"It's been a long time coming – It's well worth the wait" – Tragically Hip

It seems whenever I think about the long awaited arrival of the Brammo Empulse electric motorcycle this chorus begins playing in my head. That's partly because I'm both covertly Canadian and old enough to have had this song seared into memory from extensive radio play in the early '90s, but also because it just fits the situation so well.

The Empulse was first announced back in July of 2010 and was expected to be within the grasp of customers anxious hands about a year later. People got excited. It was to be the world's first commercially available electric bike that could top 100 miles per hour and get over a 100 miles of range from a charge. It also looked sexy enough to hold its own when surrounded by scantily-clad Brammo babes. The reservations poured in.

Then, the company made a move that was simultaneously disappointing and breathtakingly daring. They went back to drawing board which displayed the drivetrain and trashed it. To hear insiders tell it, they decided the single-gear design lacked the performance they thought necessary, and so they took a big gamble by delaying the release and implemented a 6-speed gearbox with integrated motor instead. The price also soared from $13,995 to $18,995 for the top-end Empulse R.

So, was it a prescient business move or will it prove to have been a disastrous decision? Certainly the initial reviews (also here and here) have been quite favorable. With last weekend's delivery of the first bike to a paying patron (pictured above) however, that question can only now begin to be answered. So far, though, it's clear that customer #1 is quite pleased with his purchase and considers it well worth the wait.

Of course, Brammo's future depends on more than just its halo machine and one customer. To that end, the company just offered up more good news. It seems the product log jam has been somewhat cleared and it should also start shipping out it long-time-coming Enertia Plus next month. Game on, for real this time.


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    • 1 Second Ago
  • 13 Comments
      methos1999
      • 2 Years Ago
      Sigh, tis the way for electric vehicles. Now that it's finally out, the Empulse is just too rich for my blood. At $19k, I could buy some very excellent used sports cars, or a new Ducati...
      Spiffster
      • 2 Years Ago
      Rumor has it the Empulse R now has more power after a last minute (second) motor change. We're now looking at 54hp and 60lb/ft (!) The one journalists got to tool around on had a different motor with less power. Another rumor infers that the Empulse R and base Empulse MAY have different motors.
      EZEE
      • 2 Years Ago
      HEY DOMINICK! Nissan plans 15 new hybrids! http://www.leftlanenews.com/nissan-to-launch-15-new-hybrids-by-2016-video.html No no, no need to thank me. Your continued silence is all the thanks I need. I will go now! My people need me!
        bluepongo1
        • 2 Years Ago
        @EZEE
        LOL!! @EZEE If this site had a fan function instead of that lazy up/down thing, some of us would really be "your people".
        raktmn
        • 2 Years Ago
        @EZEE
        I clearly read: "Back off you self-righteous troll, we know how to do our jobs, thank you very little. We release these stories out all day long to keep you coming back to see new stuff, haven't you figured that out yet? Sheeesh!" But it might just be that I've got something stuck in my eye.
          EZEE
          • 2 Years Ago
          @raktmn
          OMG! I laughed so hard....tears..... Thank you raktmn, made my evening (more tears)
          Domenick
          • 2 Years Ago
          @raktmn
          Although in retrospect it may sound a little brusque, I was smiling bemusedly when I typed it..
          raktmn
          • 2 Years Ago
          @raktmn
          So was I. *grin*
        Domenick
        • 2 Years Ago
        @EZEE
        That story has been written up and is in the queue. But, thanks.
      • 2 Years Ago
      Domenick, The Enertia Plus is already shipping in Europe as that product is manufacutred in Hungary, wheras the Empulse is assembled here in Ashland, OR. The lead time to get the bikes to the States on a boat from Europe is why the US Enertia Plus customers won't receive bikes until January. Also remember that the company has been shipping Enertia Basics to customers and Enertia Plus to fleet customers (Hong Kong Police among others) since 2009.
      raktmn
      • 2 Years Ago
      To be fair, the $13,995 was for the original single speed Empluse 10.0 model that didn't have all the goodies the new Empluse R gets over the standard new Empluse. The non-R version of the Empulse is $16,995, and is the better bike to compare on price to the original Empluse 10.0 concept bike. So it was really a $3K dollar price increase, not $5K. That $3K seems to have gone towards a stronger motor, a 6-speed transmission, a more powerful controller, a J1772 Level 2 charging port, seating for 2 instead of just 1, redesigned more comfortable ergonomics, an updated liquid cooling system, an O-ring chain, updated LCD display/speedometer, 2 regen/performance modes (Sport and Normal), and Brembo brakes in place of the original Nissin's. None of which were on the original Empulse 10.0 model. The price increase seems reasonable for those upgrades.
      Brody
      • 2 Years Ago
      Brammo did a really good job styling this bike.
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