Brammo Empulse First Look

May 9, 2012
Frankie Garcia
Frankie Garcia
Associate Editor|Articles|Articles RSS

Competing in every discipline of motorcycle racing possible, when he isn't mastering his skill of social networking, the new kid will do just about anything to throw his leg over a bike and ride it until he simply cannot hold on anymore.

The Brammo Empulse R (top) and base model Empulse (bottom) were intoduced to the media last night in Hollywood, California.

Brammo, an innovative electric motorcycle manufacturer, revealed not one, but two new electric powered production motorcycles at the media launch in Hollywood, California. Brammo introduced its new Empulse and Empulse R, which showcase a host of new technology from the Ashland, Oregon-based firm. The two models retail for $16,995 and $18,995 respectively.  

The 440-pound bikes are virtually identical, with the R model spruced up with sleek carbon fiber body components to compliment it’s already innovative technology. The two machines feature the styling aspects of a modern day sport bike…minus the exhaust. The bikes also feature all-new Integrated Electric Transmission (IET). The IET is a mechatronic propulsion unit that was specifically designed to work with the Empulse’s electric motor, clutch, and gear shift…yes, a six-speed gear shift transmission. Brammo’s reasoning for the gear shifting was to bring the electric-powered bike closer to the feeling of a traditional internal combustion engine. Brammo claims it even has the characteristics of engine braking when down-shifting.

Pumping out a whopping 54 ponies the Empulse is the first production electric motorcycle to receive a water cooling system. The power is provided by Brammo’s own Brammo Power Lithium-Ion Battery with a life of 1500 cycles to 80% capacity and two different levels of charging. Level 1 fully recharges the battery at a maximum of eight hours while Level 2 maximum charging time is less than half that at 3.5 hours. Every ten minutes of charge adds up to five miles of riding range.

Brammo race pilot Steve Atlas was on hand after a terrible crash this weekend to answer questions about the new bikes.

When fully charged the performance levels offer enough to get the new bike over 100 mph. Claimed ranges include 121 miles through the city, 56 miles on the highway, and 77 miles combined. Two operating modes are provided through a switch on the handlebar. Normal mode limits power by reducing max current delivered to the motor. Sport mode provides maximum performance to both acceleration and top speed. Under deceleration, energy is returned to the battery to extend the riding range.

The suspension components are a fully-adjustable 43mm Marzocchi fork and Sachs Shock. Braking on the Empulse consists of dual 310mm Brembo discs with matching four-piston radial-mount hydraulic calipers. The rear brake is a Brembo single disc with a dual-piston Brembo Brake Caliper. All of this sits on 17-inch Marchesini wheels mounted up with Avon rubber.

This futuristic technology does not come at a small price. As mentioned, the base Empulse model has a price tag of $16,995 with the R model tagged at $18,995. Brammo offers a two-year limited factory warranty, one-year fender-to-fender limited warranty, and a two-year limited powertrain warranty (batteries and motor). Color options include True Blood Red, Eclipsed Black, and White Noise. Unfortunately the base model will not be available until 2013 but the Empulse R will be ready for purchase in June of this year.