After becoming the first media outlet to ride the Brammo Empulse R, Hell For Leather has announced that the electric motorcycle has finally arrived. The enthusiast website has, in the past, had its way with other battery-powered bikes, but they either were not yet available for sale or, if they were, they failed to impress. Not so with the Empulse.
Comparing it to the Triumph Street Triple that Brammo used as a benchmark for its naked streetfighter, HFL concluded that the Empulse is actually a better machine. With half the horsepower, slightly less torque and more weight, it's not quicker, faster nor does it offer better range than the gasser. By better they mean that it offers a more pure riding experience. Considering the source, that is high praise, indeed.
Over two days of cruising around Ashland, OR, the Empulse impressed the journalist with its superior handling. Similar to the Mission R, the optimal packaging of batteries and mechanicals of the Empulse make it quite flickable and, with help from top-shelf suspension components, super solid in the turns.
Unlike the Mission Motors machine – and most electric motorcycles – the Empulse has a 6-speed transmission and that was just fine by the HFL jockey. Although he found the clutch somewhat heavy and the shift movement a tad clunky, it did involve the rider in a rewarding way.
Of course, we can't communicate everything about this first ride in quite the way the actual participants did, so head on over and read for yourself how eyes are being opened to the potential of the electric drive experience.