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Electric motorcycle has Hollywood debut

Manufacturer Brammo says its Empulse, designed to be the first motorcycle to perform like a traditional sport bike, can go at least 100 mph and as far as 121 miles per charge in city riding.

May 09, 2012|By Susan Carpenter, Los Angeles Times
  • Brammo's electric Empulse carries a 9.3-kilowatt-hour lithium ion battery pack and liquid-cooled motor. It is designed to fully recharge in 3 1/2 hours.
Brammo's electric Empulse carries a 9.3-kilowatt-hour lithium… (Don Kelsen, Los Angeles…)

The first electric motorcycle that promises to deliver near the performance of traditional sport bikes was unveiled in Hollywood.

The Brammo Empulse is designed to be "the first viable motorcycle that just happens to be electric," said Brammo Chief Executive Craig Bramscher, whose team started working on the bike in 2010.

The company, based in Ashland, Ore., said the Empulse is capable of going at least 100 mph and as far as 121 miles per charge in city riding.

It carries a 9.3-kilowatt-hour lithium ion battery pack and liquid-cooled motor. In the spot where gas-powered motorcycles put the fuel tank, the Empulse has a carbon fiber shell that houses the same J1772 charging port used on modern electric cars such as the Nissan Leaf.

The Empulse is designed to fully recharge in 31/2 hours.

The basic model is priced at $16,995 — $3,000 more than announced two years ago. A version with upgraded suspension and carbon fiber details costs $18,995.

The unveiling took place at the Boulevard 3 nightclub during a media event privately webcast to the roughly 2,000 people who pre-ordered Empulses.

The Empulse is scheduled to go into production in June in Ashland. Next year, Brammo plans to expand to a production facility in Hungary to serve the European market.

Designed to appeal to sport bike enthusiasts, with a style reminiscent of Ducati's bestselling Monster, the Empulse uses a six-speed gearbox.

The bike is the follow up to Brammo's first electric motorcycle, the 40-mile-range Enertia, introduced in 2009. Brammo currently has just three U.S. dealers, two of which are in California. Its L.A.-area dealer is Bartels' Harley-Davidson in Marina Del Rey.

susan.carpenter@latimes.com

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