I was just in the BRD Motorcycles office the other day, and managed to get a glimpse of a near-production version of the startup’s RedShift supermoto/motocross platform. A more refined version of the prototype I rode in December 2011, though fundamentally and visually a very similar machine, we here at Asphalt & Rubber are eagerly awaiting the release of these lites-class bikes.
Unfortunately for my brief tour, the BRD team took away my phone, and gave me only vague responses to my questions about the RedShift in exchange. I can’t fault them on either account — the San Franciscan company doesn’t mess about with the “spy photo” nonsense, and would rather comment on realities, rather than push marketing hype.
CEO Marc Fenigstein did say that the company would have some announcements very soon though, which I would presume to be about additional company funding, which in turn leads to more concrete delivery dates of production bikes. Of course, time will tell on that.
However, one of those announcements might have been leaked out in one of the company’s job postings though: a cheap, powerful, affordable electric scooter for 2015.
Offering applicants a chance not only to work on the RedShift line, BRD casually goes on to mention that “our scooter, slated for 2015, beats the best from Vespa and Honda in performance, convenience, AND cost.”
An electric two-wheeled people-mover that goes head-to-head against two of the most entrenched scooter brands? That’s a big ask, from any brand; though an enticing prospect, as the business plan on that idea though is a simple one, and the market potential is huge, especially in regions outside of North America and Europe.
It is not clear how BRD sees itself competing in the scooter space, though the mention of Vespa gives some insight to a higher-end positioning, mostly for those in European metropolitans.
However with India, Southeast Asia, and South America being the real growth centers for the motorcycle industry, BRD could do well there too — following the money, assuming that “affordable” translates closer to “cheap” in consumer-speak, that currently flows in the moto-biz.
Considering the more premium race-oriented path BRD has taken with the RedShift though, we would expect to see the company to have eyes on Europe, and its more two-wheel friendly cityscapes, rather than the rutty roads of developing markets. But we’ll have to wait and see, until 2015 apparently, for some answers.