Brammo and Zero have become the go-to brands for electric motorcycle development, but a new name joins the high-tech bubble of northern California. BRD Motorcycles is looking to push the limits of electric performance past gas-powered equivalents. On the horizon is the release of a motorcycle it calls the RedShift. Still a pre-production prototype, the model is planned for release in 2012 and will be offered in both an MX and dual-sport version.
“We don’t want to sell vehicles based on guilt,” said BRD Chief Design Officer, Jeff Sand. “We want to build vehicles that are the most desirable in their category even for enthusiasts. We’re committed to developing a bike until that can take on gas motocrossers on their home turf.”
The RedShift SM urban model was recently unveiled at the Dainese D-Store in San Francisco. While the RedShift incorporates the same basic geometry of a conventional ride, the aluminum frame design had to be considerably altered to fit an electric drive-train. BRD went back to the drawing boards to construct an all-new frame manufactured in California.
“There are decades of development in modern motocross and supermoto chassis” said Chief Technology Officer and former racer, Derek Dorresteyn. “We chose to harness the best of that while taking advantage of the torque and throttle response an electric motor delivers.”
Chassis design for the RedShift puts BRD in the middle of a manufacturing rebirth courtesy of the burgeoning electric transportation industry in Northern California. Surrounded by other companies like Tesla, Aptera, Zero Motorcycles and Ecotality, BRD is taking pride in developing its technologies within the region rather that outsourcing it to foreign companies.
The chassis features two sculptural aluminum monocoque members specially constructed to fit an electric drive-train.
“This is the best place in the world to find design and engineering talent, and there’s a long history of manufacturing here as well. We are excited to revive that history,” said Dorresteyn.
The Red Shift makes use of a 5.2 kWh battery that delivers a claimed 50-mile range based on similar electric designs in the market. However, BRD has yet to release specific range numbers until further testing is completed. Capable of 40 horsepower and with a claimed weight of 250 pounds. (240 pounds in off-road trim), the RedShift features fully adjustable suspension and convention wheel and sprocket sizes.
“We just want to make faster motorcycles,” said CEO, Marc Fenigstein. “We’re a team of riders and racers with high-performance gas machines in the garage. We’re building the bikes we’d rather be riding.”
The RedShift will be sold through convention motorcycle dealerships. Specifications and images can be seen at BRD’s website: www.faster-faster.com. More info on the RedShift is expected at the 68th EICMA in Milan, Italy in November.