Posts Tagged elmoto.net

Brammo’s Wismann on Start-ups and Customer Service

Brammo Lead Designer, Brian Wismann, recently responded to a multi-part question posed by a member of the elmoto.net community: What did it take to start out? What consideration was made around the product, design process and initiating manufacture? What funds were put into it?

Wismann: I’ve been pondering how to answer this without typing out the novel that is my back-up plan if this all goes pear-shaped.  I’ll try to keep this simple, yet also provide you with some of the information you’re looking for.

Good Idea – Most successful ventures start with a strong understanding of a customer need or problem and then make a convincing effort to solve that need. With the Enertia, we believed that consumers needed a more efficient, cost effective means of commuting and getting around town. We started out with a simple idea and then refined it as time went on.

Money – We started with very little capital and needed to find funding. After over a year of concerted effort and many, many presentations to investors in many, many places, we found a good fit. Brammo’s Series A round of venture financing was around $10M USD. We kept going during this period by any and all means necessary. It was quite a roller coaster.

Perserverance (and a great team) – We had many, many setbacks, but if this team is good at one thing, it’s rolling with the punches and learning to do better next time. Not having a group that was burdened with the “established” way of doing things helped here I think. Also… our CEO, Craig, is the most stubborn, never say die person I’ve ever met. He’s full of manic energy from sun-up to sun-down and he has single handedly infused much needed energy into the group to keep pushing on multiple occasions.

Some other factors: Great design (people have to WANT to buy your bike), Great engineering (it’s gotta WORK when they get it), Good supplier relationships (need all the parts), Good timing (hard to judge sometimes), Distribution (where are people going to buy it?), Marketing (how do people find out about it?), Service (what happens if it breaks?), and good ol’ fashioned luck doesn’t hurt either.

Ok… that was a very quick overview, but I hope it helps answer some of your questions.

Wismann followed up with this, after a user asked about whether service is performed on Brammos by the Geek Squad at Best Buy, or by Brammo technicians in the field.

Immediately, we have Brammo employed mobile “service technicians” in the major markets (Portland, SanFran, and LA) to provide support to Best Buy and to customers during the launch phase of the product. We realized early on that Best Buy and Geek Squad would require some more time and training to become fully up-to-speed on servicing the Enertia (and other electric vehicles). That said, they are still instrumental in scaling the store roll-out nationwide, as we will not be able to place a service tech in every single market. So… it’s a combined effort now that tapers off as Geek Squad take on more and more. We’ll always keep a staff of mobile techs though for additional support.  Another benefit is that our service techs also conduct “ride events” or provide similar marketing support when they’re not busy supporting customers or training Best Buy staff. (E.g., Seattle and Yakima).

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Magura Brake Mod on Brian’s Enertia

For you mod-aholics out there, Brian Wismann just wrote about the latest addition to his Enertia, over on elmoto.net.

Brian Wismann

Ok… here it is. I’ve replaced my “standard” Brembo master cylinder with a Magura 195 radial master cylinder. See:http://www.powersports.magura.com/en…ial-195-1.html

As you know, the Enertia uses a Magura throttle and when their engineers dropped by the factory a month or so ago, they mentioned that this master cylinder might be a good fit. Of course, it’s way too expensive for production, but for those crazy enough to justify the cost (me ), it’s a fine upgrade option. If you’re not familiar with them, these “radial” style master cylinders are in fashion on many high-end Italian bikes as well as standard issue on many KTMs and BMWs as well, almost immediately recognizable by the remote brake fluid resevoir sticking up above the handlebar.

No fancy pictures this time, just iPhone photos. Many might not even notice it on first glance, but to me, it really elevates the look of the bike in a way befitting of the premium motorcycle that it is. The piston size is slightly larger at 12mm vs. the Brembo’s 11mm bore, but the feel is a wonderfully progressive, yet delicately controllable build to rock solid brake pressure. The lever action is wonderful and the curve of the lever just right.

No big fuss required to get it installed. I was even able to use the stock brake line, although I had to twist it a little more than it really wanted to. Keeping the banjo elevated after I disconnected it meant less fuss when I re-bled the brakes as I really only had to pull air out of the new master cylinder and not the line itself, which made bleeding go super quick. I did have the new master cylinder brake switch lines connectorized at the factory for me, but you could easily switch both sides of the connection to a more readily available connector type. You do have to remove the lower bodywork to get at this connector and cut a few zip ties to get the wire free. All in, I probably put about an hour and a half into this mod.

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Time for some maintenance tips on your Enertia?

