An electric motorcycle that rides like a motorcycle? I’ll believe it when I see it. But Brammo’s new bikes sound like they just may be getting close.
A year or so ago, I spoke to a salesman at an electric motorcycle dealership for the Santa Cruz-based Zero Motorcycles. He wouldn’t stop bragging about how much better these bikes were, because “you never have to shift!” Ehh, I get the appeal. For some people. Not for me. I ride motorcycles because I LOVE to ride motorcycles. Not because they are convenient, not because they are easy. The electric bike I rode was kind of nifty, but hardly felt like a “real motorcycle.” It felt more like a toy.
All that may change with Brammo’s new models. The Oregon-based company has announced today their newest motorcycles. Four new models, each featuring the company’s new “Integrated Electric Transmission.” From Brammo’s press release:
The IET is a mechatronic propulsion unit that emulates the feeling and performance of a traditional internal combustion engine, with a specially developed electric motor, clutch and gear shift, that enables Brammo motorcycles to accelerate hard from the line up to a high top speed, something that is just not possible to achieve with a single ratio electric motorcycle.
As with conventional gas-powered machines, Brammo’s 6-speed transmission multiplies the torque of the electric motor at lower speeds, yielding better acceleration, and then reduces the motor’s revs at higher speeds, increasing efficiency and allowing for a higher top speed.
Okay, those of us here at RiderzLaw are skeptical — but then again, we’re lawyers who ride motorcycles — which makes us doubly (and inherently) skeptical. But we’re definitely looking forward to those test rides.
In case you’re interested, here is the press release from Brammo:
Brammo Announces a Strategic Partnership with SMRE and Launches New Brammo Motorcycles with patented IET Six Speed Drivetrain.
Ashland, OR, and Italy, May 4th 2011 — Brammo, Inc. a global leader in the electric vehicle industry and S.M.R.E. Engineering, a leading engineering research and development company today announced that Brammo and SMRE have entered into a strategic partnership. As a part of this agreement, Brammo has acquired an exclusive international license of SMRE’s patented Integrated Electric Transmission™ (IET). IET enables Brammo to offer its electric motorcycles with a 6 speed transmission – further improving performance and range. The first application of the new IET will be on the Brammo Engage and Encite which are announced today and which will be unveiled prior to competing in the MiniMotoSX race in Las Vegas on Friday, May 6, 2011.
“It is fundamental to Brammo’s success that we continue to innovate and develop our strong reputation for high quality, exciting motorcycles,” stated Craig Bramscher, CEO and Founder of Brammo, Inc. “Combining the SMRE Integrated Electric Transmission system with the Brammo Power™ Batteries and Battery Management System keeps Brammo at the forefront of Powersports drivetrain technology.”
“We are delighted to have Brammo as our strategic partner.” said Samuele Mazzini, founder and CEO of SMRE and creator of the IET™. “This alliance will see the IET integrated into Brammo motorcycles and enjoyed by riders all around the world.”
Today Brammo announces four new models all featuring the IET™ and swappable Brammo Power battery packs.
- Engage MX – dirt bike competing in MiniMotoSX – anticipated price $9,995.00
- Engage SMR – Super Moto Racing – anticipated price $9,995.00
- Engage SMS – Super Moto Street – anticipated price $11,995.00
- Encite MMX PRO – mini dirt bike competing in MiniMotoSX – no price announced
Prices do not include relevant taxes or Federal and State electric vehicle incentives.
The Engage and Encite join the award winning Enertia and stunning Empulse. Together, these four model ranges offer motorcycle dealerships the most comprehensive range of electric motorcycles available. Brammo continues to expand its dealership network in North America and will be adding many new dealers over the next 90 days.
Integrated Electric Transmission (IET™) – The IET™ is a mechatronic propulsion unit that emulates the feeling and performance of a traditional internal combustion engine, with a specially developed electric motor, clutch and gear shift, that enables Brammo motorcycles to accelerate hard from the line up to a high top speed, something that is just not possible to achieve with a single ratio electric motorcycle.
“Electric motorcycle design has always been a bit of a balancing act in direct drive systems where great acceleration performance comes at the expense of low top-end speed.” Stated Brian Wismann, Director of Product Development at Brammo. “The IET™ system provides the best of both worlds and is the perfect complement to Brammo’s industry leading Brammo Power battery and vehicle control technology to maintain our position as the world’s leading electric motorcycle manufacturer.”