Posts Tagged news
I’ve been pretty busy lately, riding my Brammo Enertia to and from work, to the grocery store, to the library. “Honey, need me to go get/drop off/something? Want some ‘me time’ with yourself?” Basically, using any excuse possible to ride it anywhere I can.
But I’m not too busy riding to get a message from Brammo that something big is coming up — probably an announcement about a new model . . . or models.
The above tweet, posted earlier today, suggests that something worthy of capturing on video is on its way. That, in and of itself, isn’t enough to get me off my bike and inside, but some other news in read in conjunction with this tweet seems noteworthy.
Yesterday, allaboutbikes.com snagged an interview with the elusive Brian Wismann, Director of Product Development at Brammo. In the interview, the following interchange occured:
AAB: Any plans for a sport-oriented competition-only machine?
BW: If that is what customers ask for then it would be foolish of us to ignore that.
AAB: Any chance we could see a dirt-specific, enduro or dual-purpose Brammo motorcycles?
BW: Quantya and KTM have more ambitions in this area than we do. But, if customers ask for it…
These statements, read with the knowledge that Brammo has already built two “sport-oriented competition-only” machines, namely, the two Brammo TTRs which it raced in last year’s TTXGP on the Isle of Man (one of which placed third) …
and earlier news that it had a scooter-sized bike in the works , lead to an obvious conclusion: one or more announcements are in the works.
Just in case any doubt remained, Wismann blew that out of the water with this:
AAB: So, what do you have in the development stages for us in the future (2011 and beyond)?
BW: A motorcycle company (or car company for that matter) cannot only sell one product and hope to be successful. You will see new products and continued innovation from Brammo in the future. We’re excited and you should be too! As always, Brammo customers will be the first to hear “the scoop” on new developments.
I guess his point is, if you want to hear “the scoop,” you need to be a customer. Sounds reasonable to me.
Of course, I could be way off the mark here. Perhaps they’ve developed a new power technology fueled by mud and dandelions that is 100 times more energy dense than their current battery system. Perhaps they will announce another $4,000 price drop for the Enertia, or maybe they’ll state that the bike is appearing in yet another movie (my daughter is begging for it to show up in the new Twilight movie, displacing the omnipresent Volvo).
But my money is on the new product announcement.
Motorcycle.com has published a lengthy and detailed examination of the electric motorcycle industry featuring Brammo, Zero, and Electric Motorsports. The “Electric Motorcycle Primer” touches on many issues: battery development, electrical grid integrity, and practicality of these bikes, to name just a few of the subjects scrutinized.
In my constant attempt to balance my personal responsibility of chronicling everything-Brammo, with the respect for the rights of others to get all the web hits they are entitled to, I’ll just pull one great anecdote that Brammo CEO, Craig Bramscher, told the reporter:
Bramscher told about a man who’d never ridden but bought an Enertia. One day when he went out for a burger, he was approached by a little kid who asked, “Hey, are you a motorcycle rider?”
The rider had bought a helmet and a motorcycle jacket and looked the part, but he told Bramscher, it only dawned on him when he answered, “Yeah, yeah, I am.”
It was then that the rider realized, “Hey I’m in the club now, even if it’s a neophyte, a junior,” Bramscher says.
“I think if a motorcyclist can think back to when they were [new] in the club,” Bramscher says, “they have to open their heart at least to electric motorcycles.”
Whether he and others selling electric motorcycles are right, time will tell.
This article needs to be on your “must read” list if you’re a Brammo Fan, and Motorcycle.com should be on your short list of sites to watch for electric motorcycle news.
A “fan blog” such as mine can be expected to get a little silly now and then. I am the sole owner/operator/writer of this blog and frankly, I’m in it mostly for my own amusement. Sure, my inspiration is the vision of the Brammo company to “change the world two wheels at time,” but I don’t pretend to have much influence with that. My blog seeks to compile the Brammo-related news and sprinkle it with a dose of my own insights here and there. I don’t make money off this blog and given the fact that I’ve only been blogging for a few months, I think the reputational value of Brammofan.com is negligible.
ZDNet.com is a horse of a different color. It’s been on the internet forever under various names and has a history stretching back to 1927. So I was a bit surprised to see the latest article about the Brammo Enertia with a title like this:
It’s an article about the Enertia’s sound system. The sound system, as I’ve written about previously, is actually a rather serious subject. The author of this article apparently didn’t see it the same way:
The chips that manage the operation of this electric motorcycle will create sounds to let folks know you’re there. There’s a special sound for the acceleration from zero to 10 MPH. You can then customize your cycle’s “running sound.” Want to sound like a steam train? The clip-clop of a shod draft horse? Low-flying plane? Suit your fancy.
