Brammo Racing Technology – AFM Round 7 Wrap-Up

October 12, 2013 at 12:24 am

Luck Favors the Prepared…

And so, we were feeling very well prepared heading into what could very well be the last event for the season for the race team (as of this writing, no word on a “World Final” from eRoadRacing).  Richie and Craig had completed all prep work on the Empulse TTX and RRs about a week in advance, a new record of preparedness for the team.

We had even tested our latest improvements on our Brammo/Eltek DC “Supercharger” set-up that we have been developing during this season’s races.  It made its first debut at Laguna Seca, allowing us to top off the bikes during the long qualifying session, and now allows us to bring our infrastructure with us to the track.  This allows us to charge the bikes faster and be much less dependent on the existing infrastructure at the track, a problem we encountered when racing with AFM at the beginning of the season at Sonoma Raceway.

1 Brammo/Eltek Portable DC Fast Charge Infrastructure.  Engineer Adrian Lamy, responsible for the system design is visible in the background.


2 Brammo/Eltek DC Portable Fast Chargers in use trackside.

Unfortunately, a minor crisis required the attention of our engineers at HQ, so the idea of running the Friday trackday for practice ahead of the AFM Saturday practices was out the window.  This left us with only Saturday morning to get practice laps for Eric Bostrom, who would be riding both the TTX and the RR, and Shane Turpin, who would be focused on the RR and his new Ducati Panigale.  In theory, we would run 1 session on each bike every hour for a total of five 10 minute practice sessions.  But, that was theory, and this is reality…

Eric had a good first session on the Empulse TTX, our production based racer, getting reacquainted with the “little bike” that he had helped develop in pre-season testing.  The feedback was positive – the bike was “doing everything pretty well” according to EBoz, a good sign considering how particular he is about bike set-up.  If you need proof, check out this commemorative T-shirt the team created for him with all of his catch phrases used throughout the season to troubleshoot handling issues:


3 EBoz gets his present from the team.  These are the terms he’s used to describe issues with the RR over the season.

 

Shelina was off in Europe teaching an all-female riding school, so we brought in Eric to help us get the result on the TTX that’s been eluding us this season due to a crash at Laguna and some set-up problems. This race for the TTX would be important as we’d be looking to not only close the gap to the gas bikes we were racing, but we’d also be starting alongside rider Kenyon Kluge on his K2 Racing Zero S, who had managed to take 2nd at Laguna and 3rd at Indianapolis.   So… production-based electric bike bragging rights were on the line as well!  Competition aside, it was great to see Kenyon at the event and his presence strengthened the view within the paddock that electric bikes have a right to be here.


4 Kenyon Kluge brought his modified Zero S out to play.

So the TTX was running pretty well from the get go, but when it came to the RRs, the gremlins were out in full force!  Two faulty connectors on Shane Turpin’s RR relegated him to a single practice session and a suspected cell short on Eric’s bike had the same result for him.  Luckily, both issues were resolved by the team in time for the races, but we didn’t do ourselves any favors by cutting practice short…

 

Formula 40 Middleweight Race:

First up to race was Shane Turpin on his no.14 Empulse RR13 competing in Formula 40 Middleweight.  Given that Shane had no points in the series, he was gridded back on row 4 in 12th position.  It would be a 2 wave start with the heavyweights going off first.  Shane got a very good launch and made up about 8 grid positions before Turn 1.  He was running in 2nd position after the riders emerged into view at Turn 3.  He took an outside line on the exit of Turn 5, putting him on the inside of the left-hand Turn 6 and made the pass for the lead.  From there, he put his head down to try to bridge the gap to the heavyweights and was not threatened on his way to the first ever electric bike race win in AFM history.  Shane also turned an impressive 1:53.5 lap time, the fastest of the race, heavyweight bikes included. That was already a HUGE improvement over our previous best lap at Thunderhill (1:56.3), but we were to find out on Sunday that Shane had even more to give…


5 Shane Turpin through Turn 2 on his way to victory.


6 Shane set a new lap record for Brammo which he then broke the following day.
Final Results/Classification: http://www.mylaps.com/en/classification/2898430

And the winner is… Shane!

