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2008 Brammo Enertia First Ride

Thursday, November 13, 2008


Quiet is a relative term, and after a summer of testing screaming sportbikes and rumbling V-Twin cruisers, my current ride certainly fits the quiet bill. It’s so quiet that what I can hear is unusual: Tires on the road underneath as I sweep through a corner, suspension compressing over a pothole, pea gravel shooting out from under my tire… Did I just hear a bird singing!

Squeezing the brakes to a halt from a 45-mph cruising speed, there is simply no sound on my stationary mount. An immediate 37 lb-ft of torque is waiting at the throttle, yet the bike makes no peep.

“I can’t believe how quiet this is!” I cry, way too loud, using that not-quite-shouting voice riders use to communicate on conventional motorcycles. But my current ride is anything but conventional, it’s the pre-production prototype of the all-electric Brammo Enertia.

The Enertia drew plenty of attention during our brief test ride.
Is that the new electric motorcycle? The Enertia drew plenty of attention during our brief test ride.
The Brammo technician accompanying me on my test ride nods. He’s heard that one before - just about every time anyone sees but doesn’t hear the innovative design. Motorcycle USA got a taste of the Enertia’s attention-grabbing silence riding through the downtown of Brammo’s homebase, Ashland, Oregon, where we literally stopped traffic as curious pedestrians ran into the street to get more information.

“Is that the new electric bike?” “How fast does it go?” “How far can you run on one charge?” The same questions at every stop.

The answers are: Yes, 50 mph and 45 miles… Give or take. Let us explain.

The Brammo story begins with company CEO and founder Craig Bramscher. Towering over a six-foot guy like me, Bramscher is a big man with big ideas. Having made a fortune with the tech start-up Dream Media, Bramscher turned his new wealth and long-time enthusiasm for motorsports toward a four-wheeled supercar.

Able to ditch the heft of a conventional transmission  clutch and exhaust system and the Enertia tips the scales at a skinny 280 lbs.
Brammo CEO Craig Bramscher intended to build an electric car, but felt the existing technology was better applied to a two-wheeled design.
The problem, as Bramscher saw it, was all the high-performance supercars out there were too small for a man of his stature. So, naturally, he decided to start up a company from scratch and make his own. The result was Brammo Motorsports, which obtained a license to manufacture the Ariel Atom - a lightweight, high-speed car capable of 0-60 mph in less than three seconds. Track junkies and celebrities, like certified moto-nut Jay Leno, snatched up Atoms. After a couple years, production moved to VIR when the license was sold to TMI AutoTech.

Bramscher had intended to make his original supercar an electric design (like the much-hyped Tesla), but settled with the conventional internal combustion Atom because he didn’t feel the electric technology was quite there yet. A more applicable design for the available battery and motor tech would be in a two-wheeler – thus the Brammo Enertia concept was born.

With an electric motorcycle now the work order, Brammo Lead Designer Brian Wissman dug in. Having design experience in the automotive industry (some of his creations race in the Grand American racing series), as well as the computer (Dell) and medical (Ohmeda Medical) fields, the challenge delivered by Bramscher was to fabricate a bike that maintained a traditional motorcycle look and feel, but relied on electric power.

The electric drivetrain is a simple concept - battery energy transferred to the rear wheel via an electric motor. The Brammo Enertia taps power from six lithium-phosphate batteries manufactured by Austin, Texas-based Valence Technologies. Where an ECU meters out precise fuel and ignition in an internal combustion engine, the Brammo utilizes a BMS (battery management system). The BMS r
The Brammo Enertia taps power from six lithium-phosphate batteries manufactured by Austin  Texas-based Valence Technologies.
Six Lithium Phosphate batteries from Valence Technologies provide the Enertia's power, with the help of a BMS (Battery Management System).
egulates the battery current and maintains balanced charges, as well as oversees the recharging process – the Enertia requiring nothing more than a standard 120 Volt plug and 2-3 hours to “fill it up.” A brushless DC motor takes the 72 volts and produces mechanical energy, turning the rear wheel of the Enertia via a final chain drive. There is no clutch or gearbox.

Power claims are 24 horsepower and 37 lb-ft of torque measured at crank. And an electric motor produces immediate torque, so the Brammo mill churns right from zero rpm. But performance numbers are not the electric drive highlight, at least for now. Instead, optimum energy efficiency is the primary advantage of an electric powertrain. A typical internal combustion engine is stuck in the 20-25% efficiency range - with most energy transformed into heat, not mechanical power. The Brammo DC motor, however, claims 93% peak efficiency, making the Enertia an extremely ‘green’ ride.