I might be wrong, but I thought that the Enertia was to have two sounds: the start-up sound, and the low speed sound, also called the “default” sound. Brammo is going to have a contest soon that will allow participants to submit soundfiles for the default sound. This leads me to believe that it has already developed, or is in the process of developing, a standard start-up sound. There is no need for a “running sound” for when the cycle is going over 10 mph as a combination of tire-on-road sound and mechanical (chain drive and motor) sound provides enough of a “heads-up.”
I must admit that I submitted a clip-clop sound to the sound contest’s “unofficial” site, but I’m Brammofan. I’m not-necessarily-to-be-taken-seriously. I expected more of a serious journalism take from ZDNet.
The post did have some interesting news:
I spoke recently with Brammo’s Adrian Stewart at the company HQ and factory in Ashland, Oregon. He says Brammo can build a new cycle each hour on the assembly line. They have space and plans to run two lines simultaneously. An assembly team was working on new Enertias while we talked.
A new Enertia every hour, and the potential to double that capacity. That is definitely new information and newsworthy.
Also new is this:
The Best Buy distribution requires each participating retail location to have trained sales and service personnel and each site must get the appropriate state license as a car dealer. Brammo is deep in the licensing and training process with its BestBuy partners. Much more costly and complicated than online sales.
The article is worth a read for the Brammofanatics but I keep wondering why the writer didn’t bother to mention the reason why Brammo thought it necessary to include a sound system on its bikes. Another opportunity to bring attention to the challenges of visually-impaired pedestrians lost.
Below, some new pictures of the assembly line included with the article.
According to a “tweet” by Brammo CEO Craig Bramscher, the Brammo Best Buy Racing Team will not be going to the eGrandPrix in Lexington, Ohio next month. Bramscher indicated that the race conflicted with the product launch of the Enertia motorcycle, which goes on sale next month at the Portland, Oregon Best Buy, with an expected rollout to additional Best Buys on the West Coast after that.
It’s a disappointment for racing fans, of course, but in the bigger picture, it’s a good thing. The bigger picture is about getting EVs on the street. There will be time, soon enough, for the excitement (and incidental benefits, such as technological advances) of racing.
UPDATE: Bramscher just tweeted that the company is “still working on some TTR racing.”
From Medford, Oregon-based Motorcycle-USA.com:
We test rode the Brammo Enertia before the TTXGP was even conceived and the notion of that machine racing the Isle of Man… it wasn’t anything we could’ve foreseen. Yet the Ashland firm was one of the first to toss their hat into the TT ring and it has paid off with an impressive 2-3 qualifying on Wednesday, followed up by the third-place podium finish on Friday.
Unofficial… definitely. These statistics come from a user named “Thumper400” on the iomtt.com message forum. And by “unofficial,” let me have Thumper400 explain:
here we go as promised i have my notes here with me , these are just MY notes as i heard them at the time so may be a bit scetchy due to some beer
From yesterday’s race (Brammo Best Buy Team is highlighted):
So Brammo finished within two minutes of each other with an average lapspeed of 76 mph, almost 77. The “speed trap” is, I believe, shortly after the start on a straightaway, and is likely close to the top speed of the bike.
UPDATE: according to Amadeus_IOM, “the speed trap is on a stretch called ‘Sulby Straight’ further down the course.”
Team Agni, the winner of yesterday’s run, may have the first place trophy wrapped up, but you never know what might happen during these races.
According to the TTXGP blog, Team Agni came within 1 mph of beating the Ultra Lightweight lap record for the TT. That class of bikes has the 50cc ICE engine. The blog states, “What’s happening here has propelled the technology forward faster and more substantively then any of us ever imagined when we started. We believed in maybe… but the reality has defied even the most hardened sceptics.”
Well, not the MOST hardened skeptics, which can be found trolling around the iomtt.com forums. One poster said:
Think of a SLOW average speed, then halve it, what a waste of space (not to mention race slot).
These machines could have done a demo lap and not taken the place of REAL racing machinery, I cant believe a race has been set up for these at the expense of proper machinery. eg: 125 250’s.
There will always be those who find fault in change. I doubt that their trepidation will stop the rising tide. As stated in the TTXGP blog:
The paddock is alive with anticipation and fellowship. The significance of these days has dawned on us all. On this day, the world changed and the combustion engine bikes have started to feel vintage even before they hit the showrooms.
Today is the day before the big race. Tomorrow, everything changes.
Enjoy and celebrate… but be ready for Friday’s race!