June 27, 2016

Don Canet goes first in class and second overall in less-than-ideal conditions


Sunday was the longest day of race week. It began with a 12:45am wake-up call and saw us heading for the mountain early to get in line ahead of spectators going through the tollgate. As our Victory Racing crew prepped our pit space my teammate Jeremy Toye and I attempted to get an extra hour or two of shuteye in the team van. Can’t say I slept very well as I laid there running the course over and over in my head.
I had a solid plan born from having spent the previous afternoon on the mountain studying key corners and finalizing braking points and examining bumps in the upper section to pick a “smoother” line were possible. A 6:00am riders brief left a bit of free time before slipping into my custom ACT race suit and getting my head around the fact my Victory Empulse RR and I were to be the very first bike up the course.

It rained/snowed overnight, resulting in reports of ice on the road from Cog Cut to the finish and wet pavement in the shaded sections as low as Boulder Park. The organizers delayed the scheduled 8:00am start time for nearly an hour to allow the ice to convert to moisture. Lucky me

Brammo Power!


I started the run on fresh Dunlop supersport skins and felt the squirm as the tires scrubbed through the left/right handers off the start. I soon realized I was in for a lively ride, with the road proving unnervingly slick as I charged up the climb. I struggled to get the Empulse to hold a tight apex in certain corners and could also feel it pushing wide on some harrowing exits.


June 24, 2016


Victory Racing Team Thunder and Lighting Brammo Power

Today has been pretty relaxed with rider sign-in this morning followed with rolling the Victory race bikes through tech. The tech inspectors were particularly impressed with the attention to detail my crew has put into race prepping the Victory Empulse RR. After passing the safety inspection and getting a tech sticker applied to each bike, we posed for a team photo.

I snapped pics of a couple car teams including the 1500 hp all-wheel drive Tajima Rimac E-Runner Concept One electric of Japanese PPIHC legend “Monster” Tajima. His car utilizes the same motor controller manufacturer as the Empulse RR.

The 1918 Pierce-Arrow Yellow Devil competed in 8 Pikes Peak events dating back to 1922. It will make an exhibition run on the lower half of the course to kick off the 100th Running of the Race to the Clouds this coming Sunday.

We will be practicing the top section from Devil’s Playground to the summit tomorrow.


June 15, 2016
Brammo TT Chassis goes to Pikes Peak

This past weekend the #TeamThunder and #TeamLightning duo of Victory Racing’s Project 156 V-twin and Empulse RR prototype electric racer had a successful pre-event test on Pikes Peak in preparation for the upcoming 100th Anniversary Race to the Clouds. Making his first return since winning Pikes Peak in 2014, Jeremy Toye showed good speed aboard Victory Project 156 as we both sorted our equipment and got reacquainted with the 12.42-mile, 156-turn course.

Unlike race week, which kicks off next Monday with technical inspection followed by early morning practice runs Tuesday through Friday, the course this past weekend was extra raw and intimidating. Straw bales had yet to be placed along the steel Armco barrier that lines many corners and the road surface beyond Glen Cove, located at mid-distance, was particularly dirty. Making matters worse was an oil spill that ran for miles! Apparently the fluid had leaked from a piece of heavy equipment driven up the road a few days earlier. Luckily, the dark stain looked much worse than it proved. But man!


Despite all that, I was grateful the top of the mountain was available for testing since last year the upper section was still covered in snow during the early June test dates.

Like the 14 other motorcycle competitors in attendance, I measuredly picked up speed with each of my four runs aboard the Empulse RR electric racer, mentally mapping out the minefield of bumps and pavement undulations scattered throughout the final 2 miles to the summit. The road surface has deteriorated each year since my rookie race here in 2014, caused by the severe winter climate at that elevation.



May 18, 2016
Pikes Peak knee down
Pikes Peak knee down

As June looms, activity ramps up for Victory Racing’s return to Pikes Peak for the 100th Anniversary of The Race to the Clouds. A few days ago, I was measured by Southern-California-based custom-leather maker ACT for a tailored race suit in team livery. Having competed in the International Hill Climb the past two years, experience dictates the leathers be made with minimal perforations. My fingers and toes are crossed in hope of a timely delivery that sees me looking sharp and enjoying a perfect fit when we arrive to Colorado Springs for a pre-race test on June 11 to 12.


The test will allow runs on half of the 12.42-mile course each morning with practice commencing at daybreak and ending at 9:00 am when the hill opens to tourist traffic. We hope to get a half dozen or more passes on each section to ease into a competitive pace on one of the most unforgiving road courses imaginable.

Unlike a year ago, when we arrived at Pikes with an unproven and unsorted Project 156Victory prototype V-twin platform, I’m entering into this year’s event with familiarity and confidence in the bike I will be racing. With an Isle of Man TT podium to its credit, the Victory Empulse Prototype Electric Racer has been developed and refined with rider input from the likes of Irish road racer Lee Johnston and former American Superbike ace Eric Bostrom.