The environmental benefits of the Brammo are two-fold: First, high efficiency means less energy is wasted getting from A to B; second, as a zero-emissions vehicle (ZEV) the Enertia contributes less CO2 to the atmosphere. Even if the electric energy used by the Enertia is created by a coal-fired powerplant, it produces almost seven times less CO2 than a standard car. Teamed with the increased development of renewable power sources, like solar and wind, and the Enertia approaches true zero emission status.

A 12V plug is located in the top of where a gas tank would be in a conventional bike.
A 120V AC plug and three hours is all the energy-efficient Enertia needs to get a full charge.
A summer of $4.50 gas has also highlighted the potential economic benefits of electric-powered transportation. The Enertia’s $11,995 MSRP is spendy, but its current electrical operating costs hover between one and two cents per mile. That’s 1000 miles for $20 worth of power from the grid. (See how many miles a sawbuck gets you in your current ride…) With such low energy costs, an Enertia buyer essentially purchases all the “fuel” up front with the rechargeable batteries. (For well-to-wheel efficiency comparisons, as well as a calculator to check potential dollar and CO2 savings by switching to an Enertia visit www.enertiabike.com)

But enough with concepts and stats, it’s time to test these electric ideas with a real-world street ride…

Swing a leg over the Enertia and the immediate realization is – this is a motorcycle. Wissman was deliberate in avoiding anything remotely scooterish, following Bramscher’s explicit orders. Upright and with a comfortable reach to the bars, the riding position on the Enertia feels comparable to a small-displacement dual-sport. Wide footpegs are comfortably placed with the rider’s leg cradling a slender monocoque frame (our prototype sourced a carbon fiber frame, with production models utilizing an aluminum unit).

Brammo was successful in designing an electric two-wheeler that retains a traditional motorcycle feel.
Brammo was successful in designing an electric two-wheeler that retains a traditional motorcycle feel.
Perhaps summoning his Dell design experience, Wissman fashioned a very computer-like power button resting on top of the “fuel tank”. Starting the bike, if you can call it that, is anticlimactic without any accompanying sound. Only the LED display, with linear power meter, indicates the Brammo is running. Another button, by the throttle, must be pressed before the action begins, which is fortunate as it is easy for a lackadaisical rider to mistakenly twist a live throttle.

Getting on the ‘gas’ and the immediate electric power is evident. Without any gears the speed is either on or off, with a lot of coasting in between. The on/off feeling is choppy at first, but the tech-friendly Enertia is easy to modify via USB port and laptop. Brammo software allows riders to dial in power delivery and throttle response, including separate throttle engagement and disengagement. Fine-tuning the Enertia is as simple as fixing the settings on your stereo. Riders can also choose between various overall power settings - lower settings maximizing range. We sampled a 60% bike and an Enertia set at full power, with a noticeable difference. And, yes, we liked the extra juice.

With a 24-degree rake, 3.7-in trail and 56-in wheelbase, the riding feel is quite familiar. Able to ditch the heft of a conventional transmission, clutch and exhaust system, the Enertia tips the scales at a skinny 280 lbs. Most of the weight is centralized on the main H-beam of the frame, which holds the heavy batteries (three on top and three below). The motor further centralizes mass, positioned right at the bottom of the frame. The result is a balanced, quick-turning mount that feels even lighter than its claim.

With a 24-degree rake  3.7-in trail and 56-in wheelbase  the riding feel is quite familiar.
The electric power is definitely different, but a rider will feel right at home on the Enertia.
The Enertia sources conventional brakes and suspension components. Brembo stoppers, dual-piston front / single-piston rear, are competent and more than adequate for the Enertia’s commuting duties and tame top 50 mph speed. The same can be said of the suspension, with the 43mm non-adjustable Marzocchi fork and Elka shock (adjustable for compression and rebound) up to the task.

Some complaints we encountered on our ride, like hard-to-read display, stressed chain drive, and stiff seat we will mention only in passing, as Wissman promises remedies are forthcoming in the production version. The biggest limitation of the Enertia is its short range and top speed performance. The power meter on our ride dropped fast with heavy use of the throttle, and range dipped from 45 miles to somewhere in the 30-mile range. The other issue is the 50 mph top speed – good enough for surface streets but not freeways or busy highways.