Brian Wismann (@brammodesigner on Twitter) provides these bookmark-worthy tips about Enertia maintenance.  If you’re an owner, you need to know these.  If you want to be an owner, you’ll be glad you saved them.  Thanks, of course, to elmoto.net for hosting some great discussions on the Brammo Enertia and EVs in general.

Aside from having designed the bike, Brian is also a proud owner of an Enertia and it’s p one of the best-maintained bikes out there right now.

BrammoBrian

Brian: I’ve mentioned over a few diffenent posts some recommendations for maintaining the Enertia or tips to get it working at an optimal performance level. I thought it would be really cool and quite helpful to current and future owners if all of this information and learnings were captured under one thread. I would hope to keep this particular thread “on topic” for the most part so somebody doesn’t have to read a bunch of heated opinions (which definitely should be expressed – just not here) in order to get to good information.

I would hope other Enertia owners could also kick in with tips and tricks that they’ve learned once we’ve got more of the bikes out there. I’ll go ahead and start things off…

CHAIN LUBRICATION:

I highly recommend a chain “wax” rather than just a lubricant. The wax doesn’t fling off the chain and repels water (which can corrode the chain) as well as dirt and grime. It also makes the chain noticeably quieter compared to a standard lubricant. There are many sources and manufacturers, but this is the preferred brand at Brammo, which we’re able to get from our local BMW/Ducati dealership:

http://www.motorcycle-superstore.com…Chain-Wax.aspx

Remember that to keep wear to a minimum and efficiency to a maximum, you’ll want to lube the chain every 200 miles or so. Once you’ve done it a couple of times, you’ll notice the noise of the chain change when you’re past due for a lube job.

REAR STAND

A rear wheel stand will make lubricating and tensioning the chain along with general servicing of your bike a WHOLE lot easier. The Enertia can be lifted with nearly any standard rear wheel stand. A single sided swingarm or spool only race stand won’t do the trick. We’ve used Pit Bull stands for our race bikes and they’ve held up very well, so I’ll suggest that brand as reference:

http://www.motorcycle-superstore.com…ear-Stand.aspx

There are other manufacturers out there, though, so you can probably find something cheaper that will work just as well.

CHARGING

Having trouble charging your bike? Don’t know how to tell if it’s charging or not? These instructions SHOULD have been in your owner’s manual, but may not be if you’ve got version 1.0. Follow this page, and you should be G2G (good to go). *EDIT 12/09/2009* – This IS the approved and final version of the charging instructions now published in v 1.1 of the owner’s manual.

Also… here’s a video I shot on my iPhone demonstrating the charge process:

Still can’t get it? Things to check:

1. Have you blown the circuit? If you’ve got other high current (electric heater, etc…) devices plugged in then there’s a good chance that you’ve overloaded that circuit by plugging in your Enertia.

2. Is the charge cord fully seated to the entry module on the bike under the seat? Sometimes pulling on the cable can unseat this side of the charge cord.

3. Are you running a super long extension cord? If the voltage on the outlet is low to begin with then running a long extension cord may mean that you don’t have enough power to run the charger at the end of the line. Try a shorter cord or plugging directly into the outlet.

4. It is possible that you’ve got a bad charge cord. We’ve seen it before. Contact your Brammo or BBY service tech and they’ll get you a new cord to try. If that doesn’t fix it, you probably have a rare issue with your charger.

BATTERY BREAK-IN PROCEDURE

I typically count on about a week of commuting type rides to near full discharge and overnight charging to get the batteries nice and balanced. I should admit though that I’m kind of OCD when it comes to this kind of thing. Basically, the balance function of the charger occurs after the bike reaches the 100% SOC (state of charge) level through a low current charge algorithm. It’s draws the equivalent power of a 40W lightbulb during this phase, but the longer you can leave the bike in this state, the better. There is a point when the batteries just aren’t going to be any better balanced, and so this extra time doesn’t help, but at first I like to give it all the time I can afford to. You’ll know your bike is in this balancing state when the SOC on the display is toggling between 99 and 100% every couple of seconds. Also… there’s a secret trick if you want to check the cell balance… if you have your key in the ignition during charging and hold the tank “start” button down for 8 seconds, a more detailed data screen will show up on the dash that indicates current being delivered from the charger as well as minimum and maximum cell voltages. I can show you what else is displayed in this menu when you stop by the factory. To exit this screen, you just hit the tank button again.

There are no speed or mileage restrictions. Just know that you’ll not be getting full range out of the bike until you get the batteries are conditioned.

