The ultimate Brammo fan's first ride

Dailies -


brammofan.jpgA couple of weeks ago our buddy Harry took delivery of his very own Brammo Enertia that he won for evangelizing about the new company on his blog, Brammo Fan. Harry’s not your average motorcyclist, in fact, the 48-year old family man hasn’t ridden in 23 years. So what is it about a bike like the Enertia that could get a mild-mannered lawyer back on two wheels? We were curious, so we asked him to write about the experience for us. His story follows. — Ed. >

Before I actually review the Enertia, I have to begin by introducing myself to the many readers who don’t click through my numerous comments on Hell For Leather to find my blog.  What you, the HFL reader needs to know about me: I’m 48, haven’t ridden or owned a motorcycle since I sold my ’73 Honda CB550 about 23 years ago, and I am the owner of a 2010 Brammo Enertia through sheer source of will.  I didn’t pay the $7995 retail for it.  I won it by researching, blogging and tweeting, stalking motorcycle rider forums, and reading posts on the various motorcycle blogs and news sites, all in the name of being the quintessential Brammo Fan. If I’d actually been billing for that time (my day job: government lawyer), I could have probably bought a fleet of them by now.  The thing is, my mission was always to help make the Enertia a success, and not necessarily to end up owning one.  

Why would a mild-mannered, middle-aged bureaucrat bother with such a mission?  It’s not an easy question to answer, but suffice to say, I needed a mission in life at the time, and one day in early 2009, I discovered the Brammo Enertia online and have been a fan ever since.

Disclaimer:  Readers of my blog will point out that the About Brammofan page clearly says that (1.) I knew Brammo CEO Craig Bramscher back in high school, as we graduated from it in the same year, 1979; and (2.) that I’ve done some paid consulting work for Brammo.  This is work I do as Harry Mallin, or Mallin Consulting.  The blog at filled a need, however, that went beyond any paid work or any familiarity with Bramscher (who, by the way, may have gone to the same high school as me, but who did not swim in the same social pool as this former band geek).  Brammofan was my creation and I took (and take) no direction from Brammo in its posts.  

So following a year of scrambling for news and photos and videos about the Brammo Enertia, the company announced that it would be picking a “Brammo Evangelist of the Year,” and that lucky person would receive an Enertia.  Although I was told by outsiders that I was a “shoo-in,” note the absence of posts on my blog about this contest.  I was kept in the dark about this decision until it was announced.  

Electric motorcycle historians will note that I found out about winning the Enertia the same weekend I met Wes and Grant — the weekend they were prematurely ejected from the TTXGP motorcycle race at Infineon Raceway, for a little boys-will-be-boys shenanigans

brammofan-unboxing.JPGThe Brammo Enertia I won was delivered to my house via FedEx on June 8, 2010, preceded by a cell phone call: “This is Missy, your FedEx driver.  I got a motorcycle in a box in the back of the truck.  Are you ready for it?”  The unboxing of it was an event in itself, covered in-depth on my blog.  Although it showed up fully assembled and fully charged (how many motorcycles show up “fully charged”?), it still had to be uncrated, an exercise that took about 45 agonizing minutes.

First Ride

I must confess that the Brammo Enertia was not the first electric motorcycle I ever rode.  My first electric motorcycle ride actually took place at  Infineon Raceway, as the TTXGP teams were packing up to leave.  I had the opportunity to ride the EMS bike that had been confiscated following the HFL incident noted above.  I will admit here that the throttle response intimidated me.  To me, it went from zero to neck-snapping with the slightest twist of the throttle.  The instant torque became a bit of a secret fear of mine as I waited for the arrival of my Enertia.

I shouldn’t have worried.  Brammo has engineered a bike with a power curve that balances “responsive” with “gradual.”  Rather than intimidating, it was empowering — I found that, after just a few starts, I was twisting the throttle with confidence and the desire to get off the line first and fastest.  The suspension was firm and the bike, at about 325 lbs, seemed substantial, yet agile.  On a particularly twisty road near my house, the bike seemed almost alive underneath me, begging for more speed from my hand and for me to grow some balls–strike that–some confidence.  Damn, but is this a fun bike to ride.  