 250 Superbike Race:

EBoz would be starting the TTX back on the 5th row of the grid in 9th position alongside Kenyon Kluge on his Zero S.  He was feeling good about the pace of the bike, but nervous that if the gas bikes got out ahead, they could block him going into the corners and keep him from being able to take full advantage of the TTX’s strong point – it’s acceleration out of the corners.  We were giving up as much as 100 lbs. to the 250s and 450s we’d be racing, so Eric was going to have his work cut out for him to keep them behind him in through more technical Turn 2 to Turn 5 section of the track.  A good start was critical…

AND… we didn’t get it.  Eric jumped the start, stopped the bike to avoid taking any advantage and being protested, missed the actual start flag dropping, wheelied, then got going again.  Not-exactly-what-we-had-planned…. Oh well.  Being the cool, calm, and collected racer he is, EBoz put it out of his head and got to work.  He was able to make up a lot of ground on the faster backside of the track and even made a couple of passes on the front straight on Mark McKinney (super-fast 250 rider), but would lose the position back diving into Turn 1.  By lap 2, he had made it up into a highly contested 3rd place, which he held until lap 4 when the motor controller began reducing current due to temperature.  With his wings clipped, Eric fell back into the clutches of Mark McKinney and Robert Wetterau and managed to hold 5th for the final 2 laps.  It looked like he might take 4th back at the line, but Wetterau got a better drive off Turn 14 onto the front straight and Eric wasn’t able to push past before the start/finish.

 


7 EBoz fends off a hoard of angry 250 riders.


8 The superior power of the TTX allowed Eric to drive past Mark McKinney on the front straight…


9 …Only to lose the position in the more technical section of the track.

 

All in all, a great finish for the team and we’re happy to have proven to ourselves that the Empulse is a real performer on the track.  Eric ran a best lap (and TTX record) of 2:07.7, a lap time that we would’ve been happy to see on the RR not so long ago!  Now that’s progress!

Final Results/Classification: http://www.mylaps.com/en/classification/2898438

 

Formula 1 Race:

With 2 races down, a win and some vindication under the belt, there was no need to push for another result… Right, Shane?!… Shane?…  Wrong.  Shane was, yet again, a man on a mission, but found some stiff competition at the sharp end of the Formula 1 field with AMA regulars using the event to hone their skills and get more track time.  Joey Pascarella and Sebastiao Ferriera fought each other for the win in this one, and Shane managed to stay close to the front pack and finish in 5th overall.  On the way to the finish, he racked up another record lap for Team Icon Brammo, turning a 1:52.7, a mere 3 seconds off his best lap set on his new Ducati Panigale Superbike.  The gap to the front is getting smaller.


10 Shane Turpin gets “in the moment” waiting to be released for the warm-up lap.


11 Shane was a “big mover” in the race.


12 Shane Turpin on his way to a 5th place finish in Formula 1.

Final Results/Classification: http://www.mylaps.com/en/classification/2898442

 

750 Superbike Race:

EBoz had one last task to perform for the team – get a result in the 750 Superbike race and test out some new parts and settings that may show the way for future improvements.  With most of his time dedicated to getting the TTX set up and the battery issue during practice, Eric had very little practice time on his RR prior to the race.  That said, he still stepped up in a class also filled with AMA regulars and AFM stand-outs like Tucker Lancaster and Cameron Gish, and finished a respectable 6th place overall and improving on his finish in this race in June (10th overall).


13 EBoz waits to be released for the warm-up lap ahead of the 750 Superbike race.


14 Eric rode to a 6th place overall finish in a very competitive field.
Final Results/Classification: http://www.mylaps.com/en/classification/2898446


Wrap-Up:

It was a great race weekend for the team and a great way to wrap-up the 2013 season.  In my view, we’ve improved on every aspect that matters – the bikes are faster, the riders are more confident in the equipment, the team has honed their race craft, and we’ve improved our results in races from the start of the season to the end.  I couldn’t be more proud of what we’ve accomplished together and thanks to everyone that helped make this program a success!  I can’t wait to see what 2014 has in store for BRT (Brammo Racing Technology)…  Thanks!  – Brian Wismann, Team Manager

Special Thanks to:

Icon Motosports, Parker Racing, Dunlop Tires, Rinehart Motion Systems, Eltek Chargers, Farasis Energy, Amber Composites, and AM Racing.

Team Icon Brammo & Team Parker Brammo AFM Round 3 Wrap-up

June 5, 2013 at 6:41 pm

Although it’s over 3 hours and 200 miles down the road, we consider Thunderhill to be the “home track” for the team as we’ve spent so much time there developing the bikes.  It’s also a convenient track for our sponsor and motor development partner, Parker-Hannifin, to get to from their offices in Sonoma County.  Having had an eye-opening, but successful first run in the AFM Round 2 at Sonoma, we were excited for the opportunity to see how we faired at a track a little more suited to the strengths of our bike.  The long back and front straights along with a very fast section of track from Turn 6 to 10 provides the opportunity to stretch the legs of the RR and make use of its horsepower advantage over the 600s, 750s, and up to 1,000cc V-twins we compete with.  Going into the weekend, however, we knew we had whole seconds to shave off of our previous best lap times at T-Hill in order to be truly competitive.   Luckily, we had an extra practice day on Friday and two highly talented riders in order make good on our plan!

