Yesterday I seized the chance to throw a leg over the incredibly svelte Brammo Enertia--280 pounds of mean, green technology. Powered by six lithium-ion batteries stacked in a patented frame, the Enertia cuts a futuristic profile but it's not merely a prototype: a racing version will take part in this weekend's all-electric TTXGP race, and as of July 5th, anyone with a motorcycle license in Portland, Oregon can walk into Best Buy and purchase one. Try doing that with a Vespa.
First hand, the Enertia is a dramatically different ride from the gas-powered bike I normally ride. The whisper-quiet machine sprang to life with the push of a button and the click of a key, Prius-style. No need whatsoever to warm it up: just get on and go!
Upon the first blurp of the machine's throttle, the corners of my mouth were pinned to my ears. With no audible indication of engine revolutions or exhaust, taking off on the Enertia is a purely physical experience. The feather-light frame flicks easily from side to side, while the engineered drive train pulls power from any point in the throttle's rotation. Comparable in power and size to a 250cc gas-powered machine, with a top speed of 60 mph and a claimed ride time of 45 miles on a single charge, the Enertia is the perfect bike for the urban cowboy in search of his or her steel horse.
Where the silent running may take some getting used to though is on streets as busy as NYC's, where not-so-careful yellow cab drivers now won't be able to hear you coming up behind them.
You can catch a glimpse of Brammo's two-wheeled foray into the electric transportation market in action this Friday: it's a competitor in the first annual TTXGP, an all-electric motorcycle race taking place on the Isle of Man. Check out our photo gallery here for a closer look, and to get a sense for what that might sound like, here's a clip from race-testing the track-ready Enertia. Turn up the sound:
$11,995 (less a 10 percent Federal tax credit) www.brammo.com
I don't know a thing about motorcycles. How is that cost in comparison to a fairly gas efficient and average motorcycle?
These are Brammo's figures:
Calculated MPG: 375
love it as expected, might be a little quieter then my 1098. might pick one up
I'd like to have a showroom full of them. Any word on warrenty/MFG support?
I love the look of the orange form as it stands out against the black. Can you image how quiet this would be driving down a rural road where it does not scare the hell out of the animals and birds.
@NKPROUD - From what I understand, they will be sold at Best Buy stores and have support via the Geek Squad.
@brammofan & NKPROUD all true. The first model roles out July 5ht in Portland, Oregon followed by 1200 other retail spots later this year. And yes, Geek Squad will roll up with support should the occasion ever arise.
I have to say that any time you have a chance to "throw a leg" over anything "incredibly svelte" you should seize that chance.
Is there a list of BB locations that they're coming to?
Yikes!! I hope they come up with an aftermarket sound producing device for this thing. Where I live in Florida with lots of >80 year old drivers motorcycle accidents are already very high. I feel riding a whisper quiet bike would be extremely foolhardy in this area for the simple fact that nobody can hear you next to them or coming up behind them.
trobinson, I would wager that most accidents involving cars vs. motocycles are more a result of the driver not seeing the motorcycle (as opposed to not hearing them). Especially on the highway, I can't hear Harley's with open pipe approaching me from the rear until they're right next to my car, not to mention the fact that in sunny Florida, with the windows up, A/C and possibly also the stereo blasting, a lot of drivers won't hear a motorcycle anyway. Motorcycle exhausts face to the rear of the bike, so the exhaust sound also goes behind the bike (mostly), not towards a car that the bike is approaching. Quite often I've seen people not hear emergency vehicles, whose sirens face towards the front! Drivers are supposed to be looking, not just out the windshield or side windows, but in rear and side view mirrors, as well as towards the back over their vehicles when attempting to change lanes. Of course, we've all seen people who don't look before attempting such maneuvers, or even just making turns. I believe that is the real cause of most motorcycle accidents, not their lack of noise.
trobinson017 and davidduarte,
I would have to agree with both of you. trobinson017 I'll wager you live in an area near either Port Richey or New Port Richey, Florida. I rode bikes for most of my adult life until I moved to NPR. I was run off the rode many times, not because the driver did not use their mirrors, but because most of the driver who are 80+ have some sort of vision impairment. I moved there because my ex-wifes parents lived there and needed her to drive them. Her mother had Alzheimer's, and her father had an inoperable cataract in one eye and macular degeneration in the other. It wouldn't matter if they had their windows open or closed because they wouldn't be able to see you anyway. I do grant you that many drivers don't give riders enough reapect and that a whisper quiet bike might be a problem. Especially in very conjhested areas such as the test area in the article. Messengers are constantly in danger of being hit by motorists on their bicycles, and I believe they are much quieter then the electric bike in this article.
