2016 Victory Empulse: Electric Motorcycle Returns With New Name (Video)

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Fresh off a strong showing at the Isle of Man TT electric motorcycle race, Victory Motorcycles has announced the 2016 Victory Empulse TT. 

This is the first foray into electric bikes by an established motorcycle manufacturer, which is exciting--and demonstrates the company is serious about producing electric motorcycles.

DON'T MISS: Brammo Electric Motorcycle Company Bought Out By Polaris

The Victory Empulse has mostly the same parts as a 2014 Brammo Empulse R. That's to be expected, since Polaris--which owns the Victory brand--acquired Brammo’s electric motorcycle business this past January. 

And that's good news for current Brammo Empulse owners, who will continue to have parts and service for the current bikes that are out in the wild.  

The main changes to the Empulse are an increase in battery size to 10.4 kilowatt-hours, rear tire size that's reduced for better cornering, and a price that's increased to $19,999. Adding aftermarket forks, a windscreen, and frame sliders will bring the total price to $22,598.

2016 Victory Empulse TT

2016 Victory Empulse TT

Enlarge Photo

The 54-horsepower motor with 61 ft-lbs of torque can presumably still provide a top speed of 110 mph and a 0-to-60-mph acceleration time of about 4.8 seconds. It's possible the 0-60 time may be a bit higher now that the bike has gained 10 pounds, for a total weight of 470 lbs.

Range is not listed on the official Victory Empulse website, and many news outlets claim a maximum range of 140 miles--though it is unlikely that riders will want to travel at the 25-mph speed necessary to achieve that number.

Using the previous version of the Empulse as a reference, we can expect highway riding to offer about 65 miles of range and combined city and highway riding to be about 88 miles. (These are estimates based on the information found on Brammo’s legacy site.)

ALSO SEE: Electric Motorcycle Tour: Three Countries, 6,800 Miles, 22 Days

This version of the Empulse cannot be sold in Europe since the European Union will require anti-lock braking systems on all motorcycles starting in 2016.

The success of the bike largely depends on how it is marketed, and the ability of the Victory brand to close sales.

With the Zero SR at $15,995--with a bigger battery, faster acceleration, ABS, an iPhone app, and no transmission--will riders be willing to buy the Empulse simply because they trust the Victory brand more?  

2016 Victory Empulse TT

2016 Victory Empulse TT

Enlarge Photo

After speaking with a salesperson at a Victory dealership in the New York City area, I learned there has been no communication to dealers on when the Victory Empulse will be arriving.

However, it seems likely to become available at a limited groups of dealers during the fourth quarter of this year.

It will be interesting to see how many Victory dealers pick up the Empulse, and what training is provided. Electric motorcycles differ greatly from gas-powered bikes, and the ultimate success of the product may lie in a good experience with the service department.

MORE: 2015 Electric Motorcycles: Buyer's Guide

So while the Victory Empulse is a welcome addition to the felectric motorcycle field, even more interesting will be to learn what the next development is, now that a major brand is making bikes. 

Will we see an electric cruiser from Victory?  There are many who hope so.

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