Note that there is little to no “engine braking” that occurs when you roll off the throttle.  This certainly works to your advantage down hills, when you can watch your odometer rack up the miles while your battery level remains unchanged.  It does mean that you would tend to use your brakes more often than you would on your basic I.C.E. bike.  The Brembo brakes on the Enertia handle this well, allowing me to stop within inches of my 15 year old daughter who I bribed into filming me.  

The Looks

You get a lot of quizzical looks when riding the Enertia.  The fact that this is the first Brammo in Kansas City is part of that.  The other part is the lack of noise when you ride.  This bike is far from silent, however.  In fact, after riding it for about 10 minutes, a cooling fan kicks in and, I have to admit, it’s a bit loud.  Maybe they can get James Dyson to invent a quieter one on future models.  And, not to rag on Brammo about this, but I have a story about the first time I heard the fan, which occurred on my first ride, the day it was delivered.  It was stormy that day, and I managed to fit my first ride snugly between some squall lines passing over the Kansas City area.  I came up to a stop sign after a brief test of the upper limits of the Enertia’s speed on the highway (65 tops, 62 comfortably).  At the stop sign, noticing the grey-green clouds roiling above me, I heard what I thought was the drone of a tornado siren.  It was the fan.  It wasn’t so loud that you’d have to shout or even really raise your voice to be heard.  Just loud enough to keep you from running in “stealth mode” and sneaking up behind unsuspecting pedestrians.

First Commute

Last Sunday, I decided to do a test-run of my daily commute.  Normally, I’d take the highway, but I had heard enough stories about how the high speeds really sapped your battery.  I took a series of surface streets that had speed limits of 40-45 mph.  From a battery that was charged at 99.9% (Oh, elusive
.1%, I will track you down!) I set off for my office, approximately 10 miles away.  I managed to hit most of the red lights on the way, and there were many of them (note to self: next time, count the lights).   I arrived at my office 23 minutes later with 62% of my battery power remaining.  

brammofan-brammo.jpgI began considering “Plan B,” just in case I ended up with the last half of the batteries draining twice as fast as the first half.  There were several places along the way that I could plug in, if necessary: friend’s houses, Chinese restaurants, sports bars, bars, and taverns. I shouldn’t have worried.  I pulled into my driveway with 22% remaining.  This will work for me.  Having corresponded with other Brammo owners and after reading many posts by Brammo Lead Designer Brian Wismann, I know that my range will gradually increase as the batteries condition themselves over time.  I still have less than 55 miles on the odometer so I have miles to go before I reach that point.


The Brammo Enertia turned out to exceed the hype (much of which originated from me) with a well-designed, balanced, and responsive machine that inspires confidence and is fun to ride.  The lack of a clutch, the smooth power curve, and the intuitive handling will help first-time riders overcome the anxiety that accompanies the new rider’s early experiences on powered two-wheelers.  The lack of emissions from the bike will help us S.U.V. drivers pay the penance that is due from us for disclaiming our responsibility for events like the B.P. Deep Water spill.  If I can find a 110-volt outlet that is powered by a renewable source (wind or solar), then I can even allay the guilt from using electricity that is generated by my local (mostly) coal-powered utility.  All that environmental angst aside, you should give the Enertia a chance — test rides are available at the six Best Buy locations (two near L.A., two near San Francisco, and two in Portland, Oregon); Brammo Headquarters in Ashland, Oregon; and yes, in Kansas City.  Brammofan’s mission includes the selfless sacrifice of allowing others to ride my bike.  All you need is a motorcycle endorsement, a helmet (unless you wear an XL in which case you may borrow mine), and a willingness to keep an open mind.  This bike won’t win any long distance races, but it could easily fill the need of a commuter (Re-fueling is free when you charge at work) or even someone who just wants to have a fun ride across town to a friend’s house to plug in.

Harry Mallin

We’ve also reviewed the Brammo Enertia, probably a little more impartially (no offense Harry).

  • Stacy

    You lost me at the disclaimer.

  • Richard Gozinya


  • lame

    I just forced myself to read this and let me warn you, don’t waste your time.

    The guy doesn’t ride motorcycles, thus, his opinion is invalid.

    For the record, I’m not bagging on e-bikes. I’m enough of a fan to have ridden several, but the Brammo is simply not fun to ride. I would say it’s gas-equivalent, in terms of power, is a TTR-125.