CHARGE CORD (quick tip)

So… after running an Enertia on my daily commute for months now, the novelty of pulling a charge cord out from under the seat wears off just a bit…

Luckily, there’s a solution that is and easier and faster way to access the cord …*IF* you’ve got saddlebags.

Simply leave the cord hanging through the backend of the seat, lock the seat down, coil the cord, and stuff it in the saddlebag on whichever side is closest to the outlet that you most frequently plug into. It doesn’t take up much space in the saddlebag, and now you simply have to unzip, pull it out, and… plug in.

I still prefer to have my charge cord neatly wrapped under the seat most days, but if I’m in a rush, it’s nice to know that there’s a “quick solution”. You’d never even notice the six inches or so of cord running from the seat to the saddlebag.

Ok… so not exactly ground breaking, but certainly practical, no?

Nobody likes a stuck throttle.

Nobody likes a sticky throttle. For those of you that have been around EVs for awhile, you’re no doubt with the “throttle of choice” (or is that lack of choice?) for EV motorcycles… the Magura electric potentiometer throttle. Brilliant in it’s simplicity and cost effectiveness, this throttle also has several drawbacks. I assure you that everybody and their mother is “in the works” on a better solution, but we’ve yet to come across one that’s ready for production. So… we along with the rest of the e-motorcycle community are stuck making this work. And with a little extra care and attention, it can work quite nicely.

So… here are some tips to keep you from experiencing a sticky throttle. I’d recommend doing this check about once a month or whenever you’re lubing your chain… you DID lube your chain, didn’t you?…

The Magura throttle tube length is either a mistake or made for Chinese hand size grips, because almost every common motorcycle grip in existence is too long for the tube. So… Brammo installs a sleeve at the end of throttle tube to allow the use of a standard length motorcycle grip. Taaaa-daaaa…..

You’ll notice two white nylon washer “bushings” on the left hand side of the grip. These reduce friction between the rubber of the grip and the side of the throttle housing that can lead to stiction along this surface. Always check that the grip end is pulled back slightly from these washers and that they’re able to slide against each other and do their job. If they’re bound up, push the grip to the right to free them up.

On the other side of the grip is the bar-end. This bar-end takes the brunt of the abuse if your bike ever decides to take a horizontal excursion. It’s also another potential point of stiction on your throttle. Check it, and if it’s rubbing, pull the grip to the left to free it up.

Finally, do the ‘ol throttle twist test. The throttle should “snap” back to the zero condition. If it doesn’t, figure out what’s binding and work on it till it does. A sticky throttle is dangerous.

A couple of other tips:

1. You can apply a little bit of bearing grease on the ends of the throttle grip to reduce friction if contact does occur.

2. You can buy aftermarket grips that are a bit shorter and give more space on either side of the throttle tube, as I have done to ensure the grip doesn’t make contact.

I bought mine here: http://www.motostrano.com/redukero.html

Enertia Tire Options.

I get asked from time to time about what other tires will fit up to the Enertia. Luckily, there are quite a few choices available in these sizes ranging from more agressive street tires to full on knobbies. Here are the tires we’ve tested:

Kenda K761 Dual Sport – light off road, gravel roads, dirty road surfaces

Front: 110/80-18

Rear: 130/80-17

From a performance “street-only” perspective, I’d recommend these in order. We ran the Pirellis on all of our prototypes and were very happy with them. Haven’t run them on a production chassis yet, so if you try them you’ll have to report back how they feel.

Pirelli Sport Demon – tested on Enertia prototypes

Front: 100/90-18

Rear: 130/80-17

Bridgestone Battlax – not tested by Brammo

Front: 100/90-18

Rear: 130/80-17

Metzler Lasertec – not tested by Brammo

Front: 100/90-18

Rear: 130/80-17

We’ve also run IRC TR-8 dual purpose tires, but I wouldn’t recommend them for anything other than off-road riding as they do not make for a good street tire.



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BrammoBrian on Visibility and Safety

Brian Wismann, Lead Designer at Brammo, has been providing some more bookmark-worthy posts over at Elmoto.net.  His latest one is on the subject of visibility:

Oh to be noticed…

Visibility is a key to staying safe on any motorcycle, electric or otherwise. By visibility, I’m talking about how well OTHER drivers can see you. This is a concept that is of critical importance to me, so I’ll do my best to try to convince you to ditch the “cool” darth vader lids and get something colorful and bright instead. I have a feeling that many on this forum (especially the ones that have been riding for years and years) already get this, but I wanted to post this for a new rider that might be having a hard time deciding on gear.

