Last night, after nearly two years of waiting, the wraps finally came off the Brammo Empulse and Empulse R electric sport bikes. And, wow! Although it's received many refinements, there is still a strong similarity between the final design and the prototype, with lots of sexy to be seen in the naked streetfighter.

Since we've already seen the specs, the first question everyone wants to know is, "How much?" A lot. $18,995 for the Empulse R and $16,995 for the Empulse, to be exact. For that two grand difference you get fully adjustable suspension instead of semi-adjustable, along with carbon fiber construction of fenders and other body panel bits instead of plastic. You also get to take delivery this year.

Initial orders for the R will start dribbling out in June, with the production floodgates opening in July. The wait for the more affordable machine is expected to last until January 2013. Brammo is bullish on the numbers it will eventually ship. Speaking with CNN, CEO Craig Bramscher says he expects to sell upwards of 60,000 units across the entire product line and become a billion-dollar company within a few years. Hey, you gotta have goals.

Back to that price tag. It's steep, no doubt about it, but we think with good reason. Besides the big 10.2 kWh battery pack and breakthrough six-speed gearbox, your hard-earned cash is buying you top-notch components in places that count. That means Brembo brakes, Marchesini wheels wrapped in Avon 3D Ultra Sport rubber, Marzocchi forks up front and a Sachs shock out back. Not at all shabby, and since quality in these parts can save your life, you can consider them a worthy investment.

Check out the gallery above to get a close up look at all the sexy bits. Hit the jump to see Brammo's director of product development Brian Wisman go over the bikes features and demonstrate it in action for the LA Times along with the official press release.


Show full PR text
PRESS RELEASE

Brammo Unveils Ground-Breaking Electric Motorcycles Empulse and Empulse R

Brammo, Inc., the designer and manufacturer of world leading electric motorcycles, revealed pricing and production plans for the Empulse and Empulse R while giving motorcycle enthusiasts in Los Angeles a first look at the stunning new design.

At this unique electric vehicle industry event, Brammo has demonstrated to consumers and motorcycle insiders alike the advancements in electric motorcycling and is providing a glimpse of what is to come in the future. The Empulse is the only electric motorcycle to include a 100-mile range and 100-mph top speed as well as a breakthrough battery and powertrain system enabling a great zero-emission experience.

At the launch party, Brammo announced the Empulse and Empulse R will cost $16,995 and $18,995 respectively with financing available from Sheffield Financial. Through this financing, customers will be able to purchase the new Empulse and Empulse R from Brammo dealers as follows:

Empulse: 8.9% for 72 months at $303, 6.9% financing for 60 month at $334 and 3.9% for 36 months at $499

Empulse R: 8.9% for 72 months at $339, 6.9% financing for 60 month at $373 and 3.9% for 36 months at $558

Availability of each model will vary based on demand for the Empulse and Empulse R. Production for the Empulse R will take place first with limited availability in June 2012 and in volume by Q3 2012. The Empulse will be available in Q1 2013.

Research conducted by Brammo with both customers and dealers has driven the development of the Empulse and Empulse R. As a result, these motorcycles now come with a water-cooled AC motor and fully integrated IET(TM) six speed transmission, seating for two, regenerative braking and on board J1772 Level 2 charging capability. To ensure the highest quality performance and design, Brammo works with internationally renowned manufacturers for superior components of their motorcycles. This close attention to the supply chain ensures the durability, reliability and ultimately future resale value of Brammo products.

"It was important to Brammo to create a great motorcycle and we paid attention to customer feedback to create just that," said Craig Bramsher, CEO and president of Brammo. "From concept to production the Empulse product has evolved quite a bit. We are bringing you a different motorcycle that promises to be more than what our riders expected."

The two models vary as follows:

The Empulse body work is all plastic, has semi adjustable front suspension and semi adjustable rear suspension.

The Empulse R uses carbon fiber for headlight shroud, front and rear fenders, top panel and the rear light housing.

Brammo promised that of the first 1000 people who pre ordered an Empulse, one would be selected at random to receive their motorcycle free of charge. Last week from the first 1000 orders six finalists were selected. At the event, Craig Bramscher rolled a dice and Jueiming Chen was the lucky winner.

True to Brammo's devotion to zero tailpipe-emission transportation, the Empulse launch event was carbon-neutral. Brammo has worked with Carbonfund.org to purchase carbon offsets to mitigate the greenhouse emissions generated by transportation, electricity use, and other resource-intensive activities associated with this event.

In additional efforts to reduce travel and carbon intensity of the event, Brammo will stream the launch event live to tens of thousands of motorcycle enthusiasts, who will be able to experience the launch party across the nation and afar in Asia and in Europe.

