Posts Tagged Bogusky

Fear Less

Today's mail

I want to tell you about one of my favorite “Let’s save the planet” blogs, FearLess Revolution. That website sprang out of a place dubbed the “Fearless Cottage” in Boulder, Colorado, that was founded by Alex Bogusky, his wife Ana, and Rob Schuham.  If you’re wondering how this relates to Brammofan, well, you haven’t been paying attention.

Go back and read some of my posts tagged CP+B, which was the advertising agency (Crispin Porter + Bogusky) that Alex Bogusky (the B, obviously, in CP+B) ran.  Around the time I started blogging as Brammofan, Brammo CEO Craig Bramscher bid on eBay and “bought” 17 summer interns from CP+B. I had a great time that summer – 2009 – covering their antics, which included an attempt at making a logo for Brammo and a pretty nifty music video that included some great Brammo footage before the Enertia entered full production.

The biggest “campaign” in which CP+B participated was, without a doubt, the Shocking Barack saga.  More than just a story of two guys on Brammo Enertias traveling from Detroit to Washington, D.C. to give Obama an electric motorcycle, it became an internet phenomenon – followed by hundreds, then thousands, then… who knows how many people before it ended.

You know what?  This is not a story about Brammo or CP+B or Shocking Barack.  This is story about fearing less.

A couple weeks ago, the FearLess Revolution blog announced a little contest.  (I’m not going to get side-tracked here, but Bogusky and Brammo used to be really into contests – search for it).  It was a contest to name a new “Occupy Wall Street” themed flavor of Ben and Jerry’s Ice Cream.  Since I love ice cream and contests, I figured I’d give it a shot.  My entry: “OccuPie Wallnut Street – A delicious mix of walnuts, pie crust and the tears of the oppressed majority.”

After pleading on Twitter and on Facebook for my friends and followers to vote early and often, it turned out that I won!  Thrilled, I was, and especially because the prize was quite a treasure: a FearLess t-shirt.  These shirts are pretty awesome and you should go order one before they run out.   Just make sure it’s appropriate – since I have kids around here, I got the “Fear Less Love More” shirt.  (They just came out with the “Kill Less F@ck More” shirt – uncensored, which I would love, if I were a college freshman again).

Here’s where the “Fear Less” lesson comes in:  One of Bogusky’s lackeys employees sent me an email requesting my size and a mailing address.  I responded with the appropriate answers and then, PUSHED PAST MY FEAR OF ASKING FOR WHAT I WANT.  Here’s what I wrote:

I would like to request a handwritten and signed note by Alex expressing the “thanks of a grateful nation” or at least the thanks of a grateful FearLess Force, and a hand-drawn picture of a rodent or other small mammal of his choice.  I will settle for less, but I have learned to be FearLess when I make these special requests.
And here are the results:

My very cool Fear Less Love More t-shirt - a $25.00 Value!

A little closer, on that post-it:

Yep. It's a small mammal.

So… he took my request VERY literally – the damn thing is almost microscopic.  Yeah, leave it to that ol’ comedian, Alex.  Okay, so no “thanks of a grateful FearLess nation,” but I did say that I would settle for less.
The takeaway:  If your dream is to one day own an original piece of art, signed by the artist, then you’re going to have to push outside your comfort zone to get it.  I did, and now that little Post-It note is framed, hanging in my living room, right where I imagined, long ago, it would be.  You don’t believe me?
Fear Less.  Love More.  Dream Big.

Birds by Audubon, Small Burrowing Mammal by Bogusky



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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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“Battery Agnostic”

Yesterday, Dave Schiff,  Rider #2 from the ShockingBarack trip appeared on “FearlessQA,” a weekly chat moderated by Alex Bogusky of the ad agency, Crispin Porter + Bogusky.


Alex Burnard, Dave Schiff, and Alex Bogusky, on FearlessQA

There is SO much to talk about here–Schiff’s impressions of the Enertia, lessons learned from the trip, experiences from the interactions, the power of democracy, the organic feel of the campaign — that I have to recommend you watch the whole one-hour episode.


Burnie flashes the peace sign, just 'cause I twasked.


Schiff does a bit of whoring for a client.

