• Apr 18th 2012 at 6:05PM
  • 17
Twenty-one months ago, Brammo announced the Empulse, a hot-looking electric streetfighter capable of hitting 100 miles per hour and offering up to 100 miles of range. Electric motorcycles had arrived. Minds were changed, $6 million in pre-orders were placed and enthusiastic fans hunkered down and chatted about this two-wheeled object of desire on internet forums and waited. And waited. And then...nothing.

Ok, not nothing exactly. The company made a number of interesting business moves, like teaming up with Flextronics for manufacturing and partnering with Polaris. They also announced a trio of motocross style bikes that would feature a six-speed transmission. It seems that it was the appearance of this multi-speed gearbox that signaled a change in approach to the sport bike drivetrain, and thus the delay that has continued until now.

Ok, until almost now. Brammo has announced it will fully reveal the Empulse and Empulse R on the 8th of May at a launch event, which will be webcast live to its (patient) customers with existing pre-orders. Fortunately, we aren't completely left in the lurch until then. The company has just released technical specifications which give us an good idea as to what to expect from the new configuration. Scroll down to see them.
Gone, it seems, is the concept of one bike with either a 6-, 8- and 10-kWh-sized battery pack with a single-speed gearbox. Instead, we have the Empulse and Empulse R, each with a 10.2-kWh lithium battery using nickel cobalt manganese (NCM) chemistry and both sporting a six-speed transmission with a multi-plate, hydraulic activated wet clutch. It's not clear how the two models are differentiated, though we imagine the "R" to have an edge performance-wise and, perhaps, a fairing. We expect the "non-R" to be naked. And both to be beautiful.

Top speed is given as 100 miles per hour plus for the R, while the potential range is laid out using three different scenarios. Driving at a constant 70 mph will take you 56 miles, a city/highway combination should net 77 miles, and pure city driving might keep you in the saddle for up to 121 miles. Acceleration is described as "rapid off-the-line", and we hope it can keep up with its looks.

Charging from empty can be achieved in 3.5 hours using a J1772, level 2 set-up. Plugging into the wall may take as long as eight hours. Scroll down for the official press release along with all the fresh specs. We've also got the latest Empulse-centric promotional video that gives us a bit of insight into the new battery, the company's racing heritage and a sneak peek of the new design.

Show full PR text
Brammo Reveals New Details for Empulse and Empulse R Electric Sport Bikes

ASHLAND, Ore., April 18, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- Brammo, Inc., the designer and manufacturer of world leading electric motorcycles today announced details of its much anticipated Empulse and Empulse R electric sport bikes.

Both models utilize the world's first drivetrain that has been designed and built for a production electric motorcycle. It features a water-cooled permanent magnet AC motor, IET 6 speed gearbox and Brammo's unique BPM 15/90 battery modules. This drivetrain package endows the Empulse and Empulse R with rapid off-the-line acceleration, sustained high speed and industry-leading range.

Unique for a production electric motorcycle, both Empulse models also have J1772 Level II on-board charging system, allowing riders to easily take advantage of the growing number of charging stations being installed in cities around the world. The Empulse and Empulse R can be totally recharged in just 3.5 hours and every 10 minutes of casual charging adds 5 miles of range. With a little planning, a day's journey of 200 miles or more can now be achieved.

Craig Bramscher, Founder and CEO of Brammo, stated, "The Empulse and Empulse R are a milestone for Brammo and the new electric benchmark for the motorcycling industry. I know when I reveal the bikes on May 8th people are going to be blown away by the integrity of the design and the focused presence this motorcycle commands." Bramscher continues, "When we first revealed the Empulse prototype, our customers had some very clear feedback for us and that feedback has inspired much of what you will see in the production version."

Brammo will be revealing the Empulse and Empulse R in Los Angeles on May 8th, 2012. The launch event will be webcast live to all pre-order customers. Those viewers will not only get to see the new bikes, they will get to hear what it's like to ride one, straight from the mouths of Brammo's development riders, two of which happen to be well-known motorcycle racers. Electric motorcycle racing is an integral part of Brammo's mission, and its experience and championship record on the track has played a critical role in the evolution of the Empulse from concept to production. Professional racers have had a hand in the development process and they will be sharing their riding experiences and impressions at the reveal on May 8th.

