54bhp, 46lb/ft, 100mph and 77 miles: official Brammo Empulse R specs

Dailies -



The upcoming Brammo Empulse R will top 100mph and be capable of exceeding 100 miles in range at city speeds, according to official specs just released by the company. Unveiled in concept form two years ago, we’re now seeing the slow release of details in the run up to the model’s May 8 production debut.

Let’s get those specs out of the way:

Motor Type: Permanent Magnet AC (PMAC) – Water Cooled
Motor Controller: Sevcon Gen 4
Peak Motor Power: 40kW,  @  8,200 rpm (54 hp)
Peak Torque: 63Nm  (46.5 foot pounds)
Final Drive: Direct Chain Drive (14/48) 520 O-ring chain
Transmission: IET 6 speed gearbox with multi-plate, hydraulic activated wet clutch
Emissions: None

Battery Type: Brammo Power™ BPM15/90 Lithium-Ion ( NCM Chemistry) 
Battery Pack Capacity: 9.31 kWh (nominal), 10.2 kWh (max)
Battery Pack Voltage: 103.6 V (nominal) 
Recharge J1772
Level I maximum charging time:   8 Hours. (0 – 99% SOC, no cell imbalances) 
Level II maximum charging time:  3.5 Hours.  (0 – 99% SOC, no cell imbalances)
110V AC to J1772 Level 1 Adapter included
Every 10 minutes of Level II charging adds up to 5 miles of range
Battery Cycle Life: 1,500 cycles to 80% capacity (100% DOD)

Max Speed: 100 + mph   (160 + km/h)
Driving Range: City: 121 miles*   (195 km) / Highway: 56 miles**    (90 km) / Combined: 77 miles***  (124 km)

*SAE City Riding Range Test Procedure for Electric Motorcycles (variable speed, 19 mph / 30km/h average) 
**SAE Highway / Constant Speed Riding Range Test Procedure for Electric Motorcycles (70 mph / 113 km/h  sustained)
*** SAE Highway Commuting Cycle (.5 City weighting, .5 Highway weighting)
Operating Modes
2 Operating Modes selectable through the handlebar switch: 
1. “Normal” – limits acceleration by reducing maximum current delivered to the motor through the motor controller in order to maximize driving range. 
2. “Sport” – provides maximum performance in both acceleration and top speed. 
Regenerative Braking
Under deceleration, energy is returned to the battery system to both extend driving range and provide familiar rider feedback. 
Operating Cost
Assuming 13 cents /kWh for electricity:   1 cent per mile around town / 2 cents per mile on the highway

Approximately 400 miles for every $4.00 of electricity (city)

Data Collection
Brammo DDC™ (Dynamic Data Collection) records key motorcycle parameters at 1Hz (1 sample/second) for analysis and service support.

Frame: Brammo E-Beam™ Aluminum, Fabricated by Accossato in Italy 
Suspension / Front: Fully Adjustable 43mm Marzocchi Forks
Suspension / Rear: Fully Adjustable Sachs Shock 
Triple Clamps: Forged Aluminum
Swing Arm: Tubular Steel, Fabricated by Accossato in Italy
Sub Frame: Tubular Steel, Fabricated by Accossato in Italy
Brakes / Front: Dual 310mm Brembo floating disk with twin four piston Hydraulic Brembo Brake Calipers, Radial Mount.
Brakes / Rear: Brembo single disk with dual piston Hydraulic Brembo Brake Caliper
Wheels- Front / Rear: 17″x 3.5″ Marchesini / 17″ x 5.5″ Marchesini
Tires- Front / Rear: 120/70-17 AVON AV79 / 180/55-17 AVON AV80
Instrumentation: LCD display; speed, tach, odometer, gear position, energy consumption, battery status, estimated range and system status.

Wheelbase: 58.0″    147.32 cm
Seat Height: 31.5″     80.0 cm
Width: 31.8″ (bar end-to-bar end)     80.77 cm
Height: 42.6″ (highest portion of the dash)    108.2 cm
Length: 81.3″   206.5 cm
Ground Clearance: 7.3″     18.54 cm
Rake / Trail: 24 degrees / 3.8″     
Storage Capacity : Optional Brammo hard saddle bags and top trunk.
Fuel Economy: 485 mpg-e      206 km/L-e
Vehicle Weight: 440lbs. / 200kg
Carrying Capacity/Cargo Capacity:   365 lbs. / 165.6 kg   
(805 lbs. / 365.1 kg total combined motorcycle, rider, passenger and cargo)

2 Years (Limited Factory Warranty) 1 year Fender-to-Fender Limited Warranty, 2 year Limited  Powertrain Warranty (Batteries and Motor) 

True Blood Red, Eclipsed Black, White Noise

“I know when I reveal the bikes on May 8th people are going to be blown away by the integrity of the design and the focused presence this motorcycle commands,” states Brammo ceo Craig Bramscher. But, that production bike isn’t going to be identical to the concept you see up top. Over the last two years, Brammo has tweaked the design based on public and professional feedback.