To help visualize the idea, I took a photo from a trip to Portland, blurred it, and then changed the color of my helmet from yellow to black. The blur effect is intended to replicate what information is available to process by somebody’s brain as they quickly scan an intersection before turning. Keep in mind that most drivers are quite distracted by music, children, phone calls, eating, etc…

With black helmet:

With yellow helmet:

What should be obvious is how easily a black helmet, jacket, and neutral toned bike blend in with the background environment. Your head is the highest point on the vehicle and is the most “in-line” with a 4 wheeled vehicle driver’s line of sight. This effect would, of course, be even more dramatic with one of those neon riding vests, although I think even these coupled with a dark colored helmet provide a diminished benefit.

In my opinion, the best helmet colors for visibility are red, yellow, and orange as these are colors that we’ve been trained to recognize as colors of caution and only appear on our roadways to denote hazards. They stand out from the background and command a driver to “see you” rather than look through you. I know alot of guys that assume that a light silver or grey qualify as a “bright colored” helmet, but I think these are only marginally better than black. I’ve noticed that Shoei now offers their RF-1100 (new version of my helmet) in “Pure Orange” which is a great match for the Enertia in Sunburnt Orange. This is what I’ll be recommending for my brother, who I’d like to see riding for a very long time…


I also increase visibility on my bikes by having some fun with retro-reflective rim tape, which “glows” when headlights hit it. Makes you very hard to miss at night. I even add a couple stripes of this to my helmet, along with the Team Oregon retro-reflective decal on the very back.

Here’s the retro-reflective stripes (red) on my Ducati:

And here on my Enertia… (need to add them to the wheels…).


I’ve said my piece… whatever you do, just think about your visibility to other drivers before you head out EVERYTIME you ride. Thanks!

* * * *

Later, another forum member added:

Since I started wearing a reflective vest when commuting about 15 years ago, I have not had a single vehicle make a left turn in front of me at an intersection. However, it does not work as well at night, unless the vehicle behind you happens to have its high-beams on. Low beams don’t point high enough to illuminate the vest, so I stick reflective tape on the rear mudflap down low and use those little reflective license plate fasteners that are sold in Cycle Gear for additional visibility on my bikes.

Also, always check your tail light and brake light operation before taking off every day. I have ridden in heavy fog for about 50% of my commute riding over the past 35 years and have only been rear-ended (fortunately just a little love tap) once – and that was when I started to worry about being visible.

(Thanks Richard #230 !)

I think this is what Richard was talking about:

Anything you think should be added to this discussion?  Reply in the comments, or go over to Elmoto.net and weigh in.

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Questions and Answers Drill Down into Enertia’s Inner Workings

A great discussion is going on at Elmoto.net, the discussion forum for electric motorcycles.  Nathan, a soon-to-be-Enertia-owner is flying to Portland to buy an Enertia, and will be driving it home.  His home is in Atlanta, Georgia.  The bike was never designed for trips such as this, but ShockingBarack has apparently called some people to action.  Before his trip, Nathan asked Brian Wismann, Brammo Lead Designer, a few questions.  Brian’s answers (along with Nathan’s questions), below:

bwAvatar_3

Brian Wismann

natehead2small

Nathan

BrammoBrian 11-14-2009 12:02 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by nathanabbott (Post 10416)
BATTERY
Battery pack stats are listed as 3.1kWh @ 76.8 volts. Assuming that’s six 12.8v / 40Ah cells arranged 3 in series x 2 rows parallel?
Any battery upgrades available? 60Ah cells?

The Enertia has six 12.8V/40Ah Valence Lithium Iron Phosphate modules wired in series for a 76.8V/40Ah pack yielding 3.1kWh of capacity. There is no upgrade pack available at the moment, but this is something that Brammo is pursuing for the future. The Enertia features a sophisticated BMS that integrates with our VCU (vehicle control unit) to monitor status and health of the batteries during charge and discharge. An upgrade pack would need to be able to communicate with the BMS and VCU in a compatible way to the current battery pack. That’s not to say it’s not do-able, I’m just trying to explain why it can’t be ready tomorrow.

Quote:

Originally Posted by nathanabbott (Post 10416)
Does the controller allow the battery to fully discharge or does it maintain minimum/maximum charge limits for the battery pack similar to the Tesla & Chevy Volt? In other words, will it prevent me from shortening the life of the battery or damaging it?

