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Brammo, arguably the world leader in electric motorcycles was in Milan, fresh on from their second consecutive championship in the World TTXGP series. The Oregan based electric vehicle technology company had a number of bikes on hand, including their entry level model, the Enertia, the more sporting Empulse R sport bike and the aforementioned World TTXGP title holder, the Empulse RR race bike.
I'd never seen a Brammo bike in person and I was impressed with the fit, finish and overall appearance of the bikes. They look and feel like real motorcycles. More importantly, from what I've read, they also ride like real motorcycles, and thanks to updates to the advanced battery systems, they now go even further on a charge. The Enertia can manage 128 km or 80 miles on a single charge, which is more than the average city rider will need. The Brammo Digital Drivetrain looks impressive and from all reports works well. A completely flat battery will take about 7.5 hours to charge.
Although the Enertia looks a bit a bit sci-fi and possibly a bit moped-ish, the Empulse looks every bit a sporty motorbike. It feature a more powerful battery pack and drivetrain and it is also the first electric bike to use an actual, mechanical 6 speed transmission. The combination of high power and real gears results in strong acceleration up to 100 mph. The Empulse is also the first water-cooled electric motorcycle on the market, ensuring the batteries and egine stay cool for maximum performance. The Enertia's more sophistciated battery system can be fully charged in 3.5 hours, and every 10 minutes of "casual charging" will result in an additional 5 miles. This means, with a little planning, a 200 mile day is well within reach.
If the Enertia and Empulse street bikes were impressive, the Empulse RR race bike really takes the cake. Aside from being incredibly successful on the racetrack, practically dominating every race series it enters, the Empulse RR looks all business, it looks fantastic, and it looks very, very fast.
Brammo plans to start selling it bikes in 2013, with deliveries to begin in March.