Okay, so you want to reduce your carbon foot print. You could hold your breath for a while but I think that would cause complications. How about walking a little more and driving a little less. My kid’s dentist insists I take up the sport of walking. Well, walking is fine but if your daily commute is more than 5 miles you may be late to work more than your boss cares to see. Quite frankly, I think walking is a little dull. You could go out and buy a Toyota Prius but they are expensive and dull and you would still be burning fossil fuels. If you really want to trim those carbon foot print pounds and want to have fun doing so you need an ALL electric motorcycle manufactured right here in Ashland. The company is Brammo Incorporated and the motorcycle is the Enertia.
I ran into Brammo’s Marketing Director Adrian Stewart at the Science Works Earth Day celebration back in April. He had the Enertia on display and I was very intrigued with the motorcycle and was dying to test ride it. I joked with him to let me ride it and I would write a story about it in the LocalsGuide. Well the next thing I know I had a demo bike at my shop charged up and ready to go. I received an extension cord and a quick “how-to” instructional from the Brammo technician who delivered the Enertia. I quickly donned my helmet and threw a leg over the bike and felt right at home. My first impression is that this is a real motorcycle not some one-off kit bike. I turned on the power at which point it made a “gong” noise that reminded me of the “gong” that an old MAC computer made when it was booted up. I cycled the kill switch and the instrument panel gave me the flashing lights and “drive enabled” display. She was ready for take off. I gave the throttle a twist and off I went. My first reaction was to giggle like a little kid. I’m not sure if I was laughing out of disbelief that this motorcycle actually works without gasoline and is completely silent or if it was just plain simple fun all the above! It accelerated briskly and felt light, agile, with no shifting required. A quick trip around the block convinced me that Brammo is serious about producing a real motorcycle that has no emissions.
I must admit when I was ready to give the Enertia a longer journey from my shop in Phoenix to Ashland I was a little anxious. Thoughts of running out of gas, uh, electricity troubled my mind. I couldn’t just pull into a gas station and fill up. I doubled check the battery charge on the Enertia’s instrument display and saw that it was 100% and ready for the long haul. I gave the throttle a twist and was silently homeward bound. At first I was tentative and watched the battery charge status closely. Information on the instrument cluster on the Enertia can be switched from battery status, to throttle/power input to kilowatts used and motor temperature. I played around with the different information displays for a bit and just decided to trust the motorcycle to get me home. I then rode it more aggressively and just had a good time. It accelerated right up to its top speed of 60mph in no time at all and handled great. When I arrived home I received the usual fanfare welcome from my family and they were very excited to see the electric motorcycle. Everyone agreed the Enertia “looks cool” and I was impressed that it still had 50% charge left. A trip back to work would have been no problem but I plugged it in with the supplied extension cord and topped off the battery anyway.
So, my curiosity about this motorcycle has been satiated and I am nothing but impressed with the whole package. It looks and rides like a motorcycle and uses pennies of electricity to charge. It is the true suburban commuter and is a perfect fit for the Rogue Valley. I also think it would be a great entry level motorcycle for folks who want to learn how to ride and enjoy the sport. My hats off to Brammo and its crew for building a zero emission vehicle that is fun to ride and helps you shed those unwanted carbon pounds. Bravo Brammo!