    • Wes Siler

      It’s exactly Harry’s lack of bad ass bikerness that makes me interested. People like him are one of the reasons we’re so excited about electric motorcycles.

      • robotribe

        I’m a little skeptical given what’s revealed in the disclaimer. Still, if electric bike get more “non-bikers” on the road, then it’s just one more reason I’m all for them. I’m still waiting for performance parity with my current ride before I dive in, but am convinced that the electric bike going mainstream is inevitable–maybe not tomorrow, the next year or the year after that, but sooner than most current riders think, IMO.

      • Ray

        Now I’m getting it – “You Meet the Nicest People on a Brammo.” All sorts of crunchy Greenpeace girls newly introduced to motorcycling, also reviving a moribund market by deepening a shallow gene pool. And HfL in the thick of it. I think it’s a good play.

        I must also say that I am get a bit wary at the potential lack of journalistic objectivity and conflict of interest around here, and in the economics of blogging in general. You are ultimately more beholden to your advertisers (not that I want to pay a subscription, either).

        And you are also pioneering the distinction between reportage and promotional copy somewhat transparently. I do laud these disclaimers – but this is also something that came up for me in the Aprilia tablecloth trick. You produced the spot and imported it into your magazine. (And disclosed it, making no attempt to camouflage (hee-hee) your distinctive helmet, hence my knowledge of the potential conflict of interest. Please continue to articulate that boundary as responsibly as you have been doing.

        • Wes Siler

          And for the record Brammo is NOT an advertiser, no financial connection between us and them whatsoever. I just thought it was neat that they gave Harry a bike and that a product like the Enertia was able to strike such a chord with someone like Harry.

          • Ben

            They may not be an advertiser, but Ray has a point. As you develop relationships and receive special treatment from various groups, the transparency you’ve shown thus far becomes all the more important.

            On topic, I like the ideal: a non-rider takes up riding because of a great alternative option. That said, I’ve never met anyone who spent a great deal of time selling themselves on a product turn around after receiving it and complaining. Unless it blew up. Since it’s a given that Harry would like the bike, the rest of the article is only interesting because it offers insight on how a non-rider perceives performance. Thankfully, that is interesting.

            • Wes Siler

              We agree on all the points you make there :)

        • JohnC

          Good job spotting the HFL on the helmet. I’m sure they thought they’d get away with it. There’s no way the average reader would notice the helmet or this:

          “Aprilia USA commissioned Hell For Leather and Tangent Vector to create this video. It’s the first of a series of three. Look for the rest in the coming weeks.”

      • Harry Mallin

        Hey Wes, what’s with this “mild-mannered lawyer” and “lack of bad ass bikerness” bullshit? What’s a guy got to do to prove he’s a man around here? Do a burn off in a lady’s restroom? I’m all over that. Video to come.

    • Ian

      It’s comments like those from “lame” (can’t own up whilst bashing someones opinon) that are contributing to the demise of the bike industry. Rider numbers are going down, therefore we need non-riders to take up motorcycles. Calling them lame and belittling their comments isn’t going to help. If bikes like the Brammo attract new people to the motorcycling world then bring it on, these people’s opinions on entry level products are perfectly valid.

      Ok, so the Brammo performance isn’t up to your requirements- guess what, it’s not aimed at you. It’s not meant to be a track bike. It’s to get to work on. It’s fun it the right context. When I was 17 on my first bike, a CG125 was fun. Just because 10 years later I now think it’s slow doesn’t make it a bad bike. NOBODY is claiming to have a GSXR beater for a long time yet. Even Czysz, who has come closest, acknowledges we’re not there yet.

      From what I’ve seen Brammo is the first to be really making a good fist of marketing these things. It seems to go well, from what I’ve read, and it doesn’t look like it was put together in a shed. Important things if we are going to get people into bikes who were previously intimidated by both the machinery and the cliquey aresholes who sneer at newbies from their (mostly under-ridden) R1s & Hayabusas.

      As for the disclaimer, at least he’s (Brammofan AND Wes) upfront. It would easy enough to brush that under the carpet if they wanted to be underhand.

      I’m chuffed to see Harry getting his new toy and being pleased with it, hopefully he (and others) will continue to ride the Brammo to work, get hooked and get a sportsbike for the track, a tourer for the vacations and loads of kit to keep all of our businesses running for the next few years.