Electric transportation technology continues to develop, however, and with better batteries the performance possibilities open up. With that in mind Brammo is considering “leasing” batteries to Enertia customers, which could then be upgraded in the future with more powerful replacements. The old batteries would be re-used in other applications, like backups and power sources for medical equipment. With a battery breakthrough, the potential for Brammo is really intriguing. Double the range and add another 30-40 mph to top speed and the Enertia transforms from short-distance commuter to a proper playbike.

Getting on the ‘gas’ and the immediate electric power is evident.
The Brammo Enertia is nearing production, with 200 orders already placed.
Although a 12K commuter motorcycle is a tough sell as America faces uncertain economic times, Brammo is moving forward with production. Already working on a 200-order-long customer waiting list (many for a limited-edition 15K carbon fiber version), Bramscher is waiting on local government assistance in expanding Brammo’s production facilities in Ashland. The potential of the business model is attracting private investment too, with Best Buy committing $10 million to the venture. That’s right, Best Buy. (With the Enertia figuring to attract non-traditional riders, where better to showcase an electric-powered motorcycle than at one of the nation’s largest electronic and appliance retailers.)

As for the big-picture future?

“We want to be bigger than Ducati,” said an ambitious Craig Bramscher when we visited earlier this summer. And the CEO of Brammo Motorsports didn’t say that with any false enthusiasm. He said it with the optimism and confidence of a man who has already made a fortune and is working on fortune number two.

It’s easy for skeptics to bet against start ups like Brammo, but the seemingly endless future of fossil-fuel transportation is now beginning to show some cracks. Who knows? Bramscher’s quiet little Enertia could one day make a whole lot of noise after all.
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Brammo Enertia Specs
Brammo Enertia
Engine: Brushless DC Permanent Magnet Motor
Batteries: Valence Industries Lithium Phosphate
Horsepower: 24 hp @ 4500 rpm
Torque: 37 lb-ft
Transmission: Single speed chain drive
Frame: Carbon fiber monocoque (aluminum on production)
Front Suspension: 45mm Marzocchi fork, 5-in travel (non-adjustable)
Rear Suspension: Elka shock, 5-in travel (adjustable for compression and rebound)
Front Brake: Brembo dual-piston floating caliper
Rear Brake: Brembo single-piston floating caliper
Rake: 24 degrees
Trail: 3.7 in
Wheelbase: 56 in
Seat Height: 33 in
Weight: 280 lbs
MSRP: $11,995 (production) $14,995 (CF edition)
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Highs & Lows
Highs
  • Eco-friendly Commuter
  • Cheap ownership costs
  • Attention grabbing silence
  • Homegrown product could run on homegrown energy
Lows
  • Range and top speed limiting
  • High initial costs
  • Prototype model still working out the kinks
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Motorcycle technology has evolved from the original steam-powered contraption created by American Sylvester Roper 140 years ago. Now after more than a century of internal combustion dominance, a new crop of alternative motorcycles are being developed. Electric, fuel cell, hybrid, even compressed air two-wheelers are being created as we speak. Check out some of the more notable designs in Motorcycle USA's:  

