Finally, the Brammo Empulse nears production

Dailies -



Fully two years after it was first shown to the public, the 100mph+, 100-mile range Brammo Empulse will finally enter production. Now equipped with a six-speed gearbox a new battery pack and a more refined design, the production model will be unveiled on May 8 at an event in in Los Angeles.

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  • Brammofan

    Thanks for running this, HFL. I’ve been looking for an Empulse article since it was announced last night. Hopefully, we’ll be reading your ride review soon.

    • Wes Siler

      Or watching it.

      • Matt

        +1 for reading it. Video is cool for entertainment, but video is not a very information-dense format. I can read way faster than you can talk. Besides, your fuck-the-moto-journo-establishment style that brought me to HFL in the first place comes through loud and clear with no need for a soundtrack.

        • contender

          Concur. I’ve been not watching videos for a long time.

        • Slothrop

          video – poodle rock = text

      • Dylan

        I would love to watch a review of it. You cant get a sense of size, power, sound, or presence from type.

        • Matt

          True. If you accept the fact that they’re 100% advertising, those “Hey this is Anthony from Revzilla” videos do shed some light on how a jacket is put together. But stray too far from the Evening News at 7 format and pretty soon the video should be just an illustration to accompany the article.

          • Matt

            A useful illustration, I might add… to show the size and handling of a bike.

          • Chris Davis

            I subscribe to HFL specifically so I don’t have to accept that fact.

          • mugget

            You’ve never learnt anything from Top Gear? How bizarre…

  • Joe

    The real breakthrough on this thing is the gearbox IMO

    Color me excited

    • Troy R

      The first company able to produce a gearbox allegedly capable of dealing with electric torque. Very exciting indeed.

    • Restless Lip Syndrome

      I am really curious how this would feel. I look forward to seeing one in person!

      • BMW11GS

        I bet you don’t have to slip the clutch to start off in 1st you probably just have the clutch out all the time and just roll on the throttle unless one is changing gears. NEAT!

        • Mark D [EX500]

          I didn’t think of that, and that is awesome! I, for one, welcome our electric motorcycle overlords.

  • Troy R

    They could have done this bike more justice without the trashy, generic, drop-D guitar garbage in the background and the half-interested announcer.

    • Troy R

      Sounds like a bud-light commercial…

      • smoke4ndmears

        or an EBR ad!

        • Troy R

          It’s true, Drop-D has been the demise of many a otherwise good motorcycle ad.

  • robotribe

    Any info on the charging system? Does one just plug into a 110 outlet?

    • protomech

      J1772 inlet and probably an IEC C20 socket. (wait for final specs)

      Plug into a standard 110v outlet or any 220v outlet.

      Onboard charger is 3 kW, so 220v or J1772 will charge about twice as fast.

      • robotribe

        Thanks for the info. The ability to roll into the office parking lot and plug into one of the outdoor 110 outlets makes it even more appealing.



  • Scott-jay

    Oh, boy!
    Tell us more.

  • contender

    Boner. I had just started to believe this was vaporware and imagined putting a zero DS in my garage. No more! I want gears.

  • Mr.Paynter


    I want one of these so bad!
    My commute is short, 12 miles of quiet twisty highway and a mile of traffic at the end… why shouldn’t it be gas-free!

    • BigRooster

      So if you ride 24 miles per day, 5 days a week, 50 weeks per year – you could spend around $700 less on gasoline ($4 per g) and use around 174 gallons less fuel (@34mpg). Not bad at all. Just think if lots of people started doing the same!

      Sure electricity costs something, but even if you only manage to halve your fuel expense, in a year, you still come out about $350 ahead, use 174g less unleaded, and run cleaner.

      • protomech

        Fuel cost for my GS500 (50 mpg) is 7.6 cents per mile @ $3.80/gal.

        Fuel cost for my Zero S (120 Wh/mile) is 1.0 cents per mile @ $0.084/kWh.

        Tires, depreciation and insurance are far larger costs for the Zero than fuel.

  • Johndo

    I LOVE the concept. But with the touring I do I just couldnt use it. (Would be a perfect 2nd bike for commuting though). I wish it was possible to make a hybrid bike, even if the gas engine was only 45HP, it would at least get you around when there’s no time or electricity to charge the batteries. I’m sure it would be quite a feat to keep the weight/size down though…

    • BigRooster

      Most riders wont tour on a 250cc Ninja either but that does not make it a bad product. Different tools, different purpose. Some day a touring EV will be a reality but for now, that’s just a strawman.

      Maybe a EV-eR like the Volt or Karma could eventually become a reality rather than a hybrid. Most likely a touring will require some great batteries or a fuel cell.

  • jpenney

    Is the gearbox really an advantage (performance or range) or just a gimmick to appeal to slow changing motorcycle buyers?

    • Brammofan

      There’s much debate about that subject and no real black and white answer, yet. I think the consensus is that low gears will give you neck-snapping starts off the line and the high gears may have an advantage on your highway range. Note the “may”.

      • Mark D [EX500]

        I know virtually nothing about electric motorcycles, but I would guess that having the engine spinning at extremely high RPMs on the highway wouldn’t be good from a heat/wear perspective. Still though, 6-speeds seems…I don’t know…a lot? May be a simplified 3-speed gearbox would be lighter/stronger/cheaper. Unless they just adapted an existing gear box.

    • Campisi

      I would think its purpose is to allow for three-digit speeds while still having quick acceleration. Doing all of that with a single gear ratio requires a really tall gear and a powerful (and power-hog) motor; multi-speed gearing allows for a rationally-specced motor to get around that limitation. As Mark D pointed out, though, six speeds does seem excessive for this application.