Posts Tagged Farris

Alan and his Brammo Enertia

Alan, sitting on his new Brammo Enertia, NYC. (Copyright 2009 Allan Tannenbaum)

Over on Asphalt & Rubber the comments are still rolling in on the article about Brammo dropping the price of the Enertia to $7995 (before federal and state tax incentives).  This morning, an Enertia-owner named Alan had some real-world experiences to share.  Here are those comments, along with some pictures he was happy to share.  (Note: although you will come to the realization by the end of the first sentence that Alan is rich — and by “rich” I mean so rich that he hires a professional photographer to document the delivery of his Brammo Enertia– he comes off as that rare creature known as a “decent, cool guy.”  So, he’s rich, good looking, down-to-earth, and pulls off the open-white-shirt look without a hint of the 1970s-coke-sniffer vibe. Damn… I hate him.  Except I can’t hate him.  He’s just too frickin’ cool to hate. Good thing Ms. Brammofan doesn’t read my blog.  Also, good thing that he’s married.)

Alan says:

I own over 130 motos. I ride every day. I built a single-family HOUSE in Manhattan so I could ride bikes in and out of my own (clean) garage, and have a hose, and tools; among other reasons.  🙂

(Hey… I warned you.)

I collect Italian sport and (250GP) race bikes . I ride KTM’s in NYC because they relish in the abuse of steel plates and depressed sections of ALWAYS-under-construction-pavement and Tribeca cobblestones….curbs….you get the picture.

I have had my Enertia for nearly a month. It makes me ride more than EVER. There are so many times I would have WALKED 3 blocks for mediocre pizza – and not fired up a Katoom , warmed it up , “rumbled” my own house with toddlers sleeping , and my neighbors – JUST to go 13 blocks for KILLER PIZZA.

But with an Enertia….you do. It’s so insanely effortless it literally begs you to ride it.

From left to right: Alan's Helmet Valet, Craig Bramscher, Alan, some random dude, and John Farris, of Brammo. (Copyright 2009, Allan Tannenbaum)

While curbing emissions and foreign fuel dependency… may inadvertantly contribute to obesity. Because you never want to walk anywhere anymore EVER with this thing 😉 It’s like walking and running and riding a bicycle but not sweating , and like riding a motorycle out of some futuristic movie. The next version would have to hover 6 inches OVER the pavement to get people more excited 🙂

People freak over it and start chatting with you at every pause…because they dig the bike of course…and because THEY CAN. ( eg : you can actually talk to someone).

If you’re SINGLE/social ….and live anywhere near an urban or  “downtown” center….or , the apotheosis : in South Beach in Miami…..forget it ! It would be insane. You’d basically get to say “hi” to every single person you know on the beach…in like 13 minutes.

Enertia in Motion (Copyright 2009 Allan Tannenbaum) (It turns out that this and the next picture are of Matt Cokeley, of Popular Science Magazine. All these photos were taken on the day the Enertia was shown on Good Morning America)

I spent 6 months down there 2 years ago with a Benelli TnT, an Italjet scooter , and a Specialized MTB. I used the bike and scoot around 5 times each mostly out of neglect-guilt (and because I humped them DOWN there ) – and rode the bicycle every day. All of Florida is flat and you interact with everyone in a really pleasant way.

If I were to do it again (in say 16 years when I’m not a NYC school parent 😉 I’d only bring the Enertia. I realize that’s a long-winded way of saying “the bike would be fun at the beach.”

But motorcycles are visceral, lifestyle-shaping things. Does it feel weird to have no rumble? Yeah, for perhaps 4 minutes. Is it SUPER fun to hear the surf crash, talk, listen to what’s going on around you instead of being in sonic-rumble-isolation-bubble? Yes , it does.

At 12 grand this thing was a cute Tesla-on-2-wheels for the  “I’m so green” types who weren’t afraid of tandem-wheeled vehicles.
At $7995 minus $800 from the Feds – minus state taxes – minus a $200 Best Buy gift card through year end….it’s like a $6500 no-brainer that saves you money every time you use it.

And lastly – the belly looks low ( it does have a low CofG) but I hop 6″ granite curbs on it every single day and have never come CLOSE to a belly scrape. Unlike that Zero bike and others – it’s not a beefed-up mountain bike. It has real Brembo brakes and real suspension and real torque and you can ride it as aggressively as any (urban) supermoto really – without LOOKING like another rehashed dirtbike.

