The nearly two-year wait for the Brammo Empulse is nearly over, as the Ashland-based company is set to debut the Brammo Empulse and Brammo Empulse R in Los Angeles (and online) May 8th. It should come as no surprise then that the A&R Bothan spy network is picking up on murmurings from Zero Motorcycles, and that the Californian company is working on an Empulse-killer for the 2013 model year.
Said to be building a proper electric sport bike, as well as suitable electric dirt bike package, Zero is seemingly finally on the verge of sunsetting its current motorcycle designs for more mature motorcycle offerings, and is putting companies like Brammo and BRD squarely in its sights.
The timing of the news is surely a bit of payback for the Scotts Valley company, which saw its pre-order list for the Zero S & Zero DS virtually vanish when the Brammo Empulse was unveiled. As the Brammo Empulse R is about to be publicly unveiled, Zero may be wanting to give potential Brammo purchasers something to think about before plunking down for the latest production electric motorcycle from the Oregonian company.
There has been no word on figures yet, but the 2013 Zeros are quietly being regarded as a make-it-or-break-it moment for the company’s management. Under tight control from investment firm Invus, Zero Motorcycles is said to be on a short leash, with a bevy of metrics and milestones laid out for the current administration to meet or exceed. Our sources report a mixed bag of those milestones being met, which could make the success of the 2013 line an even more important component for the company.
The Invus Group, the same private equity firm that brought you Weight Watchers, is not known for abandoning the companies it invests in, but has a healthy legacy of quick-failing the management teams in its portfolio companies. With the 2012 Zero Motorcycles line internally considered to be an unwelcomed legacy from the previous Saiki/Banman regime, the 2013 line will be a “no excuses” test for the current Zero management lead by Karl Wharton.
Considering the bevy of bred-out-of-the-motorcycle-industry-executives currently residing at Zero, next year’s models should be considerably different from the current Zero line. Chewy.
Source: Bothan Spies