The bike in question is the #3 bike that Lee Johnston rode to a podium finish in the TT Zero class at the Isle of Man TT (VIN 0004), making the machine a particularly special bike from both Victory Motorcycles and their partner Brammo.
It might be the shortest event during the TT fortnight, but the TT Zero packs the more technology and development than the other TT races combined. Every year, the electric race bikes make leaps of progress in their pace, and for 2015 the unofficial mark to beat was the 120 mph barrier.
Team Mugen seemed close to that mark during the practice sessions, with John McGuinness posting a timed 118 mph lap. With Bruce Anstey already a race winner from the Superbike TT, and McPint always looking good on the Shinden race bike, the duo was heavily favored to win.
This year’s TT Zero also sees the return of Brammo to the Isle of Man, disguised as the Victory Racing team.
Victory was originally slotted to have Lee Johnston and William Dunlop as its riders, but Dunlop’s crash during the Superstock race meant his TT racing was over for this year. Luckily, his Tyco BMW teammate, Guy Martin, was available and keen to ride the electrics, and thus substituted for the injured Dunlop.
Other entries include Saroléa and Saietta, as well as the university teams from Brunel, Kingston, and Nottingham.
In less than 24 hours, the TT Zero race will be underway at the 2015 Isle of Man TT, which means that riders Lee Johnson and Guy Martin (who is substituting for the injured William Dunlop) will be putting the Victory Motorcycles electric race bike through its paces on the 37.773-mile Mountain Course.
If Victory’s entry looks familiar, it should, as it’s based off the Brammo Empulse RR. Brammo has made some improvements to the machine for Victory though, namely a reworked motor, new battery pack, and aerodynamic touches.
News that Victory Motorcycles will be racing at the 2015 Isle of Man TT, in the TT Zero event no less, is still taking time to process. It’s a big deal for the Manx road race, and an even bigger deal to the American brand.
If you have been following the electric motorcycle scene, Victory’s race bike should look familiar, as its based off the Brammo Empulse RR.
Exactly what changes Victory will have at the Isle of Man have been a mystery, but our sources have given us some insight into the progress Brammo has made in its extended off-season.
Victory Motorcycles will be at the 2015 Isle of Man TT, and while that brand name is certainly a shocking one, no matter what class the American motorcycle manufacturer enters, and the fact that it will be in the electric TT Zero race at least makes for a good use of the word “shocking” in a punny sort of way.
Jokes aside, it’s a big announcement for the IOMTT, electric racing, and Victory Motorcycles itself. The evolved Brammo Empulse RR race bike that Victory will be using is certainly a well-sorted race machine, capable of giving Mugen a run for its money — not mention,William Dunlop and Lee Johnston are certainly some of the top riders around the Manx road course.
Brammo Victory at what looks like Thunderhill Raceway, Lee Johnston gives his first thoughts on riding an electric race bike, and what competing in the TT Zero class will be like at the 2015 Isle of Man TT.
We will be excited to see what Victory can accomplish this year at the TT. Hopefully this is what reignites the interest in electric motorcycle racing, and electric motorcycles in general.
It looks like we were only partially correct in our news that Brammo would be returning to the Isle of Man TT, as the brand’s sister company, Victory Motorcycles, will in fact be racing an electric entry — one that looks like a rebadged Brammo Empulse RR — in the TT Zero event at the historic road race.
According to its press release, Victory Motorcycles will field a two-rider team, comprised of William Dunlop and Lee Johnston (a photo of “General Lee” testing a Brammo superbike is what initially sparked this news).
While Victory is calling its racing platform a “Victory electric race prototype motorcycle” the chassis and fairings give way to a shape we recognize as the Brammo Empulse RR electric superbike.
Pied Piper Prospect Satisfaction Index (PSI) is one of the major ranking systems out there assessing the US motorcycle industry and its dealerships.
To give you a quick primer on how scoring works, Pied Piper takes into account a mixture of “mystery shopper” experiences, along with actual sales success for each brand, thus giving a mixture of subjective and objective measurement.
For this year’s assessment, it comes with little surprise that Ducati is once again taking the top honors, followed closely by Harley-Davidson and Victory — two brands that have high customer satisfaction, according to Consumer Reports.
Consumer Reports has taken another polling from motorcycle owners, a part of the publication’s continuous assessment on the value of various motorcycle brands and categories.
As usual, the Japanese brands dominated the reliability segment, though that did not automatically translate into the happiest of owners.
Victory Motorcycles takes the cake for keeping its customers happy, which stems from having fairly reliable motorcycles, coupled with good customer service and dealer interactions.
As such, 80% of Victory owners said they would buy a Victory again. Compare that figure to 72% for Harley-Davidson, and 70% for Honda (all other OEMs were below 70%).
Trademark applications with the USPTO show that Polaris has registered “Victory Charger” as a mark to be used with “electric motorcycles and structural parts therefor.”
The application is a strong hint that we could see an electric cruiser from the Victory brand, which is owned by Polaris, in the coming future.
The news is especially timely, as Polaris just acquired Brammo’s electric motorcycle business, and plans on building electric motorcycles at the company’s facilities in Spirit Lake, IA.
As if there wasn’t already enough fuel for the fire, on a product roadmap for investors, Brammo listed an “eCruiser” as a possible future model — a model that could easily be repurposed for the progressive Victory cruiser brand.
The US economy has been slow to recover, and so too has the US motorcycle market. With first-quarter sales down 0.3% this year though, it looked like the US motorcycle market was about to flatline.
Thankfully, that has not been the case in Q2 of 2014, as the Motorcycle Industry Council (MIC) is proud to report that US motorcycle sales are up 4.0% in the second quarter of this year.
Selling 169,111 units in Q2 2014 (6,585 more than in 2013), motorcycles sales in the US so far this year are now up 2.6%, with 263,833 units sold so far in 2014.