I do NOT work for Brammo as I hope you have figured out. I have just been following this project since its inception – as a result of being a customer of Brammo’s previous venture – The US version of the Ariel Atom , which I enjoy very much and drive on street and track.

(Added later, today)

As many a thumper and twin-rider will attest – it’s all about the TORQUE for urban and suburban cut’n’thrust riding. It has to win 1000 Stoplight GP’s to be fun and feel safe…..not a lap of Daytona…..and it does.

One thing that has continually impressed me with Bramscher / Brammo is that they CONSISTENTLY under-promise and over-deliver. In terms of range , top speed etc.

So yes – the speed , quickness , plush yet sporting suspension , BRAKES , all awesome. Range too. Since I’m a real urbanite my trips are often just 15 or 20 block round trip errands. I have done 20 over a period of 10 days and never looked at the wall receptacle let alone plugged the bike in – and at the end of the ten days it still has 60% power.

THAT to me is cool. Plus I’m used to ICE euro bikes and cars that kill their own batteries just SITTING. This power meter doesn’t budge when the bike is sitting for 3 days or more.

Alan and Craig (Copyright 2009 Allan Tannenbaum)

I cannot attest to how hills sap range or power – I have no hills in NYC with which to gauge.

At 12k my thought ( not just for me – in general ) was  “Maybe I’ll wait for version 2.0.″

For 7 grand? It’s exactly as much bike as you’d demand for the money. You COULD buy an SV650 or Gladius. But who cares. They are both great values ……but not gonna change your life. This bike is a bit transformational; even though that seems like a bold statement.

Of course you’re not going to buy this if you need your ONE BIKE to go 80 miles on the freeway every Friday to your country cabin, after spending the whole week commuting.

In America however, I really don’t know one guy who does all that on one bike anyway.
maybe 1-2 online moto buddies that also own KTM Adventure giant Dakar replica bikes.
They are suprisingly versatile and could do “all the above.” But they are like riding horses – you need a ladder to get in the saddle – and parking them is a 400lb sweat inducing hassle.

In NYC we park on sidewalks because paralell-parkers knock curbside bikes over, every time. when I pull a KTM onto the curb – oftentimes a shop or cafe owner will look at me in a disparaging way. Sometimes even as unfriendly a glare as to make you wonder if he’d TRY and get it towed.

With this – the reaction is antithetical. ” Is that electric ? Do you want to park it IN my store ?”

THAT stuff cracks me up. IF YOU TEST ONE FOR MORE THAN 2 MINS expect, to buy it 🙂

Here’s a pic of some of Alan’s bikes in what he calls their “temporary home.”  If you’re interested, click on through to his home page and explore more reasons why you might want to be him, why you’re not him, and why you’ll never be him.  But hey, he uses smilies.

Oh crap... this is only about 1/5 of his collection. DON'T CLICK!



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California Next to Experience the Brammo Enertia

According to an article on (publisher of, among others, the Ashland Daily Tidings), Brammo intends to move its Enertia/Best Buy campaign into California next.

“This is the test phase of the launch,” said John Farris, Brammo’s marketing and communication director. “The plan is to expand into California next.”

Best Buy will have a floor model and a couple more Enertias in stock in stores with personal transportation departments.

“Brammo isn’t the only personal transportation they’re marketing; they have a full range of (electric) bicycle and scooter-type of products,” Farris said. “But we are the marquee product and the only motorcycle.”

Farris mentioned the online store at and said this about sales forecasts:

Farris said it’s too early to gauge the number of units Brammo will sell this year, but the company hopes to produce 5,000 motorcycles within the next 12 months. It hopes to ramp up motorcycle production to 45,000 by 2012.

“We won’t have a forecast for another week or two,” Farris said. “We just went live last weekend. Orders are coming in, but we won’t begin shipping until later this week.”

Whoa… 45,000 is a big number for 2012.  This must include the Encite (smaller model) and perhaps a dual sport and a beefed up TTR-like model as well.

Great picture with the article, showing what appears to be an earlier prototype (it’s not the “Subliminal Green” but rather, a less-bright sparkle green) and, behind Mr. Lutz, the new prototype of Brammo’s flying motorcycle, the Enterprise, model no. NCC-1701.