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September 15, 2015

Three laps on a track you just met isn’t much time to explore the performance of an Isle of Man TT electric superbike, but I have to say Lee Johnston’s third-place machine—run by Victory and the Brammo crew at the Island this past June—made it exceptionally easy to go as fast as I could, so to speak.


May 12, 2015

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.


May 12, 2015

It looks like we were only partially correct in our news that Brammo would be returning to the Isle of Man TT, as the brand’s sister company, Victory Motorcycles, will in fact be racing an electric entry — one that looks like a rebadged Brammo Empulse RR — in the TT Zero event at the historic road race.







May 12, 2015

If you’re familiar with Victory, bike racing, and the Isle of Man TT, putting all of those words in a single sentence is a little difficult to process: Polaris’ motorcycle operation is best known for its cruisers and touring bikes with big V-twins designed to go head to head with Harley-Davidson. In reality, a race bike — much less an electric one — is the furthest thing imaginable from Victory’s core DNA.

July 23, 2014

One single lap… two corners to warm your tires, then one golden, flying lap to show what you can do.  Talk about pressure to perform!  Team Icon Brammo headed to the ReFuel Time Trial for the 4th year in a row to try to nab a 3rd consecutive victory in the electric motorcycle categories and continue to propagate the age old debate into a new era of vehicle technology – Which is faster, car or bike?

First – some quick background on the event, which is unique in the world of competitive track events.  ReFuel is a time trial – meaning you’re out on the track by yourself, but competing with other participants to throw down the best single lap you can.  Two very short practice rounds in the morning are all you get to prepare for the afternoon’s single timed lap.  The format makes it very difficult to achieve the absolute best lap as the tires (and rider) never really get an opportunity to get up to full potential.  Still – it’s the same for everyone, so that makes it a fair race!

To cut to the chase, we saw big improvements in lap times for both the Empulse RR (prototype bike) and the Empulse TTX (production based, modified) with Shane Turpin and EBoz at the controls, respectively.  Shane and Eric took 1st and 2nd in the Electric Modified class and were the class of the field by far.

We met with all the riders in the morning and decided that the amount of modifications made to Eric’s Brammo Empulse TTX bike, Jeff Clark’s Zero (Pikes Peak bike), and Jeremiah Johnson’s Zero, all moved them into the “Modified” class.  Brandon Miller made the case that his Zero SR bike was stock with just wheel/tire upgrades and lighting removed for racing, so he got to stay in the “Production” class.  I would also be running my personal 2014 Empulse R in the Production class as I’ve not gotten around to making any modifications outside of upgrading the brake and clutch master cylinders.  This would be my competitive “debut”, but I had no time to get nervous with the flurry of activity going on around us.  It was all I could do to make sure I had my leathers, helmet, and gloves on in time to make it to the grid!

Shane had 2 goals he was chasing – 1. the KleenSpeed ReFuel lap record (a 1’32.046) and 2. the Mission R qualifying record set by Steve Rapp in 2011 (a 1’31.376).  We knew #2 would be tough given the format of the Time Trial, but Shane believed he and the bike were capable of it.  Everything looked good in the short practice sessions, although we held Shane to only a couple of laps in the second session to make sure we could get the bike fully charged in time for the Time Trial as we lost a channel on our off-board charger regulating us to only 2/3rds charging power.

In the end, Shane set a new ReFuel lap record of 1’31.64, missing Mission’s record by less than 3 tenths of a second.  Still, we left very satisfied with the result and felt that even if we missed putting in a single scorching lap, the consistency of the fast times is coming more easily.  I usually consider two things when looking to see if we’ve made improvements – the fastest lap AND the “easy” lap times achieved during practice and warm-ups.  I feel like we’ve made big improvements in both areas and had there been another FIM or TTXGP event at Laguna this year, we would have improved significantly on overall time based on Shane’s average pace during the ReFuel practice.

The man’s so OCD, he insists on cleaning his own bike! 😉

EBoz was on a mission to keep the Empulse TTX ahead of the electric car classes, especially the Teslas.  I was hoping that he could show that a (modified) production electric motorcycle is still capable of outpacing the fastest production electric car on the road.  Eric finished the day with a very impressive 1’45.6” lap time, which had him decidedly in front of even the fastest Tesla (a Roadster).

Team Icon Brammo had a great time at the event this year and I managed to podium on my “competitive debut”.  While I attend nearly all of our track events, I have never “raced” competitively, so that was a real treat for me.  I rode safely and even lead all production bikes in the first practice session (3rd overall behind Shane and Eric), which was cool.

Special thanks to all of our sponsors (Icon, Parker, Farasis Energy, Rinehart Motion Systems, Dunlop, Brembo, Ohlins), team members, families, and customers for supporting the event.  Also, big thanks to SpeedVentures for continuing to organize such a cool event every year that just gets bigger and bigger.  If you missed out this year, start looking for a set of leathers and a trackday ‘cause you don’t want to miss another one.  I know I won’t!  I think I know where I can shave some time… 😉

-Brian Wismann / Dir. of Product Development, Brammo Inc.