  • DoctorNine

    I’m glad he’s pleased with his new ride. It is rude to criticise a man’s taste, after all. But this is more Popular Science than HFL. Just saying.

    Tell me about jumping the curb and riding up the concrete stairs of the local library. Or maybe how well it accelerates away from a beat up Buick driven by a white-haired half in your lane.

  • HammSammich

    I’ve been pondering electric vehicles since the late 90′s, and have always secretly wanted to bastardize a 914 into an electric car, but the way things are going, I suspect my first electric vehicle will be a bike. I currently commute on my Triumph – about 4 miles round trip on surface streets, which is barely enough to warm the bike up and has probably resulted in a lot of undo wear and tear. An electric bike would be absolutely perfect for me. No I just have to figure out where to store yet another motorcycle, sans garage.

  • Justin Penney

    Harry, I live in Blue Springs and would love to take you up on your offer (sacrifice) of allowing others to ride your Brammo!

    • Harry Mallin

      Hey Justin — send me an email — you can find a link on the “about me” page on my blog. All I ask is that you have a motorcycle endorsement on your D.L. and a small deposit during the ride in case there’s any damage… like, your first born? Seriously… let’s make it happen.

  • R13

    Disclaimer be damned, I think this is cool. Here’s a guy who probably wouldn’t pick up another gas bike, but is back out riding again because of brammo. If nothing else at least he’s not another weekend pirate lawyer on a chromed out H.D.

  • skadamo

    I’ve read most of the Brammo reviews and Harry’s review is more critical than many. Considering his background it all sounds legit. Of course, my disclaimer is I talk to Harry a lot online and he is a damn nice guy.

    Culture Style Design

    How does a Brammo Enertia not fit into HFL?

    The culture of “Beginner Bikers” is very big and there are multiple busy forums on that culture…

    Riders who have been off the bike for a long time and get back on is big group too. I have heard they are a pretty high statistic because they jump on power cruisers. Brammo Enertia would be a better choice after 23 years in a cage :D

    This article balances out HFL’s voice pretty well I think.

  • skadamo

    btw, that pic of Harry owning the turn rocks! That Enertia is you b!t*h!

  • John Ashman

    The “disclaimer” actually almost made me throw up.

    This is all just too much insider BS for me and as far as I’m concerned, is an entire backfire. Nothing I hear about Brammo will ever come without a cloud of suspicion.

    • Daan van de Westelaken

      Is it really so weird for a motorcycle blog to run a story about a guy being excited about getting a new bike? So what that he got it for free, you’d be happy as a pig in shit if you got a free motorcycle.

  • Mitch

    I’m just glad this guy’s still alive, unlike the other electric bike superfan that decided the buy the bike and ride it cross country despite having no motorcycle experience beforehand.

  • Kevin Fox Haley

    man, what a bunch of smarty-pants comments. jeez.
    it’s a cool product. maybe the guy isn’t as “hip” as some of us. big deal.

    i don’t see the need for all of the backlash and negativity. the guy’s “conflict of interest” makes perfect sense to me. he likes the product, has a relationship with the company (which he admits,) and he blogs about it. SO WHAT???

    the first few of these electric bikes are not going to blow our minds. but remember the first combustion-engine motorcycles did like 3 mph.

    find something else to complain about. we should be encouraging the further development of these types
    of products.

  • meatsmasher

    For fucks sake the guy hasn’t ridden in 23 years get him a full face helmet!!!

  • Steve F

    Remember the guy who smashed himself on his cross country ride with his Brammo from Portland to Atlanta?

    I’m all for new riders, but do it right: take a MSF class, get some mellow practice, then start slow.

    I’d say the same whether he got a Sportster, Rebel, or a Hayabusa.

    Good luck.

    • Kidchampion

      Steve F: I think I do remember the person you’re referring to. Wasn’t he run over from behind by a distracted driver, who was greatly exceeding the speed limit? Blame the girl driving the car, not the motorcyclist. I think we can learn from this tragedy that 62 MPH is probably not enough for the highway but have some compassion and lay blame where it is due.