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Comments
Donald Fournier -Welder.  April 22, 2010 09:01 PM
Let me know when the electric Busa comes out!
E -I heart motorcycles  February 15, 2010 08:26 AM
An average daily commute one-way is typically under 10 miles so the 40-50 mile range is more than adequate.
pneil -Brammo Bike  February 28, 2009 10:28 AM
Enhhh, Lousy range, no speed, high price, no thanks. NEXT! pneil
torr -this  February 17, 2009 10:22 AM
looks like a scooter.. i like it
Rocket Scientist -a very good start but...  February 9, 2009 11:40 AM
The concept is just what is needed. Plug-ins do requre grid energy, which is not cost or pollution free, yet is is much-much better than any internal combustion engines available to folks like us. Even hydrogen, which is clean at the point of use, still requires energy to produce and compress and requires heavy, high pressure containers; not a free ride either. For cheap energy I prefer solar. There is a material and pollution cost in making the cells, but it is not a reoccurring cost, you pay just once for a lot of energy production for as long as the sun shines. I would like to hear than Brammo has looked into better motors and I heard nothing about regenerative braking. With a fancy control computer, I would think that recovering some of the energy it takes to go up and over a hill, or to stop in traffic, would be easy. I am also a little resistant to the price. How does that cost break down? How much is battery (which may need eventual replacement), motor and runnign gear compared to the control system and the composite frame. I would give up some of the exotic for a lower price (espicially with the money crunch). you can't please everybody, but, more range is necessary for my application. Where can a guy bolt an extra battery or two? Hoew does the weight break down? How many pound of battery etc. I know some folks won't care about this stuff, but if you understand the science, you need it to understand whether the system makes sense or may be already tragically outdated. Keep up the pressure on the petroleum hungry vehicles!
PNB -Brammo vs Vectrix  January 28, 2009 06:02 AM
I'm surprised that no-one, including the original article writer, has mentioned the Vectrix electric scooter. I've thoroughly tested the Vectrix, and while far from perfect, it impressed me. Despite being much heavier than the Brammo, and having only Nickel Metal Hydride rather than Lithium batteries, it does do a genuine 62mph with excellent acceleration and more than adequate handling. It also has much better weather protection and luggage capacity than the Brammo. And it's cheaper. It's range is also limited to less than 30 miles if driven at anything more than a snail's pace, but judging by my personal experience and this test of the Brammo, the Vectrix is a much more attractive proposition than the Brammo. Someone at Brammo ain't got their sums right if you ask me! PNB in London, UK
Paul Anthony -A GOOD Start!  January 3, 2009 12:07 PM
I can't believe that everyone is so negative about this bike. Yes it Will become cheaper as production numbers increase. Yes it Will do 200 miles per charge and be charged to 80% capacity in 10-15 minutes. Did the 1st gasoline vehicles do 150mph and have air con etc etc? NO. They were absolutely rubbish. Give these vehicles your moral support if not your cash, as this way forward can help to save our planet. I can't wait until we have the 160-180mph electric motorbike, with 100% of torque from zero revs, and batteries that will do 200 miles between charges. This technology is nearly here, check the new technology sites like Gizmag etc.
Mechanical dreamer -Enertia  December 26, 2008 12:30 AM
It's cool that the idea is to try to keep the feel of a motorcycle with an electric. However, it can't replace my 650cc motorcycle, which is suitable for all my two-wheel commuting, recreation, and touring needs. It could serve as a replacement vehicle for those who ride only short distances and remain near electric outlets, but the $12,000 price tag is hard to justify for the limited utility. Let's hope for a revolution in battery technology, perhaps one that lets me recharge my depleted units not with a lengthy recharge, but with,say, a little drop-in electro-chemical energy cube that can be bought at the local market. I hope Mr. Bramscher and company can stay in business and continue their efforts.
Jack E. -Not quite there...  December 15, 2008 05:05 PM
Brammo has a good idea but they need to ditch the DC motor and go for a high efficiency brushless 3-phase motor. They also need to come clean on the battery capacity (3kWh as per their website is very misleading, it should be in amp hours, AH, no real engineer would make that mistake) so that we can calculate the actual cost of recharging and operation. I don't believe their $0.02 mile operating cost. So far it sounds like a "nice try" but not quite there. Forget solar cells on the vehicle itself. At today's efficiencies it would take weeks to charge the batteries for a 30 mile ride.
RDBeard -Brammo Enertia  November 25, 2008 11:18 AM
What keeps me from buying this bike right now? $$$$ It is a steep price for a bike that does not charge up my FUN fund. On the other hand, if I had a disposable $10K sitting around I would buy one in a second. I live in Hawaii; it is an island. From my house to the workplace is 12.8 miles. The route there is either on a road with a top posted speed of 45 mph, or the alternate route which is a couple of miles longer but has a top posted speed of 34mph as it winds along the coast. Living here in Hawaii means it is bike weather every day of the year. Parking in Honolulu sucks ass, unless you are on a bike at which point it becomes convenient and free. The company I work for would let me plug it in as it sits in the parking garage awaiting me at the end of the day. And it is quiet!! Hallelujah! Loud diodes do not save lives.
