Posts Tagged Brammofan’s Enertia

Welfare, Brammofan-style

Deep within the bowels of a certain government building in a certain midwestern city is a parking lot usually reserved for the upper-level bureaucrats.  I am not an upper-level bureaucrat, but I do happen to have one as a boss.  He is on leave today and he left me in charge of his minions . . . the fool!

Along with the illusion of power, he has left me in charge of his empty parking place.  A parking place, I might mention, comes with a wall at the far end thereof.  And not just any wall — this wall has two (2) electrical outlets on it.

I have written before about my travails related to charging at work.  The efforts to address my request continue, I am told, but are apparently being discussed in a city far to the east of here.  I’d be happy to pay for the electricity I use and have offered to do so, but they tell me there is no system to handle this type of transaction.  To give you an idea of the amount of money we’re talking about here, at Kansas City’s current rate per kilowatt hour, it costs me about .25 in electricity for my round trip commute.

“The purpose of welfare is to assist individuals in need.”  Okay, so I don’t “need” the electricity as I am easily able to make the complete round trip of my daily commute on a single charge of my bike’s lithium iron phosphate batteries.  In fact, when I arrive home I have anywhere from 45% to 20% charge remaining.  Those 45% days are usually the result of a conscious decision to hyper-mile and, perhaps, a friendly wind at my back.  The 20% days are usually the result of whacking the throttle wide open to feel the instant torque of the electric motor.

Back to the present . . .

I decided to make an executive decision — because I was indeed, an official executive today — and I parked in the boss’s spot.  I also went that extra step and decided that, while I was there, I might as well take advantage of the governmental subsidy of free juice.  I plugged in to the first outlet, feeling triumphant.  “I hereby suckle from the electric teat!” I loudly (actually, quite quietly) proclaimed.

Connect to AC Power” read the status line on the Brammo Enertia dashboard.  Curses!  The outlet is dead.  No juice for me.  What a perfect analogy for the frustrations presented to us by our power structure.  On a whim, I unplugged from outlet 1 and plugged into outlet 2, about two feet away.

Charging Enabled.”  BOO YAH!  Let the teat sucking commence.

Exhibit 1 in my upcoming personnel action.

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Another Satisfied Brammo Test Ride

Being part of a community has its perks, and the group of subscribers and commenters at HellForLeather is no exception. About a year ago I wrote an article about my Brammo Enertia and had some critics chide my review of the bike as not being by a “real rider.”  In the comments to that post, another resident of my city spoke up and offered to come out and do an independent review.  We did some emailing and made it happen: “A “real” rider takes my Brammo for a spin”

His take – it’s a real motorcycle.  (Not that I needed any confirmation of the obvious).

This morning, another ride occurred as the result of a friendship that began in the comments on HellForLeather.  Mark rides a Kawasaki Ninja 500R and is on an epic voyage from his home in Boston, Massachusetts, to a new home in San Francisco where he will be attending law school.  We ended up as Facebook friends somehow and he posted his plans for this journey on his wall.  His route took him through Kansas City so I offered a place to stay along his way, and he accepted.

He showed up last night – I have to mention here that the Midwest is slogging through one of the longest and most intense heatwaves in history.  He endured riding through Illinois and Missouri during this heat wave, encountering temperatures over 106 degrees.  We joked that the choice of visor up (staring directly into a hot air dryer) or visor down (slowly cooking inside an oven) presents an interesting dilemma.  He hit the showers upon his arrival and then we headed to Latin Bistro for beers and amazing food by Chef Tito.

This morning we slammed down some coffee and headed to the Brammo Midwest Proving Grounds.

Brammo Midwest Proving Grounds - No Corkscrew Here - We use screw top bottles only.

The BMPG is the housing development that never was.  It is now used as a training center for young drivers, a dog walk track, a hang out for teens who think they can’t be seen from the highway, and the prime location for practicing sweet jumps on my bike.

Mark followed me there and we swapped bikes.  After a short introduction and safety lecture (“Do not twist the throttle to hear it rev” and “prepare yourself for zero engine braking”) he was off.  And, after an aborted stall because I let the clutch out too fast, so was I.  I had a blast on his Ninja, but really appreciated the more casual riding posture of my bike.

Here’s the video -(note that the engine you hear at the beginning of the video belongs to the Ninja).  His first words: “That was fun!”

