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teddillard
16 December 2012, 0835
I'm officially fed up with Brammo. Check out this post:
https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=10151133385635443&set=a.442402705442.239501.108820970442

"Do you want a couple more reasons to buy the fastest Production Electric Motorcycle in the world! (did you really need any more reasons)?"

Apparently they're now joining the Chip Yates School of BS Trashtalk. I wonder what Richard Hatfield and Lightning think of that? :rolleyes: Yeah, let's mince words about what "production" means, shall we? ...and I guess DOUBLE the top speed doesn't count, or something like that. Maybe since they joined up with TTXGP they've decided that they can say whatever they want, too. (Harry hasn't spoken to me since I called TTXGP out on not being the first sanctioned race (http://evmc2.wordpress.com/2012/02/04/ttxgp-celebrates-1000th-day-ignores-history/)...) Maybe it's just my naive thinking that if you talk bull**** people start to not trust anything you say? Too bad they seem to think that marketing and advertising amounts to saying whatever you think you have to to sell your product.

I liked Brammo when they were all "under-promise and over-deliver" and you could question what they were doing in the spirit of constructive observation and not be called a "hater" from the fan-boys through the web trolls right on up to the upper management. Must have missed the koolaid when it made the rounds. I guess you can't really stick to the UPOD idea when you float 10 models and deliver, ummm. NONE of them for two years?

I used to think, oh, well, we're all on the same team working for the same goals, but frankly I think this kind of crap makes everybody look bad and I'l say it again, they seem far more interested in building stock options than motorcycles. (Oh, did you hear? Brammo's buying another facility in Ashland- a Walmart or something, to make into an Empulse manufacturing plant. Riiiight.)

OK, rant over, sitting down now, taking my meds. But don't look for any more free coverage of Brammo on www.evmc2.com. I know, big loss, I'm sure they're losing sleep over it.

jazclrint
16 December 2012, 1532
Harry doesn't talk to you any more because he has better things to do, not because of that statement. That facts are in your favor when it come to the first sanctioned race being that old FIA race.

As far as the "fastest production motorcycle" statement, it has bother me a bit too. But, why are you biasing yourself with Lightning against Brammo when Lightning has been saying they will produce a street bike for as long as Brammo and has yet to even produce a production prototype, to this day, much less shipped an actual bike. I have heard that there is one customer expecting a bike, but as far as I know they have yet to receive it.

It seems like Brammo hadn't started making these claims until they actually started shipping the bike. When Lightning starts shipping bikes they will have to stop.

teddillard
16 December 2012, 1542
Harry doesn't talk to you any more because he has better things to do, not because of that statement.

uh, yeah... so you now have access to my personal conversations? ...whatever. As far as the rest of your comment, the meds must be kicking in, I really couldn't care less.

dice23
16 December 2012, 1658
i would like to offer up any of these production boys to join me and my little team for a day at the track,any track,any time,any where...lol. production my ass...i do get that you have to stretch the truth a bit to sell your product,and it is good that there will be more elmotos out on the road. but as far as the fastest crap...please...lol. with all the money and engineers and i can still throw used parts together and out run every single one with no backing,money,and a couple of friends. i'm just saying that they should be much better? lightning motors,brammo,zero,chip yates and me...four wide at z-max n.c. this year...how cool would that be? ted...any left-over meds...lmao

Skeezmour
16 December 2012, 1736
Head out to the TTXGP race next year and see how you do Dice.

Drags, yep my money would be on you.

Big difference between building 1 bike that HAULS ass even using surplus gear, and building a retail brand new product with a warranty and reliability built in that doesn't cost $80,000+.

As far as Chip Yates goes you will have to add some wings to your bikes to catch him :) Although that does sound like FUN!

protomech
17 December 2012, 1255
It's obviously a laughable claim as the fastest electric bike, every single racing prototype bike and maybe even a handful of the elmotos here have a higher top speed. It wouldn't even make it to the list of the fastest electric motorcycles (http://www.elmoto.net/showthread.php?2420-Fastest-Electric-Motorcycles-in-the-World-Top-Speed&highlight=fastest) if we set the cap at 16.

However, they're not claiming to be the fastest electric motorcycle on the planet, just the fastest production bike.

Is Lightning a production bike? Certainly they've declared their intentions to produce bikes in quantity; they've won LSRs at El Mirage in the production bike class. We even have a snazzy web rendering of what the production bike should look like.. though I doubt that bike stock would make 218 mph.

I dunno. I'm laughing over here about ted's rage against the "production" Empulse spy shot coverage back in April but now supporting that term for the Lightning bike. Brammo certainly has used the production term to refer to the Empulse since its 2010 introduction (http://web.archive.org/web/20100720235604/http://www.brammo.com/empulse/), so it's questionable saying they're the fastest production electric motorcycle.. maybe the fastest shipping electric motorcycle would be better. Certainly the Energica has a faster top speed, and we've actually seen a purported production version of that bike.

***

It'd be fun to see circuit racebikes lined up with drag racebikes on a dragstrip. Maybe afterwards the dragbikes could grid up with the circuit bikes aod race for more than a quarter mile with a little bit of turning thrown in .. not sure either result would be surprising, but it'd make for great entertainment.

Allen_okc
17 December 2012, 1306
i say let them claim what ever will sell electric motorcycles, but they should really focus on those fast shipment of bikes to those that purchase them, that alone would make it harder to sell to the next customer if they cant deliver in a reasonable time...

i just want all EV cycle manufacturers to succeed...

Allen_okc
17 December 2012, 1310
and Dice i'll be there to watch you race this spring, you too Ed - road trip - road trip - road trip...

dice23
18 December 2012, 0556
game on!

