Test-drive an Empulse R if what you’re looking for is a high performance electric motorcycle. This e-bike is the top-of-the-line model in a trilogy series of water-cooled electric motorcycles introduced in the market in 2010. The Empulse trio rolls out of the assembly lines of Brammo Inc. based in Ashland, Oregon, which also builds supercars. This company was established in 2002 by a car fancier, Craig Bramscher.
The Empulse R is truly impressive starting from its carbon fiber headlight shroud up to its front and rear fenders. Its rear light housing is but a small complement to this motorbike’s gold-colored, fully adjustable front suspension. Proudly displaying a name badge, this e-bike is likewise equipped with a fully adjustable rear suspension. The frame, sub-frame, and swing arm of this bike is manufactured by the famous Italian motorcycle company Accossato.
The superiority of this electric motorcycle is further showcased by its water-cooled, permanent magnet AC (PMAC) motor with a peak power of 40kW at 8,200 rpm (54 hp). It is capable of delivering a maximum torque of 63Nm (46.5 foot pounds). The Empulse power supply is derived from a lithium-ion battery that Brammo developed and has a nominal capacity of 9.31kWh and a maximum capacity of 10.2 kWh.
Performance-wise, the Empulse R has a city driving range of 121 miles (195 km) and a high driving range of 56 miles (90 km). It can reach a maximum speed of 100+ mph (160+ kph). Being an electric vehicle, the Empulse R has no emissions, and thus, it leaves no undesirable carbon footprint.
In 2011, the Brammo Empulse e-motorcycle received Popular Science Magazine’s “Best of What’s New 2011” award in the automotive category. It was cited as “fastest and farthest-driving” consumer e-bike ever made.
This bike has a racing version—the Empulse RR—which has carved a lofty reputation on the race tracks. This superbike topped the first two races at the 2.52-mile (4.06 km) Infineon Raceway in Sonoma, California, while competing in the TTXGP North American Series. Its driver, Steve Atlas, who has credentials with the American Motorcyclist Association, later steered this e-bike in establishing a new track record for electric motorcycles.
Officials of the TTXGP, a race exclusively for motorcycles which don’t use carbon-based fuels, were no doubt impressed with the Empulse performance. In 2011, the TTXGP and Brammo entered a partnership agreement wherein the latter will provide the former with race-ready rides for the 2013 series. Under this agreement, a Brammo “race kit” will be developed which will include not only racing bodywork and performance upgrades but also some track-side tech support.