One thing I would like to say about riding bikes is that it is not only the responsibility of the motorist, but of the rider as well to be as safe as possible. When riding a motorcycle you need to have your head on a swivel at all times and be very aware of what is going on around you. There were many times that watching my mirrors while stopped at a stop sign or red light saved my butt by allowing me to move out of the way of a driver who was not paying attention. Unfortunately the car in front of me usually took a beating, but better the car than my body.
I asked the mfg. how much to replace the batt - he couldn't say -
I'll never again buy another gasoline-powered car or motorcycle unless it's with the intention of converting it to battery-electric power. I'm in the last stages of converting a BMW coupe to electric right now, and it's been far more expensive and taken much longer than I expected, but I've learned enough that the next time I do it (and I'll be converting more vehicles until such time as EVs are commonly available), it will be a lot easier and less expensive. I had already bought a BMW R 80 motorcycle with the intention of converting it to electric power soon after converting my coupe, but it has taken so long that now that the Brammo is available, I'll consider buying an electric Brammo instead.
last week I went to a great party at the home of Chris Paine, producer/director of the documentary "Who Killed the Electric Car?", and at the party guests got to see several EVs including two ultra-powerful Tesla Roadster EV sports cars, one of which belongs to Chris and which is charged by solar panels on his roof. Another of the EVs at the party was a gleaming silver Porsche Speedster replica built, owned and driven by Greg "Gadget" Abbott, who is a longtime friend of Chris Paine's and appeared in his documentary. This electric vehicle of Gadget's is certainly more powerful than most cars on the road, including the original Speedsters it resembles. Greg has done several EV conversions, and there are more and more entrepreneurs in this area that are beginning to do such conversions, including "Electric Louie" Finkle in Long Beach, who has been helping me convert my own car.
Even when the Chevy Volt and similar cars take the road, EV conversions are likely to increase and continue for several years since it may be more economical to convert gasoline cars than to buy them new, and such conversions are true electrics-- not extended range hybrids like the Volt that are less efficient than true electrics, since they are not lugging around hundreds of pounds of engine at all times that is nothing but power-robbing weight on most trips. Many entrepreneurs, including Electric Louie, are going to be developing and selling conversion kits to make it much cheaper, faster and more straightforward to do such work.
There are many reasons I expect such conversions to increase dramatically even as sales of mainstream EVs such as the Tesla S sedan skyrocket. Gasoline is already three times more expensive than it was 6 months ago, and will continue to rise due to OPEC price manipulation and dwindling oil supplies. Many drivers want EVs for other reasons-- they don't want any more of their money to go to worrisome OPEC countries such as Saudi Arabia, Iran and Venezuela: Iran and Venezuela are openly hostile to the U.S., and Saudi Arabia was shown to have funded the 9/11 attacks, and continues to fund terrorism in Iraq, Afghanistan and elsewhere. We need to stop giving our money to our enemies. Since we currently spend more than 600 billion dollars a year on foreign oil, the money we save will go a long way toward getting back on an even keel.
Any criticisms of EVs that were used for so many years were either bogus and invalid, or soon to be no longer true due to new technologies and other developments. For instance, several new batteries such as those made by Altair Nanotech reduce charge times to just a few minutes rather than the hours that are currently required; and with batteries or supercapacitors installed in homes and at public charging stations, and with EVs used in the V2G system (google it), there is no fear that the use of millions of new EVs will overload our electric grid, but, ironically, will help to keep it robust and working more efficiently. When there are enough high-speed charging stations and the batteries we use in our EVs and V2G are quick-charging, we will be able to drive anywhere with an EV in the same way we drive a gasoline car, and do it far more efficiently.
