Polaris has purchased Brammo’s electric motorcycle manufacturing business, as part of a recapitalization deal that’s aimed to grow their business.
For years, Polaris and Brammo have been tied together; Polaris has been investing in the EV manufacturer since 2011. The new deal will see Polaris become a lead investor in Brammo, purchasing their motorcycle manufacturing business, allowing Brammo to focus on building electric drivetrains. Polaris will market vehicles built around those drivetrains, and starting in mid-2015, will take over Brammo’s bike business.
The future of Brammo battery bikes will certainly be interesting, as a result of this move. Harley-Davidson made plenty of headlines when they started to show off their LiveWire electric concept bike last spring, but it’s still not on the market, and never may be, although the MoCo is busy hiring electric vehicle designers. If Polaris puts their financial muscle behind Brammo, or uses the Brammo technology and manufacturing capacity to build electric bikes under the Victory name (somewhat likely) or the Indian name (highly unlikely), they could actually beat Harley-Davidson to market.
In case you’re not familiar with them, Brammo’s bikes sport gearboxes, a rarity in the world of electric motorcycles. It’s not necessarily the most efficient way to put power to the ground, but it does allow riders to feel more at home, if they’re used to a conventional five-speed or six-speed with clutch. Brammos have won the 2013 FIM eRR North American World Cup Champion and 2012 TTXGP World Championship.