There are multiple protection layers on the battery through the BMS (battery management system), VCU (vehicle control unit), charger, and motor controller. These systems prevent you from overcharging or overdischarging the batteries. There are also several faults codes that will display on the dash if there’s a problem with any one of these systems or parameters. You will have use of 100% of the battery capacity though, unlike many hybrid cars that use only a small portion of the available capacity like the Toyota Prius, although those are NiMH batteries.

Quote:

Originally Posted by nathanabbott (Post 10416)
What is the battery break-in procedure, how long & what mileage/speed restrictions should I exercise during the break-in period?

I’m not sure exactly what it says in the manual, but I typically count on about a week of commuting type rides to near full discharge and overnight charging to get the batteries nice and balanced. I should admit though that I’m kind of OCD when it comes to this kind of thing. Basically, the balance function of the charger occurs after the bike reaches the 100% SOC (state of charge) level through a low current charge algorithm. It’s draws the equivalent power of a 40W lightbulb during this phase, but the longer you can leave the bike in this state, the better. There is a point when the batteries just aren’t going to be any better balanced, and so this extra time doesn’t help, but at first I like to give it all the time I can afford to. You’ll know your bike is in this balancing state when the SOC on the display is toggling between 99 and 100% every couple of seconds. Also… there’s a secret trick if you want to check the cell balance… if you have your key in the ignition during charging and hold the tank “start” button down for 8 seconds, a more detailed data screen will show up on the dash that indicates current being delivered from the charger as well as minimum and maximum cell voltages. I can show you what else is displayed in this menu when you stop by the factory. To exit this screen, you just hit the tank button again.

Back to the break-in. There are no speed or mileage restrictions. Just know that you’ll not be getting full range out of the bike until you get the batteries conditioned. Keep in mind that you’ll need to bed the brakes in, so leave yourself plenty of stopping distance and try to apply even pressure stopping from multiple speeds. These are Brembo brakes, so they’re great from the start, but in my experience, once the bike hits about 200 miles, they really start working well. Also… as with any motorcycle, you’ll not want to immediately hop on and do a 3200 mile… oh, wait…

Quote:

Originally Posted by nathanabbott (Post 10416)
COMPUTER GEEK STUFF
What numbers can I monitor from the bike’s instrument cluster?
What other stats & diagnostics are available?
Can I record/monitor them on my PC?
What software is available for my laptop? (If it’s in beta, mind if I QA test it for you?)

The dash displays the following:
– Battery Level (or SOC)
– Ambient Temperature
– Time Clock
– Trip odometer
– Odometer
– Power Percentage (real time display of power usage)
– Range Estimate (Miles traveled/Miles remaining)
– “Geek” screen which displays power in kW and some of the above in text format
– Any system faults or warnings are displayed here as well. For instance… a charger fault would display as “GET SERVICE” with a code on the end that could be referenced in our service manual to determine what’s gone wrong.

We do have a set of diagnostic software that all Best Buy and Brammo technicians are equipped with. They simply connect through the CANbus connector on the back of the dash and can get access to all systems on the bike, upload new firmware, or download historic log data (from the USB disk you mention), and view recorded error or fault flags. At the moment, we don’t have the ability to provide a version of this software to customers, but that is also in the works. Since our iPhone integration kit will make the same systems data available to the iPhone, we were thinking we might include a “diagnostics light” type application within our Brammo app for customers to use.

Quote:

Originally Posted by nathanabbott (Post 10416)
I understand there’s a USB thumb drive which contains the bike’s default settings. Can I modify those with my PC?
Does the Enertia store riding metrics like mileage, avg speed, battery discharge rate, etc.?

The USB drive records drive data everytime you ride so that a service technician can diagnose a problem if it occurs. If you’re ever having a problem and can’t get the bike to a service center, this logged data is extremely useful for remote diagnosis of a problem. Just pull the drive, zip the files, and email to a service center for review. The recorded data includes battery voltages, current, temperatures, vehicle speed, motor temperature, motor controller temp, motor side current, and a host of other information.

The settings you would want to adjust I assume would be motor controller settings. These settings very much influence the performance and responsiveness of the bike. At the moment, there’s a seperate laptop application required to adjust these settings as the motor controller doesn’t communicate in quite the same way as our other electronics. Eventually, you will be able to adjust these as a customer, but this isn’t available just yet.

Quote:

Originally Posted by nathanabbott (Post 10416)
Any additional ports besides thumbdrive & power socket?

Not yet. 😉 It would be nice to include a 12V power outlet, but we have to be careful about understanding what people want to plug into it so it doesn’t overwhelm the 12V DC system on the bike and blow fuses.