The team sets up shop in the paddock.  The wonderful thing about Thunderhill is that there’s plenty of electrical service for motorhomes, tire warmers, and charging electric race bikes! 

EBoz getting up to speed through Turn 2 during the Z2 trackday on Friday.  This long left hand turn would prove to be a weak point for the RR compared to the lighter gas bikes that could carry more corner speed.  

It turned out to be a great event overall for Team Icon Brammo on the Empulse RR and equally good for Team Parker Brammo with the Empulse TTX production-racer. Here’s my quick round-up of the races…

Saturday Practice:

Eric Bostrom ran the team’s fastest ever lap of Thunderhill on the Empulse RR during Saturday practice, a 1:56.5, and was fastest in the Group 4 practice session (second fastest over all Group 4 practices).  I suspect this is also the unofficial track record for an electric motorcycle at Thunderhill, but it would be difficult to prove.

EBoz discusses set-up changes with Lead Engineer Aaron Bland.  Eric admitted recently that he’s only ever ridden a bike that’s “perfect” twice in his career! 

The Motec ADL3 data logger dash on the Empulse RR shows our GPS timed best lap ever at Thunderhill.  

Shelina had an eventful practice day with a crash in Turn 10 right before the lunch break.  She was fine, but the bike took damage to both sides after leaving the track and flipping in the dirt.   Luckily, the frame, batteries, and motor all checked out fine and we were able to get the broken parts fixed and the bike back on track by the next practice session.

Shelina gets the Empulse TTX bike cranked over while a very fast Jeremy Toye on a ZX-10R lurks in the background. 

Crashing is never fun, but luckily the rider and bike fared well and both got back up to speed quickly.

AFemme race with Shelina Moreda on the Empulse RR:

First up for the weekend’s races was the AFemme (all female) race class on Saturday after the practice sessions concluded. Shelina snuck in one practice session on the bike and then raced the Empulse RR for the first time ever, taking a 5th place finish and a best lap of 2:05.  Not bad for almost no practice time on the bike (not to mention being a bit sore from the crash)! She was all grins when she was back in the paddock and seemed quite impressed with the performance and power of the RR.

Shelina climbs aboard the Empulse RR for her maiden race on the bike. 

A slight delay on the race start gave us the perfect opportunity to grab a shot with the team.  Note Shelina’s umbrella guy. :)

Shelina shows what AFM is all about… close and competitive racing!  Shelina was as impressed with the performance of the RR as the team was with her performance on it!

250 Superbike with Shelina Moreda on the Empulse TTX:

Shelina was up first for Sunday’s races with Race 3 of the day – 250 Superbike.  Although there are some really, really fast 250s in this class, the races tend to be dominated by custom built 450 “super-singles”.  Since Sonoma, we had been going over race start procedure with Shelina to get the jump off the line we were sure she could get from the TTX.   She was so nervous that she would go back to “default” race mode and rev the motor that we taped a “Don’t Rev!” sign to the dash.  Well… it all went to plan and she shot up from 8th to 2nd going into Turn 1.  She ended up with a 6th place finish, for Team Parker Brammo’s 2nd top 10 finish on the season.  Shelina set her fastest ever lap times on the Empulse TTX at a 2:12.7 with a top speed on the front straight of over 116 mph.

 

 

Shelina and team were happy to take a 6th place finish in 250 Superbike, coming back from the crash in practice.  

Formula 1 with Eric Bostrom on the Empulse RR:

Directly following the lunch break was Eric’s first of two races with the RR.  As in Sonoma, we were granted permission to start from the 4th row of the grid in P13.  Like Shelina in the morning’s race, Eric made good use of the torque of the electric motor to get a rocket start up into P4 going into Turn 1.  Eric was able to hold the position for Lap 1 and then began losing positions in the weaker areas of the track for us – like the long left-hand Turn 2.  Still, he was able to push the bike hard and fend off a number of attacks to come home in 7th overall.  Even though he was unable to improve on the lap times set in Saturday’s practice, it still felt like a GIANT leap forward with us now actually RACING rather than just participating in the race.  The team is still riding the high from watching this race!

EBoz leads a pack of hungry gas bike racers down the “wheelie-hill” and into Turn 10.  A perfect start shot him up into 4th place for the first lap.  It was exciting and impressive to watch him dicing with these aggressive racers.

As the team continues to improve the bike, Eric gets more and more confident in pushing the bike to its limit and beyond.  Lean angles are increasing as EBoz carries more corner speed. 

EBoz in the Formula 1 race.  The Icon “Big Game” livery was a big hit with fans and made the bike easy to spot on track.  We’re looking forward to the release of the EBoz replica helmet! 

