Posts Tagged shockingbarack

Laguna Seca to Feature Empulse… and Brammofan

Now that the news is out about Brammo racing at the e-Power electric motorcycle race next week during the Red Bull U.S. Grand Prix, Mazda Raceway (Laguna Seca), I get to spill my own little pot of beans:  I’ll be there.

Brammo will be doing a formal “handing over of the keys” to me at some point during the weekend.  In case you’re new around here, I won the title of “Brammo Evangelist of the Year” and received the prize – a 2010 Brammo Enertia. Although I’ve already taken delivery of the prize, Brammo wanted to do it up right.  The challenge, of course, is going to involve me handing the existing key over to them, so they can hand it back to me.  It’s all about trust. (note to self- leave extra key at home).

I’ll be at the Brammo Paddock/Tent/Headquarters along with the usual suspects: CEO Craig Bramscher, Product Development Director (and designer of the Enertia and the Empulse) Brian Wismann, Marketing guru Adrian Stewart, and the rest of the Brammo minions.  Aaron Gobert, Brammo’s rider and AMA speedster might be hanging out as well.  I hear that, along with the Empulse-based race bike, they will be bringing the Empulse prototype, the Shocking Barack bike, and maybe an Enertia or two for test rides.

Will Ali Afshar and the ESX Motorsports crew be there?  Likely.  Lady Gaga?  Not so likely.  Jay Leno? Possibly. Jackie Chan? I couldn’t say.

I may even be accompanied by Ms.Brammofan, but she’s been scouting out some shopping venues in nearby Carmel-by-the-Sea (sounds Hazardous-to-my Wallet), so no guarantees you’ll actually get to meet her. If you’re going to be there, be sure to drop by Brammo HQ.  If you say “Hi! I’m a Brammo Fan, too,” I’ll even waive the usual surcharge on having your picture taken with me.  Unless, of course, you’re a certain EV advocate who still owes me the surcharge plus interest and penalties from the last time I agree to have my picture taken with her:

For some reason, Ms.Brammofan is very interested in meeting Ms. Sexton.

Drop on by, see the Empulse, meet the Brammo Boys, and let’s watch some great racing together.


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ShockingBarack, Redux

After months of silence, the ShockingBarack channel on YouTube posted a new video, moments ago.  It does a great job of capturing the excitement and momentum of the story of Brian Wismann of Brammo and Dave Schiff of CP+B traveling from Detroit to Washington, D.C., to try to give a Brammo Enertia to the President.  I’m not sure who decided to resurrect the story, but I’m glad they did:


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Tesla: “2700 mile road trip!” Brammo: “BTDT”

According to Automobile Magazine:

Most automakers at the 2010 Detroit auto show will likely ship their wares in by truck, but not Tesla. The California-based EV company is planning on driving its electric Roadster Sport all the way from Los Angeles to the Motor City, proving the car is capable of long-haul road trips through even the most inclement weather.

The trip will cover some 2700 miles, and Tesla’s employees plan on stopping in (at least) 19 cities along the way. With the respectable — yet limited — 244-mile range of the Roadster, the trip will be broken down into several short segments, and 16 different employees will pilot the car to Detroit. We wish them the best of luck, especially when it comes to charging — plugging a car in may be simple enough, but as the folks at Brammo Motorcycles discovered, finding a free, accessible power outlet may take some cajoling…

Tesla plans on departing Los Angeles on December 17, and hope to arrive in Detroit by January 8 — just in time for the press days. Keep track of all the progress at Tesla’s website.

EV roadtrip? That is SO last October.  One thing is for sure: Tesla will not be able to round up the kind of talent that Brammo had on the ShockingBarack trip:

Enertia, Enertia, and Inertia


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The Powercycle Diaries

Not Nathan, not an Enertia...and not (legally) possible on the single seater.

Nathan is getting ready to fly to Portland tomorrow to pick up his Brammo Enertia at Best Buy.

He will then start riding it home.  He may even ride it a bit farther.

Home, for Nathan, is Atlanta, Georgia.