But one thing that Schiff mentioned about the Enertia that sent me pondering was about the manufacture of the bike and Brammo’s interest in keeping it “battery agnostic.” This happened during a discussion of how the bike was manufactured and here’s my take:

Battery technology is changing almost daily.  It’s not merely a question of lead-acid versus nickel metal hydride versus lithium ion anymore.  (Note: the Brammo Enertia currently uses six Lithium Iron Phosphate battery cells, manufactured by Valence).  New chemical combinations, new ideas about recharging versus evacuating/refilling the charged solutions within, and the potential of supercapacitors have got to be keeping EV manufacturers on their toes.  “Do I re-configure my vehicle to allow for a different type of battery?” “What else must I change in order to include the latest technology?” “Should I just include the new battery technology in next year’s model and let current owners figure out their own solutions?”

By “battery agnostic” I think Brammo is manufacturing its bikes to accept the new battery technology in an easy to swap, modular way.  Brammo agnosticism reflects an openness to new ways of motive power, the same way a religious agnostic accepts his current belief system but remains open to new truths.

If I’m right about this, and I think I am, this is one of the reasons why I became and continue to be a Brammo fan.  They are not making a disposable bike.  More than a mere “motorcycle,” they created a platform from a blank sheet and designed it to be timeless.  Battery tech changes?  Swap a new, smaller module in that weighs less, charges faster, has a greater range.  New lessons learned about power management and motor temperature and coasting? Upgrade the bike’s software to take advantage of the new knowledge base.


Note:  I just heard from my favorite Iowan-Enertia owner, “Hawkeye,” that Brammo is sending out a technician (a/k/a BrammoJosh a/k/a @brammoservice ) to update the software on his bike.  That’s not just “service.”  That’s above and beyond, and merits its own post, yet to come.

This kind of thinking — being “battery agnostic,” taking care of their customers, thinking about the future of its current products that have already sold — is why you should be a Brammo fan, too.


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Enertia in Chains (updated)

The Horror! The Horror!

(See update, below)


Enertia, inert

Say what?  No no no no.  This is not how the story ends.  (If you don’t know how the story has proceeded to this point, do the research, visit the site, because this post is not about how we got here, but rather, where we go. )

There’s even a movie of the atrocity:

But seriously, chained to a post?  This isn’t what is supposed to happen in the last scene of a movie that, up to now, has been filled with highs and lows and humor and poignancy.  Our faithful steed who has been taking us through rain and fields and back roads and parking lots, left on its own, to face some untold danger?  Let’s face it, the untold danger is either going to be a city employee or a thief with a pair of bolt cutters.  The bike will be unceremoniously  hefted into the back of a vehicle, hauled away, and lost forever.

This is just like the time Roy Rogers left Trigger tied to the rail in front of the saloon while he went inside, got drunk, and ended up with a floozy upstairs, while Dale Evans pined away at home.  Then, the sheriff saw Trigger, unattended, and hauled the poor rejected animal off to the glue factory.  Remember?

Or that time right after Timmy got rescued from the well thanks to Lassie’s quick thinking, and then Timmy and his dad drove out into the middle of the desert and left Lassie to fend for herself among the cacti and snakes. Ring a bell?

Okay, for you GenXers: Remember that time when Spongebob was lost and his pet snail, Gary, found him?  And then Spongebob followed Gary all the way back to the Crusty Crab?  Yes!  And then they put Gary in a pot of boiling water and had escargot for dinner?

No?  None of those scenarios ever happened?  But you heard Brian Wismann say: “It’s not the fairy tale ending that we had hoped for, but it’s a real ending.”


Brammofan’s BullSchiff Detector is blinking.  This is not the end, can’t be the end, because of two very simple facts:

1.  Brian Wismann designed the Enertia and would never leave his “baby” chained to a post in the middle of Washington D.C.  (I’m also pretty sure that Dave Schiff wouldn’t do this to a bike that had carried him 700 miles, because, well, he still works for Alex Bogusky and Bogusky wouldn’t put up with a heartless creep… right?)

2. Everyone associated with this project is smart. They all know that leaving the bike there is to leave it in peril and that, not only will it never shock Barack, it will never be seen again.

I predict that this was a diversion.  A “geeze…I’m tired and…oh crap…we gotta get to the airport…hey… I got a funny idea…” type of decision.  Maybe not the best decision to make when you’re road weary and homesick, but I’m willing to cut them some slack.

I predict that “Enertia – Unchained” is just around the corner.  While I don’t require that the bike end up in Mr. Obama’s hands, I do demand my Fairy Tale ending.