750 Superbike with Eric Bostrom on the Empulse RR:

After an impressive finish in the Formula 1 race, we had high expectations heading into the 750SB race.  This grid seemed to be a bit fuller than the F1 race, although we were starting from the same grid position.  Off the start, Eric didn’t get quite the jump he got in the previous race and got caught out in a bit of a traffic jam headed into Turn 1.  As the race wore on, Eric was able to fight and put a pass on the rider ahead to bring the bike home in 10th place, rounding out a phenomenal weekend for the team.  4 races and 4 top tens!

Eric dives into Turn 10 leading a Yamaha R6 in the 750SB race. 

The magical disappearing rider.  As confidence grows, lean angles increase. 

Shelina and team debrief with Eric after the race. It was all smiles for the team at the end of the weekend.  4 great results from 4 races and invaluable data and feedback to continue improving the bikes.

Special thanks to all the friends, family, and sponsors that showed up this weekend to show their support!  You give us the courage and ability to keep pushing the technology, the bikes, and the riders.  The team is looking forward to the ReFuel event next!

Thanks, again!

-Brian.

2013 Team Icon Brammo Racing Season Blog #3, by Steve Atlas

May 30, 2013 at 5:52 pm

 

With two very successful tests in the books and a strong start to the 2013 season under our belt, it was time for Team Icon Brammo to take on something new; time to forge a new frontier so to speak. But where this frontier is new for us, it’s actually considered more old school to most. Yes, just like you probably read online or heard in some internet chat room, we would be taking on gas bikes this year and doing so in one of the most competitive club racing series’ in the nation: AFM. With a list of former riders that includes the likes of Steve Rapp, Chuck Sorensen, current Daytona 200 winner Cameron Barbiuer, as well as my current teammate Eric Bostom, there is never a shortage of fast guys that call AFM home. And just to make things a bit harder, we decided to race them in their backyard, at none of than what’s now called Sonoma Raceway, formerly Infineon Raceway and before that, for you old timers, Sears Point.

The morning sun strikes the no.58 machine of Steve Atlas at Sonoma Raceway.

And while this not only meant an array of local fast talent to race against, the tack itself is far from suited to our still-slightly-heavy girl that we so affectingly call the Empluse RR. Sears Point, as I like to call it, features one technical corner after another, all of which link together in several long series’. In between these lie only two very small straights. So a bike that is nimble, flicks quickly from side-to-side, and is good on the brakes, always make for the best bikes around Sears. So, if you had to guess what areas where we still needed the most work, which do you think those would be? You probably don’t need to strain your noggin very hard to come up with that answer. And when your main competition are bikes as light and nimble, but also as impressively quick as Yamaha’s YZF-R6 or Honda’s CBR600RR, well let’s just say we knew it was going to be an uphill battle going into the event.

Competing head-to-head with the likes of the more nimble 600s would prove to be a challenge.

But one can never expect to improve without consistently challenging themselves, so that is exactly what we did. Thankfully the whole Icon Brammo team, along with motor sponsor Parker Racing, has done a massively impressive job developing the bike, as well as the GVM powerplant, to get the absolute most out of it! If there is one area that we are strong, it’s in the power department. The sheer amount of torque the Empulse RR produces still astonishes me every time I swing a leg over it. You would think I would get used to it, but for the first couple laps after any amount of time away from riding, that bike plasters my eyes wide open and leaves me grinning from ear-to-ear like a Junior High School boy who just had his first kiss.

You see, I’ve always been a horsepower guy; the first time I rode a Superbike was like going to Disneyland for a 12-year-old. I couldn’t get enough. And while it took a couple years and many man-hours to get there, I can honestly say that the Empulse’s acceleration is the stuff wet dreams are made of. It’s downright awesome, and to think that comes from what is essentially a whole bunch of laptop batteries, plus the brainpower and engineering knowledge of a bunch of really smart guys and girls all working together, is just plain cool.

Anyway, back to the good stuff: Racing. With a full day of practice on Saturday to get ready for the bar-banging action on Sunday, we figured getting a good setup wouldn’t be a problem. But that was until we remembered just where we were racing. There is no such thing as a perfectly setup motorcycle anywhere, but there is especially no such miracle package for a place like Sears Point. To get to a happy medium around the Northern California track is about as common as rolling triple sevens in Vegas, so to expect to do that on a motorcycle that is still a developmental work in progress at even the most basic of tracks is like asking for winning Powerball numbers. Good luck! But just because it presented an almost insurmountable challenge, being the hardheaded racers and engineers we all are, we weren’t about to pack up and head home early. Oh no. We were going to try and win the lottery. Go big or go home, right?

