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Author Topic: Jalopnik Brammo Review  (Read 3218 times)

Vertigo1

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Re: Jalopnik Brammo Review
« Reply #1 on: August 31, 2012, 11:59:32 PM »

It is nice to see that the highlights that this rider found in the Empulse were for the most part shared with what I have read in reviews and impressions of the Zero bikes, minus the 'tie fighter' whine.

Overall, it makes me anxious to see what Zero has in store for us in the coming months.
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dkw12002

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Re: Jalopnik Brammo Review
« Reply #2 on: September 01, 2012, 01:14:16 AM »

Makes me glad I went with the Street Triple r although that was clearly not the intent of the cursory overview. That quick-in-the-tight-corner thing applies to the Ninja 250r as well. In fact, the Ninja 250r is the ICE bike that Empulse should be compared to. The Street Triple r goes 0-60 mph is about 3 seconds and goes 150 mph. leaving the Empulse in its dust beside or slightly behind the Ninja 250r. Better yet so you are not terribly disappointed, the Empulse should be compared to another electric bike like the Zero S. The Empulse may look like a sport bike, but it isn't.
« Last Edit: September 01, 2012, 01:17:49 AM by dkw12002 »
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Richard230

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Re: Jalopnik Brammo Review
« Reply #3 on: September 01, 2012, 03:47:22 AM »

Speaking of the Kawasaki 250 Ninja, the latest word is that Kawasaki has received EPA and CARB approval for a 300cc version of that motor. That model should offer a more direct IC comparison with the Empulse.
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Richard's motorcycle collection:  2018 16.6 kWh Zero S, 2016 BMW R1200RS, 2011 Royal Enfield Bullet 500 Classic, 2009 BMW F650GS, 2005 Triumph T-100 Bonneville, 2002 Yamaha FZ1 (FZS1000N) and a 1978 Honda Kick 'N Go Senior.

protomech

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Re: Jalopnik Brammo Review
« Reply #4 on: September 01, 2012, 04:59:18 AM »

I think the Empulse sits between a 250/300 and a 650 in performance, both in a straight line and on a track.

We'll see when the Empulse street bike actually makes it out to the track, but I think 250-class performance is underselling it somewhat.
« Last Edit: September 01, 2012, 05:47:27 AM by protomech »
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dkw12002

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Re: Jalopnik Brammo Review
« Reply #5 on: September 01, 2012, 05:19:52 AM »

Exactly...also a Ninja 400cc is a possiblity, both FI. Heck, even I might like another little ninja. Kawa has already shipped several new bikes for 2013 including the 650r and they released the 250r FI version in Indonesia, one of their best markets, so they still make the 250, but the fact they did not release a 250r yet in the US does make it look like they will make it a 300r for the US market...and increase the price to $4999. It's a gutsy thing to do to take the best selling bike and change it, but I like the idea. A little more torque in the lower gears would be welcome. Afterall, we aren't limited to 250cc in the US like some countries are for a first bike. They will still have a 250r for racing as well. Same with the 600. It is scheduled to change to 636 again for general sales. Sep 13 is the unveiling. I just got an email from Kawa. Meanwhile Honda with their CBR 250 single that vibrates and is comparatively slow is likely to lose even more market share. It points out the difference between ICE bikes and electric. Kawa will bore out the cylinders a little and add FI which has been around for years, so it's just tweaking, but the electric bikes have entirely new systems each year...almost everything on the Empulse is new. Look out. I feel a glitch coming on.    
« Last Edit: September 01, 2012, 07:02:16 AM by dkw12002 »
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ZeroSinMA

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Re: Jalopnik Brammo Review
« Reply #6 on: September 03, 2012, 02:59:10 AM »

Exactly...also a Ninja 400cc is a possiblity, both FI. Heck, even I might like another little ninja. Kawa has already shipped several new bikes for 2013 including the 650r and they released the 250r FI version in Indonesia, one of their best markets, so they still make the 250, but the fact they did not release a 250r yet in the US does make it look like they will make it a 300r for the US market...and increase the price to $4999. It's a gutsy thing to do to take the best selling bike and change it, but I like the idea. A little more torque in the lower gears would be welcome. Afterall, we aren't limited to 250cc in the US like some countries are for a first bike. They will still have a 250r for racing as well. Same with the 600. It is scheduled to change to 636 again for general sales. Sep 13 is the unveiling. I just got an email from Kawa. Meanwhile Honda with their CBR 250 single that vibrates and is comparatively slow is likely to lose even more market share. It points out the difference between ICE bikes and electric. Kawa will bore out the cylinders a little and add FI which has been around for years, so it's just tweaking, but the electric bikes have entirely new systems each year...almost everything on the Empulse is new. Look out. I feel a glitch coming on.    