      I just returned from Barcelona, where there were as many motorcycles and scooters on the streets as there were automobiles. I applaud anything that brings the USA closer to that model. I rented a scooter and it was a blast and THE best way to get around the city and find parking. Not macho but very effective – and fun. Girls bombing past you on scooters seem instantly hot. I shouldn’t say “seem” because there were very few young women in Barcelona who weren’t hot.

  • Kevin Fox Haley

    and GLOVES!!! ALWAYS!!!

  • http://stuffwrittendown.blogspotcom Khal Harris

    Hello from across the pond, chaps. I applaud the US’s acceptance of electric motorcycles. Over here you’re likely to be burnt as a heretic for suggesting they’re anything but an evolutionary dead-end.

    As a UK motorcycle journalist I’ve been trying to encourage other to think about some of the positives and negatives these bikes can offer… with little luck.

    And Harry has got back into two wheels. Regardless of his zeal, former associations and current lack of enthusiasm for petrol-powered (I’m afraid I’ll be cold and dead in the ground before I call it gas…) two wheelers, he’s riding a bike. Because of Brammo and electric bikes.


    • Urban Rider

      Agreed, however if we had Brammo in the UK I could see it selling. In London at least.

    • Ninjah

      @Khal Harris: “Over here you’re likely to be burnt as a heretic for suggesting they’re anything but an evolutionary dead-end.”</i?

      Khal – just curious, what’s the perception and reasoning behind that general attitude? I assumed that electric commuter bikes would be very popular in the more densely-populated parts of the UK. They seem better suited there than to the US landscape.

      • Wes Siler

        Khal’s (Hi Khal!!) little island is known as “Sportsbike Britain” for a reason. Electrics will be massively popular in London, but most English bike culture prefers to pretend the city doesn’t exist.

  • vic

    get a full face helmet,gloves and some good boots

    you will probably crash at low speeds no matter how careful you are,especially since this is a new kind of bike.expect it but don’t worry too much about it,as long as you are wearing gear

  • ManHole

    “mild-mannered lawyer back on two wheels”

    Wwwwhat?, he is a rub! I thought we hated lawyers that ride motorcycles?

  • Al

    Hey, I’m a full-time Ducati squid with a laundry list of speeding tickets, lowsides, removed emissions equipment and all other manner of hooligan behaviour on my pedigree. I’ve got no association whatsoever with Brammo, nor do I have a law degree.

    If it sits better with the HFL crowd, I can take possession of the Brammo in question and review it much more objectively.

  • AJ

    Can someone explain to me why people are interested in getting more non bikers on the road? Either you ride or you dont who cares.

    This bike would be great for NYC I sit at red lights 50% of the time I’m on the road but 8 grand ! is way outta line,this should cost the same as a 150cc scooter.

    • Wes Siler

      It’s pretty simple. More riders = we get to keep our bikes. Not to mention all the other benefits, can you actually think of any negatives to having more riders?

      • Ben Wipperman

        Negatives to more riders: having to socialize, more pressure to wave, HFL will have to create more rider stereotype art for new markets, sharing the very few “motorcycle only” parking spots, apocalypse. The movie Torque comes to mind. I might have missed some.

        More riders are what we need. That said, I would like to personally apologize for trying to get my crazy ex to ride. Though she abandoned the dream, she was a fine example of why not EVERYONE should ride. Or operate any kind of motor vehicle, for that matter.

    • Ian

      You’ve kind of answered your own question. Business school day 1:

      More customers = more products/cheaper prices.
      Millions of 150cc scooters = $1000 a piece.

      Few customers = few products/expensive prices.
      A few thousand Brammos = $8000 a piece.


  • Harry Mallin

    So much to comment on here.
    1. Mitch and SteveF: The guy who was going to ride across country on a Brammo was involved in a crash that put him in the hospital for a couple months. He is alive and well, for the most part. He’d be the first to tell you that it wasn’t a bright idea. And I seem to recall that he had some limited riding experience.
    2. You all should want more riders, and yes, especially riders who are lawyers. Most of the legislators at the federal, state and (big city) local level are lawyers. The more lawyers and law-makers on two wheels, the more motorcycle-friendly laws in place, the fewer restrictions on bikes, etc.
    3. I now own a jacket with CE armor, a pair of motorcycle gloves, and am weighing my full-face helmet options. Boots are on my list as well. That’s another reason you should want more riders who are new: we spend money on the gear which helps support the industry, the economy, etc.

