Posts Tagged ttxgp

North American TTXGP Champions: Brammo

Congratulations to Brammo for winning the necessary points in the TTXGP North American series to allow it to clinch the title of “Champion.”

As I described in this post, Brammo needed to finish last weekend’s race at Miller Motorsports Park with a 7th or better placement — and this, only to defend against Mission Motors’ attack on the title.

Now we know that:

1. Mission Motors did not show at Miller

2. Brammo finished 3rd, behind first place (and new TTXGP participant) MotoCzysz, and second place Lightning.

3. There was no way for Brammo to finish the race and end up in any worse position than fifth (sixth, if the second Lightning bike had finished the race).

In the graphic, above, the points for Miller have not been posted but Brammo earned an additional 16 points for its third place finish, giving it a total of 57 points.  MotoElectra got another 13 points for its fourth place finish, giving it a total of 46 points and the Second Place North American Championship title.  Lightning received another 20 points, giving it a total of 45 points, and the Third Place title.  Lightning, once again, “missed it by THAT much” and, no doubt sorely regrets not competing in the race at Infineon in June 2011.

Congratulations to the Brammo Racing Team and rider Steve Atlas for putting on a consistent and reliable effort this season!

What does it mean?

The accomplishment represented by Brammo holding the “TTXGP North American Champion” title can be attributed to the spirit behind this comment by Brammo’s Brian Wismann from a post on the Brammo Owners Forum:

It’s been a great season and it was truly a team effort combined with a rock solid reliable race bike that made the championship a possibility.

Wismann would be the first to admit that the Empulse RR was not the fastest bike in the TTXGP paddock.  He and the team changed the gearing to take advantage of the bike’s available power but in the end, it was no match for the faster, one-off bikes of Mission, MotoCzysz and Lightning.  But, as they say, showing up is half the battle.  Here, it was showing up + finishing + staying in the game that gave Brammo the much-deserved title of champion.  As Wismann said,

Rest assured this technology will hit the street with the Empulse production bike and next year’s race bike will move our performance on to the next level!  What an exciting time to be involved with electric motorcycles!

Keep watching this space for more news and amazing developments that Brammo intends to share in the coming weeks.  No laurel-resting here.  There is work to be done.

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Desperate Times, Desperate Measures

With the release of the 3D video of Steve Atlas riding his little butt off at Thunderhill Raceway aboard the Brammo Empulse RR racebike growing imminent, I began to panic.

Having waited too long to order a pair of anaglyph (red and blue) 3D glasses from a reputable mail order dealer, my calls to potential sellers proved fruitless.

Instead of continuing my futile search for these elusive specs in flyover land, I decided to take matters into my own hands and I go0gled “DIY 3-D Glasses.”

Triumph!  “How to make 3-D Glasses” had been addressed, already, by Wired magazine.  Unfortunately, it called for the purchase of “red and blue acetate “from your local craft store.”  Because my local craft store makes WalMart look classy, I try to avoid it.  Instead, I found, further down  on the same page, instructions for using a CD case and red and blue markers to achieve the same end.  Although I didn’t have a CD case handy (really), I found the next best thing: clear acetate.  And yes, red and blue markers:

MacGyver those glasses!

A few minutes later with the markers and some scissors:

Et, voilá!

Now, it’s just a matter of waiting on Brammo.  Should be on line any minute, right?

{INSERT PLACEHOLDER HERE FOR 3D VIDEO WHICH WILL ARRIVE SO VERY SOON}

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Brammo – Still #1 in North American TTXGP Class

According to the Official Results page at eGrandPrix.com, Brammo still holds on to first place in the North American TTXGP standings:

With Mission Motors’ decisive win at Laguna Seca on Sunday, and Brammo coming in fourth, you may ask how this result could have been reached.  The TTXGP rules specify that first place in each race is awarded 25 points, second place 20 points, and third place 16 points.  Although Brammo placed first at Infineon Raceway in June, Mission did not participate in that race.  Brammo – 25 points. Mission 0 points.

Brammo was awarded third place points (16) under the TTXGP rules because the second place finisher, MotoCzysz, was only entered in the FIM e-Power series and was not a TTXGP entry.  Thus, Brammo was the third TTXGP motorcycle to cross the finish line at Laguna Seca.