A video interview with Brammo CEO Craig Bramscher will be released on Thursday, April 19th 2012 – http://www.brammo.com/video-ceo

About Brammo

Brammo, Inc., is a leading electric vehicle technology company headquartered in North America. Brammo designs and develops electric vehicles including the Encite, Enertia, Empulse and Engage motorcycles. Brammo is the current TTXGP eGrandPrix champion of North America. Brammo is an OEM supplier of its innovative Brammo Digital Drivetrain systems including the Brammo Power battery pack and Brammo Power vehicle management system. Brammo has vehicle distribution and marketing operations in North America, Europe and Asia. To learn more, visit www.Brammo.com

The following are trademarks of Brammo, Inc. in the United States or other countries or both; Brammo®, Enertia®, Empulse®, Empulse R®, Engage®, Encite®, Brammo Digital Drivetrain®, Brammo Power®, the Brammo logo and bulls head graphical device.

2012 Brammo Empulse R Specifications


Motor Type

Permanent Magnet AC (PMAC) - Water Cooled

Motor Controller

Sevcon Gen 4

Peak Motor Power

40kW, @ 8,200 rpm (54 hp)

Peak Torque

63Nm (46.5 foot pounds)

Final Drive

Direct Chain Drive (14/48) 520 O-ring chain


IET 6 speed gearbox with multi-plate, hydraulic activated wet clutch




Battery Type

Brammo Power™ BPM15/90 Lithium-Ion ( NCM Chemistry)

Battery Pack Capacity

9.31 kWh (nominal), 10.2 kWh (max)

Battery Pack Voltage

103.6 V (nominal)

Recharge J1772

Level I maximum charging time: 8 Hours. (0 – 99% SOC, no cell imbalances)

Level I and II

Level II maximum charging time: 3.5 Hours. (0 – 99% SOC, no cell imbalances)

110V AC to J1772 Level 1 Adapter included

Every 10 minutes of Level II charging adds up to 5 miles of range

Battery Cycle Life

1,500 cycles to 80% capacity (100% DOD)


Max Speed

100 + mph (160 + km/h)

Driving Range

City: 121 miles* (195 km)

Highway: 56 miles** (90 km)

Combined: 77 miles*** (124 km)

*SAE City Riding Range Test Procedure for Electric Motorcycles (variable speed, 19 mph / 30km/h average)

**SAE Highway / Constant Speed Riding Range Test Procedure for Electric Motorcycles (70 mph / 113 km/h sustained)

*** SAE Highway Commuting Cycle (.5 City weighting, .5 Highway weighting)

Operating Modes

2 Operating Modes selectable through the handlebar switch:

1. "Normal" - limits acceleration by reducing maximum current delivered to the motor through the motor controller in order to maximize driving range.

2. "Sport" - provides maximum performance in both acceleration and top speed.

Regenerative Braking

Under deceleration, energy is returned to the battery system to both extend driving range and provide familiar rider feedback.

Operating Cost

Assuming 13 cents /kWh for electricity:

1 cent per mile around town

2 cents per mile on the highway

Approximately 400 miles for every $4.00 of electricity (city)

Data Collection

Brammo DDC™ (Dynamic Data Collection) records key motorcycle parameters at 1Hz (1 sample/second) for analysis and service support.



Brammo E-Beam™ Aluminum, Fabricated by Accossato in Italy

Suspension / Front

Fully Adjustable 43mm Marzocchi Forks

Suspension / Rear

Fully Adjustable Sachs Shock

Triple Clamps

Forged Aluminum

Swing Arm

Tubular Steel, Fabricated by Accossato in Italy

Sub Frame

Tubular Steel, Fabricated by Accossato in Italy

Brakes / Front

Dual 310mm Brembo floating disk with twin four piston Hydraulic Brembo Brake Calipers, Radial Mount.

Brakes / Rear

Brembo single disk with dual piston Hydraulic Brembo Brake Caliper

Wheels- Front / Rear

17"x 3.5" Marchesini / 17" x 5.5" Marchesini

Tires- Front / Rear

120/70-17 AVON AV79 / 180/55-17 AVON AV80


LCD display; speed, tach, odometer, gear position, energy consumption, battery status, estimated range and system status



58.0" 147.32 cm

Seat Height

31.5" 80.0 cm


31.8" (bar end-to-bar end) 80.77 cm


42.6" (highest portion of the dash) 108.2 cm


81.3" 206.5 cm

Ground Clearance

7.3" 18.54 cm

Rake / Trail

24 degrees / 3.8"

Storage Capacity

Optional Brammo hard saddle bags and top trunk.