Just as Chris Paine is using solar panels to keep his own Tesla and other EVs charged, many EV drivers have installed home roof-top solar to reduce the cost of recharging their cars, or plan to do so soon. And more than just saving money, such solar panels feed back energy into the grid when not charging EVs or batteries, reducing energy needs regionally as well as reducing the need for pollution-producing generating stations.
There are still many who have irrational hatred and dislike for EVs-- I just had a rather bizarre "discussion" recently with a local news personality here that was trying to pass on such EV misinformation, all the while driving a huge, woefully inefficient Cadillac Escalade-- but regardless of such unfounded considerations, critics are eventually going to have to recognize the inevitable: soon there will be high-speed charging stations for the super-efficient, superior EVs that will be replacing gasoline stations, that drivers will be falling in love with their simplicity, practicality, efficiency, power and other advantages.
Those critics will soon notice the unmistakable changes-- less money sent out of the country for oil means more money stateside to pay off the crushing national debt; asthma attacks and other maladies currently filling our emergency rooms and hospital beds will decrease-- our general health will improve; the orange pall of smog on our horizons will disappear; our streets and highways will become far quieter; gasoline stations will disappear from our cities, replaced by a much smaller number of public charging stations (fewer stations will be needed since most people will be charging up at home and work).
Another change we'll have to work through-- it will cause some disruption and job losses-- is the closing of many of our auto parts houses, repair shops and smog stations since EVs are extremely simple mechanically, and require far less maintenance, even for such things as brakes and transmissions. EVs use regenerative braking, dramatically extending the life of brake disks, pads and brake fluid. Some EVs will have no transmission at all, since no reverse gear is needed (the electric motor simply turns in reverse to back up), and the torque output and torque curve of electric motors is more advantageous than that of gasoline engines. With no use for mufflers, catalytic converters, spark plugs, pistons, valves and so much more, electric motors have very little to be repaired or replaced. Even the batteries that used to have such short lifespans will be supplanted by far better batteries using new technologies that will not need replacement for decades. These new batteries are also far better in other ways, such a not containing lead, sulfuric acid, nickel, and other highly toxic materials, will be much lighter and more compact (high energy-to-weight ratio), and will not explode or catch fire when punctured or crushed in collisions.
Even the most vocal critics of EVs can easily be muted simply by giving them an electric vehicle to use for a month or so-- no stopping at gas stations ever again, no idling in traffic, no noise, no vibration, no fumes, and plenty of exhilarating torque-- just satisfying, guilt-free driving.
EVs are at long last due to shine.
Brilliant response. There is no way that electrics won't take over the world. i laugh in anyone's face if they tell me it will never take over so loud they'd hide in shame.
and the results will follow.
Any negativity that goes around would simply stem from the oil bosses losing all the revenue, and you and i both know they have smoked us over too many times, and the part manufacturers
who smoke's you over selling you gas powered car parts.
An electric motor itself, has what 3 cheap parts to replace once worn over many many years,
the brushes, and bearings and if the motor is brushless well then ONLY the bearings. I CAN'T WAIT for this revolution and it has already started!!!!!!!
Bill my man, we could could take on the World with electrics with PROOF to back it up ! Cheers to you!
Noise? please, there many ways you can create noise don't let me get started, including motors itseld can be tuned to produce noise, one i'll mention, electric motors has acoustic charecteristics similiar to a stereo speaker,
sounds like a joke! Ha, google it, i'm not going to explain the science, it's all there!
Most of all enjoy the technology it s here to stay forever!!!
I am hugely supportive of this bike and all other efforts to make both fun and usable EVs. BUT, while I assume that the Best Buy connection is an attempt to get the product in front of the common consumer, the last thing that that or a Geek Squad connection does is assure me that my $12k motor(finally accurate)cycle is in good hands. The Vespa comment at the beginning threw me for a loop. Why would I want to buy something that I RIDE from Best Buy? Why would I want to trust something with brakes and suspension to the Geek Squad. Unless they are bringing in a team of experience motorcycle mechanics into each Geek Squad location, I really couldn't recommend that service to anyone.
