Brammo Blog: Madrid (MAD-rid), not just an over-the-counter insanity cure.

25 05 2013

BrammoBlog Ver 2.0–Number 3.

Walter White gets a bit of kindness from a stranger…or how my bike became Blanche Dubois for a day.

+++

So I played hookie from work last Wednesday. Actually we were a bit overstaffed and I was a bit over-lazy…so I jumped on Walter and decided to take a bit of a ride.

One of my favorite local rides is going out to Madrid, New Mexico along the Turquoise Trail.

+++

+++

The ride from my house to Madrid is a fun and fast 45 miles through some beautiful open country. And if I understand how that Math thing works…I take 45 and carry the 2 and do something with Pi and 3 hours later I get the answer of 90 miles round trip.(thanks honey for giving me the answer). Since this is not city driving I grab my charging cable and head out the door.

+++

drive out

My home is on the other side of that mountain in the background. That is the east side of the Sandia mountain.

+++

It was a partly cloudy morning, with possible afternoon showers. But the ride out was quite nice.

This photos is a panorama facing West.

drive out pano2

Click to make bigger (only works on the internet…clicking the image on the email–if you’re one of the three people who get my emails–will do nothing…and yes I’m typing at you Mom…I know your clicking this image as you read the email and I’m asking you not to…so stop.)

+++

drive out pano

This is the same panorama as above, but facing East.

+++

drive out 2+++

After a bit of riding and a few short stops to take photos, I arrived in Madrid….

parking madrid+++

And pulled into my favorite little parking spot in front of the Mine Shaft Tavern.

+++

park mine shaft

+++

park entrance

Outdoor eating and bar. I usually go to the inside bar for a burger as it is wicked cool…but I decided to eat outside that day.

+++

mine shaft upper

I like to stop here to stretch the legs and grab a bite to eat and talk to the locals….who are really quite nice and mostly mad as hatters.

+++

But first things first…I look at my speedo…and no, not that type of speedo. I look at my Empulse display.

+++

madrid mileage

+++

I left my house a bit after noon and stopped a few times for photos. So 45 miles in just under an hour. About right for this trip: 45 miles per hour average speed. 7.5 miles of city driving and then the rest had posted speed limits of 45 to 55 mph. I did the last 22 miles at a pretty even 60-65 mph. So about 5 to 10 mph over the posted speed. A good pace, but not flying down the road.

So doing the difficult calculations: I was half way through my ride and I used 55% of my battery. Which is why I brought the trusty charger. I figured that I could eat a burger with fries, chat a bit with some locals and look at a few art shops and have the perfect amount to get home. An hour of level 1 charging (any standard 110 outlet) and I would be good for the ride home. And I’ve charged the Enertia at the Mine Shaft Tavern before*, so I knew it wasn’t an issue.

* see previous blog: https://brammoblog.com/2012/09/19/brammo-weekly-blog-some-photos-some-phacts-and-some-phun/

So I ordered a buffalo burger and a Coke.

+++

lunch

+++

And then I went to hook up the charger from my bike to the wall outlet. I always like to ask first and order some food so I’m not just mooching some juice. So food ordered, coat and helmet on table, I grab the charger and walk back toward the bike to the only outside wall outlet–the building is very old  plug it in…and the only outside wall outlet was dead.

+++

bad outlet bad

Shame on you Mister Outlet.

+++

Now I wasn’t overly worried. I know of a few places I could charge on the way home. But I had already ordered my food and I hated to not use that time to charge. If I had known the outlet wasn’t working I would have ridden to Madrid, walked around a bit and then hopped back on the bike and eaten instead on the way back in Cedar Crest at Ribs. They’ve let me charge there before and they also have Buffalo burger and other refreshments. So I kinda just thought, “Oh well, a quick burger here and then off to Ribs for a tasty beverage.” And that is when my super nice waiter said to me: “The outlet didn’t work? Dang. Well you can park at my house and charge. I live about 11 houses down the road and there’s an outlet on the front porch”. Me: “Really? That’s really cool. Thanks.” Him: “No problem. If my roommate asks, just tell him Brian said it was ok. But I doubt he will notice. He’s probably on the X-Box gaming. It’s the yellow house next to the General Store. Just straight down the road.”  And as there is only one road in Madrid, it was pretty easy to find.

+++

good outlet

Walter White grabbing some juice.

+++

good outlet good

+++

And the walk from Brian’s house (Bryan?) allowed me to take a few photos of Madrid to share with my readers…reader…voice in my head.

+++

madrid car

+++

madrid art

Madrid was a coal mining town. Then a Ghost town. Then repopulated with mostly Artists. Some work in stone. Some Metal. Some “Other.”

