Thats right, Brammo’s quickly growing network of dealerships has finally reached Colorado! If you live in the Denver area be sure to stop by Foothills BMW Triumph go take a test drive. I took delivery of my Empulse R here and I can tell you from experience that the folks at Foothills are fantastic to work with. Now that they officially carry Brammo, I can finally order a tail tidy kit.
Just an update for those following my blog since it has been a while. I have just crossed 550 niles on the odo and it probably wont come as much of a surprise but, I LOVE THIS THING!! Some first impressions before a full review…
Power delivery is buttery smooth. The bike has plenty of power, actually more than one would expect based on the spec sheet thanks to a linear power band and full torque from zero RPM. I still have not engaged “Sport” mode, but from what I read Sport mode = even more power :D. Unfortunately the manual suggests that I log 600 miles before I activate Sport mode.
Ergonomics are pretty good for my 6′ height. The bike is slightly more upright and much more comfortable than my last bike (2010 Suzuki GSXR). I have ridden 55 highway miles in one trip and had no issues with fatigue.
Plenty of range available. I work 20 miles away (40 miles round trip), all 75+ mph highway. SOC is about 35-40% when I get home with very little traffic each way… The bike actually provides more range than expected and Im still breaking in it, so these numbers could even improve.
Major attention grabber. More often than not I cant stop at a store without someone (usually other riders) asking about it. First question is always the same “Wow, nice bike! Is that full electric?”.
Handles like a dream. This was more or less an expected characteristic of the Empulse, but you really have to ride one to appreciate just how refined this bike feels in the twisties, Amazing… on a whole new level.
These are just a few of my initial impressions and I will have a full review once I log a few hundred miles in Sport mode.
Here it is, I finally have my Empulse R!
I finally took delivery of my very own Empulse R… This is truly an amazing bike, and was well worth the nearly three year wait!
Special thanks to Adam Lukoic of Brammo for a top notch delivery experience. I also could not be happier with Brammo’s choice of dealership for us in the Denver area. (to be announced soon by Brammo) These guys kick ass!
BTW, if you’re lucky enough to have a Brammo dealership in your area, you NEED to take one out for a test ride… just be sure you’re ready to place a deposit because one ride will be all it takes. Trust me, the Empulse looks even more impressive in person than in pictures, and rides like nothing else out there.
Many ride reports and a proper (if somewhat amateur) review are forthcoming! Also feel free to checkout my latest project: EmpulseForum.com ! A forum focused entirely on the Brammo Empulse.
I dont think that I can adequately express my excitement in words… With my blog unfortunately getting sidelined over the last six months I really haven’t expressed much in words at all. Hopefully that will change very soon as I have somewhat of a backlog of reviews and other information that I would like to get posted. Lots of things going on including one Brammo related side project that I will discuss in another post.
After three years of blogging, programming app thingies, and generally being impatient, the day is almost here. Huge thanks to Brammo and everyone over at brammoforum.com for building an incredible community of customers and fans. Heck, I havent even gotten my Empulse yet and its already been one hell of a ride.
Could we have actually gleaned something positive from the recent fiscal cliff nonsense? How about the reinstatement of the 10% Federal tax credit for two wheeled EVs that initially got the axe last year! Yes, its back! Not only for this year, but those who purchased an electric motorcycle last year will get to claim the 10% credit for that tax year too. The credit amounts to 10% of the purchase price of a two wheeled, 45mph+ capable, electric motorcycle (with 4kWh or larger battery). All 2012 and 2013 Brammo and Zero motorcycles will qualify for the credit.
The credit will help take the bite out of electric motorcycles purchase price making them even more competitive to their ICE powered counterparts:
Be sure to thank Senator Wyden (D-OR) for his efforts in getting this credit reinstated.
On a sadder note the very generous Colorado state tax rebate no longer applies to electric motorcycles. No reason was given for the policy change. This leaves Georgia as the most generous state for electric motorcycle tax incentives with a Zero Emission Vehicle (ZEV) tax credit of 20% (Limit of $5000). Complete details can be found here: www.afdc.energy.gov
Brammo fans of the world rejoice! Brammo has delivered its first Empulse R! Check it out!
