• Oct 16th 2009 at 7:59AM
  • 22
Brian Wismann on the Brammo Enertia - Click above for high-res image gallery

Earlier this week, Brammo's director of product development Brian Wismann along with Dave Schiff of Crispin Porter Bugosky, began a ten-day journey meant to take them to Washington, DC. The trip, which is being chronicled on the site shockingbarack.com, is intended to raise awareness of the company's new electric motorcycle, the Enertia, and electric vehicles in general.

The trek began at Zingerman's deli in downtown Ann Arbor, MI, which just happens to be a a few blocks from this blogger's office. Brian and Dave swung by the office for a visit to show off the bike – which they prefer to call a powercycle – and chat about what it can do. Along the route to the capital, they'll be making plenty of similar stops, partly to demonstrate the bike but mostly out of necessity. While the Enertia is undoubtedly a neat ride, it underscores two of the major problems with EVs. They are expensive ($11,995 for the Enertia) and have limited range. This bike only has a 42-mile range and then takes four hours to charge. That means plenty of short hops to cover the 520 miles to DC. On the plus side, it should only take about $4 worth of juice to make the trip.

Hopefully sales will bring volumes that help bring the cost down. In the meantime, check out the video after the jump.

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    • 1 Second Ago
      • 5 Years Ago
      Will be awesome one day when bikes like this can get a few hundred miles on a charge.

      With battery and solar panel technology increasing I don't think it is out of the question that we will see huge leaps in EV's in the next decade.
      • 5 Years Ago
      • 5 Years Ago
      Shocking Barack? At that pace, he'll have seen him coming a long time ago.
      • 5 Years Ago
      Why would you make a publicity stunt that specifically highlights the limitations of your product? Time for a new PR/Marketing plan.
      • 5 Years Ago
      Uneducated out in force today. I love this topic. HERE, YOU CAN BUY THIS NOW: http://www.vectrixusa.com/

      I tested one for a couple months earlier in 2008 in San Francisco. Commuting and taking the SF hills was a non-issue. Range was more than this little Brammo thing and the hills in SF actually provided useful regen braking. This demonstration [in the article] is silly - the bike's really built to be a commuter -- and it can do that task without issue and extremely cheaply. Still, I'd stick with the Vectrix and its innovative transmission controls (it includes a very handy reverse.)
        • 5 Years Ago

        Vectrix is kaput, has effectively been out of business since July:


        Unfortunately I expect a similar fate for Brammo as I fail to see any significant difference in their business plan and pricing. $12K for a bike that has a 40-minute run time at high speeds is a joke. And the whole Best Buy alliance is just plain odd. Apparently no one @ Brammo's learned a damn thing from Vectrix's failure. Would love to know who put up the money behind this stinker and what kind of market research the company did.
      • 5 Years Ago
      These green whack jobs really crack me up. Let's take something like a motorcycle that gets really good mileage to begin with and make it less convenient all so I can say it's "green".

      How is all this e vehicle push any good if people aren't willing to accept and expand nuclear energy plants? If everyone drove an e car where would all the electricity come from? Aren't we just trading one devil for another? How about the nickel and precious metals mining for all these batteries?

      Maybe it's something in the tofu?
      • 5 Years Ago
      Obviously, this bike is not for cross country trips, and was never designed to be that kind of vehicle. It's a commuter bike. Average commute for Americans is 29 miles, well within the range of the Enertia.
      ICE bikes get better gas mileage than cars, but they're still 100 percent dependent on gasoline. Plus, the amount of greenhouse gas emissions of some bikes is greater than passenger vehicles - mainly because motorcycles are not as regulated as cars are by the EPA, and DOT.
      I am amused at the pace these guys are taking. Sometimes, the journey itself is the destination.
        • 5 Years Ago
        Greenhouse gas from a ICE is almost entirely CO2. So it's purely MPG. So most motorcycles (getting 40-60 mpg) put out less GHG than most cars (getting 25 mpg). There are of course exceptions, a 35 mpg motorcycle puts out more GHG than a 50 mpg prius.

        OTOH, motorcycles generally put out more CO, HC and NOx than a car, as they do not have the same level of emissions controls. Most bikes pre 2005 don't have catcons for example. This exemption is allowed because motorcycles generally are not ridden that much in the US.
      • 5 Years Ago
      I don't get it - buddy just bought a BMW G650-GS - single cylinder dual-sport bike for about $8k. He took it on a several-day road trip from Dallas to Nashville. Averaged well over 50mpg for the entire trip.

      Do motorcycles in general - in any configuration, really need to worry about their ecological footprint? From a consumption vs. benefit standpoint, they're pretty much the best example we have of internal-combustion propulsion.
      • 5 Years Ago
      I could bicycle from Michigan to Washington in less than 10 days.
      I am totally serious.

      I could easily average 20mph which means I could cover 100miles in 5 hours vs 40 miles in 5 hours for this "powercycle". In the time it takes this power cycle to cover 200 miles I could cover 500 - and I'd be getting a workout at the same time.

      Powercycle = FAIL.

      Technology for the sake of technology is never a good premise.
      • 5 Years Ago
      All the rider needs is a propeller on his helmet attached to a micro generator to recharge the battery while riding. Then he'll have a, er, a 41.3 mile range due to increased drag.

      I can only guess what Chinese POS brush DC motor these "pioneers" used. I'll bet the road vibration destroys the DC drive right outside of Pittsburg.

      Too bad really, looks like a Rotax single would make this bike fun. And cheaper.

        • 5 Years Ago
        Actually it's a 80A brushless, according to their website. I was kinda surprised since I've seen a lot of otherwise cool designs lately that were using old brushed motors.
      • 5 Years Ago
      • 5 Years Ago
      The eRockit seems vastly superior to this
        • 5 Years Ago
        How so? The eRockit costs $40k and you have to pedal. Granted you could probably get about 200 miles out of a charge, but you will be paying it off much longer. And while you are still paying for it - better technology will have come out.
        • 5 Years Ago
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