The Team discusses suspension changes with Steve during the practice session.  The seconds fell off fast in initial practice until we hit a wall at the 1:49 mark.

Saturday practice started off well. We were going quite a bit faster than we ever had at Sears in the past. For reference the best I did on last year’s bike was 1:54, which was right before I was spit off and sidelined with fractured vertebra in my back. Compare that to the 1:56 we did the year prior and it was already an improvement. But on the 2013 machine, with the added ponies of the new Parker GVM motor and updated chassis and suspension, we were down to a 1:50-flat by the end of the second session on the bike, while my teammate Eric was already into the 1:49s. But while this initial large jump in time came with ease, going any faster proved to be extremely difficult.

No matter what we did or how we did it, it seemed the 1:49 barrier was going to be an extremely difficult one to get past for both Eric and I. Motorcycle setup is all about compromise; trading off in one area to gain in another, with the ideal settings being those that sacrifice the least and in turn equate to the quickest lap time. And with the top 600cc riders running in the low-to-mid 1:40s, we knew quite a bit more time was needed to run up front. But to honestly expect a prototype electric motorcycle, one that is less than four years old, to run with, and beat, motorcycles that the big-four Japanese manufacturers have had in development for four decades, well keep dreaming fellas. But to the surprise of many, we not only ran with some seriously fast Japanese machines, we even beat a few of them.

Braking for Turn 1.  The short straights at Sonoma kept Steve from exploiting its power advantage of the Empulse RR.

Running in both Formula 1 and 750cc Superbike meant a similar field, both with roughly 30 bikes in each. Formula 1 was first, and after a crazy start that saw several riders bouncing off each other on the top of Turn 2, the red-flag-aborted event was restarted and saw us get off to jump just outside the top-10. After a few bikes got around us and I was able to get back by a couple, we slotted in just inside the top-15. With best lap times in the 1:49s, we were going well but not quite where we wanted. Unfortunately, a small glitch took us out of the running mid-way though. But nothing more than a minor issue, we were back out and ready to go in 750cc Superbike.

After seeing the madness of an AFM Middleweight start firsthand in our opening race, for 750cc Superbike I decided to start in the back and let things shuffle out before going for it. Which is exactly what I did. Eric started mid-pack and put a couple riders between us in the early going, which left me in a three-way battle for the top-15; with Eric a couple seconds up the road in 14th. And while it took me the entire race to get around them, the three of us trading positions on several occasions, on the run to the line I was able to set up the pack leader and beat him across the line. The problem was this put me into Turn 1 way too hot and instead of running off the track, I cut up the inside, taking the old Turn 1 escape road to avoid running into the dirt. But because this isn’t allowed, in the final results I was docked the two positions and ended up being credited with 17th, while Eric took a very respectable 14th, both of us dipping into the low-1:49s on more than one lap and Eric even into the high 1:48s at one point.

Adapting to the “rough and tumble” of club racing presented a unique challenge to the team and riders.

Photo Finish! Steve was initially credited with taking 15th position at the line, but was later demoted to 17th with a 1 lap penalty for a technical course infraction.

Even with the troubles of the weekend, a major step was taken in seeing the Empulse RR competitive with some of the best gas bikes in the world.  The bike looked fast and continued to change minds about what’s possible with electric.

And while we have no doubt found a serious performance wall for us to overcome, if the progress we have made already is any indication of things to come, we will surely find a way over that wall and far past it. So be sure to stay tuned as we have another event against the gas bikes the first weekend of June, before the TTXGP Series starts at Laguna Seca in July and then heads to Indy in August, both events that look to be packed full of new bikes and fast talent and could potentially be some of, if not the best E-Bike races to date. You won’t want to miss it. Oh, and those MotoGP guys run those weekends as well and I hear they are kind of entertaining to watch, so it should make for a great start to this year’s TTXGP Series!

Steve-O looking smart in his new Icon leathers and Parker Racing cap.  It was great just to be a part of a massive garage of racers with the AFM.

Peace,

Steve-O

2011 & 2012 TTXGP North American Champion

2012 TTXGP World Champion

*Team Manger’s Note*:

Unfortunately, Steve won’t be able to make the AFM round at Thunderhill this coming weekend due to schedule conflicts.  He’ll be back in action for the team at the ReFuel TT event at Laguna Seca later in the month as we begin preparation for FIM eRoadRacing Round 1 with the Red Bull MotoGP at Laguna. 

Thanks!

-Brian.

2013 Team Icon Brammo Racing Season Blog #2, by Steve Atlas

April 26, 2013 at 10:54 pm

After the last test we had a couple weeks off. And after my first day spent back in the saddle, it was good to get my head wrapped around just what’s going on. Processing this always takes a bit, so a short break between tests wasn’t a bad thing at all. If anything, it allowed us riders and the team so time to get things in order to make the most of our second test at Thunderhill, which took place this past Monday.