Those of you that have followed the Brammo “Empulse” saga over the last few years know that this is a huge milestone for Brammo. Worth the wait? Definitely… BTW, last I heard I should be receiving my very own Empulse R next month (January). Needless to say, Im extremely excited and I cant wait to write about my experiences aboard this fine machine! Stay tuned.
UPDATE: THE COLORADO TAX REBATE NO LONGER APPLIES TO ELECTRIC MOTORCYCLES !!!
As you may already know, Colorado has some of the most generous tax rebates for alternative fuel vehicles, but did you know you could use that program to net yourself a Brammo Enertia, or even an Empulse, for FREE? Check it out:
Step 2: Next year claim both the $7,500 federal tax credit and the $6,000 (Colorado) state rebate for the EV you purchased this year. Check here to see what rebates are available. (Specifically the Income 67 document)
Step 3: Take that $13,500 and put it towards the purchase of a 2013 Brammo Empulse and finance the difference.
Step 4: Now the following year claim the $6,000 state rebate again and pay off that Empulse loan. (Note: There is currently no federal tax credit for 2 wheeled EVs, just the state rebate)
Presto! Free Brammo Empulse with change to spare for accessories! Pretty neat, huh?
This was my original plan before I was given an Empulse! We already have our 2013 Volt, which we LOVE. (A review on our Volt is forthcoming). Now I just need to find something to do with that tax rebate money I was going to spend on an Empulse… I wonder when Brammo will start selling the Encite dirt bike…
DISCLAIMER: This ASSUMES that the tax rebate for the 2013 Brammo Empulse and the EV you chose is the full $6,000, in all likeliness the Empulse should qualify for the full amount. We will know as soon as the Income 67 document is revised (hopefully soon). I will update this post when I have exact information available. DO YOUR OWN RESEARCH, Im sure you will come to a similar conclusion… If not, just convince yourself that my numbers are correct and buy an EV and an Empulse anyway, you will be glad you did!
Soon after arriving in Daytona Beach, FL to attend the TTXGP world championship this last weekend I found out that I had been chosen as Brammo Evangelist of the year! That was great news by itself, but here’s the kicker, along with the title of Brammo Evangelist of the year Brammo threw in a brand new Empulse R!! I realize that’s a bit ironic considering my current moniker (EmpulseBuyer), but Im certainly not going to complain ;-). I do also own the domain EmpulseRider.com, and as soon as I receive my Empulse this sites name will change. (Both domain names will still point here.) I also own the domain EmpulseForum.com, which I will cover in another post.
I realize I am certainly not the only one out there actively promoting Brammo, and so many others really deserve credit, namely BrammoFan aka Harry Mallin, the original Brammo Evangelist. He was not only instrumental in starting the evangelist program but assisted me from the very beginning, helping greatly with the development of the Electric Motorcycle TCO app. So, a special thanks to Harry, and to the rest of the evangelist team over at BrammoForum.com!
Im extremely excited to receive my white Empulse R! Now that I actually (almost) own an Empulse I hope I will do Brammo proud and I plan to continue to promote their products and help them achieve there mission of “Changing The World 2 Wheels At A Time“! Huge thanks Brammo!
This will be a huge weekend for Brammo at Daytona and I’m proud to announce that I will be there to see history in the making! This is the FIRST year that the World Final has been hosted in the US, and the grid looks relatively populated. Once again, I will be the guy tooling around the paddocks with a camera shooting everything in sight. Going to grab 3D images of all of Brammo’s stuff, and there are sure to be some Hi-def (1080p) racing clips thrown into my next blog entry, so be sure to check back here after the race to get my full report!
Best of luck to Steve Atlas, Eric Bostrom, and Team Icon Brammo! Kick some ass!
The beauty of an EV, like the Brammo Empulse or Enertia, is that it will run on any fuel source that can be burned, or better yet harnessed, to create electricity. With a conventional auto, you are stuck with one finite source of energy.