EVcycle
18 December 2012, 0640
and Dice i'll be there to watch you race this spring, you too Ed - road trip - road trip - road trip...

Just let me know, I have a pit pass with your name on it!

Richard230
18 December 2012, 0834
Hey Ted. Now that you have calmed down a little, let me heat you up again: Hell for Leather lists 13 new motorcycle models that will make 2013 "awesome" and your favorite bike is listed as number 13. :O Here is what HFL has to say:

"Finally on-sale, the Empulse is the bike that’s really going to put electric motorcycles on the map. That’s because it’s not just some poor excuse for a motorcycle that happens to be powered by an electric drill, it’s a badass performance bike that’ll out-handle pretty much anything out there. Seriously, it’s one of the most confidence inspiring, characterful, fun experiences on two wheels and that it just so happens not to be super loud or emit pollutants ends up being added value. Straight-line performance is only on par with a middleweight twin like a Ninja 650, but so good in corners you just won’t care. Believe the hype on this one."

And a link to the entire article: http://hellforleathermagazine.com/2012/12/13-bikes-that-will-make-2013-awesome/

I still think the Zero makes the better EV for commuting, general transportation, stop-and-go trips and is the bike that will do more to introduce the non-riding public to two-wheel electric riding. ;) The Brammo may have a higher top speed, but you really don't need to go faster than 80 mph on public highways - unless you are in the middle-of-nowhere Texas. And then your travel gets delayed by the cops, which drops your trip's average speed a lot. :eek:

teddillard
18 December 2012, 1544
HA! ...troublemaker. Yeah that's no surprise, Wes knows what side his bread is buttered on. We've talked about Brammo and the Empulse, he's a die-hard traditional rider, he's not looking for a "different" experience. One day I'll tell you a little bit about the life of an independent, full-time blogger, because I've done that (not with my Electric Chronicles blog, another venture) and it's a very delicate balance between staying credible and paying the mortgage, and both Wes on Hell for Leather and Jensen at Asphalt and Rubber do a great job keeping that balance and paying the bills. I've had personal conversations with both of them about what they, and I, are doing.

Just to explain a very small bit of my frustration. ("Rage", I'd say, is again, a way too strong word, along with "hate" but this turned into a religious debate a long time ago I guess.)

When a company announces a new product in a market, it effectively freezes all sales. I saw this almost on a weekly basis in digital imaging. Nikon announces a new Nikon, and everybody stops buying cameras - any cameras - until they get a handle on what the thing is and when it's being actually released. Now, take what Brammo did with the Enertia. Dealers are trying to sell bikes, and Brammo announces the Plus. Sales stop. Who in their right mind is going to buy an Enertia when the Plus is better, same price, with no "upgrade path" as we called it in photography? Brammo sales stop, Zero sales stop EVERYthing stops, and the dealers and owners who bought Enertias are completely ****ed. Just so you know, dealers have to buy their showroom bikes, those aren't gifts or anything. So some guy like Harlan is out $8K, with basically no chance of recouping it or even making any more sales for a while.

That "while" is basically until the manufacturer actually starts shipping, or until the customers lose patience and buy another product, in this case, a Zero. Fine, if it's a few weeks or even months, as it is with most digital imaging products. It's almost a game they play... but YEARS? That, to me, is just flat-out dishonest. They're not only trying to lock up some sales for their products, but they're trying to crush competitors sales as well. In this case, there's only one, because there's simply no healthy market. There's simply no rhyme or reason to what they've done to any "dealer network". Any dealer who'd touch them after that is just stupid, or has no choice.

What Brammo did is, to most dealers, unconscionable. They completely flatlined a market that's struggling anyway. Add to that the Empulse, and they've added insult to injury. How many people here delayed their purchase for months, or years, and finally bought a Zero? I know two, anyway. In the somewhat sleazy photo industry they wouldn't even do this kind of ****.

I'm not "aligning myself" with anybody, ever. I'm simply calling the facts as I see them, and if I'm wrong, I welcome being corrected. Unfortunately, that gets me labeled as a "hater", a "naysayer" and whatever else, because some people don't like the facts. The fact is, Richard and the Lightning has fulfilled a sanctioning body's requirements as a "production" motorcycle, and if I put down my money I have very little doubt I'll get a bike within a reasonable timeframe- I believe they're claiming a 60 day window once the order is placed but I may be wrong about that. If you don't consider that a production motorcycle, have it up with Richard. Until I can order an Empulse and get one for sure within a time frame that I believe, then I don't, personally, consider the claim to be valid. The "spy photo" you mention was a prototype bike by any definition. That, sir, is a fact.

Brammofan
18 December 2012, 1624
The fact is, Richard and the Lightning has fulfilled a sanctioning body's requirements as a "production" motorcycle,

Source?

teddillard
18 December 2012, 1642
oh hai Harry. Fancy seeing you here. lol

teddillard
18 December 2012, 1649
Here's the SCTA home page: http://www.scta-bni.org/index.html Here's the records pdf:
http://www.scta-bni.org/El%20Mirage/ELM%2012/2012%20EM%20recs.pdf

I find it endlessly amusing that you opt to quibble with my source than address the core of the issue.

Brammofan
18 December 2012, 1953
According to the records .pdf:

APS-Omega
Lightning Motors J. Hoogerhyde 11/12 189.093
APS stands for "Special Construction, Partial Streamlining." According to the Southern California Timing Association 2012 Rules and Records (which you will not find online), the Special Construction Class is for "purpose-built race bikes, not production bikes with minor modifications." Id., p. 119.
Omega is the engine class, which includes, among others, electric.

Lightning did not register its bike as a production bike with the SCTA for a very good reason. "Production [...] class is limited to production, street-legal motorcycles of which 500 or more have been produced and which are available for sale to the general public through motorcycle dealers." Id., p. 114.

The first time that a claim was made that Lightning broke the LSR for production motorcycles was made by Lightning itself, on its Facebook page (https://www.facebook.com/lightningmotorcycle/posts/360672714027200)on November 12.


I find it endlessly amusing that you opt to quibble with my source than address the core of the issue.
I did that because you invited me to:

I'm simply calling the facts as I see them, and if I'm wrong, I welcome being corrected.

Your facts on Lightning fulfilling a sanctioning body's requirements were wrong, and I corrected them.
The rest of your words are, as near as I can tell, your opinion. I'm not interested in changing your mind or debating you.

teddillard
19 December 2012, 0240
Your facts on Lightning fulfilling a sanctioning body's requirements were wrong, and I corrected them.

Then I stand corrected on that point.

Thanks for taking time out of your busy day. :O

You ought to look into how retail markets work, from the sales floor, if you feel you can dismiss the rest of what I said as opinion. Better yet, talk to a few dealers and prepare to get an earful of "opinion". I saw retailers close their doors because of this kind of market crap, when they lost 6 months of sales because of "delivery delays". I'm not sure if you personally have any retail experience, but it's pretty clear that nobody calling the shots at Brammo has any idea of what a retailer - especially a small independent one - has to deal with.

You know... just an opinion based on several years of experience and consensus.

dice23
19 December 2012, 1153
HEY...lol...what about a run around on some asphalt with me? i would love for a chance at taking one of your prodution bikes and making it into the first factory pro-stock bike? or i could just beat up your new stuff with my old...lol.

protomech
19 December 2012, 1625
That "while" is basically until the manufacturer actually starts shipping, or until the customers lose patience and buy another product, in this case, a Zero. Fine, if it's a few weeks or even months, as it is with most digital imaging products.

It's almost a game they play... but YEARS? That, to me, is just flat-out dishonest. They're not only trying to lock up some sales for their products, but they're trying to crush competitors sales as well. In this case, there's only one, because there's simply no healthy market. There's simply no rhyme or reason to what they've done to any "dealer network". Any dealer who'd touch them after that is just stupid, or has no choice.

I know some Zero employees feel very strongly that Brammo acted in a hostile fashion by announcing the Empulse at a price and schedule they completely failed to meet .. and I think it's reasonable to say that by preannouncing they may have influenced some number of sales. But there's a wealth of distance between observing that they badly missed their schedule / price goals and saying that they intended to crush their competition.

Btw, on the primary Zero forum there's a fair bit of kvetching about the 2013 Zero announcement and significant upgrades, from 2012 Zero owners. "If I'd have known I'd have waited", etc etc.

Damned if you do and damned if you don't, I guess.


What Brammo did is, to most dealers, unconscionable. They completely flatlined a market that's struggling anyway. Add to that the Empulse, and they've added insult to injury. How many people here delayed their purchase for months, or years, and finally bought a Zero? I know two, anyway. In the somewhat sleazy photo industry they wouldn't even do this kind of ****.

I suspect very few people delayed purchase of a 2010/2011 Zero because of the Empulse announcement. While Zero did make incremental improvements in their bikes from 2009-2011, anyone who wanted highway speeds or > 30 miles of non-city riding had no bikes they could buy until early 2012 .. and let's face it, sales of the small battery Zeros and the Enertia weren't exactly stellar.

Don't count me in your list of people that delayed because of the Empulse. I test rode a 2011 Zero. It was nice, but the top speed was too low and I wanted more range. I didn't elect not to buy it because the Empulse was coming, I didn't buy it because it didn't meet my desires. Similarly with the Enertia - I was aware of it before the Empulse was announced, but wanted more.

Chew on this: Zero reports (http://cyclenews.coverleaf.com/cyclenews/20121127#pg35) that 85% of the 2012 S / DS sales were the ZF9 model. Zero and others (er.. Native?) didn't have low sales pre-2012 because of the big mean Brammo; turns out there's market for $8-10k 3-4 kWh bikes is quite small. The market for $14k 8kWh bikes is a little larger, but prices need to fall significantly to make significant inroads.

I expect the FX / MX / XU ZF5.7 sales to vastly outstrip ZF2.8 sales.


I'm not "aligning myself" with anybody, ever. I'm simply calling the facts as I see them, and if I'm wrong, I welcome being corrected. Unfortunately, that gets me labeled as a "hater", a "naysayer" and whatever else, because some people don't like the facts. The fact is, Richard and the Lightning has fulfilled a sanctioning body's requirements as a "production" motorcycle, and if I put down my money I have very little doubt I'll get a bike within a reasonable timeframe- I believe they're claiming a 60 day window once the order is placed but I may be wrong about that. If you don't consider that a production motorcycle, have it up with Richard. Until I can order an Empulse and get one for sure within a time frame that I believe, then I don't, personally, consider the claim to be valid. The "spy photo" you mention was a prototype bike by any definition. That, sir, is a fact.

Sure. That *particular* motorcycle captured in a spy photograph was a production-intent prototype Empulse. Seems rather close to the shipping Empulses to me.

An established history of targeting one particular manufacturer gets you labeled a hater. Let's talk about some facts..