Steve-O contemplates suspension changes in the hot pits during the test.

 

We ran in conjunction with Z2 Trackdays once again and they did a great job. On a side note, my good buddy Cameron Beaubier made a cameo appearance and it was really good to see the kid. Not to mention congratulate him on his recent domination of the Daytona 200. Makes me feel kind of old, but at the same time very proud to see someone I’ve known since they were barely in Junior High winning the biggest race in America. I’ve been telling people for a long time now that Cam was destined for greatness, so it comes as no surprise. Well done, little buddy!

Back to the testing, though; for this round the team started development of our own traction control system, as well as working on perfecting the chassis, which has only been in place since Daytona of last year. So, like anything new, only time and hard work can get rid of all the bugs. But that said, for how new it actually is, the increased performance of the chassis over the previous edition is rather impressive, to say the least!

Turn 10 with TC enabled!

 

Speaking on things that are quite impressive, Parker’s GVM motor has really come a long way and is really getting quite good. The power is extremely strong, especially the low-end torque, while up top it barely loses anything down the main straight to a race-tuned 1000cc ICE machine, and when fully-charged is actually faster in a straight line than a full Daytona Sportbike-spec 600cc ICE machine. How do I know this, you ask?

Well, after two good sessions of fine-timing the chassis and working with the new TC system, all while logging a person best time in the low 2:01s, our third and final session of the day really showed a lot of promise. After getting hooked up with one of the faster Graves-tuned 600cc machines on track, I was able to string together a series of my personal best laps, all I the 1:59-range, with a best of 1:58.9. This was over two seconds faster than I’ve ever had the Team Icon Brammo Empulse RR around Thunderhill, and also enough to keep pace with the previously mentioned 600cc machine for eight-straight laps. And considering those times were done while plying a real-life game of Frogger at 150 mph, passing multiple slower bikes each lap, and that the best time came on the eighth and final lap, this was a big accomplishment for the development of our bike.

Pacing a fast club racer on a Graves Yamaha R6 gave Steve-O a good idea of how optimistic to be headed into our first ever AFM race.

Not to mention that in a couple weeks’ time, at the next AFM Round at Sonoma Raceway, we will bike taking on 600cc ICE bikes in the Formula 1 race, this showed that we should hopefully be more than competitive.  And while Sonoma, with its tight and twisty nature, will play more into the strength of the lighter 600cc ICE machines, I have no doubt that our first showing will turn more than a few heads. That’s all for now folks, but stay tuned, as the electric and gas worlds are about to face off in what will undoubtedly be a memorable experience. I know I’m sure looking forward to it!

Traffic made it tough to get clear laps, but Steve still set a PR during the test.

Peace,

Steve-O

2-time North American and Current TTXGP World Champion

How will the champ fair at Sonoma?  Atlas shrugged…

2013 Team Icon Brammo Racing Season Blog #1, by Steve Atlas

March 25, 2013 at 5:45 pm

Well, where do we start? If you have been paying attention to electric motorcycle racing and the TTXGP Series in which we race you know that while things started off a little rough for Team Icon Brammo in 2012, they really couldn’t have ended up much better. To come back from a massive high-side in the opening round, one that fractured six vertebrae in my back and took part of my right pointer finger off, to not only win the North American Championship for the second-straight year, but to also take the TTXGP World Championship at Daytona in October in our first try at it was quite amazing. Add to that the addition of former AMA Supersport and Formula Xtreme Champion Eric Bostrom to the team mid-way through 2012 and things coming into 2013 couldn’t have been looking too much better.

Steve Atlas and Eric Bostrom celebrate victory at the 2012 TTXGP World Final at Daytona Int’l Speedway

Our first test on this year’s Empulse RR was this past Monday at Thunderhill Raceway in Northern, California, which has been our home testing track since this all started in early 2011. Well, that’s where I entered the mix at least. To say I was excited to get back on the bike after not riding since last October would be a gross understatement. I couldn’t get packed and to the track fast enough. I felt like an eight-year-old on Christmas morning when the guys rolled into the track and rolled out that shinny, now-red machine. And with Icon back as title sponsor and doing an amazing job designing the bikes graphics and our spiffy new leathers and helmets, well before rolling out for the first session my head was about to explode.

Steve Atlas’ Team Icon Brammo Empulse RR13 with Icon’s “Sauvetage” livery design.