Quote:

Originally Posted by nathanabbott (Post 10416)
What sounds does the bike make? Are they customizable?
Can I replace the startup tune with my own sound clip? Like a Chewbacca noise or the intro to Van Halen’s “Hot for Teacher”?

The bike has a “start-up” sound when you hold down the tank button to enable drive mode or charge mode. I’m sure you can hear it in one of the Shocking Barack videos, but I don’t remember which one…

Custom startup sounds are a possibility although they’d have to go through some formatting as the sound gets stored in on-board memory on the VCU. We use an exciter to make the upper body panel surface a speaker for this sound, so not all frequencies sound as nice as others. Chewbacca would probably work though…

Quote:

Originally Posted by nathanabbott (Post 10416)
Any plans for a “My Brammo” login page that would allow me to sync my bike stats, download firmware upgrades, compete with other owners for “greenest riding skills”, etc?

YES. ABSOLUTELY. 😎

Quote:

Originally Posted by nathanabbott (Post 10416)
PERFORMANCE
Best case scenario: assuming flat grade, no wind, 60F @ 190lb rider skilled at “soft pedaling” the battery, what range might be possible at:
45mph?
50mph?
55mph?0-30mph time?
0-60mph time?

Ok… Lot’s of hypotheticals here… MY best guess…
25mph = 45-50 miles
35mph = 40-45 miles
45mph = 35-40 miles
50mph = 30-35 miles
55mph = 25-30 miles
60/65mph = 20-25 miles

0-30mph time (with factory settings) = 4 seconds
0-60mph time (with factory settings) = 14 seconds


Quote:

Originally Posted by nathanabbott (Post 10416)
Regarding general e-bike skills, what techniques would you recommend to conserve battery juice & increase range?

1. Think of the throttle as a rubber band. Stretch it to acclerate and then roll back just a little to maintain a speed. You’ll notice once you get up to the speed you want, you can back off the throttle just a little and maintain that speed.

2. Don’t accelerate hard if you don’t have to. Ease into the throttle if you’re trying to acheive maximum range. Just like extending your gas mileage on a car.

3. Stay off the brakes and maintain momentum. Everytime you jam on the brakes is energy you’re going to have to dump back in to get the bike back up to speed. The bike coasts, so take advantage of it. Roll off the throttle coming up to a stop and allow the bike to coast down rather than running the throttle all the way to the last minute and then yanking on the brakes.

4. Watch the dash and get a feel for what draws the most power. You’ll be surprised how accurately you’re able to judge your range and predict how much further you can go or even pace yourself to draw out the remaining energy to make it to wherever you’re trying to go.

Quote:

Originally Posted by nathanabbott (Post 10416)
GENERAL STATS
Dry weight of bike? 280lbs was for the prototype, right?
Are headlights/taillights incandescent or halogen?
Are LED lights available as an upgrade or aftermarket?

Dry (and Wet) weight of the bike = 324 lbs.
Headlights/taillights/turnsignals are incandescent.

There are LED taillights and turnsignals available in the aftermarket. I’ve got LED signals on my personal bike from Rizoma (manufacturer).

Quote:

Originally Posted by nathanabbott (Post 10416)
OPTIONS & ACCESSORIES
What accessories are or will be available?
Do you offer Brammo label saddle bags, fairings, etc.?

Yes, Brammo label saddlebags are available. No fairings yet. Photo of saddlebags below…

Quote:

Originally Posted by nathanabbott (Post 10416)
REPAIRS/WARRANTY?
Warranty?Repair options for folks on the east coast? Can I take it to the Best Buy Geek Squad in my neighborhood?

The following is pulled out of the “Enertia Warranty Policy” booklet that comes with your Enertia seperate from the owners manual. You’ll also have a warranty registration card to fill out with your bike’s VIN and mail in to us. This will allow us to track your bike against the records we have for it here including build information as well as dyno and test ride results. BTW – every bike that’s been built to date goes for a 4-10 mile “shakedown” test before we clear it for sale.

Warranty period is 12 months.

From the booklet:
Brammo warrants the Enertia under the terms of the owner’s manual during the applicable warranty period from any defects in material and workmanship. If any such defect should be found within the applicable warranty period, Brammo has appointed a BASA near you for the servicing of those products and Parts under the manufacturer’s warranty.

No charge for parts or labor.

More detailed information is provided in the booklet, but for the most part it’s a warranty for a vehicle as you’d expect (or at least I would expect).