I have seen many arguments about how EVs charge from “coal power” like its some kind of crime to burn domestically sourced fossil fuels rather than foreign sourced petroleum products. First of all lets take a look at how big a part coal actually plays in electricity generation in the US. According to statistics compiled by eia.gov, in 2011 coal comprised 42% of US electricity generation, less than half by a healthy margin. This number drops every year, while cleaner sources of energy increase every year. The fact is that EVs will always get cleaner as the grid evolves away from fossil fuels. The main point being that with an EV there are always options, in fact you can simply install a solar PV system essentially creating your own renewable and clean fuel. You cant drill for and refine your own oil out of your back yard but you can install solar panels on your home’s roof, or wherever direct sunlight is available.
Solar PV systems used to be relatively expensive, but in the last few years competition among other factors has brought prices down drastically. Add to that generous subsidies and rebates and solar PV system is a very worthwhile investment especially if there is an EV (Brammo) or two parked in your garage. Why is that? Consider the current price of gasoline is about $4 dollars a gallon, now with a properly sized solar PV system your electricity, in this case fuel, has essentially been paid for in full. That said, when you offset the price of gas with free fuel, your PV system and EV combo pays for itself that much faster for every mile you drive. This is compounded by the ever increasing price of gas and the fact that you are no longer subject to the whims of a relatively volatile market. Now that is energy independence!
To illustrate this pont, my modestly sized solar PV system is rated at 4.96kW and currently generates over a 1200 kWh surplus each year. Using Brammo’s proven combined range data of 77 miles, 50% City and 50% Highway, that 1200kWh will power a Brammo Empulse R for about 9240 miles every year. The cost to me, zero dollars and zero cents, unless you consider my initial investment for the PV system (~$9 thousand dollars). Compare that to a conventional motorcycle that gets about 35 mpg and I am saving over $1 thousand dollars a year:
(1200kWh / ~10kWh) * 77mi = 9240mi
(9240 / 35) * $4.00 = $1056.00
Considering my savings on utility bills and gasoline that I wont have to buy, my solar PV system will actually pay for itself in almost half the time with the help of an electric motorcycle.
Be sure to check out my recently updated Solar PV System ROI Calculator App. This app illustrates your return on investment (ROI) when combining a solar PV system with an EV, like the Brammo Empulse ;), while offsetting the price of gas.
The 2 year long wait is almost over and I couldn’t be more excited to finally get my hands on the Empulse! It has been a crazy ride…pun intended.
I remember first hearing about the Brammo Enertia back in 2009. In fact, this is the very Autoblog article that sparked my interest in Brammo. Soon after, I discovered that someone had actually been writing a blog dedicated to Brammo! BrammoFan.com. This was someone who did not even own a Brammo (at the time). The articles were entertaining to read, and I found the writer’s enthusiasm for Brammo and the Enertia highly contagious. I was pretty much sold on the Enertia at the time. The bike looked great, had decent performance, and the limited 40 mile range was more than adequate for my commute. My round trip to work is 18 miles. (Note that the new Enertia Plus model now has 80+ miles range!)
The 2010 riding season was in full swing. I was about to throw in the towel and purchase the Enertia when… (insert dramatic pause here)…the Empulse was announced! I vividly remember seeing it for the first time on Engadget. I thought WOW! This absolutely had to be my next motorcycle! I was sold on its looks alone, but the 100+mph top speed and the impressive 100 mile range were icing on the cake. I can honestly say I have never been this excited about a product! This blog should be proof of that.
And so, the wait began. Unfortunately, the initial one year wait became a two year wait after Brammo had decided to delay production in order to add the IET (Integrated Electric Transmission) showcased on another prototype, the Engage. These delays were soon followed by disappointment and speculation that the Empulse was actually never going to make it to production. The word “vaporware” was also being thrown around the interwebs in regards to the Empulse. Indeed Brammo has had its fair share of critics over the last few years, but in that same time, they also managed to increase their following of dedicated customers and fans. In fact, the production version of the Empulse itself was a direct result of customer feedback on the prototype model. The delays were necessary to incorporate the requested improvements and produce the best possible product. Judging by Wes Siler’s review the Empulse was definitely worth the wait.