Thankfully it didn’t and things started off well; for the first session at least. Besides a small fuse failure that brought things to a slightly premature end, the bike felt great. The Parker GVM engine’s power delivery has been smoothed out rather nicely for this season, eliminating nearly all of the two-stroke-like power hit that came as we increased the torque levels at the end of last season. Also new for yours truly this year is Dunlop tires. Having run Pirellis for the last two seasons, it’s quite a big difference switching to the ‘lops. They have a far more rigid carcass and tend not to mask some of the chassis issues that the softer Pirellis will. That said, I think the Dunlops have just as much outright grip, if not more, and a bit more feel from the first tire as well, so the potential is there for them to be really good.

Steve Atlas tests his Team Icon Brammo Empulse RR13 at Thunderhill Raceway – Turn 13.

Only problem was, I think I gave the front tire a bit too much credit right off the bat. In the second session I was up to speed and nearly on pace with any of the times I had done at T-Hill last year within the first two laps. Too bad on the third lap I got into the off-camber Turn Three a bit too hot and lost the front, hopping off the shiny new Empluse RR and sliding into the gravel. I knew things were going too well too quickly. Thankfully I held onto the clip-on and kept the bike from tumbling as we went into the grass. This kept damage to a minimum, with only the right side footpeg and windscreen needing to be replaced.

Luckily, there was relatively little damage to the bike after Steve’s low-side and the bike was repaired in short-order. 

The guys worked hard and got the bike ready for me in no time and I was back out in the very next session. My Icon leathers and helmet did its job and I walked away without a scratch on me, ready to suit back up and get back out on the bike right away. Thankfully I eased my way back into things for the remainder of the test. And while the sheer amount of lapped traffic kept us from posting any impressive lap times, I can already tell the package is there for this year’s Empulse RR to be that much better than last year’s.

Back on track with no windscreen and last year’s leathers didn’t slow Steve down at all!

Steve Atlas poses with his bike sans windscreen lost in the low-side crash.  The right side of his brand new Icon leathers took the brunt of the damage as well.

That’s all for now folks, but be sure to stay tuned case we have plenty more tests and some really exciting races in store for you this year and you won’t want to miss them.

Peace,

Steve-O

2012 North American and World TTXGP Champion

A Brammo Beam

December 20, 2012 at 12:35 am

Elated Empulse R customer, Ain, picking up is bike at Scuderia West in San Francisco. Ain wrote us a note and exclaimed, “This bike is great!!!  Definitely feels/handles more toward the sport bike side of things, and it’s a kick running with only the slight electromechanical whir, tire noise, and sound of the wind.  You guys hit a home run!”

To learn more about the Brammo Empulse click here.  To place an order for this groundbreaking machine click here.

The Snaefell Trophy

December 13, 2012 at 7:28 pm

You may have seen our recent post on Instagram of our TTXGP eGrandPrix World Champion “Snaefell” trophy.  Do you know what a “Snaefell” is?  If you are a race fan, you most likely do!  The trophy is named after the Snaefell Mountain Course which is the road-racing street circuit used for the Isle of Man TT.  This race is the oldest in history, and some say the most prestigious.  The course is about 38 miles long and cuts right through town!  At speeds of up to 130 miles per hour (record set by John McGuinness), it’s quite a rush for racers and spectators.  The Snaefell Mountain Course was host to the fist zero-emissions race in 2009, where the late Mark Buckley ranked third on a Brammo e-motorcycle with a top speed of 75.35 mph and a time of 30’ 02.64.  Wow, has electric motorcycle racing come a long way in a few short years!  Team Icon Brammo’s Eric Bostrom hit a top speed of 170 mph on a Brammo Empulse RR at Daytona during the TTXGP eGrandPrix World Championship race this year.  We are already looking forward to the 2013 race season, and we bet you are too!

The Brammo Family Charges the Backroads

November 21, 2012 at 6:06 pm

Jason Meyer, Brammo Engineering Technician, has lead the charge for getting us together for some fun on the backroads.  We asked him to tell us more about the Team Brammo Off-Road Ride last weekend:

“I started Brammo off-road rides so that employees, their families, and friends could get introduced or reacquainted with a sport that I have loved since I was 14. Off-road riding provides quality social time outside of the work environment, and I believe the interaction makes employee bonds stronger and the work environment more like a family. It is also a great way to get the exercise most of us need.

The wet season removed the fire danger from southern Oregon, and it was time to saddle-up and hit the mountain. Sat., Nov. 17th was Brammo’s 2nd off-road ride of 2012 and the first of the new riding season. This ride was quite the opposite of the first ride last May, which was dry and dusty. Now, the moist and tacky ground provided stellar traction (except over roots and rocks). The smell of the campfire, BBQ, and pine trees added to the fun of being outdoors.

The weather forecast showed a high of 50 degrees on the valley floor and a 100% chance of rain after 10am, which was the meeting time at Lily Prairie (John’s Peak OHV area). At nearly 2,000’ above the valley floor, Lily Prairie would likely be colder. Luckily I was able to acquire enough donated firewood to keep everyone warm throughout the day.

