Brammo Empulse R electric motorcycleEnlarge Photo
Electric motorcycles have already proven they’re great for inner-city commutes, dirt-track fun and even drag strip racing, but now Oregon-based Brammo Motorcycles adds something very important to that list: taking a pillion passenger.
In the highly-polished ad for its new 2012 Brammo Empulse R, a trendy, young motorcyclist is seen picking up his date on his sexy new ride, taking her out on the town.
That’s a pretty common theme played out worldwide by millions of motorcyclists, but aside from various electric maxi-scooters, the 2012 Brammo Empulse R is the first production electric motorcycle we can think of that has been built with pillion passengers in mind.
In other words, up until now, you had to choose between an electric motorcycle and taking a passenger.
Thanks to its 40-kilowatt, liquid-cooled motor and lightweight frame, the Brammo Empulse R is capable of traveling at more than 100 mph where laws permit.
In terms of range, its 10.2 kilowatt-hour battery pack can provide enough power for 121 miles of city riding, 56 miles of highway riding, or 77 miles of combined cycle riding.
Aside from being the first production motorcycle to offer pillion-carrying capabilities, the Brammo Empulse R is also the first road-going production electric motorcycle to feature a manual gearbox.
While conventional electric vehicle wisdom says that gearboxes aren’t needed, Brammo claims the Empulse R’s six-speed manual transmission gives the motorcycle a much livelier acceleration, while simultaneously allowing for long-distance, low-power cruising.
In terms of specification and styling, the 2012 Empulse R looks to perform like a real motorcycle, but at $18,995 it isn’t cheap.
You’d better start saving, then.