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Home Power Magazine Loves Electric Motorcycles

Home Power Magazine - Brammofan Approves

UPDATED!!  Five Easy  Four FREE Steps to Electric Enlightenment

Step One: go to http://homepower.com/current/ http://homepower.com/article/?file=HP144_pg48_Berman

Step Two:  Click on “View Complete Issue”  “View Article.”

Step Three: Click on “Become a Digital Subscriber to view issue”

Step Four: Shell out $9.95 for a year’s subscription.

Step Five THREE: Read the article by Brad Berman titled “Kick Started – Electric Motorcycles Gain Traction.”

Step Six FOUR: Read the article by Ted Dillard titled “Personal Electric Vehicles Get More Personal.”

Why should you do this?

Because you want to keep up-to-date with all the happenings and developments in the world of electric motorcycles.  Berman does a great job summarizing the various offerings available today, and there’s some insightful information  about Dillard’s efforts converting worn out gas bikes into like-new electric ones from Dillard about electric two wheelers ranging in size from small (like bicycles and scooters ) to large (motorcycles and Segways).

I’m not sure that’s worth $10. What else?

Here’s the kicker: Berman’s article includes an interview with me.  I don’t want to give away the farm, but here’s some excerpts:

Mallin says that his motorcycle, which was delivered to him in a crate in June 2010, has exceeded his expectations. Not only is it a greener transportation option, but most of all, it’s a daily thrill. “It’s fun to ride, that’s for sure,” Mallin says. “How often do you wake up looking forward to your morning commute?”

* * *

“The only thing I hear when I ride my motorcycle is the wind inside my helmet, a little bit of chain noise, and the tires on the road,” Mallin says. “It’s much more of a visceral experience and closer to nature, compared to the rumble, rumble, rumble of a gas bike. On an electric bike, you can hear the crickets in the summer.”

Berman has also included quotes by Brian Wismann, Director of Product Development at Brammo; John Adamo, editor of Plugbike.com (and co-moderator of the Brammo Owners Forum); Harlan Flagg, owner of Hollywood Electrics; and Azhar Hussain, CEO of the TTXGP electric motorcycle racing series.

And yes, he even includes some pictures and information about bikes other than Brammo, including Zero Motorcycles, Mission Motors, Quantya, and Roehr Motorcycles.  So don’t waste your $10 on ice cream and donuts – spend it wisely on a subscription to Home Power and come away lighter, healthier, and better informed.

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Get Your Green On with a Brammo

I attended the “Get Your Green On” event at the City Market in Kansas City, Missouri, last weekend.  The ride in was a bit chilly — 55 degrees and foggy — but once the sun came out, temperatures soared into the 90s.  And tempers flared among the ubiquitous Harley fans that passed by. (Note: Kansas City has a Harley Davidson assembly plant in addition to being the home state of Shovelhead).

“Where’s the vroom-vroom?”

“60 miles an hour? Shiiiii—”

“How are the cars supposed to hear you coming?”

I explained the best I could — it doesn’t need a “vroom-vroom.”  It’s a commuter bike and doesn’t need to go faster than it does.  And I don’t care (or depend on) whether the other cars hear me coming . . . I can hear THEM coming.

For the most part, however, people were:

amazed “Electric? An electric motorcycle? COOL!”

impressed “Looks like it’s a real motorcycle.”

interested in learning more “Check out brammo.com

and eager to own one . . . almost “I want one of these . . . but not everyone is as rich as Obama” Huh?

I’m starting to recognize some familiar faces at these events.  The Coulomb Charge Point pedestal I’m plugged into in the picture, above, is a demo unit from the local distributor, Lilypad EV.  They are pretty cool — swipe your key fob or Charge Point Card, open the door, plug in, and then lock the door so that no one can unplug your bike.  Soon, they’ll be everywhere.  Depending, of course, on how you define “soon” and “everywhere.”

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Thirty Hours to Go

Thanks to the unparalleled customer service of Brammo (and the fact that it’s still under warranty) I only have about 30 hours until I can ride again.

My naked Enertia

I’m not sure if it is the result of something I did, or a defective gerbil in the works, but for whatever reason, the last time I turned on my bike it went, “Huh?” and refused to move.  I did what any motorcycle owner and former Nintendo gamer would do in such a situation: I took out the key, blew on it, blew into the keyhole, and tried again.  Nada.

The harsh morning light fell on her nakedness . . .

