Posts Tagged HellForLeather

Brammofan in HellForLeather

Thanks to Wes Siler, Azhar Hussain, Brian Wismann, Alex Tang, and others for helping me with an article on the subject of the TTXGP and the tantalizing idea of a spec class to help fill the grid.  Pick up a copy of Hell For Leather Magazine at your local news stand, or just read it on their website.  If you don’t subscribe, however, you’ll miss out on the skewering I expect to receive in the comments.  Pony up the cash, as it’s well worth the cost of admission.

TTXGP Spec-ulation: can this grid be saved?

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Brammo Rider “Domesticated Violence”

This is not a post about spousal abuse.  It will, however, be filled with bruises, rough talk, and some spanking.

First, an introduction to “Domesticated Violence.”  Not a typo – that’s her name.  And here she is:

Domesticated Violence, Blocker for the Break Neck Betties

Domesticated Violence (let’s call her DV, for short), is a blocker for the “Break Neck Betties,” one of the nine teams under Portland, Oregon’s roller derby league known as the Rose City Rollers.  If you recall, I’ve written a couple of posts about them.

DV was the rider of the Brammo Enertia for the “Black” team in the photo shoot for the Icon catalog.  She was kind enough to answer some questions I had about the shoot.

The Spanking

Not what you think.  In its article about the photoshoot HellforLeather posted this photo:

HellForLeather stated,  “Well, it turns out that while ditching internal combustion eliminates the risk of a pipe burn, it adds the risk of an electric motor burn. Which, when combined with fishnet stockings results in this interesting burn pattern.”

Actually, this mark, according to DV, on whose knee it appears, is a “rink rash”:

We rode these bikes on our actual track that we play roller derby on. It is a “sport court” made of 1 sq ft plastic tiles. What you are seeing in that picture of my knee is bruising (from the impact of the fall) and the patterned scab is where my fishnet covered knee rubbed against our flooring (we like to call it “rink rash”) and rubbed away the skin. It makes for a lovely scar later. So no pipe burn happening here.

Consider yourself spanked, HFL.  I’m sure it smarts, so maybe it’s time for an a$$ rub.

The History of Domesticated Violence . . . on two wheels

I asked DV what she’s been riding, on for how long:

Well, technically I started riding motorcycles about 11 years ago but I haven’t ridden consistently during that time period. I had a street bike when I lived in LA and I also rode dirt bikes. When I moved to Portland, I sold my bikes and dropped my motorcycle endorsement. I just bought myself a second bike back in May of 2009 (1979 Suzuki G450 converted to a nice cafe racer) but I haven’t had much luck with it. The throttle is a bit sticky (as in you are either stalling or popping the wheel) so it’s sitting in my garage for now. When I first heard about the Enertia I have to admit I was skeptical but after seeing it and riding it, it definitely grabbed my interest. Although the one I saw was modified for the shoot…. I would definitely ride one around town.

Anyone in Portland want to help this poor waif with some wrenching? Post it up in the comments, below.

DV on her EV

DV on the concept and reality of Rollerball

I asked DV about using motorcycles to help the Jammers get up to speed and whether it seemed possible:

Well I think the concept the Icon guys came up with was pretty cool. It’s pretty far fetched to actually have a bike help a game of roller derby. One thing we noticed during the shoot was that the extra weight on the tow bar was really screwing with the rider’s control of the bike. I mean these girls are skating around while holding onto that bar. I could definitely feel it having an impact on my control of the bike. Keep in mind we were going pretty slow as our track is very small and tight so I think the effect was compounded.

Finally, because you asked, here’s all you need to know about DV, from the Rose City Rollers website:

Name: Domesticated Violence (Captain)
Number: 10-16 on your home scanner
Position: Blockin’ your life and Jammin’ it down your throat.
Lap Time: As long as the spanking takes.
Fav Move: The “Tonya Harding” & The Hustle.
Likes: Vodka, vicodin & violence, neighbors who mind their own damn business, winning, first place, and trophies.
Dislikes: Cooking, cleaning, wet pavement, stripped axles, police sirens, the drunk tank, and losing.
Fav Color: Black & Blue with Red all over.
Fav Food: Thigh bones & raw meat.
Sign: Scorpio – isn’t it obvious?
PrMotto: “If it ain’t broke… SMASH IT!”

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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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Brammo Private Offering – Who’s Who

After finding the Form D that Brammo filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission yesterday, I wrote a short post, at the end of which I indicated that today we’d look at some of the names listed on the form.

Under the “Related Persons” of the form are the following men, listed as Directors:

Kuk Yi is a Vice President at Best Buy and is also a Managing Partner at Best Buy Capital.  Best Buy Capital, the Venture Capital arm of Best Buy, was a major part of the $10 million  Series A offering Brammo received in 2008.

Brian Wawro is the Senior Vice President of Investments at Chrysalix Energy, the other VC fund that provided a sizable chunk of Brammo’s 2008 funding.

Bruce Gilpin is the Chief Financial Officer of Brammo.  According to my sources, he’s the one responsible for the “Re-use paperclips” sign on the office supplies cabinet at Brammo.  Actually, I made that up… but he is a big part of why Brammo is what it is today.

David Kurtz  – According to Sustainable Business Oregon, Kurtz is with Alpine Inc., an oil and gas investment firm out of Oklahoma.  You might be wondering why an oil and gas firm in Oklahoma want to invest in a little electric motorcycle company in Oregon.  Wonder away.

