View Full Version : My 2013 Brammo Empulse R

05 March 2013, 1203
So many of you know that I sold my eVFR and decided to get a Brammo Empulse R (backstory here: http://blog.evfr.net/?p=514).

After about a couple months of waiting, Brian at Brammo called and said he was coming to the Portland area with my bike and would be there that weekend. Talk about excited. I barely slept. It felt like being a kid on Christmas! He sent a teaser pic of the bike sitting at Brammo HQ:


March 2nd, 2013

Brian arrived about 8:00 AM Saturday morning in one of Brammo's Vans:




Before I took it out, he gave me a very detailed overview of the bike, gave me my bag-o-goodies, showed me the new charger (with Brammo Logo) and handed me the keys. I took it around the block and when I pulled up next to the van I had this huge grin on my face, and he and his Father in law both laughed.... the EV grin was obvious.

I rode up to this breakfast place near me so we could grab a bite to eat and chat. The ride over was a blast. All I can say is WOW. IMHO, this thing outperforms my SV650 in my opinion (butt dyno). I barely noticed any of the much discussed transmission lash. I figured out how to reduce/eliminate it by just easing the throttle a bit when I'm at a stop until I feel the gears push the bike ever so slightly. Power shifting through the gears is easy and I only use the clutch to downshift. As a beginner, it was simple and easy to get on the bike and start riding. I felt completely comfortable. It rides smoothly, shifting is natural and benefits are more clear. I can keep the motor RPM's wherever I want them (like in the 5000rpm high efficiency range). I could haul a passenger and get the same performance by wisely choosing my gear and If I wanted, I could just accelerate like a bat outta hell in first gear up to about 45-50mph.

Breakfast was fun.... we chatted about the bike, racing, friends we have in common and their plans for expanding the dealer/service network. I hadn't seen Brian since the TTXGP race in Portland last year, so it was nice to catch up. We both left from breakfast and I went out for a little spin, called my friend and took it on the backroads for about 30 miles.

It was a very pleasant experience from a buyers point of view. It met and exceeded my expectations.

A few more pics:






After meeting up with Brian, I called my buddy and rode about 40 miles on some twisties nearby my house. It was such a blast. The bike takes off when I want it to, the transmission is easy to power shift (Brian showed me how best to do that). I only really use the clutch to downshift. It was nice not having the loud hum of the exhaust right behind me. I could hear my buddy behind me in my old SV650 (He bought it).

March 3, 2013

Sunday I only got about 10 miles before it started to rain (no raingear yet)... then I had a Portland Timbers soccer game to go to.... so not much driving Sunday.

March 4, 2013

Chelsea Sexton (EV1, Who Killed the Electric Car) was in town promoting theelectricgeneration.org so I went down with some Oregon Electric Vehicle Association (OEVA) members to Bridgeport Brewery and had dinner (no beer for me though). Total ride was about 15 miles... and it was pretty dark on the way back. I think I need to adjust the light a little, but it was pretty cool, out there in the dark.... just cruising on the back-roads.


So my 3rd day impression (note, I have limited riding experience on my old eVFR and my 2000 SV650):

- The bike handles well for my weight/height. The suspension seems fine, but I'd like to take to a tuner to get a second opinion

- I only use the clutch to downshift. I blip the throttle/shift up for higher gears

- I mostly use second gear around town

- The bike is pretty flickable and easy to ride around turns

- Charging is so easy and I think pretty reasonable from a 15A 120V socket. I haven't tried L2 yet

- Regenerative braking is awesome. Need to make sure to ease into regen around a corner since it's on the rear tire. I can slow to almost a stop with Regen, usingvery little of my brake

- The build quality of the bike is great. I'd like a quick release for the seat, but I carry an Allen wrench. I store an emergency tire inflator and pressure gauge under the seat.

- I thought I'd want more information about the batteries voltages, motor/battery current but what I've found is that the dashboard displays exactly what I need while riding. The rest can hopefully be downloaded off of the memory card and analyzed later.