Even if Brammo had been the fourth TTXGP bike to cross the line, it would remain in first place in the Class Standings, with a total of 38 (25 + 13) points.  In fact, if there had been 15 TTXGP bikes and Brammo had come in 15th place, it would remain the North American leader with 26 points to Mission’s 25.  The Point System for the TTXGP series is provided to each of the teams, but is somewhat hard to find on the site.  Nevertheless, for the sake of posterity, here it is:

ANNUAL AWARDS

The Team and Rider Championships will be decided on points as detailed below. The championship points at each round will be as follows for each team (machine) entered and for each rider:

To the Winner:
25 points
Ninth
7 Points
Second
20 points
Tenth
6 points
Third
16 points
Eleventh
5 points
Fourth
13 points
Twelfth
4 points
Fifth
11 points
Thirteenth
3 points
Sixth
10 points
Fourteenth
2 points
Seventh
9 points
Fifteenth
1 points
Eighth
8 points

Before you torch-wielding Mission fans (and herein, I happily state I consider myself a member of this group, minus the torch) cry “FOUL!” and prepare to storm the castle, consider the fact that Mission did make an appearance at the Infineon round, but chose not to race.  A consequence of that choice is that it can not claim to be the champion of the continent.  It was a consequence that they had to be aware of at the time, as the point system has been in existence since the beginning of TTXGP’s 2010 series. That’s racing.

But let’s take this a hypothetical step farther:  Although, as of the writing of this post, TTXGP has not announced a third and final round to replace the scuttled VIR race that had been scheduled for August 14, 2011, let’s assume a replacement round is scheduled for later this season.  Let’s further assume that Mission and Brammo both race.  And finally, let’s assume that Mission continues to dominate the track with their guided rocket on wheels, the Mission R, and comes in first place.  The only ways Mission can clinch the North American Championship are:

  1. Brammo does not start.
  2. Brammo does not finish.
  3. Brammo comes in eighth place or worse, earning only 8 or fewer points.

While #1 and #2, above, are certainly possible (recall with me, in sadness, Brammo’s DNS in last year’s contest at Laguna Seca due to a mechanical failure), it is far less likely that #3 could occur, given the limited number of electric racing motorcycles out there and the fact that, in the TTXGP series, Brammo could quite easily place third.  The only other TTXGP bike faster than Brammo appears to be Richard Hatfield’s  Lightning motorcycle.

Brammo folks freely admit that there is nothing they can do, short of a completely new motor and controller design (not likely, but not outside the realm of possibility), that could result in them beating the Mission R’s current alien technology  configuration.  However, points is points and the fact remains that Brammo is #1 and is likely to retain that title for the 2011 TTXGP North American Class.

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Brammo and TTXGP: By Our Powers Combined . . .

“Hey, you got chocolate on my peanut butter!”

“Hey, you got peanut butter on my chocolate!”

The humble beginnings of Reese's Peanut Butter Cups.

Remember those care free days when we strolled down the street, enjoying our jars of peanut butter?  And remember when we collided with someone enjoying their chocolate bar, only to discover that these two great tastes, combined, made something better than the sum of its parts?

Now, imagine another collision:

Craig Bramscher, CEO of Brammo, gliding silently down the street on an Empulse.

Azhar Hussain, CEO of TTXGP, riding silently down an intersecting street on his Mavizen, in full race livery.

Bam!  (They were both going slowly, so no CEOs were harmed in this imagined scenario).

“Hey, you got TTXGP on my Brammo!”

“I say old chap, you got Brammo on my TTXGP!”

The beginning of a "grand alliance" (Drawing courtesy of Brammo's new wunderkind, Greg Stoermer)

What can a Brammofan say upon hearing the news that two of his favorite companies are coming together to create something that will represent the best of both?  I’m verklempt.  Talk amongst yourselves.  And while you’re at it, read the press release, after the break.

NOT the official Empulse TTX logo.

Read the rest of this entry »

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Home Power Magazine Loves Electric Motorcycles

Home Power Magazine - Brammofan Approves

UPDATED!!  Five Easy  Four FREE Steps to Electric Enlightenment

Step One: go to http://homepower.com/current/ http://homepower.com/article/?file=HP144_pg48_Berman

Step Two:  Click on “View Complete Issue”  “View Article.”

Step Three: Click on “Become a Digital Subscriber to view issue”

Step Four: Shell out $9.95 for a year’s subscription.

Step Five THREE: Read the article by Brad Berman titled “Kick Started – Electric Motorcycles Gain Traction.”

Step Six FOUR: Read the article by Ted Dillard titled “Personal Electric Vehicles Get More Personal.”