“When we first revealed the Empulse prototype, our customers had some very clear feedback for us and that feedback has inspired much of what you will see in the production version,” continues Bramscher.

Aside from the promised performance and range, the most exciting thing on this spec sheet is the inclusion of a J1772 Level II on-board charging system. A complicated name for a device that simply enables the use of those high-speed municipal charging stations you’re starting to see pop up in cities around the US. Using one, the Empulse R can be totally recharged in just 3.5 hours and every 10 minutes of charging nets 5 miles of city riding range.

The big question mark here remains price. The 9kWh Zero DS that I’m cruising around on right now retails for $14,000. With similar battery capacity and higher-spec components, common sense would suggest that the Empulse R will be more expensive. But, by leveraging the massive purchasing power and economies of scale brought by their new manufacturing partner, Flextronics, Brammo is hoping to price this, its most significant product yet, within the means of mere mortals. Two years ago, that target price was $13,995. On May 8th, we’ll find out if that’s changed.

  • http://lightsoutknivesout.tumblr.com/ Scott Pargett

    *drumroll for price*

    Some nice components listed there, good to see. Looks like it has a Triumph D675 front end in the photo.

    • Will

      Might be. Their Isle of Man racer had a Daytona 675 front end.

    • protomech

      I think you’re right about the D675 front end. The leading picture is the Empulse streetbike concept, the production bike won’t be revealed for another couple of weeks.

  • Campisi

    The headlight looks a little stubby from that angle, but on the whole I’m a fan. Here’s hoping the Level 2 charging kit isn’t another massive chunk of cash.

    • protomech

      Any J1772 charger should work fine, Home Depot and Lowes have chargers in the $600-800 price range.

      • Campisi

        I thought high-capacity charging required special cords and plugs.

        • aristurtle

          In the US, the coupler “charging station” needs to be permanently wired to a 240V circuit, meaning you can’t just plug it into the plug that’s powering your electric stove and run a gigantic extension cord out the window to your driveway. That setup would fail to meet code.

          • protomech

            The Empulse supposedly will ship with a J1772 to 110v (NEMA 5-15p) connector cable, at least for US residents.

            The onboard charger can probably handle input voltages from 86-250v or so, and you could probably create a pigtail to adapt the NEMA 5-15p connector to a NEMA 6 220v connector to plug into a electric clothes dryer connection or similar.

            • aristurtle

              Oh, you could. It says it can take a Level 2 J1772 charger, which is just 240V AC, same as the circuit your electric dryer or stove or plasma cutter uses. US electric code requires a Level 2 vehicle charger to be permanently wired, though, not plugged into a NEMA 14-30, so if your garage burns down and your home-soldered Level 2 charger is plugged in, don’t expect to win that argument with your insurance provider.

              • protomech

                The charger isn’t home-soldered, it’s integrated into the bike. (I misspoke earlier)

                A permanently installed J1772 supply unit is definitely the way to go for your primary charging point. The J1772 to 110v AC cable is more for travel charging – though it could be adapted to 220v.

                A good number of Nissan Leaf owners have upgraded their J1772 cable (EVSE) from 110v to 220v.

                • aristurtle

                  Right, that’s what I’m saying. J1772 cable-to-NEMA 5 (110V) plugs are fine, but if you want 240V, it needs to be permanently wired or you’re violating National Electrical Code, which is why nobody ships their chargers with those adapters that you can buy on the internet.

              • protomech

                I think we hit the nesting limit on replies..

                Fair enough, I’ll agree that a removable plug doesn’t meet NEC requirements.

                That said, the operative qualifier is “may not” not “can not”. I would have zero problems tapping into an RV-type supply with a NEMA L6 pigtail even if it was a horrible, terrible awful no-good violation of code.

                After all, how do those RVs plug in..

                • aristurtle

                  RVs have their own special plug; different requirements, etc.

                  I agree that it probably wouldn’t be a problem in practice, but arguing with an insurance company is hard enough even when you don’t have questionable stuff like this going on, even if this didn’t cause the actual problem.

  • Shane Blackstone

    Only a 2 year “limited” warranty on the batteries? That’s rough.

  • Tony T.