+++

photo park

Panorama of this Photo Park. I loved it.

+++

train store

Madrid residents seem to love turning rail cars into buildings. I saw a few.

+++

rope art

Random mixed media art on my walk. Part of me thought it peaceful. Part thought of the Blair Witch.

+++

ghost town

I’ve never been through the Museum. I will have to next visit.

+++

wild hogs sign

One of Madrid’s claims to fame. Wild Hogs was filmed here.

+++

wild hogs

+++

Personally I like that the bar scene in the movie “Paul” was filmed at the Mine Shaft Tavern.

A horribly small photo from the movie. That’s the Mine Shaft Tavern. It was renamed Roy’s Roadhouse Bar for the movie. No idea why. Mine Shaft Tavern is a better name.

+++

play in road

A very true sign. The road has a 20 mph speed limit…but it is hard to go faster than 10 mph. Everybody and everything usually walks right down the middle of the road. Thankfully the whole town is about 1/2 a mile long.

+++

restroom

Madrid doesn’t put on too many “Airs”.  The Mine Shaft does have an indoor bathroom for the main bar. This is the bathroom for the outside bar.

+++

red train2

Heading back, this is another rail car turned into business, house. It sits at the southern entrance to Madrid and is very cool.

+++

red train panorama

A Panorama. Mom, stop clicking on the email image and go to the internet site to see it bigger.

+++

clouds

As I was talking to a local about the bike and getting ready to head home, thicker clouds started to move in. And there was a bit of thunder and lightning. And as I had charged for an hour and bumped the charge up to 55%, I decided it was time to head back to Albuquerque.

+++

 I did get a bit wet on the ride home. But nothing major.

+++

heading home virga

See the wispy clouds in the distance above the front tire? I love that we have a name for rain that doesn’t hit the ground. Only in the desert do you name rain that evaporates mid air. Virga.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Virga

+++

vista

Facing West with the Sandia mountains again in the background.

+++

vista virga

+++

end mileage

And I arrive back home. 91 miles of fun. 4% charge left. Thanks Brian for some charge. Thanks Madrid for a nice little day trip.

+++

Till Next Time…which might be a while. The lovely wife and I are going on a road trip for the next 9 days. There is a good chance she might kill me in my sleep after many many hours riding in her car. But if by some miracle I survive, I will post photos. No motorcycle, but some lovely photos, hopefully, of Death Valley, Mammoth Lakes, Yosemite, Lake Tahoe and Crater Lake. Should be great, but hectic. Kinda like life. See ya.

Gavin

For more info on Brammo, please visit: www.brammo.com
For more images, photos, discussions and all around Brammo goodness: visit, lurk and maybe join: www.brammoforum.com

+++

Bonus: well maybe a bonus.

I was asked to pose for the 2014 edition of this calendar…but I politely declined.

+++

geezers

Advertisements




Brammo Blog: The Empulse Went Over the Mountain (repeat 2 more times), to see what it could see.

15 05 2013

BrammoBlog Ver. 2.0. #3.

As you can tell by the Title: I have been working in Pediatrics too long.

+++

Ok, this blog post was to be about a quick little ride I did this weekend up to the top of Sandia Crest. And it will be about that. With one addition. Which I will start with. (Obviously I like. Short, Abrupt. Sentences.)

+++

I had a nice, totally unintended, test of the Empulse R brakes on Monday. It was the usual culprit: an automobile (Usually a car. This time a pickup). Doing what I consider the most dangerous maneuver that a motorcycle driver has to encounter: Automobile turning left in front of motorcycle.

I was heading to work. I was riding at 40 mph in a turn only lane. The thru lane was backed up with cars going straight and one of the cars was “trying” to be nice and let a pickup (with trailer) turn left in front of him since the thru lane traffic was stopped. Sadly he did not think about the second lane where the traffic was moving freely and that I happen to be riding in (and 40 mph is the posted speed limit on this road, so I wasn’t riding recklessly). I noticed the pick up turning in front of me with either 3 or 4 car lengths between me and the space in my lane that the truck would soon occupy. So 50-60 feet? I let off the throttle and applied front brake. I don’t think I even used the rear brake at all. And I stopped. Easily.

I thought for sure I would hit the truck (the driver saw me too late and came to a stop totally blocking my lane). I’m pretty sure I would have hit the truck on any of my other rides. The interesting thing is: There was no squeal of brakes and tires. No locking up. No skid. Walter White (the name I’ve given my White Empulse R) just calmly and smoothly stopped in a hell of a short distance. And I think I know why.