Colby Lutz, a Southern Oregon University sophomore and part time Brammo technician, checks out the company’s electric-powered motorcycle. -MailTribune Photo


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Party Crashers

Brammofan heads out of town for the weekend and comes home to an overflowing inbox.

There’s the new Brammo website (thank goodness… I was about to gouge my eyes out looking at the same old tired website)  I’ll be reviewing that soon.

In related news, Brammo has introduced a Brammocommunity website.  I’m a member, of course, so drop by, log in, and let’s get it moving.

Brammo started crowdsourcing a new logo over at, and it looks like they have over 300 submissions already.  I’ll be covering this as well, but wanted to mention it now as there is a $1000 prize available to the winner.  There are some real beauties there, and, ahem, some real dogs.

Brammo-barbarians at the Gate

wcrashFinally, it sounds like the Brammo folks, specifically Adrian Stewart, John Farris, and Brian Wismann, had some fun last weekend crashing the local BMW Motorcycle Dealership’s open house for the introduction of the new BMW 1000 sport bike.

In the words of Stewart: Three of us planning to crash the local BMW S1000RR open house on Enertias and see who gets the most attention.


Bald man in blue shirt approaching - Bouncer?


Adrian Stewart (left) and John Farris (right), having way too much fun

Adrian Stewart (left) and John Farris (right), having way too much fun


Stewart posted this picture of Wismann lecturing: “The man from BMW prepares to road test the BRAMMO Enertia….turns out he liked it very much.”

For the record, Wismann did mention that the BMW S1000RR was “not too shabby, either.”


Sure, but can you start it in your garage and admire it with the doors closed?  Not for long.

Carbon  monoxide  is  without  color  or  smell;  but  can  kill  you.    Breathing  carbon monoxide produces symptoms of headache, dizziness, loss of muscular control, a sleepy feeling, and coma.  Brain damage or death can result from heavy exposure. Carbon monoxide occurs in the exhaust fumes of fuel-burning heaters and internal combustion  engines.    Carbon  monoxide  can  become  dangerously  concentrated under conditions of no ventilation.


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Ashland, Oregon Newspaper covers Enertia sound issue

From the Ashland Daily Tidings, the local newspaper in Brammo’s home turf:


By Elon Glucklich

 Can you make a boom without making a sound?

Ashland electric motorcycle manufacturer Brammo Powercycles is earning praise in advance of its commercial debut this month. The zero-emissions motorbike plugs into the wall like a household appliance, and is as quiet as a hybrid. But for safety’s sake, it can’t get on the road without making a little bit of noise.

For this reason, Brammo’s powerbikes, called Enertias, are specially equipped to generate their own noise.

“It’s something we had designed all along,” said Brammo marketing director John Farris. He said federal legislation may soon require motor vehicles to meet sound standards. Since electric and hybrid vehicles make far less noise than their combustion engine counterparts, making sure other drivers can hear them coming is paramount to their safety.

A microchip generates the vehicle’s start-up sound, to let the driver know it is operational. It also makes a generated noise similar to a vehicle’s acceleration when it runs at 10 mph or slower. Faster than that, the driver is limited only by his or her imagination.

“It has the capabilities of a fully functioning speaker system. You can hook it up to your iPod and play songs,” Farris said. “It’s a way for customers to personalize their vehicle.”

Ashland Daily Tidings © 2009 Southern Oregon Media Group, a division of Dow Jones

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Blondie Question

Adrian Stewart’s tweet this morning raised Brammofan’s bushy eyebrows:


Why would Debbie Harry hang out with these guys?  No offense, Adrian and John, but we’re talking about The Debbie Harry here.  And seriously – this tweet was posted at approximately midnight, Oregon time.  Let’s look at the cast of characters:

Debbie Harry

deborah_harryDebbie Harry is/was/shall always be the voice and face of “Blondie,” one of the pioneer bands in the new wave and punk music sound from the late 1970s.  She is responsible for countless white suburban teenage boys thinking they could actually dance . . . in public.  Most of these boys were out there wishing that their dance partners even vaguely resembled the sexy lead singer.  By the way, Ms. Harry is a new Twitter-user.  You can find her at @BlondieOfficial.

Adrian Stewart

AdrianStewart-160x240Adrian Stewart is Brammo’s Director of Channel Development. He’s an infrequent, but always interesting tweeter: @adriangstewart

John Farris


John Farris is Brammo’s Director of Marketing. He’s on twitter, too: @johncfarrisjr

What were these three doing in the Oregon woods last night?

