Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Brammo announces Engage and Encite electric motorcycles, taking it to the dirt with six speeds

When we heard that Brammo was hitting the dirt in a Las Vegas motorcross race we had horrific visions of a bright green Enertia with knobby tires struggling in the dirt, pitching its rider over the bars on the first yump it encountered. Thank goodness we can now say with confidence that is not the case.
The company has announced it has not one but two new models coming, both specifically designed to handle questionable terrain. The Engage is a full-sized dirtbike, available in both motorcross (offroad) and supermoto (onroad, mostly) variants, and is just a few letters short of a beautiful marketing tie-in. It starts at $9,995 for the on or off road racing versions and then steps up to $11,995 for the street-legal SMS Super Moto, which you can see above wearing some pre-production bodywork. There's also the Encite MMX Pro, a more hardcore racing version that lacks a price. More details and a video after the break.

Interestingly these bikes forego the standard fare direct-drive systems found in most electric motorcycles (including Brammo's previous offerings), relying on a six-speed gearbox sourced from SMRE. Having a half-dozen cogs and a clutch on tap is standard for a normal bike but the (relatively) high torque and RPM range in an electric motor has usually meant they aren't necessary. Brammo's saying that the additional ratios will improve acceleration down low and speed up high, but unfortunately that remains to be seen as the company hasn't released any specifications whatsoever -- not even weight. What really matters is how it performs over the jumps, and for that we'll have to wait for the results of the Vegas Mini Moto SX race this Friday.

Brammo Announces a Strategic Partnership with SMRE and Launches New Brammo Motorcycles with patented IET Six Speed Drivetrain.

Ashland, OR, and Italy, May 4th 2011--Brammo, Inc. a global leader in the electric vehicle industry and S.M.R.E. Engineering, a leading engineering research and development company today announced that Brammo and SMRE have entered into a strategic partnership. As a part of this agreement, Brammo has acquired an exclusive international license of SMRE's patented Integrated Electric Transmission (IET). IET enables Brammo to offer its electric motorcycles with a 6 speed transmission - further improving performance and range. The first application of the new IET will be on the Brammo Engage and Encite which are announced today and which will be unveiled prior to competing in the MiniMotoSX race in Las Vegas on Friday, May 6, 2011.

"It is fundamental to Brammo's success that we continue to innovate and develop our strong reputation for high quality, exciting motorcycles," stated Craig Bramscher, CEO and Founder of Brammo, Inc. "Combining the SMRE Integrated Electric Transmission system with the Brammo Power™ Batteries and Battery Management System keeps Brammo at the forefront of Powersports drivetrain technology."

"We are delighted to have Brammo as our strategic partner." said Samuele Mazzini, founder and CEO of SMRE and creator of the IET™. "This alliance will see the IET integrated into Brammo motorcycles and enjoyed by riders all around the world."
Today Brammo announces four new models all featuring the IET™ and swappable Brammo Power battery packs.
• Engage MX - dirt bike competing in MiniMotoSX - anticipated price $9,995.00
• Engage SMR – Super Moto Racing – anticipated price $9,995.00
• Engage SMS - Super Moto - anticipated price $11,995.00
• Encite MMX PRO - mini dirt bike competing in MiniMotoSX - no price announced

Prices do not include relevant taxes or Federal and State electric vehicle incentives.
The Engage and Encite join the award winning Enertia and stunning Empulse. Together, these four model ranges offer motorcycle dealerships the most comprehensive range of electric motorcycles available. Brammo continues to expand its dealership network in North America and will be adding many new dealers over the next 90 days.

Integrated Electric Transmission (IET™) – The IET™ is a mechatronic propulsion unit that emulates the feeling and performance of a traditional internal combustion engine, with a specially developed electric motor, clutch and gear shift, that enables Brammo motorcycles to accelerate hard from the line up to a high top speed, something that is just not possible to achieve with a single ratio electric motorcycle.

"Electric motorcycle design has always been a bit of a balancing act in direct drive systems where great acceleration performance comes at the expense of low top-end speed." Stated Brian Wismann, Director of Product Development at Brammo. "The IET™ system provides the best of both worlds and is the perfect complement to Brammo's industry leading Brammo Power battery and vehicle control technology to maintain our position as the world's leading electric motorcycle manufacturer. "
About SMRE

SMRE srl is an Italian engineering company with a strong emphasis on innovation through research and development. SMRE distinguishes itself through the creation of high quality revolutionary technology. By working closely with its customers, SMRE is able to develop custom engineering solutions that redefine the limits of what is thought possible. For more information, please visit