Snapped by Italian technology partner IET, which developed the 6-speed gearbox, these are the first photos of the new Brammo Empulse R, due for official unveiling on May 8. Not only will this be the first production electric motorcycle capable of exceeding 100mph, but that gearbox and traditional clutch should help spread its performance across that speed range. Low-speed, off-the-line acceleration is a bugbear for current, single-speed electrics.
Update: while these photos are new to you and me, they show a development prototype, not the upcoming production model.
Changes over the two-year old concept Brammo Empulse (above) include wavy brake discs, that very, very obvious gearbox and what, hopefully, appears to be a higher subframe that will carry a different seat unit.
Have you ever seen a motorcycle gearbox with so many wires running into it? Gearboxes promise to be the technology which finally elevates electric powertrains above Internal Combustion Engines, combining the massive and instant torque of an electric motor with the immediate delivery and controllability an honest-to-god clutch lever and multiple gears brings.
“Electric motorcycle design has always been a bit of a balancing act in direct drive systems where great acceleration performance comes at the expense of low top-end speed,” Brammo designer Brian Wismann told us last year. “The Integrated Electric Transmission 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 Brammo motorcycles 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.”