The answer to the question seems rather obvious to me, but I challenge the dozens legions of Brammofan readers to come up with an answer of their own.  You can use the comment section, below, or feel free to tweet me @brammofan with your theories.


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Brammo Looking for Design Infusion?

File this in the “Unfounded Speculation” department.  John Farris (@johncfarrisjr on Twitter), Marketing guru at Brammo, just tweeted: roland sands is in the house (of brammo).

Roland Sands is a past 1998 AMA 250GP National Champion road racer who turned his focus onto motorcycle design and has appeared on Biker Build-Off on the Discovery Channnel, ESPN2’w Chopper Nation, and numerous other shows featuring his designing talent.

What is he doing at Brammo?  Is the next iteration of the Enertia going to include some Roland Sands-inspired influence? Or is Brammo’s absence from this month’s Mid-Ohio eGrandprix due to some radical redesigns of the Brammo TTR?  Given the pic below, and the results here, it’s an exciting possibility.

Roland Sands' La Palma design studio turns 450-cc dirt bikes into his new Super Singles. (LA Times)

Roland Sands' La Palma design studio turns 450-cc dirt bikes into his new Super Singles. (LA Times)

Of course, he might just be dropping in because he was in the neighborhood.

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Barron’s Magazine interview of Bramscher, Brammo CEO

Here’s a short video featuring the Brammo Enertia, with an interview of CEO Craig Bramscher by Naureen Malik.  I’m assuming this was shot during the debut of the powercycle in NYC on June 8, 2009.  Barron’s also had an article about it, but it’s subscription only.  If anyone can send me excerpts, I’d appreciate it. UPDATE (See below…)

Bramscher doesn’t share anything we don’t already know about the bike: the motor is behind the small round “Brammo” plate, the majority of the space where an engine usually can be found on a motorcycle is taken up by battery components, and the bike has many parts made of recycled plastic.  When she asks him how much horsepower it has, it explains that horsepower is the traditional method of measuring motive power of a motorcycle, but that with an electric, torque is more important, “because that is what you feel when you accelerate.” He goes on to say, however, that the motorcycle has the equivalent of 18 h.p., but “about 30 foot/pounds of torque.”

He mentions the cost — $11,995 — and that federal tax credits cover 10 percent of that cost, and states have additional tax credits available.

Malik asks John Farris, Brammo’s Director of Marketing, who says that he’s been riding motorcycles since he was 6 or 7 years old and that the Enertia “is the easiest motorcycle or scooter I’ve ever ridden in my life.” (Yo John, don’t you know that mentioning the “s” word in the same breath as “Enertia” is one of the leading causes Econfusion? I keed, I keed).

Looks like “The Beachcruiser” blog just posted Malik’s piece (or an excerpt of it) on their blog:

IT’S HARD TO CONJURE THE stereotypically brawny, tattooed Harley biker cruising on a Brammo Enertia Electric Motorcycle.
No hog, it’s a quiet, zero-emissions vehicle made partly from recyclables. It plugs into a standard U.S. outlet and recharges in three hours for a 35- to 45-mile drive at more than 50 miles per hour. Priced at a hefty $12,000 (less a 10% federal tax credit), it will soon be offered at West Coast Best Buy stores, marketed as the motorcycle that’s as easy to ride as a bicycle.
The bicycle analogy doesn’t do the Enertia justice. It turns out you need a motorcyle license (which I don’t have) to drive one, and it’s no lightweight, tipping in at 280 pounds. It was meant to accommodate someone like Brammo CEO Craig Bramscher, a former high-school linebacker.
I’m 5 feet 5; my feet barely touched the ground. But after a quick training session, I took a ride down a vacant Tribeca alley. It was a thrill.
The Enertia does have bicycle features that made it easy to adapt to, including a handlebar brake as well as a foot brake. To accelerate, you roll the rubber hand grip toward you, similar to what one does in changing bicycle gears. The hardest part was staying upright when the Enertia came to a stop. The bike is sleek and a cool way to commute to work or to joyride.
Based in Ashland, Ore., Brammo says it has hundreds of Enertias on back order, and it is working on an electric scooter that won’t require a special license. Best Buy Capital, an affiliate of the big retail chain, is a shareholder in the privately held company.

Brammo working on an “electric scooter” that doesn’t require a special license? That may be the first time I’ve heard that, but it’s not too surprising.

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