1) Good Brakes. Obviously.

2) Perfect conditions. Dry road. Bright morning sun. Mild temps of 70ish.

3) I am a fairly defensive driver. I always assume every car is actively trying to kill me. And they were that morning.

and

4)…Regen/engine braking. The very powerful engine braking of the Empulse really slows the bike down quickly. And that regen does it without wheel skid or lock up. I think the regen/engine braking really gives the Empulse superior controlled braking in emergency maneuvers.

Like all long time riders I’ve had my share of close calls with cars. After the performance of the Empulse brakes, I feel that I have the best tools to keep those close calls from being a trip to the Emergency Room.

Thankfully there were no cars behind me in the turn only lane. There isn’t a car built that would have been able to stop as fast as I did on the Empulse. I would have avoided hitting the pickup only to be rammed from behind and then crushed between car and the pickup truck. Nasty.

I was also surprised how calmly I took it all. No honking or cursing. No single finger salute. It must have been the shock of stopping so easily in a distance I didn’t think was possible. All I did was shake my head at the pickup driver and then turn and shake my head at the driver of the car who waved the pickup through and into my lane. And then I drove on to work.

+++

But what I originally wanted to share here was my ride up the mountain. I’ve done this ride on my 150 2 stroke scooter (fun). On my 3 wheeled 500cc MP3 (fun). On the Enertia Plus (fun). And now I’ve done it on the Empulse R (funnest yet).

I will talk a bit about the ride and I will talk a bit about the distances and speeds. Yes one day I will talk about a road trip and not go into range and all that, but it is still an issue and a concern with all electric bikes at this time…so I will discuss it.

+++

But first things first: The Ride. From my house to the top of Sandia Crest. 36 miles. 5000 feet elevation gain. 14 miles of fun, twisty road up the mountain. Beautiful views when you get to the end.

When I did this ride on the Enertia Plus I made it there and back fine. I also, to conserve a bit of battery, went mostly the speed limit of slightly below. 70 plus miles round trip is a bit much for the Enertia Plus unless it is all city roads. And the ride to the crest is not all city roads.

It breaks down this way: 7.5 miles of city roads, 14.5 miles of roads that are either 45 or 55 mph, and then those 14 miles up twisty fun roads to the top. After you look around and enjoy the scenery, you turn around and go back. I was surprised and happy that the smaller Enertia Plus could do that round trip pretty easily and I got home with 9% of my battery. Being cautious, I did go either the speed limit or slightly below with the Plus. But she handled well and was fun up the mountain twisties.

+++

sandia crest house

Here she is up on the Crest…just before the Ranger yelled at me for parking there

+++

So how did the Empulse R do on this same trip? Beautifully. My funnest trip up Sandia yet.

I left my house with a full charge and, unlike with the Plus, I didn’t baby anything. I averaged a good 10 mph faster on the Empulse R and felt right at home on all the roads: city, country, semi highway, mountain twisties.

And boy does Walt tear up those twisties. I took those 14 miles much faster than I ever have…and I did it all on Standard mode as I forgot to put the Empulse into Sport mode. Doh! Sports mode is made for mountain twisties. Grrrrrrrr. Next time.

I did use Sport mode on the way down and it was a blast.

+++

photo(19)

At the top. One downside of the larger, faster Empulse: I didn’t feel I could just ride it up the walkway to the Crest sign like I did with the Enertia Plus.

+++

So the whole 71.4 mile round trip was super fast and fun. Can’t wait to do it a few more times and really get a nice feel for each on-coming turn.

And now some photos and some numbers. For the people who like photos (everybody) and the people who like numbers (nerds…typing at you Proto)

+++

photo(20)

Top of the mountain. It was a mostly cloudy day and I did get sprinkled on a bit. Strangely I did a ride a couple of days later (next blog post) and again it was mostly cloudy and I got sprinkled on a bit more and a bit harder. We almost never get rain in New Mexico in the Spring.)

+++

photo(21)

Left the house a little after 3 pm. 36 miles later and 5000 feet higher my battery was at 46%.

Sad: note the lack of SPORT on that screen.

+++

photo(22)

Heading down the mountain.

+++

photo(23)

More heading down the mountain.

+++

photo(25)

Bottom of the mountain. 5% of battery used to go 14 miles. Man oh man, if only that was the normal drain rate 🙂

I used close to 28% of the battery to go fairly fast up those 14 miles. Only 5% to go fairly fast down.

+++

photo(24)And Home.

+++

So….

A) Fun

B) Fast

C) Less than 2 hours for this 70 plus mile ride…with Photo stops and a couple of stops for questions. I always get questions when I ride this bike.