You don't suppose it's a series of glitches that have held up the Empulse production version vs the racing/demo/product review prototype we've seen these past 2 years?
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dkw12002

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Re: Jalopnik Brammo Review
« Reply #7 on: September 03, 2012, 03:29:38 AM »

Is lack of money a glitch?
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ColoPaul

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Re: Jalopnik Brammo Review
« Reply #8 on: September 04, 2012, 01:38:10 AM »

I was reading over on the Brammo owners forum, and they are excited that they have recently received "Empulse Pre-ordernotification" via email.   What surprises me is that there are apparently ~600 people willing to wait several years to spend $18000 on a sight-unseen motorcycle; when they could be riding a Zero S today.  Is the Empulse really that much better than the Zero??

Wes Siler seems to think so.   Remember his Zero S review:  (Sorry about the painful memories)
http://www.wired.com/autopia/2012/05/bike-life-electric/
In that Zero review he bitched about everything.  From the headlight to the range to the charge time to you name it.  Not sure if you could say he said anything positive about the Zero or e-moto's at all.  In the Brammo review, he said not one negative thing.

In the zero review, he listed "5 inconvenient truths" related to charging & range;  all of which apply (at least mostly) to the Empulse.  Not one was mentioned in the Brammo review.
In the zero review, he listed "7 mandatory requirements" before buying a Zero; again all also apply to the Empulse.   Not one was mentioned in the Brammo review.
In the zero review, he complained bitterly and repetitively about the "60 mile effective range".  In the Brammo review: "The best part? The 9.3 kWh battery pack lasts for about 50 miles"
In the zero review, he never once mentioned operating costs.  In the Brammo review: "The cost for those 50 miles ... About $1.25."
I could go on, but you get the point.

So what is it?  The added horsepower?  The gearshift?  The styling?  The components?  Or is Wes just unfairly biased for some reason?
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Richard230

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Re: Jalopnik Brammo Review
« Reply #9 on: September 04, 2012, 03:01:03 AM »

I have the same comments that you do ColoPaul.  Of course the first thing that comes to my mind is that Wes got the deluxe treatment from Brammo.  He got the factory tour, got to ride with the Empulse's designer, a top racer and another member of their staff.  They rode really fast on twisty secondary roads to a designated restaurant which Brammo already knew that the bike would manage without running out of power.  There a quick charging station was available (paid for by Brammo).  They then had a nice lunch and after the bikes were recharged rode home along the same great scenic motorcycle-type roads in beautiful weather.  That might color your opinion of a test vehicle, compared with just picking up a Zero DS at a retail dealer and riding it around without any factory reps with you, having no place to recharge the bike and then riding home on a stinking LA freeway and staying on it (instead of getting off and riding on a frontage road at a slower speed) while the fuel gauge bars disappeared.  Finally, he had to take a leak and do so alongside the freeway, instead of at a nice restaurant, after having a meal paid for by the factory.  I can see how his opinion of electric motorcycles might have changed (been influenced?) between his Zero experience and his Brammo test ride.

It would have been nice if Wes had explained how and why his view about electric motorcycles had changed since his experience with the Zero.  Without that explanation, I'll have to draw my own conclusions.   ::)
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manlytom

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Re: Jalopnik Brammo Review
« Reply #10 on: September 04, 2012, 09:33:25 AM »

yes, agree - Wes certainly biased. but then from Zero we expect now day to day reliability and a complete package on that level.

Now time will tell and competition is any case good will all help the cause.
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Tom
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Electric Cowboy

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Re: Jalopnik Brammo Review
« Reply #11 on: September 04, 2012, 02:03:05 PM »

Bottom line is Zero actually produces bikes, and Brammo says they produce bikes while really just boiling water to make more hot air.
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ZeroSinMA

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Re: Jalopnik Brammo Review
« Reply #12 on: September 04, 2012, 11:14:17 PM »

Bottom line is Zero actually produces bikes, and Brammo says they produce bikes while really just boiling water to make more hot air.