    Is it a push-button transmission?

    • Tony T.

      ” The Integrated Electric Transmission (IET™) – 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 the 2012 Empulse 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.”

      • *

        I had heard the design was modified to include a manual transmission. The instrumentation section above references a “gear position” indicator, although whether this indicates the inclusion of an actual gearbox or just the emulator isn’t clear to me.

        • http://www.brammofan.com Brammofan

          It’s an actual, 6 speed gear box.

  • Kyle

    can you ride it in the rain?

    • http://hellforleathermagazine.com Wes Siler

      No. The rain is scary and your brand new motorcycle will get all dirty.

  • adrian

    Lots of discussion about the possibly expensive MSRP…no discussion of the rebates some states are offering. I’m told CA is offering serious rebates that would bring the price down to ~8K USD? Anybody have insight on that?

    • http://hellforleathermagazine.com Wes Siler

      Tax rebates aren’t so cut and dry. You don’t mail in a clipping off the box and get a prompt check in the mail in return. Several states offer pretty big incentives (CO is the biggest IIRC). Potential owners need to figure out if and how rebates will work for their particular taxes.

    • http://rider49er.blogspot.com Mark D [EX500]

      Looks like currently CA has a fair amount of money allocated for 2012-2013 zero-emission rebates, with a ceiling of $2,500 per person; that’s a direct rebate, as in, get a check in the mail rebate (instead of waiting until April 15th). Currently, a Brammo gets a $900 rebate, though when its finally approved, the Empulse r could get a higher one (due to a high kWh capacity).

      Federal tax rebates start at $2,500, with $417 of credit for every additional kWh above 4.0 (thus, the Empulse r would have a rebate of ~$5,002). But remember, that’s a tax credit, so like Wes pointed out, you aren’t getting a check in the mail. Unfortunately, this credit “phased out” at the end of 2011, so it remains to be seen if its still going to be reintroduced when you can actually buy the Empulse. Consult your local income tax lawyer for more details :) [EDIT: I looks like that phase out was conditioned on meeting certain production volumes. I believe the credit is still on, if the Empulse meets the Gov't's criteria]

      • http://www.brammofan.com Brammofan

        The Federal Tax Credit is currently not available, as our congress has not acted to renew it following its phase-out. However, there is a bill (currently in Senate Energy committee, I think) that may cure the lapse. Stay tuned.

        • http://rider49er.blogspot.com Mark D [EX500]

          Damn, I just got lawyered. But the moral of the story is, a nicely written letter to your Senator about supporting Zero Emissions Vehicles couldn’t hurt.

          • protomech

            Yeah. The federal rebate you’re talking about is available for cars only.

            Four wheels bad, two wheels good? Curious that a 5 kWh plug-in Prius gets a rebate, a 9 kWh Empulse does not..

  • aristurtle

    It looks like The Future. I’m starting to drool just looking at it. Quick, tell me how overpriced it will be so I stop caring.

    • Campisi

      It costs all of the money. It also can’t go a thousand miles per charge, which of course you have a non-negotiable need for, so you’d better just forget about it.

      • aristurtle

        Actually, that’s the thing — even my most pessimistic commute, where I go from home to work to school to home at highway speeds in Sport mode with no charging anywhere but home, overnight, at Level 1, looks to be within this thing’s range envelope.

  • http://www.muthalovin.com the_doctor

    I look forward to Life Electric 2 where Wes starts out strong, then forgets about us.

    • http://hellforleathermagazine.com Wes Siler

      Eh, just doesn’t make sense to do it every day.

    • protomech

      At some point you just plug in, unplug and ride.

      • Campisi

        When do you tune in, turn off, drop out, drop in, switch off, switch on, and explode?

  • T Diver

    Lets see some damn wheelie pics. Is Sean fixed yet?

    • Sean Smith

      Ive got just the thing coming later this week :)

  • longtravel

    What happened with that whale tail thing they’ve got going there? Is it just me or does the whole tail section look disproportionately wide *and* thin.

    *Cold medicine edit.

    • http://hellforleathermagazine.com Wes Siler


      Hopefully that’s some of the advice they listened to.

      • longtravel

        It’s a fairly good looking bike other than that tail which just doesn’t look like anything (good). I can understand aping any number of bikes (RRs, Trackers, SuMos, etc) but that shape just doesn’t look like it had any real though put to it other than to make something to hold the seat up.

  • go gonzo

    Los Angeles Apartment Dweller = No access to charger.
    Most apartments I’ve lived in are so old, they only have on-the-street parking.
    So sad.
    I’ve wanted an electric bike for a couple of years.

