Brammo Unveils The Empulse, a True Electric Sportbike

Although news of this amazing new production sportbike has been making its way around the internet, Brammo chose to officially unveil the Empulse this past weekend at Laguna Seca, in conjunction with the MotoGP race and the FIM’s American ePower round. The first thing I noticed, apart from its tough, sexy styling, is the oil cooler. Oil? OK, not oil as such, but this e-bike is indeed liquid-cooled, thus preparing it very well for a life lived in high speed.

 

The biggest issue with racing electric bikes, when using “off-the-shelf” electric motors, is that they tend to overheat, as they were never intended to be used in such an extreme way. We saw this in the Infineon round of the TTXGP, as it was the beginning of the season and the learning curve. However, Brammo has developed this motor themselves, specifically for the Empulse. Thus, it should do fine in racing conditions. Unfortunately, we didn’t find out this weekend, as they pulled out of the race.

CEO Craig Bramscher explained to me that with the amount of overtime he’s put his engineers through to develop the Empulse, the last thing he wants to do right now is keep pushing them so hard. Which is so much more sustainable than how other electronics companies are run, with their insanely rushed new product launches. The electric motorcycle industry is moving fast, perhaps even faster than Moore’s Law. In fact, Craig did tell me this launch was ready sooner than he’d originally anticipated, although he realized it would be wiser to wait than to rush the new bike into racing.

Everyone thought Michael Czysz would run circles around the competition on his amazing e1cp, but Michael Barnes actually took pole position in the final qualifying session on the Lightning, at 1:45, with Czysz in second place at 1:47. We can only wonder where the Empulse would’ve stacked up against the two leaders…

If you’re interested in the Empulse, place your pre-order here to make sure you get yours hot off the Oregon assembly line in 2011…

 

Susanna Schick

Susanna is passionate about anything fast and electric. As long as it's only got two wheels. She covers electric motorcycle racing events, test rides electric motorcycles, and interviews industry leaders. Occasionally she deigns to cover automobile events in Los Angeles for us as well. However, she dreams of a day when Los Angeles' streets resemble the two-wheeled paradise she discovered living in Barcelona and will not rest until she's converted the masses to two-wheeled bliss.