Cap'n -Power company emissions  November 20, 2008 01:33 PM
Something to consider, though - you are all correct that the bike may not pollute but coal power plants certainly do. There is a large gain in efficiency, however, in powering this bike with electricity from the grid vs. gasoline. The electric motor is much, much more efficient than the gasoline can ever be. We only get a small % of the total energy in gas as forward motion - the rest becomes heat. Not so with the electric motor. So yes, you do trade the polution from your gas bike back to a power plant, but you also size it waaay down in the process. Still a very valid point, but the efficiency gain help mitigate it.
SeanJon -Electric Bike  November 19, 2008 10:01 PM
Good concept but it doesn't seem practical to me at all. 3 Hours of charging for 30 miles? And 50mph Max? I think they should really thank anyone willing to buy one. Hopefully the battery technology will improve soon! PS It takes energy(oil) to produce batteries and there are issues with dissposing of them as well. So they do leave a footprint. Is that footprint smaller? I hope so.
MB -PS  November 17, 2008 01:20 PM
Why wouldn't you put the plug-in in a more weatherproof location ??
MB -o emissions  November 17, 2008 01:17 PM
much like mercury in CFL's(they really don't last for years in heavy use), when has creating elecricity EVER been 0 emissions?? I like the concept for limited commuting, although pricey for that. I think the hybrid idea someone mentioned is good, but there goes the low weight. A 2-3 hour fuel stop after 30 min. of riding won't fit my lifestyle.
Ken -Not for me, but make it be!  November 16, 2008 09:30 PM
Well, Eco or not...I still like it for the simple fact that it's different. Motorcycles have gotten stagnant (not neccessarily a bad thing). I'm always an "underdog" fan, so love that this is actually hitting production! Would I pay a premium for it?..HECK NO! But I like it none-the-less and am a big fan of variety :-)
eco-zealot(!?) -wind of change  November 16, 2008 04:15 PM
Well Gee guys I'd havta agree that while this is no weekend cruiser built for long weekend rambles. But I'd wager that most readers wouldn't commute more than 45 miles per day to work? So the idea of charging this baby overnight then a quick ride to and from my work is mighty tempting, our city provides free parking for bikes so that's a no brainer. More power stations? according to stats I've read "The existing electrical grid's off-peak capacity for power generation is sufficient to power 84% of commutes to and from work by cars, light trucks and SUVs without building a single new power plant if people drive plug-in hybrids, according to the U.S. Department of Energy." (from pluginamerica.org). Hydrogen fuel cell? They've been promising this since what the 90's? Good if it ever gets here, personally I'm not holding my breath, besides have you noticed how the same people who have us suckling at their gas bowsers are determined to keep us dependant on now buying hydrogen from their re-fueling stations? And I don't feel that comfortable with having a high pressure tank of the most flammable and explosive gas known to man between my thighs! :-)Personally once this bike goes into production I'm joining the 200 and growing waiting list, cheers. PS if you want another view regarding this debate get a copy of "who killed the electric car" or check out www.whokilledtheelectriccar.com It enough to make anyone spitting mad.
Duke -Hydrogen not zero emission  November 15, 2008 10:51 PM
Hydrogen is only zero emission if you assume that the hydrogen magically appears in your tank. The reality is that it takes a whole lot of energy to extract that hydrogen... at least for the time being battery-powered electric is much more efficient. Hydrogen fuel cells might eventually give you more range but cleaner they are not. It takes electricity to extract hydrogen then there are more losses when converting the H back to electricity in a fuel cell. As far as battery disposal goes, there is already a huge infrastructure for recycling batteries. Think about it, there must be 200 million plus cars on the road in the U.S. and each of them has a battery. Granted, these are mostly lead-acid, but computers and others consumer electronics like cell phones use more advanced batteries already. Given the value of the batteries of the volume needed for a car or motorcycle like this one, it's even more likely that they will be properly recycled than those in other uses. Plus, these types of batteries are nearly 100% recyclable.
Ken -Batteries? Eco friendly??  November 15, 2008 09:15 PM
Harry...I agree. Hydrogen is the only REAL eco friendly source (batteries are a hazmat nightmare as well as the polution of the source of power...POWER COMPANIES). Hydrogen= ZERO emissions, no hazmat. More developement will hopefully yield better (and safer) ways to contain Hydrogen storage. Bring out the first "Hydro-bike"!!
Harry -Enertia  November 15, 2008 12:02 AM
Come on! Hydrogen Fuel Cells are the go aren't they? Big start up and infrastructure but hey, it already works.
Ken -lose-lose, but still admire it  November 14, 2008 10:45 PM