    And thanks to everyone who’s chiming in, whether you’re supportive or not. It’s all good.

    What’s a “rub?”

    • Rich

      RUB = rich urban biker

      cheers – Richard

      • Mark D

        Is that bad thing? Seems like it has the same connotation as Yuppie.

        • coho

          Yes, but it’s a yuppie with a badass expensive HD or BMW or Ducati or what have you that sees maybe 1500 miles a year. Usually including many hundreds or thousands of dollars in clothing and accessories (leather pirate or power ranger suit, textile Rallye suit for the wannabe McGregors, etc.).

          They, themselves, are a blight on motorcycling, the very definition of poseur – but these are also the guys who supply the used market with low-mileage two to five year old bikes, so culling is probably too extreme. Maybe some kind of camp or reservation…

          • coho

            Oh, yeah, and go Harry!
            Welcome to the fraternity of powered 2wheelers (and the occasional 3wheeler)!

          • Mark D.

            Haha yeah, I know the type! But yes, their excess fuels a very nice after market! Though BMWs tend to be over priced by their soon-to-be former owners; I was looking at some 2002-2006 F650s, and they were like $4,500! That’s a hell of a lot for a 650 thumper with semi-knobbies!

    • George

      RUB = Rich Urban Biker (I think.)

      Keep it safe out there. When I started riding in highschool (90s) there wasn’t too much to worry about. Then SUVs started popping up, and now we have folks on cell phones. Riding the back roads is almost a requirement to avoid as much of that as possible.

  • Justin Penney

    Nathan Abbott, the cross-country Brammo, rider was hit from behind on the highway by a car that pulled into his lane. I find it hard to blame the bike or riding experience on an accident like that.

    I’m working out a time with Harry to give his Brammo a spin (we’re stuck on the first born bit) and will offer a non-new rider view of the bike.

  • K2theM

    Cool stuff Harry!

    Thanks for re-posting my review of the Enertia back when they first opened up for test rides.

    Readers digest version:
    “It’s a freaking blast to ride and would work quite well as a commuter.”

    This bike (and others like it) are not meant to replace the 1000cc track killers, at least not yet; so stop trying to compare it to the latest canyon blaster. It’s meant to provide a “green” (hate that buzz word, but it fits) form of commuting. If I wasn’t a poor College kid I’d be all over one. It would fit my needs perfectly. I commute 15-20 miles to and from work a day, often in solid gridlock for minutes on end (even with Portland’s blessed HOV lane). Having a bike that wouldn’t overheat from sitting at “idle” in 90+ degree heat, while cooking my legs would be nice.

    And +1 for getting full gear. It may not be a “fullsize” motorcycle, but you can get hurt just as bad.

  • spectator

    What?! A bored government employee with time to spare?? REALLY??

    Ditch the SUV, get a used minivan or a used station wagon, and get a scooter if you want to be “environmentally friendly”. Oh, or get a bicycle if you’re really only going 10 miles each way, we all know you don’t get to work until 10:30 a.m. anyway.

    Scooters are a much better way to convince non-riders to start riding. They all have a minimum 100 mile range, some go reasonably fast, no shifting, and they might be as good for the environment as an EV. (battery manufacturing, etc.)

  • eric

    jeezus, some of the guys on here really need to lighten up!

    I thought Harry’s comments were quite informative, which is why I’ve been reading his blog lately. It’s interesting, and well-written. Everyone who’s interested in this bike should also check out the brammo owner’s group blog; lots of interesting info there, too.

    As for all the haters who can’t get behind the idea of electric bikes, consider this; when mark miller won the IoM TT Zero race, he later commented about being able to hear the chase helicopter flying overhead during his run. That’s amazing stuff; it’s almost like one’s childhood dream of flying, without noise, just gliding through the air. Bring ‘em on!

  • skadamo

    @spectator the Enertia is not just about being environmently friendly.

    This is a start to electric drive and everything it can potentially do better than dino juice. Have a look at the posts in HFL’s “electric” tag.

    Even scooters have a culture that goes way beyond being environmentlly friendly. It grows from what they do well and the groups that embrace them.

