After the January announcement that Polaris had “ acquired the electronic motorcycle business of Brammo Inc.” many, including us, wondered what the future held for both companies. Polaris has dropped the first clue with its announcement today that Victory will be racing two electric prototypes at the Isle of Man TT Zero race later this year.
For as many benefits as electric motorcycles provide, to date there are still two areas preventing e-bikes from penetrating through to the masses: range and price. There’s not enough of the former, and there’s too much of the latter. Zero Motorcycles’ Senior Battery Specialist, Luke Workman, is dedicated to furthering the performance of battery technology. The results, then, would lead to ever increasing range at a price affordable by the masses.
When it comes to creating a splash in the moto world, perhaps no one in the past year did it better than Harley-Davidson when it unveiled an electric motorcycle. H-D, long known as a company tied firmly to vintage roots, shocked everyone with its electrically powered LiveWire.
“The e-bike continues to evolve.” That was the subhead used by former MO staffer, Jeff Cobb, when describing the 2010 Zero S and DS. Having just ridden the 2015 Zero model line, and claiming the electric motorcycle has finally arrived, for this week’s Church feature we revisit Cobb’s review of the then-new 2010 Zero S and DS. A lot has changed in the moto landscape since 2010, and Zero’s transformation in the last five years has been extensive. In 2010, range and power were major issues (not to mention the odd styling). Compare that to today and each measure of the bike’s performance has increased several times over. Continue that trend into the next five to 10 years, and the future of electric propulsion is destined to make major leaps and bounds. For now, however, let’s look back at 2010, and the Ford Model T of Zeros – the S and DS. Also, be sure to check out the three-page photo gallery for more pictures.
In 2013, Zero introduced the platforms from which it would build upon for the future. Consisting of what, Zero claims, are the most energy-dense batteries on the market today, its propulsion systems remain quite advanced in the industry. However, off-the-shelf brakes, suspension and tires meant the bikes couldn’t quite reach their full potential. For 2015 however, Zero Motorcycles feels like it has finally come of age.
It’s Sunday, January 11, and I’m killing time browsing through my social media feeds. For as much grief as social media gets for destroying a person’s ability to be productive, sometimes there are occasions where scrolling through your feed is actually beneficial. This is one of those times.
You’ve heard it all before: The reason your hands get cold on a ride is that your body is cutting off the flow of blood to the extremities in an effort to keep your core warm. Still, despite your best efforts to wear warm enough gear, your hands get cold. Or maybe you live in a climate that has fairly dramatic temperature swings between day and night, making it a choice between sweating during the day or shivering at night. Long before the first wind-stopping bib was sold, riders resorted to newspaper stuffed inside their jackets to block the air flowing past their zipper. Now, with the Aerostich Kanetsu Electric Warmbib, the benefit of radiant, electric heat has been added to the windproof, fleece-lined bib.
Astute e-bike fans might remember the name BRD, the group setting out to make an electric motocross (and supermoto) competitor from the ground up, called the Redshift, with an emphasis on performance. As we found out at the AIMExpo recently, 2015 brings the bike and the company a few surprises.
Like any proud papa, Jean-Pierre Legris, Lito Green Machine’s founder and president, enjoys talking about his kids. The name Lito is, in fact, a combination of the names of his children, Eli and Teo. In this case, however, we’re discussing the Sora (Japanese for “sky”), Lito’s first production motorcycle from the company’s industrial park address across the St. Lawrence River from Montreal in Longueuil, Quebec, Canada.
Recently, we brought you the story of Michael Czysz, designer/architect to the stars, fervent motorcycle enthusiast, and a visionary in the motorcycle world. It’s a tale of the man, his passion, his unfortunate illness, and how motorcycles make him feel alive again. Judging by the comments left by you, our readers, Michael Czysz has had an impact on many of you as well.
Zero made a splash last year with the introduction of the Zero SR, the hot-rodded version of its flagship S model. This year’s news is a little more subdued, but is still highly relevant all the same. Three big improvements will be seen across the entire Zero line for 2015: Showa suspension will now become standard, as will Bosch switchable ABS and Pirelli tires.
Brammo is in a unique position, being a small company in the ever-advancing electric motorcycle world. It has the ability to adapt quickly to change. Case in point? The 2014 Brammo Empulse R. We’ve ridden the mighty Brammo a few times over the past 18 months, and while the bike you see in these pictures might appear identical to the ones we’ve ridden before, a peek under its skin will reveal several updates.