2013: Year of the Elmoto

http://www.brammo.com/blogs/?p=1760
http://www.brammo.com/blogs/?p=1760

Just a few days ago the very first Empulse R was delivered.  It was a bit comical really if you follow the Brammo Forums at all because someone had just started spouting off about how if there was yet another typical delay they’d be off to buy a 2013 Zero, and bam.  I really hope all that talk will end, but you know it won’t.

So, Empulses are being delivered, eCRP just released a big promo over their Energica which will be on the streets in another year, Zero just had their release party for their new 2013 line, Brutus is coming close to something, Enertia+, and Engaes should be starting deliveries sooner rather than later, and BRD made it Motorcyclist magazine, has tweaked their website (slightly), and is accepting money for their 2013 Red Shift.  In slightly related notes the Tesla Model S has won at least 4 car of the year awards.  The Empulse is making its way to being review by the big mags, and while they are happy with the handling, they are still not happy with the range.  While the online mags and major blogs a wildly happy with the handling, and content with the range.  Whatever.  One thing everyone has been saying, whether it is a the Empulse or a Zero, they now feel and ride like real motorcycles, with real motorcycle speeds and handling, and they aren’t missing the noise.  This is the first year that the main stream will have to concede these are real motorcycles.

This may also be the first year the elmotos take the gas bikes out in a full on ICE reg race.  And no, I don’t know about some secret battery technology for the road racers.  I am talking about the dirt bikes.  The Zeros are powerful this year, should make short work of a full on 250 racers, and easily make a 450 worried they’re next.  The BRD is designed to compete with 250s in AMA racing.  Whether we see them there or not is another question entirely.  BRD’s Red Shift would have smoked last year’s Zero MX, but this year’s MX is another story, and at several thousand less.  Once BRD gets their bike into production I am sure they will catch up quickly.  But lets not forget the Brammo Engage.  It’ll have the least powerful motor, maybe, but it’ll be attached to a 6 speed gear box.  And it has been in development the longest starting life as SMRE’s first bike.  I think this bike is going to sneak up on , well . . everyone.  Accept maybe those who have per-ordered one.  I truly believe that if someone takes these bikes seriously, and builds a typical AMA team around them they will compete head to head and beat gas bikes with ease.  This may just be the year that elmoto dirt bikes are simply better than their gas counterparts.

And that brings me to roadracing.  With the 2013 Zero S, Empulse and Empulse R, Lightning, and Munch for sale this year, people really could go club racing on these things and beat gas bikes head to head.  Club races are almost always the same length as TTXGP or ePower races.  Speed and power are not the issue, range is.  Club racing takes range out of the equation.  With the tech available now, if you had the money and know-how you could build a competitive electric racer, unlike 2 years ago.  Then there is the eSuperSport class.  There is no longer any reason for people not to race electric bikes if they are already accustomed to spending $20-25,000 for a national series.  We had a lot of different people in the series this year, accept for the e-Power series.  All of those people got exposed to the world and what it should take.  I believe we will see better prepared teams next year which should turn into a few more bikes on the grids, and hopefully more consistent grids.  This whole TTXGP vs the FIM thing my very well come to an end this year as well.  That is good news for Europe, but pretty much insignificant here and in OZ.  It might mean opening things up in Asia as well.  Especially where that’s where the motorcycle money seems to be now-a-days.  I’m not predicting massive growth in the racing world.  Just a progression this year made on last year here in the US.  In Europe, lets just hope they hold fast.  In OZ, you can buy a Catavolt now, so why not.  Hopefully we will see at least one or two more people on the grid.  I do predict a year where people can no longer ignore the performance level of the bikes.

This may just be the year of the Electric Motorcycle.

7 thoughts on “2013: Year of the Elmoto

  1. I had hoped 2012 would be the year of the elmoto. While Zero had their best year of sales yet, Brammo was essentially MIA and still no real entry from the established manufacturers (when did you last hear about the KTM freeride e?)

    So.. 2013 is looking up. Significant improvements to the Zero lineup, Empulse and Enertia Plus hopefully shipping in volume, BRD, Lightning hopefully getting some sales.. Catavolt too,

    Regarding gas vs electric, I wonder what the class comparison would be. I think Zero and Brammo will both be faster than 300cc bikes on the track, but both will be far behind 600cc and most likely 650cc bikes. Love to be proven wrong.

    1. The Freeride-e? Like you didn’t know it was out dated in the protoype stages. 😀

      The slightly hopped up 2012 Zero S’s only had an issue hanging with Ninja 250 race bikes down the straight at PIR. They now have twice the power for 2013. Twice, with only 40lbs of weight increase. It’s no more Mr. Nice Guy. Ninja 250s are toast. 400cc 4-strokes can put out more HP, but cannot match the torque. 650cc stock bikes will be close, but a prepped 650cc race bike will have a serious advantage. IMHO.

      On the dirt bike side it is going to be another story. And next year? Ha! Forget about it. 😀

  2. I wonder whether Zero will use ZF11.4 or ZF8.5 bikes for racing. Terry used < 5 bars (< 45%) of his pack at Daytona .. despite hitting 100 mph on the straight. Even if you double the average energy required.. and the 2013 Zero bikes are much more efficient at speed than the 2012s.

    Long way of saying.. unless TTXGP seriously increases race length, then Zero will probably bring ZF8.5 bikes .. which means a 10 pound weight gain. I expect they will use the 105 mph gearing, which will bring the meat of the power curve up into typical race speeds.

    Honda's new 500cc bikes make around 45 hp (purported). I think the CBR500R would have a tough time keeping up with the Zeros.. it weighs 70 pounds more than the ZF8.5.

    1. But remember that CBR500R has a 6 speed transmission to take advantage of its power. Honda is, well . . . Honda. Don’t be surprised if the CBR500s aren’t almost as fast as the other brands 650s. That CBR250R thumper is damn near as fast as Ninja 250 twins in race form.

  3. Also, I think it’d be silly if Zero went with the bigger pack. It would be nothing but more weight. If race length does grow this year, which I have heard nothing about, I think it’ll be only an extra lap. I’ll see if Moto Zero has made a decision.

  4. Something else to consider.. I think each of the 2013 modules (FX / XU / MX are 1 or 2 modules, S / DS are 3 or 4 modules) are 2.5 kWh nominal.. so the ZF8.5 bikes could probably race for both the TTX and the TTX75 awards.

    1. If nominal pack wattage is under 7.5kWh. It’d be close, but since Zero hasn’t published their nominal pack wattage we won’t know. Considering VT was running almost 60kW with their TTX75 bike, and Catavolt were running only 6kWh at Daytona, I think running the 8.5 is a no brainer.

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