    Electric will build a culture around it too. Haters will strengthen this culture. It will start with environment and geeks and then the adrenaline crew will follow when the price for FAST comes down.

    Why not be a part of building a new part of history? I believe Harry would be on this bike regardless of who he works for. He gets it.

  • skadamo

    To anyone bagg’n on Mr. Abbott…

    How long have you been riding? Do you have friends that ride? If you keep riding someday you look back on this thread and see you are… well naive.

    Leave the guy alone. He is harder on himself than anyone else should be. Listen to yourselves, you sound like cagers.

  • HighlanderMWC

    I’ve commuted daily on a motorcycle for almost 16 years and have been riding an Enertia for the past 6 months. My other bike is a Honda 1300VTX and my previous bikes were 600-750cc. The Enertia has absolutely no problems beating cages off the line and have had enough power to deal with every situation. This is in San Francisco.

    Best benefits: quiet, no oil changes, no trips to gas station

  • the other larry

    My primary thought is that like scooters, e-bikes will seem less dangerous to non-riders than motorcycles and will be ridden with a “these aren’t dangerous they’re cute” attitude when in fact the dangers are the same. Cars will hit/kill you and the pavement and trees are just as hard when you hit them. And I have to ask Harry why he hasn’t had a motorcycle for 23 years and now rides this? What is the difference other than it was free?

    • Harry Mallin

      Fair question, Larry. I gave up my Honda 23 years ago because I couldn’t stand the guilt trip my parents put on me. I missed it, thought about buying a new bike from time to time, but there were always other priorities: buying a house, buying cars, having kids, saving for college, etc. It always seemed hard to justify, and it didn’t get any easier the longer the years stretched out. I may be a lawyer, but I’m a government lawyer and as such, I don’t get paid the type of money paid to the law firm types. The dream to ride faded away, but not completely. When I saw the Brammo, I knew that I wanted one. I was ready to make the sacrifices necessary to get one, but I knew it would be a few more years before it was possible — kids in college, etc. So… the fact that it was free — that IS the difference.

  • Harry Mallin

    By the way, Justin came over today and took the Brammo for a spin (while I rode his BMW G650 GS around). I hope he’ll drop in and give a “real” riders view on it. I’ll be posting a video I took of his ride and his review over on my blog in a few days.

  • Justin Penney

    Harry, thanks again for the opportunity to ride your Enertia! I wrote up a bit on my web site

    First, a disclaimer is what it is … a notice a possible bias. The face that Harry (and Hell For Leather overall) have been mentioning any possible conflicts is a LOT better than any other motorcycle news outlet where the conflicts remain silent … or implied by a positive review next to a full page ad.

    As big of an evangelist as Harry is, he is also an astute critic. He pointed out problems that I wouldn’t have picked up on without living with the bike for a while. Brammo would do well to pay attention to any feedback that he has regarding their bike.

    The Enertia mostly feels like a motorcycle … with big scooter power. The components feel nice and the overall quality is very good. The paint is excellent and the switch gear is very solid and high qualtiy. While I could always use more power, it was adequate for non-interstate travel within its milage range. It easily accelerated to 55+ and felt very stable the whole time

    With some extended range, luggage area and extended range (100 miles at 75 MPH) this could be an attractive machine to a lot of people. The performance to dollar is not there, but the lack of feeding gasoline would even that out some.

  • toeCutter

    That’s it i start a blog for RSV4…

  • telekom

    I also read the disclaimer and felt a bit yucky… I like the idea that Harry is the kind of person that bikes (and electric bikes especially) should be appealing to. But this does seem like quite sucky product placement to me. All the same I’m glad Harry wrote this as I have no other info on how a normal returning rider feels about such a bike.

    The reason I no longer buy motorbike mags and read HFL instead (sorry Khal) – I got so sick of reading spoilt opinionated bikers going to fancy press launches in the sun to report back over six pages that the new bike is a tiny bit better than last year’s almost identical bike. It’s nice to hear from a normal guy for once.

    I’m really excited about electric bikes. But I think if Brammo were really confident about how good the Enertia is, they should have given one to a sceptic. If they had a doubtful biker saying “actually it’s not bad for commuting” it would mean much more to me than hearing a confirmed fan say this.

  • Harry Mallin

    Justin came out and rode my Enertia last weekend. Here’s the post about his ride: