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Brammo Empulse R Electric Sportbike Unveiled, Tops 100MPH

by Mike Perlman | May 11, 2012May 11, 2012 3:30 pm PDT

Brammo has finally unleashed its Empulse and Empulse R electric motorcycles, and the sight is a thing of beauty. Following in the design footsteps of a Ducati Monster, the Empulse flaunts a naked/standard chassis with an upright seating position that’s very similar to a Triumph Speed Triple or Kawasaki Versys.

The main difference is that the Brammo Empulse is powered by a 9.31kWh battery that offers a range of 121 city and 56 highway for a combined 77 miles per charge. Battery recharge time at Level 1 is 8 hours, while Level II expedites things at 3.5 hours. The Empulse also offers two riding modes, Normal and Sport. Normal limits the current sent to the motor to sustain adequate riding range while Sport channels all the motor has to offer in order to allow prolonged wheelie sessions.

But there’s another key difference, and that’s the bike’s price. The Empulse will retail for $16,995 while the carbon fiber-clad Empulse R will flog the wallet at $18,995. Some states like California offer tax incentives for 0 emissions motorcycles, but it will only soften the overall financial blow. Even a Ducati Monster 696 retails for under 9 grand.

Brammo-Empulse-R-1Then there’s the weight issue. The Brammo Empulse tips the scale at 440lbs., which is quite heavy when you consider its sub-400lb. petrol drinking competitors that output more power. The Brammo Empulse’s liquid cooled Permanent Magnet AC motor cranks out a modest 54HP, though the bike can ascend 100MPH. The best news for any true rider is that the Empulse will have a six-speed transmission with wet hydraulic clutch, allowing for engine and regenerative braking. The 520 O-ring chain is a nice reinforcement as well.

Part of the reason the Empulse has such a steep price is its high quality components. The bike wears a set of fully adjustable 43mm Marzocchi forks paired with a Sachs shock in back. Brembo radial brakes bite down on steel rotors, mounted on custom 17-inch Marchesini wheels, and the bike’s aluminum frame was fabricated in Italy. The bike’s instrumentation panel is manned by an LCD display that highlights speed, tach, odometer, gear position, energy consumption, battery status, estimated range and system status. The only thing I’d change would be some Michelin Pilot Roads or Pirelli Angel STs in place of the Avon tires.

It’s heavy, it’s expensive and it will be gobbled up by gasoline competitors on any stretch of road, but the Brammo Empulse is still the most exciting electric motorcycle to be released thus far. The Brammo Empulse and Empulse R will come with a one-year fender-to-fender warranty with an additional year of battery/motor coverage.


Mike Perlman

Mike Perlman grew up in Nintendo Land and developed a relationship with all things electronic and nerdy early on in his childhood career. Today,...

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