For the first time, multi-speed gearboxes are coming to electric production motorcycles. The six-speed boxes on these new Brammo Engage and Brammo Encite dirt bikes 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. The two prototypes will debut at the MiniMotoSX race in Las Vegas this Friday, May 6.
Brammo asked us to be clear that these photos show prototypes and not final production machines, which haven’t received a launch date yet. “Just to note, this is not final styling, working on a cool battery box for removable, swappable and new plastics all around,” Brammo CEO Craig Bramscher told us. “The drivetrains are now in casting process for full production. This is a CNC unit for prototype.”
The six-speed will debut on four new Brammo production dirt bikes:
Engage MX - dirt bike competing in MiniMotoSX - anticipated price $9,995.00 Engage SMR – Super Moto Racing – anticipated price $9,995.00 Engage SMS - Super Moto - anticipated price $11,995.00 Encite MMX PRO - mini dirt bike competing in MiniMotoSX - no price announced
There’s no word on launch dates for any of the above. All these models are currently in prototype phase.
The Brammo Encite minimoto.
The transmission technology which allows Brammo to combine the benefits of electric propulsion with the variable performance of multiple gears comes from SMRE and is being licensed exclusively to Brammo.
“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,” said Brammo’s designer, Brian Wismann. “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.”
The Brammo Engage dirt bike.
Brammo’s staying mum on performance and range figures at this early stage, as well as the exact performance benefits the gearbox will bring. Craig did tell us that he feels this technology is crucial to bringing electric bike performance in line with ICE, positing gas-powered motocross bikes as the Engage’s real competition and extolling the benefits of the electric motor’s massive low-down torque combined with the lower gearing a multi-speed transmission brings. Craig suggests that the Encite mini moto will be the first time an electric truly surpasses the performance of a comparable ICE motorcycle, in terms of acceleration, top speed and even range. “I was scared to give it full throttle even in third gear,” said the bike-mad CEO.