Scratch That

Well, ESBK.co turned out to be a failure, huh. Oh, wait . . . anyone there?  Probably not. Haha, hopefully not. As you may have read on my FaceBook page I could no longer justify the cost of maintaining the site. And then I got laid off, so there you go.

If you are reading this and a bit lost, here’s the short version. I started getting a LOT of traffic to this site, and Azhar of the TTXGP has suggested I change the name of the site before he might be forced make me change it. As a matter of fact, I may get an e-mail from him about using this blog again, but he’s cool and I doubt it. But we’ll see. Anywho, I came up with ESBK.co, and got Go Daddy to host my site, as people do. This because I one of things you can’t do as a WordPress blog site is get paid advertising. Only I tragically lost the coding for the Google ads, and had no way of getting it after that. Its a bit messed up really, but that’s life. So here I was working the candle at both ends, working a dead end job, and up late working the site trying to maintain the numbers I had worked so hard to bring up. I kind of “crashed” that summer 2013, but picked myself up a bit after getting a proper desktop only to get the flu or flues, that blew through Clarksville, TN and killed 30 people. Only I was incredibly fortunate and never had to see a doctor. By the time I had the motivation to start pushing on the blog again I got the best paying, and probably worst job I’ve ever had, short of telemarketing. I was gone for 5 weeks at a time. But in the in the previous months leading up to my new job I was finding it harder and harder to nail people down for interviews.  One minute your an insider and the next not so much.  It makes you wonder if the people and entities around you are moving on and you’re not, or if you’ve been irresponsible in someway and lost their trust, or maybe just lost their interest. Or, maybe everyone was just really busy because they were selling motorcycles. Eh, who knows. Maybe someday I’ll find out. But I intend to move on with life like I’ll never find out, and let it be a pleasant surprise if I do. Seems the reasonable thing to do.

It was exciting though. I was, for a brief moment the insider’s blogger.  My words were the one’s the people making the bikes and/or the tech were reading. Just some poor schmoe who made Wal-Mart wages working in a bicycle shop, who had been homeless  before getting the job there. Well homeless as in living in a homeless shelter. You know that’s crazy story in and of itself. I got an invite from the TTXGP to attend the Round in Salt Lake City. And mind you this was before I had started this site. So that was what, summer of 2011? I know it was the only round that MotoCzysz, Brammo, and Lightning, and MotoElectra were all on the same track at the same time. Yeah, I had some money saved up for a deposit on a place to live but I didn’t have money for hotels or a plane ticket. My parents, who were helpless to help me where I was 1000 miles away, both gave me the cash I needed for a plane ticket and some food. But there was a big problem. The homeless shelter wasn’t going to let me away for a weekend, and let me back in. If I went I was on the street. I bought the plane ticket anyway.  In what seemed like a miracle I found a place to live a week before I flew out. I later learned its just the norm in Clarksville, you don’t find a place until a week before you need to be out, but I’m from Maine, so I had no idea. Anyway, I couldn’t move in until the weekend I was at the track. So I literally showed up to the races homeless, and moved into my new room as soon as I shuttle dropped me off at the apartment complex. What a life. And it was really cool.

I’m not sure where I am at now. I have no intention of writing regularly, but then I never did. I just fell into it. Interviews are such a PITA to set up, I don’t see doing that any more. But there’s a bigger problem. There’s nothing cool going on. All of the big prototypes are only doing the Isle of Mann TT, which is once a year. But it is a bit ridiculous trying to find news. It felt like news from the elmoto race seen or industry would smack me in the face every day. Now that the TTXGP/eRR is gone, there really isn’t much to talk about. The eMR, the U.S. club racing series is legitimate now. That’s ne. . . well cool. But that series is a Brammo fest. Once or twice you get Zero to show up, but the one or two times one did show up it wasn’t at 100%. The guys racing Zeros are mostly out of SoCal and working closely with Hollywood Electrics (as they should). So they’ll run the little GP series out there, and get their bike ready for Pikes Peak. But once in a while The Empluse RR shows up, and has no one to really race. It outclasses everything. The cool entries are the University entries. I am so thankful that it exists, and is so well organized. But there is no one reporting on the racing really. The organizer does race write ups, but there’s just no riders to get excited following. No bikes that actually intrigue me. It is cool seeing stock bikes go at it though. It’d just be nice to have some Zeros and Brammos of the same year going at to generate some excitement. Hell, I’d love to cover the weekend and would do it for free, as long as my travel and lodging was taken care of. But lets be honest, I busted my ass covering Daytona in 2012, and no one cares. It was such an awesome weekend for me, and I have such fond memories, but really no one seemed to be impressed with my coverage. Well wait, no. The Batrium sponsor seem happy, which was actually really cool. So why cover a race if no one gives a shit? Uhh, you save everyone money and time, and you don’t. That’s the unfortunate answer. That and no one has money. And no one in California ever seems to have room on their couch. Big shout out to Domenick of AutoBlog Green and one of the MotoElectra team members. They either split a room, or straight up let me have the other bed in their room. But they are the only exceptions. The frustration of seeing no one (other than the series themselves, who have other things to do) cover their own races, and feeling like I could do, and have done, a better job is frustrating. TT Zero coverage drives me nuts. But its all down to money. I don’t have the money to do it, neither does anyone else, and worse of all no one cares. And I don’t main stream folks. Hell we can’t even get top level American SuperBike racing on TV, I know normal people don’t give a shit. I’m talking about the elmoto fans. You, don’t care.