According to Hell For Leather, Brammo hopes to go public one day.  “One of the goals of the company is to be super capital efficient and get to profitability with as little capital expense cost as possible,” said Bramscher. “That is why leveraging partners like Flextronics to their highest and best contribution is critical and a huge differentiator for Brammo.”

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Popular Mechanics reviews the Brammo Enertia

… and some other, less interesting bikes.  They’ve spread the review over a couple of pages, but I know what you true Brammo Fans are looking for, so let’s cut straight to the chase (on page 2 of the review). (thanks to Wes Siler of hellforleathermagazine for doing his usual, yeoman’s job of putting together a lot of information into one great post):

Brammo Enertia

Brammo Enertia

Friendly looks, slick packaging and quality components combine to elevate the Enertia above its electric competition. Of all the bikes here, this is the one that feels the most expensive, but thanks to the economics of scale, it’s actually one of the cheapest. Brammo just put the Enertia into mass production at its new factory in Oregon and is selling the bikes through select Best Buys throughout the West Coast. Slightly slower than the competition from Zero, but you won’t notice because the throttle feels so much more natural; the Brammo accelerates predictably and smoothly. Striking a form that’s somewhere between roadster and cruiser, the Enertia is a comfortable, agile bike that’s near perfect for the cut and thrust of urban riding.

Road legal: Yes License type: Motorcycle
Price: $7995 Weight: 324 pounds
Top speed: 65 mph Power: 18 hp
Range: 45 miles Battery: Lithium-ion phosphate
Battery capacity: 3.1 kilowatt-hours Recharge time at 110 volts: 4 hours
Best suited for: New riders who want their first motorcycle to be electric and commuters who want to save money and time. Info: brammo.com

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Get set… GO! Brammo Enertia now $7995

Brammo just announced a whopping 33% price reduction: From $11,995 to:

$7995

That’s cheaper than a toaster.

(I mean, a really BIG toaster)

Time to seriously consider buying one of these sweet bikes.

Also, you need to consider the 10% Federal tax incentive, which would bring the price down to $7,195.  The presser mentions the 0% financing on a 24 month payment schedule through Best Buy, with $2000 down payment.  That would make your payments only $249 a month.  That’s almost my monthly gasoline bill for my Landcrusher SUV.

Is it time to buy?

I don’t know.  Let’s go to the graphs:

graph(4)

Enertia Pricing, yesterday and today:

Wes Siler of HellForLeather.com just broke the news.

So what’s enabled the price to come down? “It’s the whole electric vehicle ecosystem,” says Craig, “this pricing breakthrough is in line with consumer electronics, where engineering and production advances get passed on to customers as quickly as possible to stimulate adoption of the technology.” As the company has refined its production process and established a base of demand for electric transportation, it now knows it can invest in making more motorcycles and selling them at a lower cost.

Congratulations to Brammo on figuring out how to do this.  According to the article,

Brammo produced its 100th motorcycle, meaning the Oregon-based production line has passed its initial shakedown tests and is now capable of producing up to 10,000 bikes per year.

By the way, here’s the press release, for posterity’s sake:

Brammo Introduces New Price For The Enertia Plug-In Electric Motorcycle, Now $7,995
The 33% savings is a direct result of engineering advances

Ashland, Oregon – November 10, 2009 – BRAMMO <http://www.brammo.com> , maker of plug-in electric motorcycles, announced today it is dropping the price of the all-electric BRAMMO Enertia powercycle, to $7,995.  Customers are also eligible for a 10% federal income tax credit, further reducing the price to $7,195.

“While this pricing breakthrough is innovative in transportation, it is in line with consumer electronics, where engineering and production advances get passed on to customers as quickly as possible to stimulate adoption of the technology,” stated Craig Bramscher <http://www.twitter.com/brammocraig> , founder and CEO of Brammo.  “The Enertia is consumer electronics that you can ride and BRAMMO’s engineers are able to deliver a better value proposition to customers sooner than a traditional transportation company.”

Today, qualified customers can walk into select Best Buy stores and with a $2,000 down payment, ride out on an Enertia for $249 a month with 24-month no interest with payments financing offered through Best Buy.  The Enertia can also be purchased direct from www.BRAMMO.com <http://www.BRAMMO.com> in select states where the product is not yet available at a Best Buy.

The BRAMMO Enertia powercycle is the ideal commuter vehicle as it blends an exhilarating ride experience with environmental consciousness and low operating costs. The Enertia has a top speed of over 60 mph, has a range of 42 miles and charges in about four hours by plugging into a standard wall outlet—all while using less than a dollar in electricity per 100 miles ridden.

“With this price reduction Brammo has positioned electric vehicles for the mass market and consumers can now be part of a solution to the transportation crises that America is facing,” said Bramscher.  “The wait is over, consumers can now buy an EV that is price competitive with a gas burning alternative and enjoy reduced maintenance and substantially lower ownership costs.”

Fans and media can follow Brammo on Twitter @BrammoSays <http://www.twitter.com/brammosays>  and on its Facebook fan page, Brammo Powercycles <http://www.facebook.com/pages/Brammo-Powercycles/155650127567>

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More Guerilla Marketing

@BrammoCraig alerted us to some intelligent creativity by Stephanie P. Liu, who does not appear to be one of the CP+B interns — looks like she’s a New Yorker.  She’s created a billboard, and a sticker for electrical outlets.  Clever lady.

brammo_poster

brammo_sticker

Nice use of the electrical cords and outlets to make a point, Ms. Liu.

Ummm… Ms. Liu?  Do you happen to have any ideas about what a Brammo logo might look like?  Sounds like the most recent attempt is meeting some resistance.

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