PHOTO CAPTION: Brammo Empulse can cover 120 miles at city speeds for about $1.25 worth of electricity.

Electric Superbikes and Our Grim Future

Wes Siler takes the Empulse electric motorcycle for a spin at Brammo's expense.

Published: 31-Aug-2012

I've seen the future, and it's a grim place for hoons like you and me. Cameras will monitor our speed. Congestion will reduce our opportunities to drive fast. Our own vehicles will report driver behavior back to the authorities. Hell, it's 2012 and it'd be socially unacceptable to enjoy our vehicles' performance even if we could afford to put gas in the tank. But what if there were a third way?

I think I might have found just that in this Brammo Empulse R. It was designed by and for the 21st century hoon.
(Full Disclosure: Brammo wanted me to be the first journalist to ride the Empulse so bad, they flew me up to Oregon, fed me salmon burgers, then woke me up at 3am and shipped me back to LA on the earliest flight out.)

It only took two days of riding to corrupt the nice young man. On the first, a former AMA and World Superbike racer decided I couldn't be the only one grinding away pucks and got his knee down on the road for the first time. On the second, he put the kind of pass that would get you disciplined on the race track or by a Forest Service Ranger and was promptly told off for his actions.


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