If you are on the pre-order list, by now you should have received an email from Brammo to confirm your order. The following are shots of the production line chugging along nicely. Keep in mind that the first lot of bikes are slated for media review duty, and the second lot will be sent to dealers as demo units… stay patient, deliveries are just around the corner!
Being a fan of Brammo has its benefits, but I never expected to receive the VIP treatment that I enjoyed when I finally got around to meeting Team Icon Brammo this last weekend at Miller for the North American TTXGP championship. What an awesome weekend!
My trip started about 600 miles away in Littleton, CO. Packing up the car, I included the essentials of any road trip, beef jerky… and other stuff that is not worth mentioning. After punching the address into my Cruze’s navigation system, I found that Miller Motorsports Park apparently doesnt exist to GM… Something to do with that Ford Museum they have there? Not sure, but after some toying with the nav system I was on my way. The trip took me up i25 to i80 through Wyoming, into Utah where Tooele is located just outside of Salt Lake City. Parts of i80 were lined with wind generators, very cool:
By the time I had arrived at the hotel it was 2:45pm. I could not wait to get to the track, but I was smelling not so hot from the long drive, time to hit the shower… check my phone and see this tweet:
Obviously, I needed to get to the track ASAP! Thank god for google maps (and a lack of posted speed limits).
Finally, after 9 hours of driving I arrive at Miller, but I soon discover that I had JUST missed qualifying entirely. I was a little bummed at first, but excitement soon took over when I saw the team and the bikes. After some confusion (on my part) about who I was supposed to meet, and where I was supposed to meet them, I made it to the correct garage where I see a handful of fellas with Brammo shirts. Unfortunately, I dont recognize any of them. Simple solution. I introduce myself and try not to raise my arms. Remember, 9 hour car ride, no shower yet. I first met Aaron Bland, Brammo’s super friendly Mechanical Engineer who introduced me to a beautiful set of Empulse RR’s going over them in a level of detail only an engineer could. Joe Wismann (Brammo’s Director of Operations), who had just arrived after picking up another team member at the airport, introduced me to a few more of the team members, all very friendly guys. I even got to chat with Eric Bostrom about his insanely fast qualifying run (1:40.53) taking pole position. Eric is probably one of the coolest guys I have ever met. He is very down to earth considering he’s an AMA legend.
Unfortunately, I missed all the action on the first day but still got a chance to take some cool pictures and meet some really great people. Go-carts and a BBQ were a perfect end to the day. Good times! BTW Brammo was kind enough to pay for everything while I was there. (go-carts, bbq, lunch, etc.) These guys REALLY know how to treat their fans. It was awesome!
Race day… I arrived at the track around 8am so I could capture some video of Eric Bostrom’s practice run. Check it out:
The race was scheduled at 10:30am, so after watching Eric’s practice run I had some time to burn. Luckily, there was all sorts of neat things going on at Miller in addition to the North American TTXGP championship. The AHRMA (American Historical Racing Motorcycle Association) was there too, and I got to see dozens of classic motorcycles and even some side-car races! Very entertaining to watch, these people are insane!
Later in the day the sidecar folks announced that they where offering trips around the track in the sidecar to whomever wanted one, but you needed your own protective gear. Unfortunately, I left my onesie and helmet at home so no sidecar trip for me. Bummer. , perhaps next time…
Got to check out some really neat classic bikes:
Finally it was Race Time! I could go over the actual race in detail, but there’s really not much I can mention here without giving my readers information they dont already know. So, just to summarize, E-Boz and Steve-O kicked ass giving Brammo 1st and 2nd place respectively, not to mention the North American TTXGP championship title thanks to the man Steve Atlas.
While the race was still exciting to watch it wasn’t even close for Brammo, though no contention was expected given that team Lightning could not make an appearance. The world championship later
this next month at Daytona should have a much more competitive grid. I managed to get my picture take with these guys near the podium after they were done spraying the Team Brammo guys with champagne! (Wish I got that on video)
In closing, I would like to Thank Brammo for letting me join in on the fun! It was awesome, and Im looking forward to seeing everyone at Daytona! Huge thanks to Joe Wismann as well! He really went out of his way to make me feel like part of the team, very much appreciated.