Why should you do this?

Because you want to keep up-to-date with all the happenings and developments in the world of electric motorcycles.  Berman does a great job summarizing the various offerings available today, and there’s some insightful information  about Dillard’s efforts converting worn out gas bikes into like-new electric ones from Dillard about electric two wheelers ranging in size from small (like bicycles and scooters ) to large (motorcycles and Segways).

I’m not sure that’s worth $10. What else?

Here’s the kicker: Berman’s article includes an interview with me.  I don’t want to give away the farm, but here’s some excerpts:

Mallin says that his motorcycle, which was delivered to him in a crate in June 2010, has exceeded his expectations. Not only is it a greener transportation option, but most of all, it’s a daily thrill. “It’s fun to ride, that’s for sure,” Mallin says. “How often do you wake up looking forward to your morning commute?”

* * *

“The only thing I hear when I ride my motorcycle is the wind inside my helmet, a little bit of chain noise, and the tires on the road,” Mallin says. “It’s much more of a visceral experience and closer to nature, compared to the rumble, rumble, rumble of a gas bike. On an electric bike, you can hear the crickets in the summer.”

Berman has also included quotes by Brian Wismann, Director of Product Development at Brammo; John Adamo, editor of Plugbike.com (and co-moderator of the Brammo Owners Forum); Harlan Flagg, owner of Hollywood Electrics; and Azhar Hussain, CEO of the TTXGP electric motorcycle racing series.

And yes, he even includes some pictures and information about bikes other than Brammo, including Zero Motorcycles, Mission Motors, Quantya, and Roehr Motorcycles.  So don’t waste your $10 on ice cream and donuts – spend it wisely on a subscription to Home Power and come away lighter, healthier, and better informed.

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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 Empulse RR Dash

Close up of the Empulse RR dash

Over on the Brammo Owners Forum, the regulars were dissecting the picture, above, of the Empulse RR dashboard taken last weekend during Brammo’s triumphant return to the world of electric motorcycle road racing.  What is the big number “3” for?  Is the “1.58.8” the lap time?  Does the “45” represent miles per hour or perhaps state of charge of the battery?

Thank goodness that Brian Wismann, Brammo Director of Product Development, dropped in to clear things up:

You got it mostly figured out.  The GPS timing is accurate within about 50ft of the start/finish, so the time displayed for the previous lap is +/- .2s.  This photo was obviously either from one of the practices or maybe the first race based on the time displayed there. The 47 is the speed and you can see the motor rev counter above it.  The 72 is just indicating the minutes of data acquisition logging still available before the internal memory runs out.  This system has been instrumental (ha!) in understanding the effects of changes to the system and ultimately bike performance.

RUNLA = Run lap timer.  There are various display modes.  Best sector time, Best lap time, Last Lap Time, etc, etc… . If there were a problem with the motor or battery, you would see a warning displayed here instead.

Here’s another close up, taken during a later lap:

According to a tweet on Monday morning by Wismann, the Brammo bike was intentionally operating at 85% power.  Even at 15% below max, the bike shattered last year’s TTXGP track record, held by the ZeroAgni bike.  Kudos to Steve Atlas, rider for this weekend’s races at the A123 Infineon Round of the TTXGP North American Championship series.  Not only is he pretty handy with a bike, he’s a marksman with a bottle of champagne:

It’s not clear when we’ll see Brammo next.  In about a month, the TTXGP race at the New Hampshire International Speedway at Loudon will be held. A month later, the show returns to the left coast with a race scheduled for Portland International Raceway for July 17, and another the next week at Laguna Seca in Monterey, California.  The historic pairing of TTXGP and FIM e-Power at Laguna is a great thing (we hope) and a real “kum-ba-ya” moment which may end up overshadowing anything that happens the week before at PIR.  I think it’s a safe bet that we’ll see Brammo at the track in July.  Just not clear, yet, which track or tracks it will be.

What is clear is that Brammo’s two wins last weekend ended up winning them 50 points in the race to the championship round, wherever that may end up.  LeMans is another joint race with FIM that will occur on September 23 -24.  Whether that will serve as the World Championship isn’t clear to me, as there is actually another race that occurs the next month in Australia.  This “lack of clarity” is nothing to be alarmed about.  If there is one thing I’ve learned during my extensive (irony intended) experience with the sport, it is early in the electric motorcycle racing season and tracks and dates are bound to change.

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