Now… your question about how you service the bike in Georgia when there’s no BASA “near you” is a tougher question. Clearly, we did not anticipate the bureaucracy required to open stores in other states, so bear with us as we learn that “pioneers take all the arrows”! The answer on this is a little more murky than we’d like it to be, but rest assured that we won’t leave our customers hanging. As evidenced by our responsiveness to our customer in Iowa, we’ll deal with service directly until we can get BBY staff all trained up. We will either get a service tech out to you or call on one of the trained corporate BBY technical staff (rather than store level) to get service facilitated. BTW – the work performed on Hawkeye’s bike is not due to any malfunction, we just wanted him to be updated with the latest and greatest firmware and settings going on to production bikes now. You early customers are our best shot at convincing others to joing the cause. We’re small, and so running a SuperBowl ad isn’t going to be feasible – we’d rather invest in you as our sales force!

We ran this photo in a press release awhile ago, but I figured I’d post it again given the current discussion. Best Buy is fully committed to this thing. Perhaps you’ve encountered a teenaged floor salesperson that you wouldn’t buy an iPhone accessory from much less a motorcycle, but those are not the guys and gals that are being trained to handle PT (personal transportation). These techs are the real deal and most have gone through “boot camp” training at our production facility here in Ashland. These photos are from one of those training programs where they actually built bikes on the line under the guidance of our production staff to familiarize themselves with the components and the bike…

With the additional rebates driving interest in Georgia, it may be that we can open a store there sooner rather than later. You should ride your bike over to your nearest store and lobby them to ask corporate to let them sell and service the bikes!

BrammoBrian 11-14-2009 06:00 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by nathanabbott (Post 10448)
Awesome. This is the kind of info that really gives me a chub…So for the inevitable occasion when the rider taps the keg a few miles short of the next exit, I’m wondering if something like this would provide enough juice for “limp mode”:
http://www.powerfilmsolar.com/images…/rolledAcc.jpg
http://www.powerfilmsolar.com/

60watts * 2 panels = 120 watts = 2 extra miles @ 10-15mph?

Saw this under “military applications”. I bet these guys could make a really handy motorcycle cover:
http://www.powerfilmsolar.com/images…solarField.jpg


Hmmm… doubtful that a small solar panel would help you much, but let’s have some fun with this… Going the full solar panel route, keep in mind that the charge voltage for the battery pack is 86.4V, so you’d have to get a minimum of six of them (as their operating voltage is 15.4V) to stand a chance. Even then, with 6 of the 79″ long version (the Enertia is 80″ long), it’d take you about 24 hours of full sunlight to get a full charge. This would, of course, also require some custom wiring to get the panels connected to the battery pack and some kind of protection circuit to keep from over volting the batteries (BAD) or blowing up the solar panels from backfeed from the batteries (also BAD). A fun experiment or a cool way to recharge in summer with the panels on a garage roof, but I’m not sure it would be practical on the road.

Another crazy option would be to parallel a few of those panels and use them to run an inverter like this…

http://www.radioshack.com/product/in…lickid=prod_cs

And then plug our charger directly into the inverter. I’m not sure if our charger could run at this low power (you’d be lucky to pull 200W), but if it did you might be able to make this work. I’m not sure what these inverters require for input power, and you’d probably still be talking about alot of solar panels to drive it.

Maybe somebody else on the forum has done something like this before?…

Bueller?…

*EDIT* – I just picked up a 350W inverter from RadioShack on the way home. It’s very small and fit nicely in one of my saddlebags with plenty of room to spare. Not very heavy either (maybe 1.5lbs). I’ll try to charge the bike off this inverter from my car’s 12V outlet. Probably the world’s most inefficient charge ever, but if it works, this could be a nice back-up to have with you in case you get stuck. You could either run it off a car battery and use the car as a generator (yes, yes, I know… very not green!), or you could find a 12V bank of solar cells to provide input to the inverter (which would be the next experiment). I’ll let you know how the test goes…

**EDIT of EDIT** – I should’ve been able to predict this result, but as I plugged the inverter in I knew only one of two things could happen… either there wouldn’t be enough power to even run the charger, or I would blow the fuse in the inverter as the charger attempted to suck upwards of 800W out of it. So… there wasn’t enough power. I’ll have to try a 1000W inverter, but I think these start getting a good bit bigger and heavier. Also… good luck finding a 1000W portable solar panel. Bummer.

