Video: building a Brammo

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Giving them access to global manufacturing and supply chains, Brammo’s deal with Flextronics promises to catapult the startup electric motorcycle manufacturer from cottage industry to big business. Here’s a look inside their European production facility in Hungary.

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  • Matt Wisch

    Now they just need to start selling them on Forint instead of Dollars.

  • Stephen

    now to make it actually look good! why are all the electrics so ugly!!

  • JonB

    Being Hungarian it makes me want to buy a bike built by Hungarians. Neat. The ‘Go” on the dash is a nice touch.

  • Kevin

    That sprocket looks like it belongs on a stunt bike.

  • Adrian

    Nice, now all they have to do is build one with a 150-200 mile range and recharge time of 10 minutes and I’ll buy one.

    • aristurtle

      Fast recharge times are going to require special charging stations. Do the math on how many watts you can pull out of a 240V outlet in your garage and how long that will take to charge a battery that gets you 150 miles:

      Brammo is claiming 80 miles out of the Enertia’s 6 kWh battery. Let’s say we assume that’s correct, assume that doubling the weight of the battery won’t reduce that range, and use a 12 kWh battery for 160 miles. The normal three-prong grounded wall outlets in your house (NEMA 5-15) are 120 V at 15 amps maximum, so that’s 1.8 kW. Figure the AC-DC converter in the charger is 90% efficient (that’s a little high, but not unreasonable) and we’re down to 1.6 kW. So charging that 12 kWh battery would take 7.5 hours because the outlet in your wall can’t put out more electricity than that.

      But wait! What if we wire up your garage with one of those heavy duty 240 V outlets (NEMA 14-50) of the same kind that you plug your electric stove into? Now we’re cooking: you’ve got 240 volts and 50 amps, so we can pull 12 kilowatts out of one of these and charge this hypothetical bike in a little over an hour. (note: in the real world charging the lithium batteries this fast would result in a bit less efficiency, and also an electrician would probably prefer a 30 amp “dryer outlet” over the 50 amp “stove outlet” for safety reasons, but in any case it’ll be under two hours).

      You want to cut that down to ten minutes, you need an outlet where you can source 72 kilowatts. The wires from that electric pole outside your house don’t do that. That’s going to need some infrastructure-level support, just like gas stations have now.

      • Adrian

        Exactly why the ICE will continue to rule.

        • aristurtle

          Eh. You generally can’t fill up a gas tank from a pipeline or storage tank in your garage either, and there’s a lot of infrastructure behind a network of filling stations. As fuel prices rise there’ll be a tipping point where a fast-charge station is cheaper to build and maintain than a gasoline filling station, and being able to charge in a couple hours from an outlet in your garage will be an “added bonus” rather than “the only way to refuel”.

        • Brammofan

          “Exactly why the ICE will continue to rule.” Very similar to what the horse and oxen industry was saying before the ICE caught on. Plus, to add to aristurtle’s very valid point about infrastructure, there are so many innovations going on in energy storage tech right now that our concern about fast charging and “range anxiety” will likely be a footnote in the history of non-ICE vehicles.

  • Roland

    I’ve got to try a Brammo and compare it to my ride on a Zero. Waiting at a traffic light today on my big V-twin the only relief from the heat, noise, and fumes was to rolling again. I’ve done this for 3 years and 22,000 miles so an electric would’ve been the better way.

    • Brammofan

      I can’t remember how the heat felt when I rode my Honda CB550, but at some point, hot is just plain hot. It’s 99 degrees on the bank thermometer here and when I’m at a traffic light on my Brammo, it’s just freakin’ hot. The heat comes up from the road, not my bike. The fumes come from the cars next to and in front of me, and the noise comes from the cooling fan of the bike (when the motor is warmer than 140 or so). Sure, the fan makes a lot less noise than your bike but yeah, red lights in the summer in KC are miserable. (Just checked – high of 65 in Monterey … where I’ll be in 24 hours!)

      • Roland

        Does the high temp affect your battery life? Yesterday I soaked a cotton t-shirt in a chilled water fountain and it worked better than my cool vest. I’m in central FL so the summer riding season starts in May and ends in October.

        • Brammofan

          It does not seem to affect my range. I come home from my 22 mile average round trip to/from work and I have anywhere from 40% to 30% charge left in the battery. If you’re asking whether the high temps affect the life of the battery — I think that word from Brammo is that extremes (hot or cold) do not affect it. I’m pretty sure it was discussed on the Brammo Owners Forum.