- I ignore the range on the dash and keep an eye on the battery SOC.

- The "thunk", "lash", "clunk" etc is almost neglegent if you just ease the throttle forward while at a stop to take up the transmission slack. The only other time is coming off throttle and into regen. It's no more or less than my old SV650 coming off throttle into engine braking before a turn. It's a non-issue for me.

- This bike gets a LOT of looks as I pass by people.

05 March 2013, 1322
Awesome! I'm jealous...:)

Questions for you:

What is the "New charger"?
Is regen always on as a "zero throttle = regen"? or is regen tied to the rear brake or something?

05 March 2013, 1341
Its the clipper creek charger with the new Brammo logo. Nothing different hardware wise that I know.

Throttle regent activates when you let off the throttle. Brake is brake.

I like it this way as I can use the clutch in emergency and control rear braking with friction brakes.

05 March 2013, 1429
Awesome man. I'm super jealous.

So you know the big question - transmission: yea or nay?

05 March 2013, 1438
Awesome! Congrats, man, and thanks for the detailed impressions! I predict a hilariously fun summer coming up for you... Keep the reports coming sir!

05 March 2013, 1521
I was a transmission naysayer for home built bikes before but now that I've got a bike designed around it.... I'd say YAY.

I like how I can change ratios to get better acceleration or to keep it in an efficient RPM.

Its also easy to hop on coming from mostly gas riding.

05 March 2013, 1538
Congratulations Travis. That looks like a great bike and I hope you have a lot of fun riding it this summer.

Speaking of summer, the BMW Motorcycle Owners Association is having their national rally this July in Salem. You and a few of your elmoto riding friends ought to go to the rally and spread the word. BMW riders typically have a lot of money and are always looking for new ways of spending it. It could be that they need to be electrified. :D

05 March 2013, 1539
Its the clipper creek charger with the new Brammo logo. Nothing different hardware wise that I know.

Pics! Is this a charger or an EVSE? I thought they were using the Eltek charger actually on the bike.

Throttle regent activates when you let off the throttle. Brake is brake.

I like it this way as I can use the clutch in emergency and control rear braking with friction brakes.

Cool. Does the regen increase as the throttle rolls off?

Does the amount of regen decrease proportionally to the amount of clutch applied (similar to the feel of an ICE motorcycle)? or does the regen stop as soon as any amount of clutch is pressed (like cruise control)?

Inquiring minds want to know!

05 March 2013, 1542
I meant evse.

The more you let off the throttle the more regen you get. Feels just like a gas bike actually.

Not sure if clutch comes into play

05 March 2013, 1553
Wow Travis, this is awesome. Congratulations. I thought the waiting list was much longer for this bike. OEM is pretty sweet after spending years on your conversion, eh? Just throw your leg over and go! I'm sure you already have more miles on this baby than you put on your eVFR. I think I rode electriKAT a little over 100 miles total. So that was like $35/mile.

"The "thunk", "lash", "clunk" etc is almost neglegent if you just ease the throttle forward..."

I think you meant "negligible".

05 March 2013, 1604
It is fun. Read the back story on my blog. I bought an engineering production model with 500mi.

Oops on negligible.

05 March 2013, 1656
ok travis, what you need to do is ride it down to cali and let me ride it. Then i can answer these questions for myself. :D

05 March 2013, 1752
Haha. More like you come here.

15 March 2013, 0901
Went to the OEVA (Oregon Electric Vehicle Association) meeting last night. We're an EAA chapter here in Portland, OR.

It was sprinkling a little, roads were a tad wet and I was just fine. I just took it easy. On the way down, I got a double thumbs up from a pedestrian in the crosswalk. He looked over and immediately knew it was electric. Had me grinning.

