BRAMMO EMPULSE (2014 - 2015) Review
At a glance
Overall ratingNext up: Ride & brakes
There’s no doubt electric bikes are coming, and Brammo arriving on UK shores is good news. But owning an Empulse R right now can only be an abject exercise in compromise, an early adopter’s novelty, or a rich man’s indulgence.
Ride quality & brakesNext up: Engine
Without the burbles and vibrations of an internal combustion engine, the feel through the tyres and frame is intensified, while the extra sense of freedom that comes from not having to control an engine, unsettling at first, quickly feels normal as confidence in the package grows. The conventional braking set-up scrubs off speed with a little help from the regenerative engine braking, and is made quicker still if you tap down through the gearbox as well.
EngineNext up: Reliability
The instant and silent surge of acceleration is a shock to the system and even though the clutch and gearbox are comfortingly familiar, they're also a strangely redundant addition. The Brammo can’t stall if you stop without pulling the clutch in; you can pull away in any gear thanks to peak torque being on tap from the get-go; and neutral is, bizarrely, positioned between second and third. An ‘overdrive’ gear for improved economy and comfort would be a sensible addition but a whole gearbox of six cogs is unnecessary.
Reliability & build qualityNext up: Value
Some of the components on the Brammo are top notch, but the bike itself does feel a little below par in terms of overall quality. There are less moving parts than a conventional motorcycle, so theoretically there's less to go wrong.
Value vs rivalsNext up: Equipment
Performance is equivalent to a middleweight petrol commuter while the price the same as a high-end Superbike. And although daily running costs will be in the pennies, questions about residuals and longterm reliability abound.
Brammo’s range-topper is equipped with off-the-shelf Marzocchi forks, a Sachs rear shock, and Brembo brakes. It's also the only current electric bike with a six-speed transmission included, Brammo say, not just to appeal to traditional motorcyclists but to eke out maximum performance from the compact 40kW motor.
|Engine type||Parker GVM IPM|
|Frame type||Brammo E-Beam aluminium, tubular steel subframe and swingarm|
|Front suspension||Fully adjustable 43mm Marzocchi forks|
|Rear suspension||Fully adjustable Sachs rear shock|
|Front brake||Dual 320mm Brembo floating discs with four-piston calipers|
|Rear brake||Brembo single disc with dual-piston caliper|
|Front tyre size||120/70-17|
|Rear tyre size||180/55-17|
Mpg, costs & insurance
|Average fuel consumption||-|
|Annual road tax||-|
|Annual service cost||-|
How much to insure?
Top speed & performance
|Max power||54 bhp|
|Max torque||66 ft-lb|
|Top speed||110 mph|
|1/4 mile acceleration||-|
|Tank range||80 miles|
Model history & versions
Brammo had been building electric bikes in small quantities since 2010, when it announced the Empulse R. But the American-built bike didn't arrive in the UK until 2014.
The Brammo brand was acquired by Polaris Industries in January 2015.
Owners' reviews for the BRAMMO EMPULSE (2014 - 2015)
No owners have yet reviewed the BRAMMO EMPULSE (2014 - 2015).