Enertia Creeps… and then it GOES!

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I made my way to Scuderia West to meet with Don (El Hefe) and pick up my Brammo Enertia motorcycle, which will be an almost daily friend for the next six months. After signing all the proper documents, he went through the controls fairly quickly, all of which reminded me of my first Macbook computer. The charger cord is stored under the seat, and the dashboard informs you of charge levels and miles available to drive, and four green flashing lights reminds you that you are turned on and ready to drive. I found this amusing but noticed instantly how important this feature is. (At a stop, the bike is dead quiet)

Looking at this thing, its an alien. I’m a motorcycle rider, and have been since I was a kid, but never ridden anything that didn’t involve shifting or an annoying exhaust. This is like the less-annoying fixie bike for a motorcyclist: clean lines, modern look, no gears. I’d call you a liar if you said you weren’t the least bit curious about riding it.

Within 30 minutes, I’m out the door of Scuderia and zipping down Division Street at a pace that surprised me. The pickup is a bit slow, which might be a really good thing, but once you’re past 5mph, it starts cookin’. In San Francisco, getting out of 2nd gear is a rare option, and you certainly don’t need a ton of torque or horsepower to function in the city limits. What you do need is a little bit of pickup and a good set of brakes.

I’m used to riding a sport bike in the city where we typically only use the front brake for stopping power, something that I do initially feel has little input on the Brammo. I was a little nervous about where to start applying my brakes and how hard to squeeze, but this is something I’m sure I can get used to and adjust a bit, particularly because the Enertia sports the always-loved Brembos.

Sadly, I only had a short amount of riding to do today, and the battery has to be nurtured a bit to get up to full speed. I’ll see how it rides over the next few days and report back. As of now, I’m excited to have such a new and interesting toy to play around with. I fully plan on exploiting some of the better sides of this green machine.

First impressions: great option for city riders, scooterists looking for an upgrade, and tech junkies looking to spend some nice post-IPO Facebook dollars. This particular Brammo MSRPs for $7,999, but the lifetime savings seem inarguable for a city dweller. I think it comes to $0.01 per city mile, and $0.02 per freeway mile; Brammo’s website estimates the battery life to withstand 50k miles of riding. In a 7×7 mile city, you could ride a lifetime and never reach that.

Downside: You will likely need a garage or a reliable location to allow for the 4 hour charge time. Not too many garages in SF, but it will plug into any standard 110v outlet.

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