Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Disappointing Reality

Above is the concept version of the Brammo Empulse, the most promising electric motorcycle yet.

This is the production version.

This post is off topic, but it needs to be said.
The production version of the Brammo Empulse is one of the biggest letdowns in recent memory.  The last time I was this disappointed by the transition from concept to production vehicle was the Chevy Volt (don't get me started).

Here are the problems:
1. Seat went from badass to lameass.
2. Rear fender went from unique to ordinary.
3. Bars raised from clip-ons to mountain bike.
4. Mirrors were added (I know that is necessary, but that doesn't mean I like it).
5. Rear appendage grew.
6. Passenger pegs added.
7. Rear swingarm loses the sheet-metal and some visual heft.  Ends up looking chintzy. Again, like a mountain bike.
8. The biggest problem is the loss of parallel lines.  The concept had an amazing set of lines, starting with the main frame beam.  That line is mirrored by the bottom of the bike, the rear shock and the top of the swingarm.  The production version totally loses that look, with the biggest problem being the rounded bottom of the bike.  It looks pregnant to me, with too much plastic.  And the more I look at it, the less I like the rear shock.  It just looks a little off.

Back to the BMW next time.


  1. I agree that the production version is a far cry from the concept, but are you really all that surprised? You reference the Chevy Volt catastrophe, but I bet you could easily come up with a half-dozen other examples of neutered concept -> production transformations.

    The mirrors are a real shame. As you note, they are kind of necessary, but if you imagine the production version without them it immediately becomes 30% cooler. Is there a compromise? The rear appendage enlargement is perplexing. They must have had a reason for it, as it is now just distracting.

    In my opinion the biggest issue is the "pregnant" underside. Before reading your apt description I thought the bike looked a little like a kangaroo. By once again using one's imagination, and shaving down that area, we're left with a bike that would be 22% sexier.

    On the bright side, there will be another concept -> production disaster to take your mind off this one soon enough.

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