Here’s his planned route:

Nathan has called himself a “Brammo Fool” and an “idiot.” Here in Brammofan Central, we’re withholding judgment, (although if anyone wants to get in the betting pool on 1. number of days until voyage ends; 2. number of total miles traveled; or 3. amount of ransom requested by the banditos that capture him in Juarez, please leave your contact information in the comments, below.)

Nathan says that part of the inspiration for his ride was the ShockingBarack trip, from Detroit to Washington, D.C.  Brian Wismann wasn’t available for comment, but I imagine he’s hoping for a “fairy tale ending” to this one.

I will, of course, follow his grand adventures across the nation.  What’s not to love about this story?

T-minus 1.5 days until this little 3800 mile, 300 kilowatt, cross-country electric folly kicks off. 49 degrees & raining in Portland but I couldn’t be more excited. Yeah, water & electricity aren’t BFF but when you think about it, life is a risk… and maybe the greatest risk you run in life isn’t dying, but never making time to be alive. Whatev. It’s not every day you get to ride a 65mph computer across the country. Sh**ty motels, here I come. It’s carpe diem time.


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Last, known location of ObamaNertia #1


Enertia, inert

Based on some information in yesterday’s “FearlessQA,” I’ve just pin-pointed the last, known location of the Green Brammo Enertia that got chained up in Washington, D.C.:

Snapshot from the video “We give a bike to President Obama”:


Check out the windows behind Schiff

And this, from Google Maps Street View:


This would be 700 13th Street, N.W., Washington, D.C.

According to Dave Schiff, the bike is safely in the custody of Brammo’s PR company (which happens to have its office at that very address).  It’s awaiting all the formalities to go either to the Department of Energy or . . . ?


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“Battery Agnostic”

Yesterday, Dave Schiff,  Rider #2 from the ShockingBarack trip appeared on “FearlessQA,” a weekly chat moderated by Alex Bogusky of the ad agency, Crispin Porter + Bogusky.


Alex Burnard, Dave Schiff, and Alex Bogusky, on FearlessQA

There is SO much to talk about here–Schiff’s impressions of the Enertia, lessons learned from the trip, experiences from the interactions, the power of democracy, the organic feel of the campaign — that I have to recommend you watch the whole one-hour episode.


Burnie flashes the peace sign, just 'cause I twasked.


Schiff does a bit of whoring for a client.

But one thing that Schiff mentioned about the Enertia that sent me pondering was about the manufacture of the bike and Brammo’s interest in keeping it “battery agnostic.” This happened during a discussion of how the bike was manufactured and here’s my take:

Battery technology is changing almost daily.  It’s not merely a question of lead-acid versus nickel metal hydride versus lithium ion anymore.  (Note: the Brammo Enertia currently uses six Lithium Iron Phosphate battery cells, manufactured by Valence).  New chemical combinations, new ideas about recharging versus evacuating/refilling the charged solutions within, and the potential of supercapacitors have got to be keeping EV manufacturers on their toes.  “Do I re-configure my vehicle to allow for a different type of battery?” “What else must I change in order to include the latest technology?” “Should I just include the new battery technology in next year’s model and let current owners figure out their own solutions?”

By “battery agnostic” I think Brammo is manufacturing its bikes to accept the new battery technology in an easy to swap, modular way.  Brammo agnosticism reflects an openness to new ways of motive power, the same way a religious agnostic accepts his current belief system but remains open to new truths.

If I’m right about this, and I think I am, this is one of the reasons why I became and continue to be a Brammo fan.  They are not making a disposable bike.  More than a mere “motorcycle,” they created a platform from a blank sheet and designed it to be timeless.  Battery tech changes?  Swap a new, smaller module in that weighs less, charges faster, has a greater range.  New lessons learned about power management and motor temperature and coasting? Upgrade the bike’s software to take advantage of the new knowledge base.


Note:  I just heard from my favorite Iowan-Enertia owner, “Hawkeye,” that Brammo is sending out a technician (a/k/a BrammoJosh a/k/a @brammoservice ) to update the software on his bike.  That’s not just “service.”  That’s above and beyond, and merits its own post, yet to come.

This kind of thinking — being “battery agnostic,” taking care of their customers, thinking about the future of its current products that have already sold — is why you should be a Brammo fan, too.


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