The Bull That Milks

So, Brammo has been getting headlines in the e-moto world.  This Ashland, Oregon startup had built the Enertia, a basic motorcycle with basic freeway capability.  (i.e., you can get on the freeway… if you dare.)

In Summer, 2010, the company then announced their full motorcycle: the Brammo Empulse.  The Empulse was to be a no-holds-barred machine.  100-plus miles per hour, and 100-mile range (though not at the same time), with enough acceleration, handling, and braking to hang with anyone on the twisties or the strip.  A café-racer type, it would look naked, muscular, and awesome, like an MV Agusta Brutale.  And the best part?  There would be an Empulse 6.0, 8.0 and 10.0, varying by pack capacity.  The 10.0 would, of course, sell for the most ($14,000), but the “entry” 6.0 would be $10,000.  I put my preorder in; delivery was set for early 2011.  I would receive notice 90 days before my bike arrived.

Original, 2010 Brammo Empulse design

Come 2011, we find the company hedging: 2011?  Oh, sorry.  That would be 2012.  The motorcycle was also restyled a fair amount, with other modifications.  Primarily, the direct-drive transmission was abandoned for six speeds, like a gasser.  Well, if the specs were as good as they say, I was willing to wait.

And wait I did.  2011 ticked off, month by month by silent month.  2012 clicked, but production didn’t.  Finally, the big news: the company unveiling would be May 8.  A big, hosted event, with Brammo staff, pro racers and riding customers, entertainment, the works.  Amanda Congdon would cover with streaming video- geek callback!

And the big announcement?  I’d get my motorcycle in 2013, kinda.  And by “kinda,” I mean “a motorcycle,” not the one I ordered.  The 6.0, 8.0, and 10.0 would be replaced with the Empulse R and Empulse, with only the upmarket Empulse R available in 2012.  The R version would add carbon-fiber bits, raising the price to- are you getting this?- $19,000 for the R, and $17,000 for the base Empulse.  Meanwhile, production was still a few months off.  July production, for test units sent to reviewers, then customer deliveries in August.

And wait I did- August came, no deliveries, no production!  Okay, I’ll give Brammo a little credit.  They did get test Empulses to reviewers at moto media outfits, before August closed.  However, September is one week away, and we’ve received no 90-day notification, let alone any actual product.

And that’s all the credit I’ll give Brammo, figuratively or literally.  I had preordered a $10k bike in “90 days,” not 900 days.  I put in an order with Zero.


12 thoughts on “The Bull That Milks

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