Actual electric sports bikes you can actually buy. Welcome to the future.
We’ve been promised a lot of things ‘In the future’ over the years, most of them involve the apocalyptic destruction of the planet. Computers get super advanced – robots hunt mankind to extinction; we make contact with alien life forms – they decide to blow our planet to pieces; global grown ups fall out with each other – nuclear war flattens everything and we’re back to Mad Max. Without Mel Gibson.
But not all future visions are terminal, technology for instance is a very exciting prospect indeed. And we’ve been promised electric motorcycles for years, but none of them has really got us going so far. Until the electric TT appeared. In the few years since its inception, we’ve gone from a few wacky prototypes making cautious laps, to this year’s Mugen doing a 117.4mph lap from a standing start in the hands of John McGuinness and clocking over 164mph through the speed trap. If that doesn’t blow the image of shit electric scooters into the weeds, nothing will.
Following the TT, I had a chance to take a Brammo Empulse electric bike for a quick spin. 54hp and 213kg might be a tad shy of the power to weight ratio of a GSX-R750, but the 90Nm of torque makes up for that off the line. It’ll do 128 miles around town on a full charge too, although that range drops to 58 miles if you sit on the motorway. And a full charge from completely empty takes 3.5 hours and costs, on average UK electricity rates, under two quid. But the fact that I’m even able to compare figures shows how far electric bikes have come in the last half-decade. What surprised me the most was how much the Brammo felt like a normal bike. It has a clutch, it has a gearbox, it has all the features you’d normally expect to find. The only odd bit for me was not warming up an engine before I rode off.
Keep an eye out in SuperBike magazine for a full review of the Brammo, coming soon, but for now, rest assured that even if the fuel runs out, we’ll still be having fun on two wheels. Apocalypse, schmapocalypse.
Fancy one for yourself? Check out these guys: Darvill Distribution