For more on this story check out CNN's scoop on Brammo's unveiling:

http://money.cnn.com/2012/05/08/autos/brammo-electric-motorcycle/index.htm


I'm reporting this comment as:

Reported comments and users are reviewed by Autoblog staff 24 hours a day, seven days a week to determine whether they violate Community Guideline. Accounts are penalized for Community Guidelines violations and serious or repeated violations can lead to account termination.


    • 1 Second Ago
  • 35 Comments
      • 3 Years Ago
      oops, I didn't realize that my first comment had posted.
      Spiffster
      • 3 Years Ago
      The bike is absolutely awesome... unfortunately, it looks like I may have to wait to get one. The R is just out of my price range... I will have to wait yet again, another season for the base Empulse. Im pretty bummed. :(
      Edge
      • 3 Years Ago
      Beautiful bike! Crazy price!
      Jay Temkar
      • 3 Years Ago
      Can someone tell me here how much miles will be added by using 6 speed gears on electric bike..? As per my knowledge electric Cars/Bikes have very good torque and thats why many automakers prefer to keep their vehicle simple by ommiting transmission. (they also save Transmission weight and cost of adding it.) So here if Brammo is using 6 sped transmission how much miles will be gained..? does anybody have idea..?
        Spiffster
        • 3 Years Ago
        @Jay Temkar
        The 6 speed is more about providing a more conventional feel to the electric bike... performance and efficiency gains can be had with lower voltage systems like this, but negligible AFAIK. High voltage race bikes will benefit less or not at all from a 6 speed hence the RR is still a direct drive system. Motorcyclists will probably be a little more comfortable with the 6 speed since it provides a similar feel. Have to wait for some reviews though.
        • 3 Years Ago
        @Jay Temkar
        their using the 6 gear transmission to help with acceleration. without it they either had to deal with low acceleration with a high top speed or a high top speed with bad acceleration. by using a transmission they could have both good acceleration and a high top speed
        2 Wheeled Menace
        • 3 Years Ago
        @Jay Temkar
        It'd add some efficiency, but i'm not sure how much. You also can customize the response of the motor.. from popping wheelies at a standstill, to a nice sedate acceleration if you just launch from 6th. There's something cool about shifting an electric, and i think it will be popular even though it's a bit superfluous :)
        PR
        • 3 Years Ago
        @Jay Temkar
        The transmission is there more to squeeze adequate performance out of the smallish battery pack and electric motor (compared in size to an electric car's pack and motor). Double the battery pack size, and double the motor (and triple the price) and the 6 speed wouldn't add much at all. 4th gear in the IET transmission is the same ratio as the fixed gear in the original prototype. So that means you are getting 5 additional gears: A) 3 Gears with lower ratios. These are for better acceleration at lower speeds, and won't do anything for added range. Yes, the electric motor will be in more efficient rpm ranges due to these gears, but most riders will "spend" that efficiency gain on faster acceleration. In theory if you accelerated just as slowly in gears 1-3 as you would accelerate with the bike locked in 4th, you would see a minimal range increase. Faster acceleration always comes at the cost of burning more fuel/electricity/gas no matter what the power source, so it isn't surprising that in the real world adding these gears won't help the range. B) 2 overdrive gears for increased top speed. Again, the added efficiency of the higher gearing is negated by going faster. You might see minimal range increases at 75 mph by using 5th or 6th instead of just locking it into 4th, but the real purpose of these gears is to exceed 100+ mph. The biggest problem is that more efficient gearing just doesn't have anywhere near the impact on range at 75 mph as wind resistance. Wind resistance on a nakid bike is just way too huge at higher speeds for electric motor RPM efficiency to play a huge role in total range. It is the kind of thing that even a 20% increase in efficiency from the motor wouldn't translate to a 20% longer range, because wind resistance is such a huge factor that it dwarfs the impact of motor efficiency.
      2 Wheeled Menace
      • 3 Years Ago
      You know; for 1/2 the battery capacity of a Nissan Leaf, that's actually a fairly decent price. Still rather expensive, but they are slowly getting more competitive with the gas world.
        Ele Truk
        • 3 Years Ago
        @2 Wheeled Menace
        Also impressive is the size. It looks quite a bit smaller than 1/2 the Nissan Leaf's pack.
      GeorgeS
      • 3 Years Ago
      I take it back. I love this motorcycle. I missed the video before my last comment. Perhaps I should get back on the list.
      porosavuporo
      • 3 Years Ago
      Super cool. Its awesome to actually have real choices on the market, with looks and performance that actually makes you want them, Zero S/DS being the competition. Noise seems to have gone up through, is that from gearbox ?
      American Refugee
      • 3 Years Ago
      Hold on, I have to wipe the drool off my desk.
      • 3 Years Ago
