabbi:
Alan: I want to have a mezuzah for my Lamborghini.
Rabbi 2: What’s a Lamborghini?
Alan: It’s an Italian sports car.
Rabbi 2: I can’t condone that. Go see a Rabbi over at the Reform temple.
So Alan goes to the reform temple and asks the rabbi:
Alan: I want to have a mezuzah for my Lamborghini
Rabbi 3: What’s a mezuzah?
So, with that, I’ll leave the comments open for Mr. W to provide some answers about numbers, helmets, and when we get to see him on tv in our neck of the woods.
Brian Wismann, Lead Designer at Brammo, has been answering questions about his new Enertia LE over on an EV motorcycle forum, ElMoto.net (props to ElMoto for being one of the “Big Three” in the EV motorcycle forum world, along with Electric Motorcycle Forum and V is for Voltage).
As discussions of these sort often do, the subject has wandered a bit off point and Brian recently answered a question about the relationship of the Ariel Atom supercar to Brammo and the Enertia. Here it is:
Brammo re-engineered and manufactured the gas-powered Ariel Atom for the US market. We had a design license from Ariel UK for the vehicle for about 2 years. Brammo had a hard time getting the Honda K20A motor, so we integrated the GM Ecotec 2.0L Supercharged engine with Jay Leno pulling some strings and working with GM’s powertrain group. Jay picked up the first car off the production line of the 130 that Brammo built prior to transferring the license and equipment to TMI in Virginia, who now build the cars.
The Wrightspeed was a one-off prototype built independently of Ariel UK or Ariel US (read: Brammo) prior to our deal being done and never commercialized. Ian Wright was using the vehicle as a demonstrator of what kind of vehicle he could build…
Our own investigation into “electrifying” the Atom was what ultimately led to the development of the Enertia and the re-birth of the company as the mean, green machine you now know… You’ll note that initial prototypes of the Enertia used ALOT of carbon fiber and CNC machined parts, because we had extensive in-house composite and metal forming capabilities for the Atom production. We decided that our experience in engineering efficient, light-weight vehicles was directly applicable to EVs and saw a chance to make difference in the industry. Perhaps a bit odd to think about, but the Enertia draws more of a heritage from race cars than do most road cars!
Feeling a bit droopy lately? Can’t quite get up the energy to do the things that need to be done? Has your “get up and go” got up and went?
Then you, my friend, need a shot of:
Trust me on this one: there will be more than enough of this MIRACLE DRUG in the air next week at ATOMFEST in the lush and verdant town of Sand Springs, Oklahoma.
While you’re breathing in the mixture of exhaust fumes, burning rubber, Old Spice, and good ol’ Testosterone, why not check out the latest, greatest iteration of the Brammo Enertia, the LE:
The LE will be at the Atomfest next week, providing an easy antidote to the heartbreak of TP (Testosterone Poisoning). A TP-sufferer can be spotted quite easily– bloodshot eyes, bared teeth, and a strongly-voiced inclination to do one or more of the following:
1. Destroy, kill, crush and/or dismember the enemy, the other team, the world, and/or Rosie O’Donnel.
2. Get rip-snortin’ drunk.
3. Blow something to smithereens.
4. Git ‘er done.
5. Rape and/or pillage.
After viewing, sitting on, or riding the Brammo Enertia LE, however, a TP-sufferer will soon realize that violence is not the answer and that the world needs our help to get through this whole climate-change thingy. Recovery is complete when the patient administers a brug to the nearest Brammo representative.
If you’re wondering what a nice, clean, plug-in electric motorcycle is doing in a place where it will be surrounded by gas-suckin’, carbon-monoxide-belchin’, exo-skeletal supercars driven by overcompensating wonderful guys who have lots of money to spend on fun big boy toys, then you haven’t been paying attention to the whole Brammo backstory. Suffice to say that Brammo, Inc., used to be Brammo Motorsports, and used to be the North American licensed manufacturer of the Ariel Atom. This occurred before CEO Craig Bramscher’s well-documented epiphany in 2007 when he collapsed after breathing unfiltered nitrous-oxide and was visited by an ethereal Al Gore who reportedly told him to stop building Earth-killers and, instead, to build a green motorcycle.
Finally, this just in from @brammosays on twitter:
I wonder what color the Brammo Enertia LE at Atomfest will be?