I looked up the fault code displayed on the dash in my owner’s manual.  “Contact Brammo Service.”  I sent an email to Brammo and an hour and a half later my Brammo Tech replied with a list of nine tasks.  The first three were pretty easy — basically turning the bike on in the usual way and looking for any additional fault codes.  Step # 4 was a bit more challenging, and this is how she put it:

This step depends on how comfortable you are with taking off the body panels.  If you feel comfortable and have your owner’s manual go to page 55 and follow the instructions.  If you don’t feel comfortable taking them off let me know and I will talk to Danny about coming to diagnose and fix your bike.

If I was the least bit reluctant to dive in, I am certain that she would have come right out and handled it.  But I have been on some other motorcycle forums and have been reading many stories about how folks have been getting their bikes ready for Spring by tuning up their carburetors, replacing spark plugs, flushing their coolant systems, and countless other tasks.  Given that my Spring preparation would have consisted of dripping some lube on the chain and checking the tire pressure, I was eager to get my hands greasy.

Lesson one of taking off the body panels and diving into the innards of the Brammo Enertia is that your hands will not get greasy unless you touch the chain.  About the only dirt I found inside the body panels was some road dust that had filtered in through the front grill  that hides the horn and appears to be the main source of air that cools the motor.  For the most part, the innards looked as clean as they looked in pictures taken during the manufacturing process.

My bike, before I knew her.

I removed the body panels with ease, thanks to the clear instructions from the Brammo Owner’s Manual, and began unplugging cords and checking fuses.

Unfortunately, I got all the way to step number nine and had not found the problem.  The Brammo Tech had ended step nine with these words:

If the fuses aren’t blown then  the issue is one of two parts which are not the easiest to replace and we will go from there.

Although I was willing to try to install the parts myself, Brammo decided to send the tech to handle this.  I strongly suspect that they did this following an assessment of my mechanical skills.  This assessment, according to my wife, was spot on.  “I think it’s great that they trusted you with the steps that required you to turn the key.  Once I saw you pick up the allen wrench to remove the body panels, all bets were off.”

My mechanical ineptitude, notwithstanding, I’m glad that Brammo let me try my hand at being a shade tree mechanic.  I’m even happier that they are sending out my favorite Tech, Jennifer, who has visited me a couple of other times.  Although I’m not expecting anything in particular other than getting my bike fixed, she has, in the past, arrived bearing gifts.

My helmet, adorned with a previous gift from BrammoJen

She’s scheduled to show up on Thursday night.  I am hopeful that my first ride of the month will take place that night. I’ll keep you updated, Brammo minions.

Yet another picture, risking my blog's "G" rating.

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Brammo at the Lucky Brewgrille

Brammo at the Brewgrille

What is a motorcycle doing inside a bar?

This is my Brammo Enertia and last night it was causing a bit of a ruckus at the Lucky Brewgrille in Mission, Kansas, during the monthly meeting of the Heart of America Motorcycle Enthusiasts club (HOAME).

The man who introduced me at the meeting and who has ridden my Enertia said this about the bike:

“I can answer the most important questions. You don’t need to ask Harry.

Is it a ‘real’ motorcycle?  Yes.

More importantly, is it fun?  Yes.”

With that understated but poignant introduction, I began talking about one of my favorite subjects.

It started innocently enough, with me turning on the bike.

“It’s on.”  Noiseless. Odorless. The only indication of the mayhem yet to come was the row of blinking green lights at the top of the dash.

I did my usual schtick, telling the story of how I came to be the owner of this fine bike, and how it was able to easily handle my daily commute without having to recharge during my workday.

And then the questions began:

Q. What’s the range? – 40 miles.

Q. What’s the top speed? – 60+ mph (but I mentioned the 2011 models, of course, especially the Empulse with its 100mph top end)

Q. How much does it cost? $7995 (but I had to mention the various incentives available, depending on what state you lived in)

The questions came fast and steady, without anything I hadn’t heard before.

After the meeting, however, most of the guys stuck around and talked to me about the bike.  Finally, one guy asked:

“Can it do a burn out?”

I’d never been asked that question before.  Here’s the answer:

Yes, apparently it does.

No, that's not a watermark above the motor cover.

Even though I’d been a member of this club for a few months, they never seemed to know what to do with me.  After the hooning event, however, there was a bit of a transformation.  My status went from “suspicious outsider with alien technology” to “brother . . . from another mother.”  At least, that’s what it felt like.  Several guys helped me load the bike back up on my hitch carrier (The Brammo Range Extender 1000) and plans were made for test rides in warmer weather.

“Listen to that,” one of them said as I rode down the alley to get the bike into loading position.

“Listen to what?” said another.

“Exactly”

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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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