Lightning announced their intentions to sell their superbike since August 2011 (http://www.engadget.com/2011/08/25/lightning-motorcycles-risks-neck-for-an-extra-10-mph-on-the-flyi/) .. what's your cutoff time between announcement and deliveries before it becomes anti-competitive?

eCRP announced (http://www.engadget.com/2011/11/10/cpr-racing-debuts-energica-electric-streetbike-prototype-at-eicm/) the Energica back in 2011, and recently released pricing and limited specs. They target availability in 2014. Here's what you recently wrote (http://evmc2.wordpress.com/2012/12/07/ecrp-energica-2013-tease-100mph-93-mile-range-extreme-gorgeousness/) on your blog:


Here’s a little tease on the so-far-yummyest electric motorcycle soon to be on the market .. Cool. Something to distract me from the missed Brammo Empulse ship dates. (…and I quote: “Deliveries for Empulse R will begin in Foruth -sic- Quarter of 2012 and Empulse in 2013.“)

Ironically just as the first Empulse R was (finally) delivered.

Tesla announced the Roadster in 2006, with first deliveries in 2008.
Tesla announced the Model S in 2008, with first deliveries in 2012.
Were they also trying to crush the competition? Maybe their well-publicized transmission issues were just a clever ruse..

I don't get it.

EVcycle
19 December 2012, 1651
I have the WORLDS fastest 1979 CB750R.....that is Orange.....with a Snoopy sticker on it.

Do anything for you?


I think Ted had the WORLDS fastest portable drill driven bike...thing.....

Do you think their comments are really selling any more motorcycles?


:) :) :)

teddillard
19 December 2012, 1657
An established history of targeting one particular manufacturer gets you labeled a hater.

Apparently you haven't been reading my blog for very long. http://evmc2.wordpress.com/?s=brammo

Please do me the courtesy of clicking the "older entries" link to see all 113 posts I've done on Brammo, and noting that an overwhelming majority of them have been supporting and giving them (free) publicity. Please also note the 9-part extensive comparison review I gave to Brammo and Zero, which took about a week of my free time - and I mean free in both senses of the word: http://evmc2.wordpress.com/2010/07/10/brammo-enertia-vs-zero-s-part-1-spec-battle/

If you feel, after reading those posts, I've been unfair then I simply don't know what to say. I feel like I've kind of earned the right to feel a little played.

As far as Lightning, I have heard no reports of people putting orders in and not getting a bike. Have you? Honest question. Certainly, at that price, I'm guessing they haven't delivered bikes because they may not have had orders... just a guess.


I suspect very few people delayed purchase of a 2010/2011 Zero because of the Empulse announcement. ...
I don't get it.

Maybe if you didn't suspect, but actually spoke to some dealers (which I have), you may "get it".

Ed- just caught your post. LOL! Either the elmoto server is buried tonight or my connection is bad, but I have spent the last half-hour trying to post and read, so I think I'll leave it till morning... or just leave it.

protomech
19 December 2012, 1718
I've been reading your blog for a couple of years now, since well before your Enertia / Zero comparison. You have a lot of good information and thoughts on there.

I'm referring more to your comments here, which have become increasingly lopsided in the last year or so.

I have no problems with you criticizing Brammo, Zero, or any other elmoto manufacturer. There's plenty to critique and discuss: whether or not transmission is necessary, weight, price and schedule slip, lack of communication with customers, dealer shenanigans, promoting with sex instead of sizzle, etc etc .. I criticize them all time (ask Brammofan). It just bugs me when I see you or anyone else laying into one particular company in what appears to me to be an unfair fashion.

***

As for Lightning, since the closest we've seen to their production (sorry, production prototype) bike is their sketch, I think it's fair to assume either they simply preannounced.. like Brammo.. or have shifted from earlier plans to sell a prototype race bike towards selling a production street-legal race bike.

If the Empulse spy bike in April and the Empulses revealed at the launch event in May are simply prototype bikes (on account of not presently being produced for customers), then the Lightning cannot legitimately claim a production LSR. And the Empulse's claim to being the fastest production electric motorcycle holds water.

I'm not going to defend Brammo's claim to being the fastest electric production motorcycle, since they've long since used the production term to describe the Empulse and both the Energica and Lightning motorcycles are hugely more powerful. Saietta R too, for that matter.

Anyhow. You have to pick one.. either "production" means presently shipping to customers or it means "intent to be mass-produced in the near future". You can't pick and choose.

Edit: I've spoke at length with a particular dealer on a few occasions. They largely share your opinions on Brammo's motivations. I still disbelieve the Empulse significantly affected Zero's 2010/2011 sales.. why was there such a strong Zero sales surge in early 2012 with the 2012 models, before Brammo announced pricing for the production Empulse, and no noticeable surge after Brammo bumped prices by $3000-5000?

teddillard
20 December 2012, 0246
As far as eCRP goes, here's a snip from my email with them when I got their information:

I have some rather pointed questions, but I need to ask them because if I post this I'm sure I'll be asked as well...

This is an amazing concept bike. Can you give me any details about your production plans and financial support that would give credibility to the company? Do you have funding? Do you have private investors or corporate backing? What are the plans for dealer networks and support/service?

I ask this because there are many bikes out there that people are now seeing as "vaporware", that will never see production and it seems like, now, they were never intended to. People are losing patience and interest in "just another concept bike" - even the Brammo Empulse and the simply gorgeous Honda electric bike.

You've certainly proven your commitment to racing, so that's a good start. What can we tell them about the team, and your backing, that will make them feel like this is a company that's living and breathing this production bike?


They responded that they completely understood, and need a little time to put a response together. I'm still waiting, and won't post more about the bike until I see more. Yes, your comment on that post alerted me to the fact that the first Empulse was being delivered, coincidentally that day.

As far as Richard goes, I like the guy. I'm consistently impressed by what he achieves. I'll say it again - sketch or not, I have complete faith that if I gave him $38000 he'd deliver a bike to me within a few months. I actually have "if I won the lottery" fantasies about that. So yeah. I'm going to give him the benefit of the doubt, so that's my horrible flaw.