From the ElMoto.Net forum, comes this message, posted by Brian Wismann:


Thanks for keeping up with the journey and I appreciate ALL the comments on the “conclusion”. The intent of chaining the bike up was to state emphatically that we’re not giving up. We may not be in DC right now, but the bikes surely are. Also, that is the real letter with the real keys and it did really get mailed by yours truly. Don’t worry, though, the bike will not end up as someone’s trash to clean up. Surely, you’d have a little more faith in us than that?! Keep checking back as we’re working dilligently on a conclusion that would leave us all with a little less bitter taste in our mouths…

Maybe we could’ve passed as Trick-or-treaters?……y-white_house/

Thanks, again!


Never doubted for a minute.  The faithful steeds are safely stowed.  Of course they are.  Now, we’ll just have to be patient.


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Motormen made it to Motor City

Looks like Brian and Dave have made it to Detroit:

Definitely in Detroit (via @brammodesigner)

Definitely in Detroit (via @brammodesigner)

Now that they’re on the ground, prepare for a flood of tweets . . . Here’s your official twitter list of “Who’s Who to Follow in the Voyage”:

The Team:

@ShockingBarack – The Voice of the Travelers

The Riders:

@BrammoDesigner – Brammo Lead Designer Brian Wismann,

@MrInternetShow – Dave Schiff, Creative Director at Crispin Porter + Bogusky (CP+B)

The Big Shot:

@BrammoCraig – Brammo CEO Craig Bramscher

Other Big Shot:

@Bogusky – Alex Bogusky The B in CP+B

And don’t forget me, the obsessive chronicler of all things Brammish:



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Big Brammo Weekend, Bigger Brammo Week Ahead

When I started Brammofan, there were days I had to scrape pretty hard to find a mention of the Brammo Enertia.

The tide has turned.

Last week, Brammo CEO Craig Bramscher returned from a fruitful European trip to appear on CNBC’s Squawk on the Street.  He flew to Menlo Park, California for a visit with several Venture Capital firms on Friday.

Another happy Menlo park venture "rider" (via @adriangstewart) (Also featuring BrammoJosh aka @brammoservice)

Another happy Menlo park venture "rider" (via @adriangstewart) (Also featuring BrammoJosh aka @brammoservice)

When asked if he ever slept, Bramscher tweeted: “sleeping is for after the IPO”

On Saturday, he delivered Brammo Enertia LE #6 to Jay Leno.

Leno and Bramscher behind Enertia LE #6

Leno and Bramscher behind Enertia LE #6

And then there’s the idea, that became a reality, that has since become a “movement” that is:


I wrote a bit about this on Saturday, but have learned a few points since then.  The riders will be Brammo Lead Designer Brian Wismann and CP+B Creative Director Dave Schiff.  Wismann is on twitter as @brammodesigner and Schiff is on twitter as @mrinternetshow. I hope to do a post during the week showcasing the two hardy souls. (“Hardy” because it’s October and their route goes through Michigan, Ohio, Pennsylvania and Maryland.)  Lead Engineer Aaron Bland will be on the trip as well, following the duo in the BrammoVan.

Their request for places to recharge, sleep, and eat, has been echoed by many, including the “B” in CP+B, Alex Bogusky, who wrote a stirring post on his blog: Is there enough electricity and kindness to reach the White House?

Hillary Lake, a reporter with NBC News in Medford did a piece about the trip:

And if you happen to be in or near Ann Arbor, Michigan tomorrow, the riders will be stopping by Zingerman’s Deli (422 Detroit Street) and will be handing out some free muffins  (to the first lucky few) at 10:00 am.

One last thing, if you haven’t gotten your Brammo fix yet, it appears quite likely that Best Buy stores in Los Angeles and San Francisco will be selling them beginning this week.

Enertia on floor for 30 seconds for a photo op, and it captures the attention of genuine Biker dude

Enertia on floor for 30 seconds for a photo op, and it captures the attention of genuine Biker dude

Geek Squad bays now have pneumatic lifts for Enertia Service

Geek Squad bays now have pneumatic lifts for Enertia Service

Brammo Enertia laptop diagnostics turn lift into mini-dyno enabling real time analysis of key functions.

Brammo Enertia laptop diagnostics turn lift into mini-dyno enabling real time analysis of key functions.

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