US-based electric bike company Brammo is taking a stab at a long-standing perceived problem with battery-powered two-wheelers – they’re launching four new models with gearboxes.
Motorcycle riders love their manual gearboxes. Auto-shifting motorcycles have been around since the 1970s, but have never caught on. That’s partly because it’s easier to extract more power from a manual transmission, but also because riders love time-honoured tradition of working a clutch and shift lever.
Most electric bikes run an automatic CVT transmission, which means a change in a riding style that’s been drilled into most bikers’ heads since they first straddled a two-wheeler. But Brammo is trying to offer riders what they want – a six-speed gearbox similar to what you’d find on a regular motorcycle.
Brammo didn’t come up with the technology – labeled the Integrated Electric Transmission, or IET – but they have exclusive international rights to use it, from Italian R&D developer SMRE. It’s a savvy move – if you want an electric bike that feels like your old gas-powered superbike, chances are you’ll have to buy a Brammo, at least for a while.
The four new bikes with the IET technology are the Engage MX dirt bike, Engage SMR super-moto, Engage SMS super-moto, and Encite MMX Pro dirt bike. They’ll all come with the swappable Brammo power packs; prices for the MX dirt bike and SMR super-moto will be about $10,000 US, and the SMS super-moto will cost around $12,000 US. We don’t have a price for the Encite MMX bike yet.
The machines haven’t been publicly unveiled yet – that’s happening this weekend at the Las Vegas MiniMotoSX competition, where the Encite MMX and Engage MX bikes are supposed to be racing. And, we haven’t seen range or performance numbers for the bikes yet, but a company exec told Hell for Leather Magazine that the Encite mini moto is scary fast in the higher gears.
Want to see more on the new bikes? Check out Brammo’s YouTube video for a video of the Engage prototype in action.