One thing that you consistently seem to choose to ignore. Brammo didn't, like the companies you mention announce one model, or even two, and then delay it's release. They've announced 9. Nine models. (Forgive my statement previously that it was ten.)

The Enertia, the Enertia Plus. The Empulse, the Empulse R. The Engage MX, SMR, SMS, MMX Pro, and the Encite MMX Pro.

They've delivered a product, the Enertia, for what? A year? Then shut it down themselves, effectively by announcing the Plus. If they said, anywhere, that these were simply concept bikes they had on the shelf then it wouldn't be anywhere near as bad a joke, but there's the pre-order button right there. It's laughable. And makes them completely incredible. (Their website, for the record, still has a "Pre-Order" button on the Empulse and Empulse R. What the hell does that mean? I can change a button on a frikkin site in 10 minutes.)

Sorry if it seems lopsided to you. I honestly don't think much of Zero's bike either, it's just not to my taste. (We had a very spirited discussion about that when RC and Danger were over at the house last...) I honestly think it's butt-ugly, and my bike built from scrap parts is faster and more fun to ride.

But you know what? In spite of the fact that when I first contacted them they were selling bikes with sharpie-marked controls out of a guy's truck, and don't really care if I do a road test or not, they have been hard at work building bikes. Brammo buys parks in Europe, Zero builds bikes. Brammo builds a nice home headquarters in Ashland? Zero builds a few more bikes. Brammo spends all it's resources racing one-off bikes, allies itself with TTXGP, hires Brammo Babes, Zero builds bikes. Brammo buys a Walmart... Zero builds more bikes. It's lopsided because there's not much to complain about, and a lot to praise, about how Zero has accomplished it's mission. Brian emailed me once saying how big Zero is, and how people don't understand that Brammo is a small company. Then why are they using their limited resources for anything but building frikkin bikes?

If I were in top management at Brammo I'd look at someone who'd posted over a hundred posts supporting their bike, and now is voicing consistent negative criticism and take a good hard look in the mirror, instead of calling names in a public forum.

One more thing. Brammo has, since day one, tried to leverage "Social Marketing" and crowd-sourcing to try to keep from actually spending money on traditional sales, marketing and dealer networks... I can't blame them for that, it seems to be the model of the decade, but guess what? It's a two-edged sword. If you get your "buzz" for free, you have to accept that you don't control it. You don't control it, and guess what? If you're not careful it will bite you in the ass. And they haven't been careful at all. Once the sword cuts the other way, it's a really bad idea to take the posture of offended victim.

As far as the stupid post on Facebook, it's just that, and I was fairly sure this would turn into a quibble about what a "production" bike means... thus my comment in my first post. It was simply the straw that broke this particular camel's back.

Edit: I'm going to add this here, rather than making another post, so that people who are upset by this thread don't have to suffer yet another eye-bleeder from Ted.

I've had long conversations with several people in several sectors in the Renewable Energy industry. Every damn one of them complains about the same thing - people in companies like Brammo seeming to be more interested in stock options than building a product. I can't name names, obviously, but I'll tell you one conversation was particularly disturbing, and this guy was trying to work out design issues and the young engineer he as talking to wouldn't talk about anything but his stock options. How ****ed up is that?

The rage I DO feel is the rage that this country is more interested in living from grant to grant rather than working a viable business plan, and more interested in their personal financial future than actually building a viable company and product. The fact that it seems to be more often than not in this industry is particularly upsetting because I personally believe that Renewable Energy - all facets of it - COULD be what makes the US into a country that actually makes great stuff again (apologies to the folks here who aren't from the US). And that, sir, was a VERY big part of what I hoped Brammo, as a US manufacturer, was committed to, rather than fluffing their own portfolios and strutting around with skinny, scantily clad cheesecake.

protomech
20 December 2012, 1004
I wouldn't ever bet against Lightning.. but I'd really like to see an actual sale complete. Lightning's bikes really remind me of old Ferraris; very expensive, assembly somewhat questionable, monster engines, stomps everything else on the road. I have a hard time believing that noone will buy a $38k electric superbike with that kind of performace potential..

Regarding the 9 models.. A customer just took delivery (http://brammoforum.com/index.php?topic=1730.msg13187#msg13187) of his Enertia Plus.. they're being built by Flextronics in Hungary and going out to customers in Europe first, so we should see a shipment of them hit the US in a few weeks. So 3 of the 4 streetbike models have shipped, and (now that they're finally shipping) I don't doubt we'll see the Empulse in Q1 2013. (not sure if we'll see a relauch of the Enertia with a 3.1 kWh model or not.. their 10Ah cell will make that rather difficult, as the E+ pack is two 12s7p modules in series. Maybe they'll do two 12s4p modules..)

SMRE produced some dirtbikes (http://thekneeslider.com/archives/2010/11/04/iet-integrated-electric-transmission-motorcycle-from-smre-engineering/) in 2010 that look identical to the Engage / Encite models Brammo announced in 2011. I don't know how much they've changed that design since, or what the hold-up is. I don't really "get" dirtbikes, and purchasing Brammo Parx (one update (http://www.brammo.com/blogs/?p=1741)) from Quantya makes very little sense to me.

I think the "Preorder" button on the Empulse site means the same thing the "Reserve" button does (Edit: woops, on the Tesla Model S (http://www.teslamotors.com/models/) site).. that they have a large backlog to work through, and if you order now you will not take delivery for at least several months.

Zero has a strong history of delivering yearly updates on time. I agree about the aesthetics, though they have improved year after year. 2013 is 90% of the way to a very good looking bike IMO.

