Well, the war drums are starting to pound over on the Brammo Forums again. It was bad enough when a few hard core members purchased Zeros at the beginning this year, and then when the new and higher prices were announced they lost even more people (myself included). But now that the riding season is over in most places more reservation owners are stating they’ve had enough. And then the new 2013 Zero line is starting to seduce some. Only I am fairly confident people will have their Empulses in hand by the time the Zeros are available.
Some have contacted Brammo directly and the word they are getting is that Empulse deliveries should start mid-November. We should see the regular Empulse in around March according to the same sources. So I figure April, because you know the ship the lower spec suspension parts are will break down or get stuck in port. I did contact Brammo, and there is no official dates.
Having worked in the bicycle industry these kind of delays on new product are common, and as this is a brand new model in a company that has only ever sold one other model with limited hands on manufacturing experience, it makes sense to me. The new video from Brammo in which Wes Siler of Hell for Leather magazine reviews the new Empulse R was just released a few days ago. Wes seems really (really) smitten with the bike. Eric Bostrom is said to have commented that it has better handling characteristics than the race bike (which I think the are fixing). It seems Brian was right to say it is worth the wait, in my interview with him back this spring.
People have been waiting for over 2 years now, for this bike. In my interview with Brian, when we spoke about the year delay, he did say they are committed to making the bike right, much like Tesla with the Model S. Only last year Zero was the one who delivered bikes early like Tesla did this year. The bike seems like it will be a game changer, and customers will be very happy leaving their buddies in the canyons of California. But currently they are pretty bitter, and rightly so. But as we say in my shop, “It is what it is.”
Personally I am very much looking forward to the mainstream press getting a hold of an Empulse, and will breathe a big sigh of relief when the first model is delivered. After that, I’m looking forward to the Empulse and 2013 Zero S going head to head in the press and on the track.
Getting lost in all of this is the Enertia+, which should start being delivered about the same time as the Empulse, but as it is made in a factory in Hungary, and the Empulse here is the US, you wonder why the delay there. And don’t forget about the Encite and Engage. The sooner the Empulse and Enertia+ get into owner’s hands, the sooner we will see these bikes on the market. With the new 2013 Zero MX claiming 54hp, 68 ft-lb torque, and a $12,000 price tag with the 5.7kWh pack, and the BRD Redshift 5.2 kWh pack and 42hp and only 5lbs lighter, it will be really interesting to see how Brammo’s and SMRE’s philosophy of smaller and cheaper motors with 6 speed transmissions stacks up. It’ll be even better to see if that $10,000 price tag holds.
Update: Rumor from Intermot is that the Enage should see production this winter. So that puts everything to be in production this winter.