I love the concept. As I love all new concepts (change can be good). However...it's a tough sell. Batteries don't last long and cost of replacement is HIGH (there goes the gas savings). Eco friendly?...where do the "old batteries" wind up? Also as far as being more eco friendly, it MAY be cheaper to power this up than gas it....until other people ALSO start using them as well. This would require power companies to "UP" the power to any given grid, which would (of course) mean MORE coal to create that power (NON eco friendly). Hello...we've been here already with electric cars. It's a lose-lose as far as "eco-friendly" and practicality goes. However...I still love it's uniqueness and the boldness to make such a bike. Until batteries advance to a stage where stored electical power is actually an advantage (last longer, store more available power)...it's a "statement" bike...much like the Toyota "Echo" is to cars. A previous poster had it right, though, ...it has to start somewhere.
Rick D -Reality Check  November 14, 2008 07:26 PM
While the Enertia may approach "true zero emission status" what about the inevitable disposal of the batteries that make it run? Trading CO2 emissions for landfills full of lithium, hmmmm.
Typo -Right You Are  November 14, 2008 03:28 PM
Good catch cap'n. 120V is correct.
Cap'n -Voltage Correction?  November 14, 2008 12:21 PM
Regarding this - "requiring nothing more than a standard 12V plug and 2-3 hours to “fill it up.”" ... I think you mean 120 Volt, not 12V. You show it plugged into a 120V plug in the garage shot. Plus folks don't really have 12V available anywhere but from other vehicles. Typo, no?
Lew T -Early Adopters  November 14, 2008 11:17 AM
It will take some brave, cash-rich early adopters to make this electric bike enterprise go. There is definitely a market for it, even with the high price and current speed/range limitations, and the Best Buy connection makes sense and will add credibility. Still, the early owners will need to be of the sort who like to buy bold, new gadgets, who collect Sharper Image (R.I.P.) catalogs, and don't pay attention to bottom line economic equations.
AbnerDoon -Love the idea, afraid it seems just too limited for reliable application  November 14, 2008 08:48 AM
Good stuff...almost there. I really dont see a panacea anytime soon with a purely electric vehicle. The truth regarding 'fuel and go' with current internal combustion engines and the 'only can reliably charge at home' 'cos the office is a 150 acre lot with no outlets. A product perhaps viable only to 'decently' heeled eco-zealots? (no pejorative intended). It's limits: range, top speed, charge time (although admirable) must mean that folks that buy this are folks that have the disposable income rather than the 'need' for it. No sunday carving in the back roads or just getting lost and smelling the roses riding because if you are out of juice and away from an outlet you are screwed! Fact! The gasoline infrastructure 'aint going nowhere, a true functional alternative will be a hybrid-electric. Even if it is a single cylinder- 125cc 4-stroke it wont address the top speed issue but all the others..yes, then even I'd seriously consider. Easy to say I realize but a hybrid I think is the way to go right now. Battery technology has a factor that will seriously inconvenience you if you make a mistake (forget to plug in, someone presses the 'on' button and power drains, limited range leaves you stuck in the 'boonies'. Something like this will no doubt impose and introduce some maintenance, weight and cost or might even the "whats wrong with a 250cc ninja" questions. I'm still confronted with the idea that you cant have a bad day and you'd better have a short commute. Perhaps the scale of the company is small enough that the potential client pool is more than plenty but there are serious limits with what I see currently if I were to seriously consider this for myself. With all my griping, for the record I like it...I really, really like it and would love to own one but just dont have a real-world problem it will fix. My commute is about 60-miles each way (or about 1:15 mins in peak-hour commuting time..no lane splitting in PA), most of it is highway, impossible to plug it in anywhere at work in the parking lot, too short a range for me to go exploring back roads or the extended stop and go of city gridlock. I do appreciate that the styling is streetbike and not some moped/jellybean 'futuristic' experiment. Looks very decent indeed. BestBuy you say? National distributer/resaler/service center....Buy, short term/long term lease option perhaps? I'd pay $150-$200 per month to give it a 6-month try over the spring/summer riding season. Who knows, maybe the ease of whetting ones beak without having to drop significant funds in a purchase will also help get the word out and save on some marketing/advertising coin. Hell, I've talked so much maybe I do really, really like it in the end..
EE -easier said...  November 13, 2008 08:08 PM
Ian: Solar is nice and all, but this bike must consume kilowatts worth of power and if you can ride it for almost an hour using that much power, you would need a solar array the size of your roof at home. Range will get bigger as energy density of batteries grows. They're using a power-dense lithium ion-phosphate. That kind of battery doesn't hold a ton of energy. Ps- I agree on the styling though.
Ian S -Electric bike  November 13, 2008 07:38 PM
Well, its a start I guess. The range is a big issue and the styling needs some input from the guy that does all the stuff at Apple. One big trick they seem to be missing is solar recharging. As the main user for this kind of bike is someone who commutes a reltively short distance to work and then leaves the bike out in the sun all day, surely a fold out solar panel is just the thing for recharging while you work?