The first motorcycle racer who’s never ridden a gas bike

Dailies -



We’ve been meaning to profile our buddy Brandon Miller for a while now, but Zero just went ahead and saved us the trouble. Having never ridden a bike before, Brandon took the plunge on a Zero S, then started getting curious about racing. He’s currently competing against 250s and aims to race in the TTXGP, in addition to having set an LSR at Bonneville. Dude’s an electric badass.

  • Ken Lindsay

    That’s awesome for Brandon! It is rare to be first at anything in this day and age! So, how did he stack up against the compitition at the end of the year? How many podium finishes?

  • Dennis Bratland

    It’s like being a “gold star lesbian”.

  • karlInSanDiego

    Some say, he was born with a petrol allergy and has limited dexterity on the left half of his body. All we know is we call him the Miller! Way to go Brandon, but for the sake of knowing what you’re missing, please spend a few days on a gas burners too. I’ll give you a greater sense of perspective. I’ll watch for you at Laguna Seca TTXGP

    • mugget man

      I disagree. By that logic, every rider who hasn’t thrown a leg over a 1960′s vintage motorcycle should do it as well. But how many people are really wanting that? Not me…

      There’s no need for him to want to ride an ICE bike. You don’t make good forwards progress while looking backwards. All eyes to the future!

      • karlInSanDiego

        Ok, I’ll go there. Every rider who hasn’t thrown a leg over a 1960′s vintage motorcycle, should do it. Variety is the spice of life, and you’ll appreciate the new when you sample the old. In this case Brandon’s making assumptions about downshifts and how it’s affecting racer’s cornering. While coordinating your downshift is a factor, I’m not sure he’s got a tight grip on what’s going on aboard all those other bikes. I’ve ridden a ZF9, so I’m not talking from inexperience. But a CB250 Nighthawk is a far more engaging ride. E bikes are cool. And being an E bike racers is cool. Never experiencing what 99.9% of yo

        • Susanna Schick

          having owned vintage bikes, I can honestly say that my life would be just as awesome if I never had. Owning a new Ducati gave me just as much opportunity to learn about keeping bikes running, and actually handled properly! If I could’ve afforded to skip the old beemer and gone straight to the M750, I would’ve, not having missed a thing. Except the sheer thrill of trying to “stop” in the rain on drum brakes.

          • Brandon Nozaki Miller

            I may not have ever ridden a gas bike, but when I do, I’ll these gas bike guys have been really excited to see me progress and helped me a lot along the way.

  • jian khan

    How can he ride with that oversized helmet!?

    • Brandon Nozaki Miller

      Shortly after this photo was taken, I was sponsored by Nexx :) Much lighter helmet.

  • karlInSanDiego

    Hey Hollywood Electrics. Market your controller better, please. I might have considered that leftover Zero S if it didn’t waffle on takeoff.

    • Troy Rank

      It’s not Holywood Electric’s controller, it’s a larger Sevcon. Call up Harlan at Holywood Electrics. Just like with a gas powered bike, not everything is a bolt-on option that you can necessarily order online, this is more of a hot-rod modification. Harlan can hook you up.

  • rohorn

    Did any of your programming experience in Basic on TRS-80 model II computers (Saved on cassette!) make it more fun and/or easier to post here with what you have now?

    • karlInSanDiego

      I certainly don’t take this all for granted and get angry when HFL is down for an extended period of time during redesign. But plenty of Gen Yers did. I didn’t have a TRS-80, but I did have a Vic20. And it is sad that many of today’s generation will get little or no exposure to what powers their entire lifestyle. Do I make buggy whips in my spare time? No. But we’re kind of talking about willful ignorance, are we not? I wouldn’t celebrate if I never washed dishes by hand or never read a book.

      • rohorn

        Sometimes the appeal of NVH, biomechanical rituals, and the rubrics (Older) ones associate with the enjoyment of motorcycling is lost on those (Younger) who find said associations to be pointless.

        My opinion of current electric motorcycle design is that it is in the gasless motorbike stage and, as such, still ridiculously primitive – not unlike horseless carriages of 100+ years ago, when buggy whips were still part of the lifestyle.

        So, no, I don’t find it willful ignorance on the part of the electric rider, but willful ignorance on the part of the older set that can’t see that the future doesn’t need to pay homage to their past by re-living it, hip retro fads be damned.

        • karlInSanDiego

          You don’t get to redefine ignorance. It means you don’t know something. And willful ignorance means you make a choice to not know or learn something. Of course we all choose where to focus our attention, and he may be a better e-racer if he sticks to his one speed with overgrown bicycle brakes. But I don’t think it’s unreasonable for the lad to sample what other bikes are like. He sounds like it’s always been Zeros for him. I certainly got an eye opener when I stepped off my first bike, XS650, onto a friend’s CBR600F2. And within a year, I was riding a Katana. One bike does not make a rider well rounded, especially when it’s a Zero. I’d hate to be the racer looking for a team ride and having to admit that the bike they want to put me on has a clutch, and I don’t know how to ride with one of those yet (nor do I want to). That could be Brammo’s next round of racebikes.

  • Victor Lombardi

    They would be awesome bikes at 2x the price of a 250, but at 4x the price they’re still luxury playthings.