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Summary:

Electric motorcycle maker Brammo has kicked up its bikes a notch – well, about 6 notches. This morning Brammo announced that it’s launching four new 6-speed electric motorcycle models that are using a transmission system for higher speeds and the performance of a traditional gas-based motorcycle.

Electric motorcycle maker Brammo has kicked up its bikes a notch – well, about 6 notches. This morning the Oregon-based company announced that it’s launching four new 6-speed electric motorcycle models that are using a transmission system that enables higher speeds and the equivalent of the performance of a traditional gas-based motorcycle.

The transmission tech — called the Integrated Electric Transmission (IET) — will come from partner SMRE Engineering, and Brammo is launching four models using the IET tech (see photos below). Prices for these motorcycles are similar to the company’s previously priced ones of between $10,000 and $12,000.

The idea behind the new tech and adding multiple speeds is to give Brammo’s electric motorcycles more performance and more of the feel of a traditional gas-powered motorcycle, with a clutch and gear shift. As you can see from my video test drive of the Brammo Enertia (embedded below) it’s a pretty tame motorcycle, and drives almost like a scooter, with no clutch and no gear shift.

The Enertia was a fun ride for me (a occasional scooter rider, but not a motorcycle rider), but would be a bit slow for a hardcore motorcycle enthusiast. On the other hand, a more mellow scooter rider likely wouldn’t want to pay those kind of prices. It’s a tough spot to be in, which is likely why Brammo is launching these newer more motorcycle-feeling models.

We’ll try to get a test drive of these in the near future, but for now these photos and videos are of prototypes. Brammo has been looking to raise $30 million to expand its products and grow sales, and has closed on $12.5 million of the round.

Brammo has also been planning to launch its second electric motorcycle the Empulse, which is faster, pricier and has a longer range than the Enertia.

 
  1. Typically unless there is some way of controlling the speed of a motor through a wide range, a transmission would be the best solution. Furthermore it would provide a better use of available torque and horse power, not to mention additional range under the available battery charge.

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