      Mission motors claimed that their bike did 0 to 60 in under 3 seconds and had a top speed of 150 miles an hour, both with just a single gear. Brammo states that they had to add the 6 speed gear box to make the empulse accelerate an underwhelming 0 to 60 in 6 seconds and to reach a top speed of just over 100 mph (also underwhelming for a motorcycle). Admittedly, the mission bike had a sales price three and a half times that of the empulse R ($70,000 vs $19,000) and was never actually sold, however, I have to ask: What about the mission bike allowed it to out accelerate and have a higher top speed than the brammo empulse using a single gear AND does the difference cost so much more than what's on the empulse, or is the price difference mostly because the mission bike had a bitter battery pack (150 claimed miles per charge). Can't brammo achieve similar acceleration and high end speed with one gear and charge a reasonable amount of additional money?
        2 Wheeled Menace
        • 3 Years Ago
        Premium pricing, that is all. You don't need multiple gears.. you just need a big nasty motor and a batttery that's capable of pumping out the needed juice, and a controller that is well tuned, which actually isn't all that expensive. I don't know what they were thinking when they put the $70k price tag on it.
      GeorgeS
      • 3 Years Ago
      A little over 1.5 years ago I got on the waiting list. Finally I decided I wanted to start riding NOW so I bot a gas bike. In the meantime these yum yums have missed their target date, missed their target price, changed to a multispeed transmission etc, etc. Glad I bailed.
      Jeff Zekas
      • 3 Years Ago
      For the price of this bike, you could buy a used Prius-- and have protection from the rain (you'll have to park this bike on rainy or snowy days)... or, you could build your own electric motorcycle for $3,000... which begs the question: why are electric motorcycle so expensive? This is just a toy for rich techies... when they get the price down to $4,000 or so (the price of an entry-level gasoline motorcycle) then it will be a real alternative.
        2 Wheeled Menace
        • 3 Years Ago
        @Jeff Zekas
        You can build your own for $3k, but you won't have 100 miles of range. 10kWh of batteries is where the cost comes in, and these are not like, lead acid :)
        PR
        • 3 Years Ago
        @Jeff Zekas
        Jeff Zekas -- How would you like to double your money? Build me that electric motorcycle for $3,000 dollars, and I'll buy it from you for $6,000. Just as long as it will safely do 100+ mph, get over 100 miles range in the city, and have high performance Brembo brakes, fully adjustable high end suspension, high end wheels, high end tires, etc like the Empulse...
      Actionable Mango
      • 3 Years Ago
      Too bad it has to be water cooled. One of the big draws of electric vehicles is their simple maintenance due to lack of the many systems required to support ICE, such as liquid cooling.
        2 Wheeled Menace
        • 3 Years Ago
        @Actionable Mango
        Liquid cooling is just a way to get the size of the motor down ( and thus the weight ), by reducing the mass needed to shed all that heat. It also means that you can run a motor enclosed - without exposing it to the elements. You'll notice this is a common theme in electric motorcycles in cars. Us eBike guys are finally figuring out the wonders of oil cooling. The results so far have been really amazing. On a maintenance level, not much liquid is really required and there are not a ton of parts to worry about - it's more along the lines of a liquid cooled PC.
          Ele Truk
          • 3 Years Ago
          @2 Wheeled Menace
          But there's the primary difference between an EV cooling and an ICE cooling. The EV cooling hardly ever exceeds 100 degrees Farenheit. As opposed to an ICE cooling system which run over above boiling point, and therefore are under pressure (which is why you've had them blow up).
          Actionable Mango
          • 3 Years Ago
          @2 Wheeled Menace
          I'm sure it's there for a reason. It's just that I've been stranded three times now by radiators blowing up, so I have an appreciation for the fact that a critical system cannot fail if it isn't there in the first place.
          2 Wheeled Menace
          • 3 Years Ago
          @2 Wheeled Menace
          Sure, i agree mr mango.. however, an electric system can easily shut itself off during an overheating event to prevent permanent damage. In fact, many of the higher end consumer-level motor controllers start gradually cutting the power back when the heat crosses a certain threshold. If this bike were designed like that, then you could hobble home and order up a radiator later.. putting the bike on light duty until the part comes. The amount of liquid is very low and the radiators are tiny. You won't be going to jiffy lube every 5 years to have gallons drained out :) Ele Truk, you are right. An internal combustion engine will run at a few hundred degrees Celsius constantly, by nature. 70-80% of it's power becomes waste heat also, so the cooling needs are enormous. This motor could be air cooled but it'd just have to be considerably larger. I get away with air cooling on my ebike, but my motor and controller are far heavier per horsepower than what's here..
          Spec
          • 3 Years Ago
          @2 Wheeled Menace
          Interesting. Thanks for the education. But it is a kind of a bummer if you have to do it though since introducing a liquid means the possibility leaks, clogs, etc.. Thus the complexity and maintenance of the system increases. I know it is not a huge deal but one of the advantages of EVs has always been the simplicity and lack of maintenance.
    • Load More Comments