Brammo Empulse – This Changes Everything

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We’ve been expecting an electric sportbike from Brammo for over a month now, getting our first clues from our Bothan spies last week that the bike’s launch was imminent. Now we can officially say that the Brammo Empulse is the latest creation from the Ashland, Portland based Brammo, Inc. Continuing Brammo’s electric motorcycle offering, the Brammo Empulse represents the first production sportbike to be available by consumers. The Empulse comes in three flavors (Brammo Empulse 6.0, Empulse 8.0, & Empulse 10.0) with differing amounts of on-board power each variant.

With the Empulse 10.0 having a 100 mile range, and costing only $13,995 MSRP, Brammo is offering a potent and affordable package, and when you factor in that federal and state government subsidies that could bring that price down to around $7,000 in some states, you have a motorcycle that could change the way we think about electric streetbikes.

Taking the issue of range head-on, Brammo hopes to dispel thoughts of range anxiety with the Empulse, whose nomenclature represents the riding ranges of the models (60 miles for the Empulse 6.0, 80 miles for the 8.0, 100 miles for the 10.0). While mileage will vary on actual riding conditions, this ranges are based mixed use of freeway and city streets. All the Empulse models are capable of speeds in excess of 100MPH, and feature a 40hp liquid-cooled AC synchronous motor.

The big issue here is price/performance parity with internal combustion engines. When you consider the Ducati Streetfighter that’s currently in the A&R garage only gets about 130 miles on a tank of gas, and costs $14,995 retail, the Empulse 10.0 becomes a vary attractive option to consumers. Obviously there are cheaper motorcycles that get better range than the Streetfighter, but the point is that for the first time, production electric motorcycles are creeping onto the performance figures of ICE motorcycles, while remaining affordable to the average consumer…or in the case of the Empulse, extremely affordable.

Compare this to the Mission Motors Mission One LE, which has seen its production deadline pushed back and will debut around the same time as the Empulse. While trumping the Brammo Empulse on power, the Mission One also commands a $68,995 price tag. While the Mission One might have truer ICE performance parity, the Empulse shows that for significantly less money, a stout electric sportbike can still be had.

Designed by Brian Wismann, Brammo’s Director of Product Development, the Brammo Empulse has a striking design that mixes bodywork that could find itself just as easily on an Italian sportbike as an American-made powercycle. Look beneath the bodywork and you will find a frame structure that elegantly shows off the kilowatts of power that make the Empulse go. While the design is still fluid at this point, we think the Brammo Empulse is off to promising start.

Supplementing the Brammo Empulse 10.0, the other Brammo models are even cheaper with the Empulse 6.0 costing $9,995 and the Empulse 8.0 coming in at $11,995. Final costs to the consumer will vary with the state and federal subsidies. The Empulse will be sold through Best Buy, just like the Brammo Enertia, and will be available mid-2011. Orders will be served on a first-come, first-serve basis, and can be placed at A $99 fully-refundable deposit must be placed 90 days before delivery of the Empulse to the customer.

Source: Brammo