Fuel Economy

485 mpg-e 206 km/L-e

Vehicle Weight

440lbs. / 200kg

Carrying Capacity

Cargo Capacity 365 lbs. / 165.6 kg

(805 lbs. / 365.1 kg total combined motorcycle, rider, passenger and cargo)


2 Years (Limited Factory Warranty) 1 year Fender-to-Fender Limited Warranty, 2 year Limited Powertrain Warranty (Batteries and Motor)


True Blood Red, Eclipsed Black, White Noise

All specifications subject to change without notice.

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    • 1 Second Ago
      • 3 Years Ago
      Comparable emissions regulations to cars would kill the conventional market and be the making of the electric market overnight. With the information we now have on the lethality of particulate pollution, killing around twice as many people per year in the UK as road accidents, for instance, it seems wholly inappropriate to continue to have relatively low standards.
      • 3 Years Ago
      Glad I got my pre-order in awhile ago. I can't wait for this thing to get into customers hands. I'm really curious how it compares to the other sport bikes, 600cc performance from 0-100 would be very acceptable. I'm most impressed with the home brew 3kW on board charger, BMS, battery pack, and actually putting a transmission coupled to an electric motor into production. Great work!
        Exooc news
        • 3 Years Ago
        agree however 6step transmission seems odd on electric engine... for me it indicate that transmission was meant for gas engines I would understand 2(as tesla was toying with) max 3
          • 3 Years Ago
          @Exooc news
          SMRE is a company in Italy, who was already working on transmissions to integrate with light EVs (EIT is their term). Brammo partnered with them to supply that gearbox. http://www.iet-technology.com/
          • 3 Years Ago
          @Exooc news
          I think they used a standard motorcycle transmission so that people who have already learned how to ride will feel comfortable on this bike. That said I think there is a lot of room in the market for a an easier, simpler to drive "automatic" bike.
          • 3 Years Ago
          @Exooc news
          The Brammo EIT 6-speed transmission is specifically designed and built for EV's, with an integrated electric motor built together with the transmission. It isn't just a gasser tranny bolted onto an EV motorcycle. There are many different reasons why to choose a 6-speed instead of something like a 3-speed, or Tesla's original 2-speed. 1) 6-speeds provides 100% of the Hoonage factor that gasser bikers are used to. Like first gear burnouts, or 2nd gear wheelies from a roll, or 3rd gear downshift clutch popping wheelies on the highway. More gears to choose from means having more hooligan fun to choose from. 2) The Empulse has regen on the back wheel (drive wheel) which can be induced via downshifting. If you want to slow down without braking, and regen while you are slowing down, you can just downshift the way you would regularly downshift a gasser bike. Having 6 gears gives the rider the same sort of controlled downshift slowing that a gas bike rider might expect from a V-twin engine. If there were only 2 or 3 gears, the transition between gears would be way too harsh for this sort of regenerative braking. 3) One of the reasons why the Tesla 2-speed failed, is because the gear change was just way too harsh between the two gears. Basically, you had to take an electric motor that was spinning at 10,000 rpm (or whatever) and then force it to sync up it's motor speed with a transmission that just went from spinning at 10,000 rpm to just 6,000 rpm (or whatever -- I'm just making up the numbers). That means that something has to absorb all that force of decelerating the electric motor from 10,000 rpm to 6,000 rpm in a fraction of a second. That's a lot of force for the transmission to absorb! Basically it is taking a high-torque motor, and forcing it to spin slower just by engaging a physical connection between the motor and the wheels turning on the ground. That is a whole lot of force to put on a transmission. On the other hand, shifting between 6 gears instead of just 2 would greatly reduce the amount of force to the transmission from each shift. So instead of going from 10,000 rpm to 6,000, you might go from 10,000 to just 9,000 (or whatever -- again, just making up numbers). That takes much less force to slow the electric motor, and puts way less stress on the transmission. This is how a 6-speed transmission can be much more reliable than the 2-speed Tesla tried. 4) Finally, the 6-speed is just a classic piece of motorcycle history, enjoyed by millions of riders. Choosing a 6-speed over a 3 or 2 speed can just feel right to many riders who enjoy their 6-speed experience on gassers. So the 6-speed can actually make a whole lot of sense.