Agree about the long drought of useful information from Brammo, and the overuse of cheesecake & social media. Now that the bikes are beginning to ship, it seems to me like it was just a poorly chosen communication strategy rather than a campaign of deceit, smoke & mirrors as some believe.. and the lack of the long-promised customer newsletter is a pretty sad tale on its own.

I don't doubt that Brammo, Zero, MotoCzysz, Mission, etc have all engaged in buyout or licensing discussions with the traditional motorcycle companies .. hopefully this hasn't been a real distraction from the thing that I actually care about, which is getting bikes out in customer hands. Time will tell.

teddillard
20 December 2012, 1501
Btw, on the primary Zero forum there's a fair bit of kvetching about the 2013 Zero announcement and significant upgrades, from 2012 Zero owners. "If I'd have known I'd have waited", etc etc.

Damned if you do and damned if you don't, I guess.

Right, that's actually the core of the issue. It's unavoidable with any technology now, right? Phones, laptops, cameras... I was selling $25,000 digital cameras to photographers who generally were independent, small businesses and struggling to pay the rent. You can imagine the confusion and frustration about when to pull the trigger. How many times have you bought software only to have the next version come out a week later? It's just the nature of the beast.

The "good" camera companies understand this. They offer "upgrade paths" to protect their customers... which protects their dealers too. They offer trade-in allowances. They're careful to be responsible about announcing new products so they don't screw their own customers and dealers.

Which is precisely why, when a company is so irresponsible about making release claims, it's so damaging to the market. People get pissed off anyway, but when it can be construed as misrepresentation? You can imagine... and in those cases, it is rage.

In the photo business it's much worse. We, being a small dealer, would have the time to do some very in-depth comparison testing - actually my job - which allowed us to inform clients much better about where and when they should plunk down their money. We'd have to charge more than the B&H type retailers, but we offered more support, and trusted advice so we had a client base that appreciated that and would pay a little more. They'd wait, we'd wait, and then the product would start shipping.

We wouldn't be able to get it for weeks. The big online retailers would be first on the list because they get ranked by sales. We'd have to wait until the second or even third round of shipments. If a client really needed the stuff ASAP they'd have no choice but to buy from B&H. I had to, on many occasions, tell people to just order it from them.

We made the sale, but B&H got the sale.

Anyway... sort of random I guess. But working for as long as I did in retail gives you a much lower threshold for manufacturers victimizing their dealers intentionally, or simply by incompetence.

Allen_okc
21 December 2012, 0642
http://www.freesmileys.org/smileys/smiley-forum/popcorn.gif (http://www.freesmileys.org/smileys.php)

teddillard
21 December 2012, 1342
http://www.q8castle.com/smile/data/22/hy_jum_bird.gif

teddillard
22 December 2012, 0412
Not to beat a dead horse, but more to close the loop, and post this link: http://hellforleathermagazine.com/frontlines/brammo0609/crgbrmm-lyt.html

This was the first interview with Bramscher I read, 2009, Siler interviews Bramscher... or transcribes Bramscher anyway. It makes perfect sense from today's perspective. In one conversation I had, a top Brammo exec made it clear that there's only one person who ultimately calls the shots at Brammo and that's the guy who was nicknamed Brammo in High School. I actually was kind of shocked... I always had the feeling that the company was more of a democracy, but after I was told that I started seeing the patterns.

At the time, I read it as here's a guy with huge energy and vision, with a lot of new ideas. Today my perspective is a little different, after seeing how all this was executed. To be as gracious and non-judgemental as I can, I think it's fair to say it's a different management style than other companies, and he's a much different person with a different modus operandi than, say, Richard. "You get the feeling that his mouth can't keep up with his head."

I can't imagine that here's a guy who'd sit his team down and say, "OK all great ideas, but we need to focus on this one project and get it into production before we move on to the next dozen ideas..."

So yeah. You have this company run by a guy who names it after himself, is all over the map with ideas and vision, ultimately calls the shots, and I'd imagine the team who can work within that culture is more or less morally committed to him on a personal level. You have a guy who can, by his sheer energy, drum up huge amounts of financial support. You have a culture where critics become "naysayers" and "haters" because nobody challenges the emperor's new clothes. I may be wrong, but that's certainly how it appears, and has been substantiated by what I've been told over the last 3 years. And who knows? Maybe it's the recipe for launching a new motorcycle brand. It may be, but I've never been one to kiss the emperor's ass when it's hanging out there for all to see. :D

It all makes sense.

oh BTW:


... So 3 of the 4 streetbike models have shipped...

LOVE your math. You can also say "100% of the shipped streetbike models have SHIPPED" too. You're just confirming the fact that you choose to ignore their entire (lack of) product line. :p

Now, I have to get off ElMoto and start my chrimmas shopping... :o (ElMoto Nation breathes a Collective Sigh of Relief)

Richard230
22 December 2012, 0833
I had the pleasure of speaking with Craig Bramscher for about 15 minutes some 18 months ago, just after the company decided to go with a 6-speed transmission on their new Empulse model. The impression that I received from my conversation was that Craig was very enthusiastic and excited about his company and their products and was having a lot of fun developing them. But it seemed to me that he was not thinking so much of the economics of the business but was more interested in their racing program and of producing an electric motorcycle that would generate big performance numbers and acclaims when it was tested by the world's motorcycle press. He is not interested (as I am) in the utility and day-to-day usage that EVs can provide to the consumer, but rather how his products would compare with the latest IC sportbikes on the market. He wanted his product to appeal to the high-end IC motorcycle rider and convert them to electric power. When I tried to put my 2 cents in as a pre-order customer with cash burning a hole in my pocket that would be very happy with a direct-drive Empulse 10.0 while they fiddled with the transmission version, I could tell that Mr. Bramscher clearly had his mind made up and was committed to a 6-speed transmission and a clutch and was not going with his company's original vision for the Empulse. He told me that he wanted a motorcycle that existing enthusiasts could relate to and he said that shifting and clutching were necessary for an enjoyable motorcycle riding experience. I disagreed, but I figured that it was his company and his money, so he could do whatever he wanted. And while I was waiting for the new and improved Empulse to arrive, the 2012 Zero S hit my local motorcycle shop's showroom floor. You know what they say about "a bird in the hand".