But lets get back to a complete lack of anything news worthy. The Brammo Owner’s forum interest me the most, and they simply percolate along. The Electric Motorcycle forums are where the Zero folks hang out. They are an adventurous bunch, but if you read back in the early days of the modern Zero, you kind of had to be. Not the most reliable things. But now you have Ben Swing riding 6000 miles around, in and through the US, Mexico, and Canada. And some other guy just rode to the tip of South America. Both of them following the example that Terry Hershner set (if I spelled his name right). Nothing I ever care to follow, but impressive feats to hear about afterwards. What are Brammo owners doing? Some might be setting some fast laps at a race track. But oh wait so aren’t the Electric Cowboys on their Zeros, and then doing it at Pikes Peak. Victory/Brammo as a factory showed up to the TT Zero. I still think they need to have a production based class for that race and use it to fill the back of the grid and see some real world results of these bikes on a world stage. But, maybe that’s why I’m not in charge of anything too. I don’t even know if Brammo is racing the AFM anymore. How many times was the Empulse RR ridden in anger? Damned if I know. Its like twitter and FB dried up with news. Finding racing results is like pulling teeth, but it kind of always has been. So really, that’s nothing new. I have no idea what’s going on Down Under, and have no idea where to look. I mean I used to get press releases, sometimes, kinda. OK, rarely. My favorite was I sent an e-mail out telling everyone they can take me off their mailing list, and one series actually started sending them. No joke, but yeah, its funny as hell. The PR from Victory is awesome. I mean have you seen the Empulse TT commercial!? Holy wow! But they bike? Well from a demo video on Youtube it look like none of the tachometers work right. I suspect the riding position is even more pedestrian than it was. There’s no power bump for this year, but the pack got redesigned and a 1kWhr boost in capacity, so that’s kind of something. Nothing to match the PR, but I had a stiffie for a second. Does that count [no, it doesn’t]. Zero’s PR is full of a bunch of bullshit as usual. I love the engineers, but the PR guys, please. Another year of a minor boost in battery capacity ( which really is slick out they eek out a little bit more every year), and an update to the motors with even more heat resistance magnets than the last set, which were also heat resistant and cure any issues you would have hauling ass down the interstate. Might I just say that I reserve the right punch anyone in the nose who is dumb enough to say 10 years from now when Zero has gone with liquid cooling, that the air cooled bikes were better. But I am sure liquid cooling these things would drive the cost up considerably, but really? I’ll take this time to point out that you can get thermal cutback on a Brammo, but it comes from the batteries, not the motor, which is liquid cooled. And from what I’ve heard, you don’t really lose power, but you do lose regen, which can a be a surprise in and of itself. They put the hotrod controller in the DS, so now they have a DSR. And they put a SuperMoto kit on the FX and now its an FXS. Ooohhhhhh, not. Oh, and the have improved the suspension yet again. But I can’t wait to stumble across yet another Zero blowhard massively overstating Zero’s advances. That’s why I like reading the Brammo forum. When they talk about the advantages of their bike its based in fact. But usually just about riding them, and comparing range and charge times. When I read a post about the advantages of a Zero it mostly likely brutally over stated nonsense, and rant about dealers. Kind of like their PR. So I’ve learned not to listen. I don’t think I’ve seen Victory over state anything, but they sure set some unrealistic expectations with that commercial. Whew.

Speaking of annoying elmoto companies, CRP, I mean Energica, I mean Ego, ahh hell those wound up Italian people. Well, I don’t think they are wound up, but they might be now. 😀 They are still going ahead with the Energica Ego, and you can buy one here in the US even. They are a proper electric SuperBike, not just sport bike. I seriously thought this was never going to happen, but it did. Here’s an example that makes me think I was just wrong about the TTXGP. They were neck and neck with the German Munch team, and dropped out of racing (especially the TTXGP) after having done it for a few years. You know, for those two seconds when it was exciting. It doesn’t have the power of the pretty-much-vaporware Lightning, but you’re a hell of a lot more likely to get your hands on one and it costs a fair chunk less. Although it does cost the same as an Empulse and Zeros S combined. Really Mission? Really!?

I have no idea what else I can bitch about today, and I’ve been writing this article for something like 4 hours or so, so I guess its time to stop. But here I have pretty much summed up months of elmoto news in one blog post. There is occasionally something to write about now but I have better things to do now as well, so I guess it works out. There are a few old races and seasons I could continue to analyze. There are all the posts that were on ESBK.co to get put up here, but I’m not sure that file survived, I’m also not sure if all of my old podcast interviews survived either. I might try to remedy that in my spare time. In the mean time I need to practice the stupid piano so I can pass my test and finish that freakin’ degree. I’ll come back from time to time to bitch about something else retarded. That shouldn’t take long with you lot.

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