Posts Tagged Bland
Just posted on Brammo’s new photo site are some pictures of the Empulse RR Racebike being ridden by Aaron Bland, Brian Wismann, and Andy Leisner. If you’re a regular reader of Brammofan, you know that Aaron Bland is the Mechanical Engineering chief at Brammo, and Brian Wismann is the Product Development Director.
But who is Andy Leisner? Here’s how he describes himself in his Twitter bio: Former professional motorcycle racer, current motorcycle industry executive, competitive bicycle racer and Type-1 diabetic of 33 years.
After racing motorcycles in National and World-Championship competition into my early 20s, I have worked in motorsports and action sports for my entire career. I am currently the Managing Partner of Hardcard Holdings LLC, a sports representation, consulting and management firm. I am also the COO of Hardcard Systems, an RFID-based sports timing and scoring system and event-management company.
Andy – if you’re among the millions, thousands, dozens of Brammofan readers, we’d love to hear your impressions of the RR. How was the ride? How did it handle? Furthermore, if you could explain why you burned out the motor the day before the Laguna Seca race, we’d love to hear that explanation as well.
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.
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:
Brian Wismann, Director of Product Development at Brammo, just posted some pictures from a trip he and Lead Engineer Aaron Bland took to Southern California over the last couple of weeks.
Just got back from a fun road trip to SoCal with Lead Engineer, Aaron Bland. Had some great meetings + brought our Enertias with us for some riding around Santa Monica and Palos Verdes. Man… I thought Ashland was the perfect spot for an Enertia, but boy was I wrong!
Here are the bikes parked in front of the Rose Cafe in Venice beach…
Stealing a charge from Trump’s golf course on the penninsula… They didn’t get a round of golf out of us, but they did charge us a pretty penny for breakfast! I think we’re even…
You never know where you’ll find a “charging station”… it certainly never hurts to ask! The bikes were all back up to near 100% SOC by the time we finished up breakfast.
And then there’s this picture, which Wismann tweeted last Friday.
That’s Aaron Bland on the Bramm TTR, which raced in last year’s TTXGP race on the Isle of Man. I wonder why they took it along on their trip?
This video, which was posted yesterday by the TTXGP on its YouTube Channel, has just about everything:
1. Aaron Bland unloading the Brammo Enertia TTR race bike at the Jurby Airfield on the Isle of Man.
2. Brian Wismann, watching nervously, as the bike is handed over, first, to Roy Richardson, and then to Mark Buckley.
3. Wismann talking with Buckley after his practice laps about softening up the suspension, making adjustments “back at the paddock,” and other performance-related chatter.
4. Multiple shots of the bike from strategically-placed cameras, complete with audio of the whine as it approaches and passes. (Specifically, the whine of the motor and chain, not the whine of the cameraman, wanting his turn).
5. At 3:30, the suspense of watching a jackrabbit and a bird on the track, not knowing whether one or both of them will escape in time.
With that introduction, here’s the video:
Thanks to TTXGP/eGrandPrix for posting this!
UPDATE: TTXGP/eGrandPrix just posted the following video, highlighting an interview with Mark Buckley, the rider of the #26 TTR, which came in third at this year’s TTXGP
I’ve already covered Rider #1 — Brian Wismann— and Rider #2 — Dave Schiff (thanks again to guest blogger Zach Myrow note to ZM: you’re better off w/o her) of the ShockingBarack tour (if you don’t know what ShockingBarack is, click on their link, do some research, and hurry up–today is a big day).
Aaron Bland – Lead Engineer at Brammo
Aaron Bland is riding in the support vehicle for the ShockingBarack tour. We’ve seen his boyish grin in a few pictures:
And we know a few tidbits from the Brammo website:
A University of Wisconsin graduate, Aaron has designed successful downhill racing bicycles for PDC Racing as well as his own line of bicycle racing components. Aaron was also instrumental in his involvement with the engineering and productionizing of the Ariel Atom for the US market.
How can we reconcile the badass with the buzzcut in the picture directly above with the smiling, hoodie-wearing Opie Taylor-lookalike in the earlier pictures? Answer: we don’t have to. Obviously, Brammo needed to show the serious, scowling Aaron in order to assure buyers and investors that its lead engineer was … well, serious.
They certainly did not want to show these pictures:Vodpod videos no longer available.
(Thanks to Robin, Aaron’s little sister, and to their mom, for these wonderful family photos!) From Robin: “Aaron has always been innovative and funny. He would creatively booby trap the water hose so when someone turned it on, water would squirt them in the face.”
Aaron Becomes a Badger
Aaron went to the University of Wisconsin and majored in Mechanical Engineering. One of his greatest achievements while he was there was winning the Tong Prototype Prize in 2003. From the UW Website:
Full Suspension Bicycle Frame, the AB-1
Full Suspension Bicycle Frame, the AB-1: a bicycle frame with a shock-absorbing system for the rear wheel. The design improves comfort, safety and handling for high-end mountain racing bikes.
“I learned tons about the manufacturing, machining, welding, materials and the cost of making a bicycle,” says Aaron Bland, who received a $400 Tong grant to help him build his mountain bike prototype. “I realized how much fun it is to build inventions, and that it makes the engineering worthwhile. The Tong loan helped me fund the project; without it, my prototype would have been difficult to afford” — Aaron Bland, $2,500 Tong winner
Aaron at Brammo
Brian Wismann, Lead Designer at Brammo, took time out of his busy day searching for Obama contacts, to write this tribute about Aaron:
Aaron is the young and extremely gifted mechanical design engineer
that has led the engineering on or personally engineered nearly every
mechanical component on the Enertia. As equally as Craig and I get
credit for the concept and idea of the Enertia, Aaron deserves credit
for the physical manifestation of that idea. He was the first person
in the company to start full-time work on the project, and has
maintained a greater than 100% commitment to it ever since. Aaron’s
background in downhill racing mountain bikes, successful projects to
improve the Brammo built Ariel Atom, and a passion for motorcycles
made him an obvious choice to lead the Engineering effort on the
Enertia. For those that have met Aaron, many would agree that were
there a “nicest person in the world” award, his sunny disposition and
good nature would make him a leading candidate.
Aaron also led the mechanical engineering efforts on the Brammo TTR
that raced at the Isle of Man this year.
His value to the company is immense and even better… He’s just
getting warmed up!
Aaron the Roadie
Aaron’s talents as an engineer have come in handy as the ShockingBarack tour made its way from Detroit to D.C. In Aurora, Ohio, one of the bikes had an issue with an overheated controller. They were able to get a new one over-nighted, and Aaron installed it. As Brian said in the video, below, “What if I buy an Enertia, and I don’t have an Aaron Bland to repair my bike?” The answer, of course, was that Brammo is partnered with Best Buy, and their trained technicians will provide service.
Aaron has, thus far, been the focus of videos for the ShockingBarack crew, filled with his observations and insights into the mission.
-Aaron Reflects, Vol 1.
– Aaron Reflects, Vol 2.
From Volume 2: “We put thousands and thousands of miles on our engineering test bikes . . . to prepare the bikes to be well-suited for the urban environment we wanted them to be used in. But nothing would have prepared us for this kind of a cross country trip. The great thing is, we’ve been driving them every single day, charge after charge, mile after mile, through the rain, the cold, the street grime, the potholes, and it’s been awesome. We’re really happy that we’ve been able to under-promise and over-deliver with these bikes.”
So there you have it: the takeaway is that Brammo seems to have snagged yet another gifted, creative, and visionary employee to help it attain its goals.