We meet at the World Trade Center downtown, and PGE unlocks the gate so we can park vehicles out in the brick open-space in front of the building. I parked next to a Leaf and before I took my helmet off, I was already being asked questions about it. People really liked it, and were surprised at all of the features/range/power/transmission. When we headed inside for the meeting, I got to share a little more with people and field questions from an audience of about 30.

It was fun, and I plan on more meetings and events. If you have a EAA chapter, or even a EV club, JOIN IT! Spread the word, join, be activists.

Next Wednesday Chelsea Sexton is coming back for her work with theelectricgeneration.org. It's my Bday and we're meeting at Bridgeport Brewery downtown at 6pm, and my friends are coming for dinner at 7, so I get to overlap. It'll be a fun birthday! I will NOT be riding my motorcycle :)

31 March 2013, 2054
Here's a video from Friday, such a nice day!


05 April 2013, 0902
Really nice video review done by translogic.

linky (http://www.autoblog.com/2013/04/04/translogic-goes-two-wheeling-with-the-electric-brammo-empulse-r/)

05 April 2013, 1501
Great stuff! Suddenly, in the middle of that, it occurred to me it's going to be really interesting watching them race the TTX this season... especially in terms of the transmissh discussion. I hope they match it up with the Zero at some point. With the two bikes speccing out so closely that'll be a great test.

05 April 2013, 1614
Little birdie told me I'm gonna be on theelectricgeneration.org in a video interview. I was out with them in Portland and met up with Chelsea Sexton.... And they got a quick interview.... Not sure when it goes online... I'll repost.

In the meantime... You guys should join the theelectricgeneration.org.

05 April 2013, 2004
Great stuff! Suddenly, in the middle of that, it occurred to me it's going to be really interesting watching them race the TTX this season... especially in terms of the transmissh discussion. I hope they match it up with the Zero at some point. With the two bikes speccing out so closely that'll be a great test.

Last I knew MotoZero will be back with multiple 2013 Zero S's. I see no reason for that to have changed, but I haven't talked to Kenyon in a while. It's all but official that Shelina will actually be racing this year on the TTX (Empulse R in eSuperStock clothes). Both bikes qualify for the eSuperStock award (Frame, swingarm, controller, motor, and batteries must be stock. Hot "maps" , and everything else allowed) and as far as I know they will be facing off at every round. Add to that Jeremiah Johnson just picked up his 2013 Zero S and will be racing in partnership with Hollywood Electrics. They are interesting, however. They may abandon the confines of the eSuperStock and just start modding the crap out of that bike just to see what they can get out of it.

I have been excited about this match up the second the 2013 bikes were released. The Zeros raced may be the ZF8.5 which is 120lbs lighter than the Brammo (ZF11.4 about 80lbs lighter). But the Brammo's have better chassis, and the race bike will have full Ohlins race suspension. I was really excited until, that is, Eric Bostrom found another 5 seconds at the last test at Thunder Hill. This came after he already match the early times the 2011 Empulse RR did at the same track. That is a lot of time. No buzz out of MotoZero as of late, but I imagine they are busting their butts building bikes.

I am almost as excited just to see how each bike reacts to each track (DD vs Trans), as I am to see how they compare to each other.

22 July 2013, 1309
Got to show off my bike to people at the Celebrate Hillsboro street fair on Saturday. People loved it!


22 July 2013, 1315
And here's from last weekend at the Oeva.org EV awareness day:





22 July 2013, 1317





22 July 2013, 1318


22 July 2013, 1642
Nice. Can't miss the Zombie in the background.

22 July 2013, 2104
I happened to be in Portland for a conference and got to go to this. Some *really* nice conversions.

Gotta say thanks to Travis for being a great host for a couple days, making me drink too much, and letting me ride his bike (not in that order).

I haven't ridden a Zero, so I'm not making any comparisons - but I can say the Empulse is a sweet bike. Brammo did a really nice job on it.

22 July 2013, 2110
It was a pleasure to finally meet you and hang out. It was super cool that Tony Helms was there to hang out as well. Glad you had fun.