@rlenston - this bike is way more expensive than a comparable gas bike. Actually, there isn't a comparable gas bike. The scooters won't be as fun to ride and this bike has performance limitations that keep it from competing with something like a Ninja 250. BUT, that said, this is a REALLY cool ride. Even the Ninja 250, which is one of the most fuel efficient, only gets 70-ish miles to the gallon. That and the styling on this bike is in another class. The technology is expensive right now. The more of these bikes that sell and the longer they are out, the cheaper they will become. Similar to the Tesla roadster, people who buy these are laying the groundwork for consistently bigger and better things to come. If you're only interested in $ saving, it isn't the right time to buy a bike like this. If you're interested in having a sweet ride and being able to brag that you're singlehandedly making a large contribution to bettering transportation, it's time to start figuring out the financing for something like this.
I see the last post here was over a month ago so I hope someone sees this. There seems to be a knowledgeable group of folks here so I hope I can get some help. I am a big EV supporter and often get into an argument with a friend of mine at work about a particular issue. Here is my dilemma.
EV's are great but the electricity they consume is still produced by a "dirty" power plant, often of the coal-burning variety. So the big question is... What is the true carbon footprint of an EV, assuming it is charged with power from a coal-burning power plant (as compared to a conventional fuel efficient non-hybrid car)?
If anyone can point me to some research or calculation done by a respectable source, I would be able to shut down this argument and would be MUCH appreciative. - Thanks.
PS - Cool bike!
@rlensten - I own a Ninja 250. It was about the cheapest new motorcycle available at $3000 when I purchased it in 2000. I think the list price has since risen to about $4000. (there are also slightly less expensive bikes available now from less known Asian companies)
I don't bother checking my MPG all that often, but it ranges from 55 to 65. Part of the enjoyment of having a cycle is sporty performance, so I might get on the throttle more than if I were trying to hypermile.
Ninja 250 top speed is claimed to be 95-100mph (I top out at ~85). It has a large gas tank, almost 5 gallons, so the range is about 300 miles.
@josemgil - if you search around the web you will probably find some documents that cover the true carbon footprint of EVs. And they will probably disagree on the numbers. I would point out that ~23% of American electricity is from nuclear; and ask your friend about the carbon footprint of moving a barrel of oil from the field into a gas tank.
I drive 119 miles everyday from orange couny to down town Los Angeles. This isn't quite enough range nor power. On the 5 fwy the speeds range from 0 to 75MPH in a mile If you can't do it you're road kill especially if your splitting lanes.
Bottom line 120 miles 80MPH. A few more batteries, a little bigger motor, same size, less cost. I'll wait.
A 250: 50MPG, 200 mile range, cost $3,000.00 - $5,000.00
Robert1234 With the limited speed and mileage, and a price tag of over $11,000, it's just not worth it. Sorry, but I'd pay, maybe, $6,000, max. They have to make these things more efficient dollarwise for the public to start buying in mass. Vespa needs to sell a $1,995 stepthrough with a 45 mph and 40 mile range. When that happens, we'll see more of these critters on the road.
Robert1234 I hate to say this, but support by the Geek Squad is not a positive. I had a hell of an arguement with their whole crew on clock speed for processors. They claimed a quad four rated at 2.86 MHz totalled 11.44 MHz. We finally got a call into Intel to get the truth. The quad gross speed is 2.86, not 4 times that. (I'm trying for find a faster computer than my Intel Pentium 4 3 MHz that is running a double clock speed, or actually at 5.86 MHz. and haven't found anything that qualifies.) Thus far, my experience with the Geek Squad is that they don't know much more than I do and I'm a computer idiot.
Wow, a bike on my dream, I like it very much, I will buy it if I have enough money.
The video is very cool and I like that motorcycle very much.
Driving motor, it is best not to have strength deficiencies, if you have such a situation, it is best to wear a pair of glasses.I am introduced to a website, I often go here to buy glasses
I at the ripe old age of, ooh no, I am not saying, have just started my first love affair with my motor bike. Now it is nothing like this, nor is it a Vesper, but it is my first bike. I will be looking very closely at the resale price of these bikes. The other thing I would like to say is that it works out very cheap if you hire a car when needed, as opposed to running bike and car.
Electric motorcycles no longer need be thought of as slow and boring. When i test drove the Brammo Enertia and the Zero S last year, i learned three valuable lessons about electric motorcycles. It was challenging for me.