Fact-checking Bramscher’s interview on Bloomberg TV

http://www.bloomberg.com/video/a-look-at-brammo-s-100-electric-motorcycle-PQbOreu5TSWhJ_qzwFiTcg.html

Now I am a Brammo fan.  I like all the Brammo folks I have met at the races and their bikes, when you sit on them they speak to their price point.  I also like the Empulse better than the Zero S, but not because the S is lacking in any way.  It’s just the Empulse happens to be more my style.  I also like all of the Zero folks I have been in contact with, and their styling isn’t as challenging as the Empulse’s.  My point is, that while I may be a Brammo fan I still call a spade a spade and don’t like it when anyone doesn’t give full credit to either bike or company.  So, I have to call the CEO of Brammo out on this one.  And really, I shouldn’t have to call any CEO out for much of anything.  In the three and a half minute video above there is a fair bit of mis-information.  Although, stick me in front of camera going to a nation wide audience and just watch the crap fly from my mouth.  So, credit where credit is due.  Either way, it’s foot to flame time.

First it is not “the only one” with 100 mile range.  The 2012 Zero S can, and has claim to the 100 mile range.  The 2013 Zero S has a bigger pack than the Empulse, and more range.  But, by the Dort Standard neither bike has a 100 mile range.  So there.

Second is Level 2 charging.  That is a tricky one.  The 2012 Zero S had only an 800ish W onboard charger, but you could plug up to 3 more optional chargers to it, and it had an optional level 2 plug.  This same $400 adapter is available for the 2013 S and it’s 1300W charger.  The quad charger setup would be about equal to the Empulse’s standard 3000W on board charger and built-in Level 2 plug. So do you define Level 2 as just having the plug, or by charging rates?  Either way with all of Zero’s options, I am declaring this also a false statement.

Third is the recharge from dead in 3 hours statement.  This is the kind of nit-picking that drives my boss mad, but it’s not 3 hours, it’s “3.5 Hours. (0 – 99% SOC, no cell imbalances)”.  I still don’t know if that is to 99% in 3.5 hours if there were no cell imbalances to take care of during charging, or 3.5 hours after balancing the cells.  But my bigger point is that people are stupid, and many will try to assume that he was buffering and really it’s under 3 hours, and then when they find out its more than three they then decide to lose their minds.  It’s sad that I seen this happen so many times.  Brammo is gaining a reputation of delivering more than they claim.  Why screw it up now?

Fourth: Most states don’t have EV tax credits.  They way it was put sounded like every state gives you a tax credit.  I already got to hear about how Woodrow Wilson was one of the worst Presidents in history today.  Now I’ll get to hear more half cocked whining about how all their tax money is going to EV companies. Thanks.

Fifth:  TTXGP, the X means no emissions at the Isle of Man TT.  “Right, exactly.”  No, no, no, NO!  I feel like my race geek brain is going to implode every time I hear that clip.  In Mr. Bramscher’s defense it took me all day to figure out a quick way to explain what the TTXGP organization is and it’s relationship to the TT.  And really, the best move in a situation like that is to just nod your head and move on, like Mr. Bramscher did.  Detailing the 2 NA championships and 1 World championship I feel will help lead people to the right place.  Even though the X stands for extreme and they no longer have anything to do with the Isle of Mann TT.

And lastly:  They didn’t go 170mph around Daytona.  They did 170 through the tri-oval at Daytona.  And 170mph sustained?  Really?  160 sustained maybe, but not 170.  And Brammo did not put in a 90mph lap at the original TTXGP in 2009.  Just what is Mr. Bramscher’s definition of “sustained”?  But, I think you’ll find the ratios are right.

Now I am only pointing out the mistakes, everything else I feel is spot on and rather interesting.    My biggest interest was the statement that most of this year’s production is pre-sold.  But after that interview I’d like a definition of “most”.  However, 35,000 requests for test rides is really impressive.  I have this nagging thought (which refuses to go away) that Brammo may very well catch up to Zero’s total number of sales this year.

Short of it, this video wasn’t really worth all the excitement being drummed up on Twitter, although the Brammo folks have plenty of reason to be excited to be on Bloomberg TV.  But it’s a pretty good example of the shit that drives me crazy.

2 thoughts on “Fact-checking Bramscher’s interview on Bloomberg TV

  1. Zero has offered a J1772 option since MY 2011, but in truth it’s more of an adapter to charge at level 1-class charge rates from J1772 EVSE than it is a true level 2 charging solution. Brammo is the first to offer a stock J1772-ready bike and the first to offer a bike that charges at level 2 rates.

    “Only one that’ll go 100 mph” Brandon Nozaki holds the LSR at 102 mph on his modified 2012 Zero. The 2013 Zeros reportedly will have a gearing option for 105 mph. So not strictly true, but it’s not an unreasonable claim for a factory stock bike.

    Regarding 90 mph vs 170 mph, I suspect Mr. Bramscher meant sustained maximum speed on track (Daytona and IOM) instead of average lap speed.

    The most egregious claim IMO is that their current production models are essentially race bikes with the seats and fairings pulled off. Note this was advanced by the reporter after Mr. Bramscher claimed that we would soon see a production street bike based on the current Empulse RR, though confirmed by Mr. Bramscher.

    The 2013 Empulse R does share some general qualities with the 2009 IOM TTXGP racebike – similar power liquid-cooled AC motor, SAPA frame, some similar (but not identical) suspension and braking equipment, etc. However, IET, different motor manufacturer (not sure if controller?) substantially distinct battery configuration, and more street-appropriate equipment are pretty big differences..

    1. I do not, nor do I feel it is fair, to count Brandon’s land speed record in the 100mph argument. Strictly speaking it is a stock feature, and Zero does NOT officially have that gearing option on their site under their accessories. So, the 100mph claim stands until there is an official option from Zero. And if you want to go aftermarket the TTX will run 110mph, and I bet even I could make it go faster.

      As far as the racer to production bike goes, I feel Mr. Bramcher’s comments were not far off at all. First, if you re-listen my interviews with Brian the 2009 TT bikes lead to the original 2010 Empulse prototype that was released. THAT bike then led to Empulse RR. Which then led to the current Empulse. But further evidence is when I talked to Steve Atlas at Daytona, and with no prompting at all he surprised me when he said the Empulse was pretty much the 2011 racebike. If anyone would know it would be him as he has more time than anyone on both bikes. Also, in my last interview with Brian Wismann he said very much the same thing. If you look at the bikes, really the only difference would be the smaller low power parker motor and IET. Now Mr. Bramcher’s statement was that their innovation was driven by the racing, the reporter was the one who then said hey it’s just the race bike with street clothes. I feel Mr. Bramcher’s agreeance was more to be polite, much like the TTXGP comment earlier, and Mr. Bramcher was very quick to quantify that the street machine was much more refined. I do not feel he said anything wrong there. And as far as the new street bike comment, for how many months have I been saying we will be seeing a street version of the 2012 street bike in a few years? Many, is the answer.

      I’m sorry Micheal, but I am just going to have to disagree with you this time.

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