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Old 04-22-2012, 08:30 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Brammo Enertia Review and test ride

Hey Guys,

I was able to borrow a Brammo Enertia electric motorcycle for the weekend to show off at Earth Day events.

I shot a video of it.




I also put a full review on my blog at: Review: Brammo Enertia electric motorcycle

Lots more photos at: MobileMe Gallery

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Old 04-22-2012, 10:02 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Great review Ben!

I see the Brammo is chain driven. Is all the sound coming from that? It almost sounds like a quiet crotch rocket in the video.
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Old 04-23-2012, 09:39 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Yes, the Enertia uses a standard 420 roller chain.

It has a certain sound to it. It's enough of a roar that it makes you feel like you are on a real vehicle that's actually doing something, but chain noise isn't that loud to the people around you.

Near the end of the video, right as I am pulling into my driveway, you can also hear the forced air cooling fan, which is right on the motor. You can see it in the photo that I took of the rear shock.
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Old 04-23-2012, 10:18 AM   #4 (permalink)
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Charging system is a little too hoop jumpy, and I question a single speed gearbox.

But otherwise, way cool! Were these the ones sold at Best Buy?
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Old 04-23-2012, 10:38 AM   #5 (permalink)
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Yeah, these were the ones sold at Best Buy (I guess that was Oregon and California only that they did that.)

Why would you question a single-speed gear reduction? It's been done on TONS of EVs, both cars and cycles. (Ever wonder how a Tesla Roadster works? It's just a single gear.)

I checked the gearing, and it's nearly identical to what I did on my electric KZ440. (Except that the Brammo is 72V, and my bike is only 48.)

I thought the charging was a little odd on it. Not that it's a huge deal, but it would be simpler just to have a plug on the outside somewhere. They changed how charging is done on the Brammo Enertia Plus.
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Old 04-23-2012, 11:04 AM   #6 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bennelson View Post
Why would you question a single-speed gear reduction? It's been done on TONS of EVs, both cars and cycles. (Ever wonder how a Tesla Roadster works? It's just a single gear.)
He's right to question it. Motors don't make power efficiently at all RPMs. Especially if you have a limited power output (battery) your peak efficiency is important. They will make torque from 0 RPMs, but will draw a ton of power to do it. Peak revs are also limited, and efficiency drops off quickly, so you do run out of stream.

The Tesla runs fast 0-60, but performance drops off quickly at higher speeds.

2-speed or CVT would help a lot.

My son is working on an EV right now for a high school competition, and is working with a single gear. We are gearing for a peak speed (45 MPH) based on the max RPM of the motor (3200RPM @ 36V). But when starting from a stop or climbing a hill he will use a bunch of power to pull that gear. Better would be to have a low and high gear to conserve power. A CVT would let you run the motor at it's peak efficiency the entire time while altering gearing. That's a bit past this project though.


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Old 04-23-2012, 11:27 AM   #7 (permalink)
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I suppose that if when a person says "I question a....." they mean, "hey it's fine, but there are possibly even better ways to go, then I would agree. It just sounds like somehow the single-speed gear reduction doesn't work well at all, or might break any second. It works fine, is simple, and gives pretty good performance.

I'd love to see an electric cycle with a CVT in it.

I've seen single-gear, drive-shaft, original transmission, and jackshafted EV cycles, but haven't had a chance to check out one with a CVT. I'd love to see how well it works in real-world conditions.

Tesla abandoned the two-speed transmissions in the Roadster, because they kept breaking them. (I think it was partly due to such a powerful motor, and partly due to some design and quality issues.)

A two-speed on a cycle might be slick. Usually when people talk about transmissions in cycles, it's in reference to keeping the original tranny that went with the gas engine. The gearing is all wrong for an EV, and an electric motor doesn't need that many gears. If there was instead a simple/compact/custom/lightweight 2-speed in there, that might work well.

Some of the hot-rod electric racers use dual-motors and switch between serial and parallel connects, in effect creating a two-speed electric transmission.

It's funny, my electric Geo Metro has a transmission in it and everyone seems to think that I should take it out and somehow magically connect electric motors to all four wheels. My motorcycle does NOT have a transmission, and everyone seems to think that it will go much farther and faster with one! (And ignore that fact that all the batteries then wouldn't fit!)

PS: The Brammo Empulse will have a 6-speed in it. SPECS HERE
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Last edited by bennelson; 04-23-2012 at 11:35 AM.. Reason: empulse link
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Old 04-23-2012, 12:01 PM   #8 (permalink)
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As the controllers improve from current chopping systems to varying the volt-amp ratio we will see less need for gearboxes. Add a clean fairing to an electric vehicle so the range and speed will nearly double as on any other vehicle.
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Old 04-26-2012, 01:42 AM   #9 (permalink)
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It's a nice concept but I never really liked the look. It reminds me of one of the ugliest motorcycles I've seen. The Aprilia Moto 6.5

2001 Aprilia Moto 6.5 specifications and pictures

It's worse in person.
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Old 04-26-2012, 11:22 AM   #10 (permalink)
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The power button is in the wrong place for use with a tank bag and removing the seat every time just to plug it in should also be changed for people that may want to install a solo rack.

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