  • http://twitter.com/tacotv69 Taco

    Will I still be able to buy one over at Best Buy?

  • Greg

    Very excited about this technology – it’s only going to improve.

  • Mr.Paynter

    Will they ship internationally?

    This thing would suit my lifestyle and small city juuuuust fine! Definitely do want!

    • http://www.lgdm.fr stempere

      Seconded, is some sort of european homologation planned?
      I know the biggest issue here has always been emissions and noise, so this should hopefully be a walk in the park…

  • Mr.Paynter

    Also, has anyone seen this crazy, electric space-ship passing itself off as a cool-looking motorcycle?


    • http://www.TroyRank.com Troy R

      gorgeous design, It looks really low. Maybe not that practical, but a sick design. Spaceship on wheels.

  • Johndo

    If I was a city commuter I’d have this bike on my shopping list for sure. Battery should last for at least 100000 miles (1500 cycles) so in that time it will have most likely paid for itself in maintenance and gas savings.

    • http://www.TroyRank.com Troy R

      +1 now all we need is more people to actually RIDE their bikes that much :)

      • protomech

        I put 1100 last month on the Zero.. It’s really, really easy to rack up the miles if your commute and general activities are well matched to its range and charging profile.

  • http://www.TroyRank.com Troy R

    MMM Marchesini wheels.

  • Keith

    ” Battery should last for at least 100000 miles (1500 cycles) ”
    If…and I say IF that’s the case, then it’s all good. However we all have had experience with rechargeable batteries!
    With only a 2 year warranty, I have my doubts that it will last.
    What is the cost of a replacement battery,how will that factor into the overall ownership cost and how is it disposed of?
    Don’t get me wrong, I’m a fan of electric bikes but comparing cost against an ICE bike, at least this early in the game, is misplaced. (JMHO)

    • aristurtle

      This ain’t your mamma’s laptop battery. 1500 cycles seems reasonable for a lithium-NCM battery, and mileage-wise that corresponds to the engine rebuild interval for most gasoline bikes. Lithium-iron-phosphate would have better longevity, but at the cost of lower energy density, so I can see why they went this way.

      If I recall correctly this is the same battery chemistry used in the Nissan Leaf.

  • Devin

    I love the looks, but wouldn’t a fairing be better for hyper-miling?

    • Campisi

      A sport-bike fairing would probably only make a minuscule difference at freeway speeds, where the range is still not going to be all that long; even then, the human rider is far and away the biggest aerodynamic problem on a bike. A Bonneville-style fairing would look off-putting on a production bike and broadcast to people that the design had to be severely compromised because of the range, something I’m sure Brammo would rather avoid.

  • http://www.facebook.com/beastincarnate Ben W

    Hope the headlight is more effective than the Zero! Looks overall good, though.

  • doublet

    What’s with the pop culture ‘vampire’ colors?

    • Campisi

      Assuming the visual design doesn’t radically change between the picture and the production design, I would imagine the red bits could be ordered in any of the colors Brammo offers on the Enertia and Enertia Plus. Their shades of blue and green would be lovely on this.

  • robotribe

    Is the 440lbs. weight wet or dry?

    Nyuck nyuck.

    • protomech

      Presumably it includes radiator and brake fluids. So wet.

  • GGno

    How about rain?

    • protomech

      Not a problem. The Zero electric bike actually works better in heavy rain than my GS500, which seems to cough a bit when the clouds really open up. No reason to think the Empulse would work any differently.

      I wouldn’t recommend charging outside in the rain, though.

  • http://www.faster-faster.com fasterfaster

    Quick correction – you wrote that the Zero ZF9 has similar capacity… That bike’s actual (nominal) capacity is 7.9 kWh, to the Empulse’s 9.3kWh. Minus the drag of the transmission, I would expect ~15% more range out of the Brammo ridden at equal pace.

    • protomech

      Empulse has wider, heavier tires and weighs 100 lbs more. City consumption (Wh/mile) is higher, highway consumption is lower. Could be the transmission, could be a rumored fairing for the R..

  • rvfrules

    Nice effort but super fracking technology will keep the oil flowing for the next few hundred years, meaning we can keep riding C02 spewing motorcycles that sound frickin’ awesome and have unlimited range. :)

    • http://rider49er.blogspot.com Mark D [EX500]

      “Nice effort but super fracking technology will keep the oil flowing for the next few hundred years, meaning we can keep riding C02 spewing personal water crafts that sound frickin’ awesome and have unlimited range. :)”

      There, fixed it for you.


      Everybody living withing 10 miles of a coast in 60 years. :)