      • 3 Years Ago
      "I would understand 2(as tesla was toying with) max 3" I agree. I suspect you are exactly right that they had to take a transmission that was already being built. Transmissions are pretty complicated, and the cost savings of not engineering a 2-3 speed box from the ground up is probably well worth the marginal space and weight of carrying around 3-4 extra cogs.
      • 3 Years Ago
      Love it. Now just please make it affordable... at least the (regular) Empulse. :)
      Jeff Zekas
      • 3 Years Ago
      What Brammo REALLY needs to do is LOWER THE PRICE of their bikes: their entry-level model is $7,700, which is about double what it should sell for (I am comparing it to a Kawasaki Ninja 250R, which iat $4,199 has over five times the range; the Honda CBR250R sells for $4,099). Until electric bikes can compete on PRICE, they are doomed to remain a niche vehicle, purchased by rich old guys and eccentric greenies.
        • 3 Years Ago
        @Jeff Zekas
        Electric bikes do not have to compete directly in price. In every way (in the US, I don't speak for the market in places like China, which is completely different), they are still an eclectic market, which means the product must be desirable, not cheap[est]. Lowering their price will make some but little difference ... in the US, they will remain a niche vehicle "purchased by eccentrics" (not rich, and certainly not old). It must be somewhat affordable, however. How many of us own an Augusta? What would a pricier eBike have that an ICE has trouble with? Acceleration from dead stop -- that is worth extra cash, for some. others, maybe going green. In any case, the US motorcycle market has almost no movement in innovation in change these days, compared to cars (I love to see what does come out, like the Brammo) ... they will be the last to change over, unless batteries size, weight, and price all change suddenly/abruptly. hell, Suzuki skipped an entire year of motorcycle production in 2010 (right after I bought my GSXR750).
        • 3 Years Ago
        @Jeff Zekas
        Jeff Zekas -- You have just identified the exact reason why outside incentives (like tax credits and HOV lane access and lowered licensing fees) are needed for the first generation of EV's. There is a chicken or the egg problem with cheap EV's. Because before EV's can become cheap, they have to be built in large numbers. But in order to sell in large numbers, people must be able to afford them. The only way to crack that egg is to break that cycle with incentives. Without something to break that cycle, then EV's will be doomed to niche status while they are stuck in that chicken v. egg conundrum. They wouldn't be stuck there because they are better or worse than gas cars, they would be stuck there just because of the power of the gas car monopoly on the current market. Incentives break that monopoly power, and allow EV's to compete on their merits. Once the conundrum is broken, and EV's no longer have to break the gas car monopoly just to be given a fair chance, manufacturers will be able to lower prices.
        2 Wheeled Menace
        • 3 Years Ago
        @Jeff Zekas
        I totally agree with you. I really want to see electric take off, as i believe it is superior in every way. But the volume of scale in production is very low, and nobody wants to bet big, so the price remains elevated. Small makers have to compete with big mass production. Seems impossible!
        • 3 Years Ago
        @Jeff Zekas
        Competition will take care of the price, eventually. Zero, KTM , Quantya .. now even Honda is getting in the game with their RC.
        Daniel Eusse
        • 3 Years Ago
        @Jeff Zekas
        With pak oil looming in the horizon, ever-climbing gas prices and packed and polluted cities, I see electric transportation as a very viable option. true, these things are expensive as every new technology is, but taking the former into account, these things should be seen as an investment (plus less maintenance). ealy adopters will support the market and mass production should drive the price down. I´m ELECTRIFIED about the future!
        • 3 Years Ago
        @Jeff Zekas
        Why would you compare this to a 250?
      • 3 Years Ago
      Want to start making some extra incomé every month? You can... For more information, visit following website http://www.LazyCash39.com .....Your extra incomé is just a click away... Don't miss it
      2 Wheeled Menace
      • 3 Years Ago
      *very* nice specs. I approve.
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