Hello everyone, yet again a light night post. A few things happened today that I didn’t get e-mails about. I’m always a little insulted when I don’t get a press release until I remember just exactly who I am, hehe.
Any who, in backwards order of the title, Motorcycle.com has reported today that Lightning has just brought Cameron Donald into the fold and the TT –winning Australian will be riding the Lightning in the “2013 TT Zero and the FIM’s e-Power championship.” That’s an interesting quote considering there may very well not be a race series with the e-power label next year. This is particularly interesting where just the other week I interviewed Mr. Hatfield and at the time he seemed on the fence about this year’s TT. I suspect this may mean someone over in “The Europe” has bought a bike and will be campaigning it over there, which is awesome and a first, if that is actually what has happened. Or maybe the contract is with Lightning Motors. Either way I’m pretty sure the bike is staying over there.
Zero’s app finally got released today. I was actually surprised because I was over on the Electric Motorcycle forum where the Zero riders tend hang out, and they were older posts talking about how the app wasn’t out yet even though the bikes were. Although, it doesn’t seem that all that many 2013 bikes have actually been delivered. As far as I can tell through the forums only 2 or 3 at Hollywood electrics have actually been delivered, which isn’t unlike Brammo’s Empulse where we saw a few delivered right away with a bit of fanfare and then quiet for a while. The bikes never made the promised January delivery date, but only by a day. It’s a bit surprising the app wasn’t ready to go, but it appears neither was Tesla’s. Really, only 19 days after the first bike was delivered and the app is up isn’t too shabby. It doesn’t seem too many people actually have the bikes yet so not much of a concern. However, I suspect more people have the app on their phones then people who will buy the 2013 bikes. And that’s not a slam on Zero.
So, there doesn’t seem to be many 2013 Zeros in the wild yet, but after watching the first Empulse being delivered on December 7th California’s dealers seem to be saturated and Florida has received about 2 shipments (from internet snooping). The dealers in Texas and Wisconsin have at least some, and many Brammo forum members have been receiving Empulses finally, and loving them. In bigger yet buried/forgotten news the Enertia+s are in dealerships now. They seem to be much more popular in Europe (which makes sense), but they are here. Zero claims to have 60 dealers, and in the US Brammo is only up to about 6. But I believe as they have bikes to ship you will see more and more dealers being brought into their fold. Also, The Empulse just got rated the “Best Electric
Motorcycle” and “Motorcycle of the Year” for 2013 by Playboy Magazine. Now, I have been poo-pooing Brammo’s recent media (Bloomburg TV interview, recent “Those Diner and Motorcycle Guys” podcast interview [Craig was fine, podcast not so much]). And I am doing it again. Feel free to roll your eyes, but that article was written by Wes Siler of Hell for Leather magazine, who as far as I can tell hasn’t ridden the 2013 Zero S yet. I am far from his keeper, but I am just trying to add what perspective I have. We already know he loves the Empulse, but naming the only 2013 model year electric motorcycle he has ridden the electric motorcycle of the year? Hmmm. I’m not saying he is wrong, it’s just . . . yeah. I was hoping that I was reading a fresh perspective and the first article where the writer had actually ridden both bikes. However, to beat out the Triumph Daytona R 675 R, a Moto Guzzi, a KTM 990 ADV, a Honda NC700X, a BMW K 1600 GTL, and a Harley 883 for Motorcycle of the Year is really high praise.
I did get a quick chat with Azhar Hussain, CEO of the TTXGP, tonight. We will continue to try to connect but he is a very busy guy this time of year, I have a job, and we’re 6 hours apart. Not easy, but keep tuned. It should be worth it, and I may get the scoop. Later.