Upon our arrival at Lily Prairie, a fire was quickly started while several Easy-Ups were erected to combat the off-and-on drizzle. The Easy-Ups and strong fire allowed riders to get dry and stay warm after splashing through puddles, being drizzled on, and getting sprayed with mud from fellow riders.

We had 4 ATVs and more dirt bikes than riders, which is always a good thing in case one breaks (which happened), or we have an unexpected rider show up (which sadly, didn’t).

After several hours of spirited riding the smell of the BBQ was intoxicating. Everything from steak to brats to burgers was cooked and quickly devoured. This was the perfect gathering time to talk, joke, and laugh about everyone’s ride experience.

The weather cooperated until about 1:00pm when a crazy storm of sleet, rain, and high winds pummeled the Rogue Valley, sending everyone scrambling to get their bikes and gear loaded up so they could head back to the warmth of their cozy homes.

This second ride attracted more Brammo participants, and I hope the trend continues as the season progresses. We had the strongest showing from the Empulse Production Dept. which included management, quality control, production engineering and assembly techs. The Mechanical Engineering Dept. also made a strong showing with 5 total, including both Sustainable Products Engineers. All 3 of the Engineering Technician/Race Team Mechanics showed which included me. Battery Production had 2 riders representing.

Until next time, Jason Meyer signing off and getting back to Brammo business.”

An Insider Report from EICMA

November 19, 2012 at 7:20 pm

Brammo’s Greg StoermerSenior Industrial Designer, gives us the inside scoop from EICMA in Milan, Italy…

“My main objective while at the show are three fold, first, be immersed in the motorcycle industry to see the latest and greatest of “what’s new” from the major manufacturers and others as well.  There is no substitute for seeing a motorcycle in the flesh, as photos simply wont do.   Going from booth to booth prior to the days where it is open to the public is a must, since the public days are packed, shoulder to shoulder with people, and you would be lucky to have a chance to sit on the bikes, less yet get a full photo of one.  Seeing the bikes and being able to sit on the bikes, and place my hands on the surface help greatly in understanding their surfacing and design better.  I also take into account what bikes the big guys are bringing to market and changes to existing models.  Honda for example has a pretty bulletproof line up now plugging up any holes in the market with a new model.  Models from a street 125 – 500, then into the sport bikes of 600 and higher, an array of naked/street fighter themed bikes, scooters, cruisers,  and recently adding adventure bikes to their line have made for a great product line-up, though the flavor of all seems is vanilla.

Second, I join Aaron and Joe (Engineering team) in relevant meetings with suppliers to support any necessary information for new projects and or change requests in materials, or any issues that are arising with current projects or previous.

Third, to support the Brammo booth answering questions, doing tv interviews (!), talking with designers, potential buyers, or individuals simply interested in electric bikes.  There was a noticeable change in attitude and acceptance in this years show than last.  Perhaps because we had a more grandiose booth?  Or because of our location?  I am unsure, but people knew who we were, knew about the bikes, and it was a rare moment when there were not people packing the floor of the Brammo Area.  Designers stopped by as well, some students, some just to say hi, others to show me their own Brammo creations.  Overall it was a very very positive show for Brammo and myself to attend

Oh yea,  and the wheelie box….”

For more photos of EICMA visit our facebook albums here!

Olde meets Nouveau at Brammo Parx

November 19, 2012 at 7:00 pm

Recently Sustaining Engineering Manager, Matt Nelson, traveled to old world Europe, and while there payed a to visit our Brammo Parx headquarters in Germany.  We  asked him to share his impressions of the site for those of us who haven’t seen it in person.

“At the end of my Enertia Plus production support visit in Hungary, I was invited to join Marcin from Brammo Parx on a road trip all the way across Austria into Bavaria (Germany) to see Brammo Parx headquarters. After a scenic 4.5 hour drive through rain and sunshine, epic mountains and rolling green valleys, autobahns and country back roads  we arrived abruptly at a very modest and narrow driveway that crept steeply up a grassy hill in the middle of the countryside. Driving cautiously to the top, we approached three buildings designed in an old-world traditional Bavarian fashion, and looked to be original. Peering through the window of the largest building was an Enertia and an Empulse on display for the entire valley to see.

Once parked, we were met by Hans and Sylvia Eder and two playful dogs; the four of them gave us a tour of their digs. Amazingly, the inside of the main office was ultra-modern and most of all green! both in color, and in electricity; the roof was covered in solar panels.”

Rolling hills, solar panels, office dogs, and electric bikes!!  Sounds like heaven to us!

 

www.brammo.com"