Brammo Inc., the Oregonian firm responsible for the all-electric Brammo Enertia, Enertia + and Empulse motorcycles has just announced four new electric motorcycles to be sold alongside its current range. 

But unlike nearly every other electric vehicle on the market today the new motorcycles will come complete with a six speed manual gearbox, defying the standard industry mantra that electric vehicles don’t need conventional gearboxes. 

Called the Engage MX, Engage SMR, Engage SMS and Encite MMX Pro, the new motorcycles use existing Brammo drivetrain components but add an Integrated Electric Transmission (IET) six speed transmission developed by Italian engineering firm SMRE srl. 

The Engage MX, an off-road dirt bike is anticipated to retail for $9,995, while its sibling the Engage SMS Super Moto road-legal sibling should cost around $11,995.  The Engage SMR, a Super Moto Racing motorcycle should retail at $9,995 while the Encite MMX Pro mini dirt bike has yet to have a price set.

But wait a second. Electric motors have enough torque to render a conventional gearbox obsolete, right? 

Sort of. Unlike electric cars which have more than enough space in them to house motor, power electronic and battery combinations large enough to produce rapid acceleration, reasonable top speed and decent range, electric motorcycles have extremely limited space for any of the above.

As a consequence, building an electric motorcycle with impressive acceleration, high top speed and decent range while keeping the sticker price reasonable has proven extremely tough within the confines of a motorcycle frame. 

Adding the IET™ system, which mimics a conventional sequential motorcycle gearbox allows both the Engage and Encite lines to mimic traditional internal combustion engined motorcycle performance. 

“Electric motorcycle design has always been a bit of a balancing act in direct drive systems where great acceleration performance comes at the expense of low top-end speed,” explained Brian Wismann, Director of Product Development at Brammo. “The IET system provides the best of both worlds and is the perfect complement to Brammo’s industry leading Brammo Power battery and vehicle control technology to maintain our position as the world’s leading electric motorcycle manufacturer. “

Of course, mimicking a conventional motorcycle gearing system can only help to encourage more motorcyclists over to an electric motorcycle for commuting, offering low running costs in a vehicle which is extremely familiar. 

Brammo has yet to detail the exact specifications or options for the new range of motorcycles, but has released both pictures and promotional video of its Engage and Encite prototypes.  

While the final versions of these motorcycles may vary slightly from the prototypes we have to admit we can’t wait to try them out.