+1
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trikester

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Re: Jalopnik Brammo Review
« Reply #13 on: September 04, 2012, 11:48:27 PM »

I guess that review would about as useful as having the Republicans evaluate the Democrats or the Democrats evaluating the Republicans  ;D

Trikester
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protomech

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Re: Jalopnik Brammo Review
« Reply #14 on: September 05, 2012, 02:23:00 AM »

Wes Siler seems to think so.   Remember his Zero S review:  (Sorry about the painful memories)
http://www.wired.com/autopia/2012/05/bike-life-electric/
In that Zero review he bitched about everything.  From the headlight to the range to the charge time to you name it.  Not sure if you could say he said anything positive about the Zero or e-moto's at all.  In the Brammo review, he said not one negative thing.

In the zero review, he listed "5 inconvenient truths" related to charging & range;  all of which apply (at least mostly) to the Empulse.  Not one was mentioned in the Brammo review.
In the zero review, he listed "7 mandatory requirements" before buying a Zero; again all also apply to the Empulse.   Not one was mentioned in the Brammo review.
In the zero review, he complained bitterly and repetitively about the "60 mile effective range".  In the Brammo review: "The best part? The 9.3 kWh battery pack lasts for about 50 miles"
In the zero review, he never once mentioned operating costs.  In the Brammo review: "The cost for those 50 miles ... About $1.25."
I could go on, but you get the point.

From his review:
Quote
Inconvenient truths.

Truth #1: Sixty miles is about as much as you’ll want to rely on.

Truth #2: Even with a quick charger, full recharges take five hours.

Truth #3: Easily accessible outdoor outlets are much harder to find than you think.

Truth #4: Plugging in for 45 minutes here or an hour there at some random outlet (the quick charger is too big to conveniently take with you) does absolutely nothing.

Truth #4: Distances aren’t one way when you can only really charge at home. A 10-mile journey has to be thought of as 20 miles, or one-third the 9kWh Zero’s effective range. That’s right, something that’s 10 miles away is one-third of your maximum reliable travel distance. You can travel there three times a day max and, once you’re there, your next move has to be limited accordingly.
#1 still pretty much applies to the Empulse. At best, the Empulse has 30% more range than the Zero. At very low speeds it may be worse.

#2 Wes states the quick charger was impractical to carry. Comparing stock to stock, in mixed riding the Empulse charges at approximately 3x the Zero's speed in terms of miles per hour.. which is still slow (22 mph vs 7 mph).

#3 J1772 plugs in the wild are much rarer than 120V AC outlets if you're willing to hunt for them. J1772 EVSE are more convenient to conventional parking areas where available -- such as at Brammo's carefully scripted lunch destination.

#4 Wes is technically wrong - the ZF9 bikes recharge 1.3 to 1.5 bars per hour in my experience. This is really just a variant on #2 above; and the displays on the Empulse give a better gauge of battery SOC than the 11-bar resolution Zero gauge. Stopping for an hour and seeing only a single bar in capacity gain sucks a lot more than seeing battery go from 40% to 69%.

#4.2 This is really a combination of #3 and #4. If you can't effectively charge while out and about, then range calculation always has to use round trip miles.

Wes recaps later:
Quote
It’s not so much the maximum range that’s the limiting factor, it’s actually the recharge time. Essentially relegated to overnight for anyone that doesn’t sit still all day, it makes the Zero utterly inflexible transportation.
I agree about 80% with this conclusion. Provided that you can conveniently and quickly charge - only part of this is the bike, part of this is your local infrastructure - then range is largely alleviated as a concern.

Unfortunately, today J1772 outlets are rather uncommon on the ground in much of the US. Unless you happen to have access to J1772 EVSE at places where you spend large amounts of time - movie theaters, shopping outlets, workplaces, home / apartment buildings, parking garages - then you have to budget enough range to get you there and back again.

The Empulse's charging capabilities make it a significantly more flexible bike than the Zero, in theory. Wes's canned demo with the Brammo guys is a nice snapshot of the future many municipalities are working towards.

I disagree with a portion of his 7 requirements to own a Zero, but they all apply as much to the Empulse as they do to a 2012 Zero ZF9.
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