I just found it really curious how Brammo shifted from the Enertia, which seems to appeal to the non-riding "nerdy" type, or perhaps a young professional lady looking to make a fashion statement, to the Empulse R, a full-on sportbike aimed at knee draggers. That was quite a switch in product concept and potential customer base. Or maybe it is just an attempt to cover both ends of the two-wheel riding spectrum - while Zero covers the middle of the bell curve? :confused:

Allen_okc
22 December 2012, 0955
there are still some bugs in the marketing end of these motorcycles, growing pains you might say. im pretty sure they will figure it out...

but if the king of brammo is how Ted describes, i can fully appreciate the king of brammos way of thinking, my method of thinking is similar, but i realize i need someone to buffer my ideals and keep focused on the project already started... but it also tells me that the head of brammo is the kind of guy that can and will make it one of the most successful EV motorcycle companies of our time, but he will have to give marketing and manufacturing management full control to do so...

just my thoughts from one idealist to another...

Richard230
22 December 2012, 1510
there are still some bugs in the marketing end of these motorcycles, growing pains you might say. im pretty sure they will figure it out...

but if the king of brammo is how Ted describes, i can fully appreciate the king of brammos way of thinking, my method of thinking is similar, but i realize i need someone to buffer my ideals and keep focused on the project already started... but it also tells me that the head of brammo is the kind of guy that can and will make it one of the most successful EV motorcycle companies of our time, but he will have to give marketing and manufacturing management full control to do so...

just my thoughts from one idealist to another...

I think that I would describe myself more as a pragmatist and something of an engineering and marketing historian - plus I am lazy, cheap and have a short attention span. Not qualities that are useful for building an electric vehicle from scratch. What I really like to do is to attempt to visualize the future of scientific and industrial progress from looking at the past. Plus, I am a big fan of doing the most, using the least resources. That is one reason that I like electric vehicles. It irritates me to no end that we are just burning up the Earth's petroleum reserves to move ourselves around, instead of saving it for future societies to be put to more useful purposes and products. What does burning oil get you other than a dirty environment? Electric vehicles just seem to potentially make more sense from an economic and environmental point of view in the long run.

But the problem is to create an entire industry from scratch and one that will be accepted by the consuming public, which will make its manufacturers and investors a decent return on their financial resources. I think the electric vehicles have the potential to do this, but I have no doubt that it might take a generation or two to complete most of the process. Still, huge strides in electric propulsion have been made during the past 10 years, perhaps more so than were made to automobiles and motorcycles during the first 10 years of the 20th century - when there were hundreds of small companies spitting out new products and creating IC innovations.

While I admit to blowing all of my entertainment money on buying motorcycles, I don't spend a dime on playing games. I just like to imagine the future.

Since I was a small boy, I have always been a huge fan of science fiction. But my big complaint about most SF stories is that they are not very imaginative when describing the future. Hundreds or thousands of years in the future, we are not going to be driving Fords, reading paper books or using hand-held computers. These writers just don't have enough vision and imagination, when it comes to what the future may hold. Just look at the progress that has been made in science and technology during the past couple of hundred years and then look at the current progress being made during recent years. The potential for technological progress is really amazing. I am not sure if anyone can really see the future as it will be 50 years from now, but it is fun thinking about it - and a very cheap source of entertainment. :)

Finally, I might add that I liked Mr. Bramscher's comments in the interview that Ted posted above. I think he was on the right track a few years ago. I am just not sure that he is on the same track anymore. :confused:

teddillard
22 December 2012, 1550
Finally, I might add that I liked Mr. Bramscher's comments in the interview that Ted posted above.

I did too... still do. I'm just not sure that it amounts to a business plan. :rolleyes:

protomech
22 December 2012, 2025
oh BTW:

... So 3 of the 4 streetbike models have shipped...

LOVE your math. You can also say "100% of the shipped streetbike models have SHIPPED" too. You're just confirming the fact that you choose to ignore their entire (lack of) product line. :p

If you're going to quote me, you may as well quote the very next paragraph where I discuss the dirt bikes. Emphasis added.


SMRE produced some dirtbikes (http://thekneeslider.com/archives/2010/11/04/iet-integrated-electric-transmission-motorcycle-from-smre-engineering/) in 2010 that look identical to the Engage / Encite models Brammo announced in 2011. I don't know how much they've changed that design since, or what the hold-up is. I don't really "get" dirtbikes, and purchasing Brammo Parx (one update (http://www.brammo.com/blogs/?p=1741)) from Quantya makes very little sense to me.

I don't really understand, or care much about, the dirtbikes. When you have the Zero FX and the BRD Redshift that can wheelie at will, you don't need more wheel torque. You don't need a speed much more than 70 mph for dirt and occasional freeway riding. IET seems to me to be non-useful for a dirtbike, at least vs the 2013 competition.