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Brammo’s Wismann on Range/Speed and Fairings

Reading a great discussion over on elmoto.net about the Brammo Enertia, range, and why there is no “range to speed curve chart” for the Enertia.  The answers are provided by Brammo’s own Brian Wismann:
Quote:
Originally Posted by nathanabbott
BrammoBrian, do you know where I could find data on the range to speed curve for the Enertia? Maybe a chart or whatever you have? Otherwise, is there a way I can calculate range at a given speed with a rider who’s weight is remarkably similar to mine (190lbs)?

 

Additionally, is there an easy way to mount an aerodynamic fairing on the Enertia? Does Brammo sell one as an accessory? You’ve probably already seen this but just in case…
http://www.schultzengineering.us/chap3.htm

Thanks in advance for any info you can provide. I think i’m going to buy an Enertia this week.

Nathan,

The Enertia has been designed for a rider of your weight. Believe it or not, the average weight for an American male is 190 lbs. We have a couple of test riders that regularly commute 30 miles one way into the office that weigh 250+ lbs. Dave Schiff, who joined me on the ShockingBarack.com trip weighed around 190 lbs as well.

I don’t want you to feel like this is a “cop out”, but we don’t have this range chart you’re requesting for alot of reasons. Basically, the range of the bike is dependent on so many conditions, that it would be difficult to make it applicable to everyone’s independent situation. The other issue is getting to a common understanding of “average speed”. For instance, in true urban traffic (downtown Portland for instance), you could get over 50 miles range driving with or faster than the flow of traffic all day. This is because with the amount of starts and stops, your average speed over that ride will be quite slow. Sustained freeway driving is the worst case for an EV, because the current draw is high AND continuous, depleting the batteries at a much higher rate. In the scenario where a guy your size hops on the bike and immediately pins it at 60-65mph on the interstate or freeway, I’d estimate you’d be out of juice in about 20 miles based on testing we’ve done here, albeit with the heavier riders I was mentioning earlier. The 42 mile range that’s quoted on our website is for a driving cycle specified by the EPA that is neither this true urban cycle nor the “freeway EV destroyer cycle” I’ve described. It attempts to approximate a more average commute around a suburban area in California including both fast, sustained riding and starts and stops. I’ll make a mental note to look it up today and post the profile we’ve tested to.

This is getting long, but I really want to be clear about this, one of the most important issues for electric vehicles. Another factor in all of this is rider skill. But not just motorcycle rider skill (although that does help)… electric motorcycle riding skill. I’m sure other forum members can atest to this, but there is a certain finesse in throttle application and braking that can also have a significant impact on range. For example, when we first put Roy Richardson on our Isle of Man race bike out at the Jurby test track, he only managed 30 miles of continuous riding at race pace. The race course is 37.75 miles long, so we were stunned – how could our calculations of required energy capacity have been so far off? Luckily, we made some observations about his riding style and throttle application and instead of making huge adjustments to the bike, spent some time with Roy describing what we’d learned in testing on throttle control and maintaining momentum (i.e. staying off the brakes) through corners. Roy went out the next day with this knowledge and ran out of time at the end of the session with 44 miles logged at race pace AND better lap times. I also noticed this “phenomenon” with Dave on our Shocking Barack trip. During the first legs of the journey, Dave would be nursing the bike in (hence the famous run in with the cops in Adrian, MI: http://www.youtube.com/user/Shocking…41/Y7T4ChCg7uo) wheras I would have plenty of juice to spare. We initially chocked this up to rider weight differences, but by the end of the journey, Dave was actually out performing me on mileage on a charge! He certainly had plenty of seat time to learn the bike and coupled with the few tips I gave him, he was able to make a few minor adjustments to himself to get the most out of the bike. That’s not to say that the bike’s not easy to ride or to learn to ride, it’s just that – like anything – you’ll get the most out of it if you make yourself adaptable as well.

Regarding the fairing… Yes, you should be able to mount a small fairing like we did on this TTXGP promo bike quite awhile ago…

This is a Triumph Thruxton fairing with some minor modifications. I think the aero advantage here was small…

A larger fairing like the one you’ve referenced would be a more significant challenge, but anything is possible with fiberglass and a little creativity! It would be rad if someone made an Enertia TTR replica with their bike…

IMG_0467

Go get your Enertia so I’m not the only one with a bike on this forum! People want to hear from real customers! You won’t regret it. It’s a killer ride and now a killer deal. In fact, it’s such a good deal (now I’m really going to get myself in trouble) that you builders should just buy the bike and use the parts for your conversion AND get the 10% Federal tax credit. Ok, ok, I hope you don’t do that… I was mostly kidding.

Let me know if you’ve got any other questions.

-Brian.

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