Maybe it was a package deal, Brammo would sell the IET dirtbikes in exchange for using IET on the Empulse. I don't know any details about what went on, I just don't care very much about the dirtbikes until Brammo shows off some of their own design work on them. If the Empulse development is any guide, I would expect to see more details and the production bikes next year.

I'm not sure what you're confirming, but there you go : )

teddillard
23 December 2012, 0255
Yeah, still not sure what you're saying by that. Are they Brammo bikes? Sold as Brammo? On the Brammo site or through dealers? Are they shown as anything but a "Preorder" on the site? No. Who knows what the relationship is between the two? I don't. I don't really care, either.

Just because you don't get dirtbikes, or aren't interested in them, doesn't really have any bearing on it fact that Brammo announced them as new products, but apparently has no real plan to produce them. You're choosing to ignore them. Fine, but then, what's your point, other than you're personally happy with what Brammo has delivered on?

As far as dirt bikes go, they're awesome. And, for most of the reasons you mention, a great application of an electric drivetrain (without a transmission). Is Quantya still around, by the way?

protomech
23 December 2012, 1226
They are, but I haven't seen anything interesting from them in a while.

jazclrint
23 December 2012, 1440
As far as the Brammo Engage, I think the same philosophy of using a transmission to take advantage of a smaller cheaper motor to create on par performance while also maintaining that "level of rider engagement" applies. In my interview last spring with Brian, he mentioned that the Engage should be coming out shortly after the Enertia+ and Empulse. There are prototypes, and intent, and it is being developed. Brammo seems to be staying tight lipped about it, but I think development has been set back as they work on issues that have come up, as these things do. And as we have seen, Brammo will take their time making sure they feel it's right regardless of anyone else's opinion. I put a bug in Shelina's ear where she did so well in SuperMoto last year, and she's trying to convince them to hand one over so she can race it this year. :D Don't think it will happen, but you never know.

@Proto The thing about the current crop of dirt bikes is that they are designed to compete head to head with 250cc 4-stoke ICE equivalents, and should be able to do so handily, by all accounts. With the exception maybe, of the 2013 Zero MX, none of them are aimed at 450cc or open class bikes. The thing is, I think these bikes will be able to race head to head with gas bikes this year at the highest levels, accept maybe the open class, in gas races, no problem. Elmoto equality, to a point. So to get the respect they will have to be able to run with the 450s, hence we should see even faster bikes next year, and why they would need to be faster. Dirt bike racing is (way) bigger than road racing. Having elmoto dirt bikes going head to head in the AMA or FIM series would be HUGE marketing bang for the buck and would do a lot to open a lot of people's eyes. That's why I think the dirt bikes are so important.

teddillard
23 December 2012, 1526
They are, but I haven't seen anything interesting from them in a while.

Huh... if you follow the trail of breadcrumbs, it looks like Quantya has been absorbed (or morphed) into VRone: http://www.vrone.ch/products/

Oh, hold on... yeah, on their Swiss site they do have 2012 models:
http://www.quantya.com/PAGES/eng_supermoto.shtml

...but the Strada link takes you to VRone:
http://vrcross.ch/products/vr-cross/

There's nothing later than 2010 on the US site. I sent them a query, we'll see if I get a response.

teddillard
30 December 2012, 0817
Just to substantiate my first post's claim relating Brammo and TTXGP both using revisionist history to suit their marketing needs, here, almost on cue, is the latest post on the Brammo blog: http://www.brammo.com/blogs/?p=1772

"The Snaefell Mountain Course was host to the fist (sic) zero-emissions race in 2009"

Not even saying "sanctioned" anymore.

For those who actually value the hard work of the people who went before us, and the facts, here's a bit about the EVN Cup and the real "first" zero-emissions races, back in '98.

http://evmc2.wordpress.com/2011/11/10/history-the-first-electric-motorcycle-races-hint-not-ttxgp/

More on the Betti team the ca.1998 races and the EVN cup here:
http://evmc2.wordpress.com/?s=betti

Electric Cowboy
30 December 2012, 1431
Technically I believe I own the worlds fastest production electric motorcycle... And it is a Zero 2012 none the less.

Sent from my HTC VLE_U using Tapatalk 2

protomech
30 December 2012, 1507
Technically I believe I own the worlds fastest FIM certified production electric motorcycle... And it is a Zero 2012 none the less.

Fixed ; )

teddillard
06 January 2013, 0508
Just to substantiate my first post's claim relating Brammo and TTXGP both using revisionist history to suit their marketing needs, here, almost on cue, is the latest post on the Brammo blog: http://www.brammo.com/blogs/?p=1772

"The Snaefell Mountain Course was host to the fist (sic) zero-emissions race in 2009"

Not even saying "sanctioned" anymore.

For those who actually value the hard work of the people who went before us, and the facts, here's a bit about the EVN Cup and the real "first" zero-emissions races, back in '98.

http://evmc2.wordpress.com/2011/11/10/history-the-first-electric-motorcycle-races-hint-not-ttxgp/

More on the Betti team the ca.1998 races and the EVN cup here:
http://evmc2.wordpress.com/?s=betti

Awesome. My comment on that post was not allowed, correcting the statement. And here I was, being all polite and ****. :rolleyes:

Seems Harry is kind of selective about what "facts" he wants to use, hmmmm? lol

Brammofan
06 January 2013, 0721
Seems Harry is kind of selective about what "facts" he wants to use, hmmmm? lol
Seems Ted is kind of wrong on who runs the Brammo blog.

teddillard
06 January 2013, 0846
Seems Ted is kind of wrong on who runs the Brammo blog.

Well then. My apologies. :p

(...never was quite clear to me what you do, and don't do over there anyway. My favorite was when you listed your occupation as "bus driver" a while back. Was that on your blog?)