D) Didn’t go slow or baby the bike at all (though I am not a holligan or hoon like Wes Siler) and still got home with 18% of the battery left. Twice as much as when I took the Enertia Plus. And I did the ride much faster.

E) Next time I go without taking the battery charger. I was sure I would be fine…but why take chances?

+++

photo(18)

I’m thinking of getting the tail bag just for this beast of a plug. It’s not insanely heavy, but I would prefer not to have it on my back.

+++

Till next time…

Take Care

Gavin

For more info on Brammo, please visit: www.brammo.com
For more images, photos, discussions and all around Brammo goodness: visit, lurk and maybe join: www.brammoforum.com

+++

Boring bonus…Gavin plays with photoshop…what a surprise.

+++

photo(22) saturatedSuper Contrasty Empulse R

+++

photo(22) cutout

Cut out Empulse R





Brammo Blog: “I got Mods, they’re multiplying…and I’m losing all control…”

15 04 2013

Brammoblog Ver. 2.0: #2.

I’m in the mood for love mods, simply because you’re near me I’m crazy.

+++

Ok… So got the lovely Brammo Empulse R a week and a half ago. I have never ridden a sports bike, so I am slowly learning that style of riding. The bike is easy to learn, but will take a lifetime to master 🙂 I plan to spend a lot of time “learning”.

But Walter (the bike is named Walter White after Breaking Bad) is fun and powerful and the bike does make you an instant Rock Star/ Movie Star. People stopping and staring, asking questions, pulling out their cell phones to take a picture. Or in some cases to google “Brammo”.

Case in point: A car was next to me at a light. It had been parked next to me at a store just a few minutes earlier and I noticed the passenger had gotten out of the car to look at the bike. We left the store at the same time and at the light the driver, a young woman, rolled down the window and the passenger, a young man, leaned over and asked out the window, ” So that takes 3 1/2 hours to charge?” “From empty, yes it does, on 220 or level 2 charging. You must know a bit about the bike?” “No, I just now looked it up on the internet and I’m reading about it now.” He lifted his phone in my direction as if to confirm this to me. I believed him even without the phone screen thrust across the drivers face toward the window.

And most places I stop; to shop or chat or what not, people wait for me to leave so they can hear the bike taking off. Funny. I always love the first part of, Me: “Well the bike is on.” Them: “Really?!?! Cool.”

+++

photo(22)

One such stop.

+++

So of course the first thing I do to a brand new bike is change a bunch of stuff. Why? Who knows. All the parts work and are nice. It is just a sickness. Once you start modding your ride, it’s all down hill.

I thought I would share my mods, my sickness (Officer Krumpki, I’m down on my knees, cuz no one likes a fella with a modding disease), as it’s been either tooooooooo windy, or work as been tooooooo busy for nice rides up in the mountains. Hopefully in a week or so I will have photos from Sandia Peak and Madrid. Maybe a nice ride down to Los Lunas?

Till then: MODS: More than just a British fashion statement of long coats and scooters with a crazy amount of mirrors.

+++

+++

First off I should note that this Modding sickness is shared with a number of people over at Brammoforum.com. And they have many threads to help novice modders like me get really addicted. Sure it all starts with a tail tidy or a mirror change…and then it’s on to the harder stuff: Shock replacement. Suspension tuning. Adjustable clip-ons.

It isn’t long til your wife catches you at 2 am in the bathroom reading electrical schematics in Italian by flashlight. Suddenly it is a bad after school special and she’s yelling, “Where did you learn to MOD?! Where did you learn this?” “I learned it by reading Brammoforum…I learned it from THEM, OK!”

+++

Day one with the bike. And the first thing I did was shorten the tail section. Day freaking ONE.

+++

Empulse mine

Pre—Picking up the bike. Bag on back seat is the free Brammo bag that holds the charger, the Chargepoint card, manual and odds and ends.

+++

photo4

Post…Bike at his namesakes home. Tail shortened so that brake light is right up against the rear seat.

+++

Second mod. Mirrors.

+++

photo(17)

Removed upright mirrors and added bar end, lane splitting mirrors.

+++

Third mod. A small one.

+++

photo(18)

Swingarm sliders. Mostly to help out the shop boys. A nice and simple way to lift the rear tire for service work.

+++

And the fourth mod is a bit of a combo mod…New LED turn-signals all around, with a vanity plate, carbon fiber license plate cover and fancy license plate bolts.

+++

First: The rear turn signal. One side is  a new Rizoma LED turn signal in anodized gold metal…the other is the standard turn-signal.

+++

photo(21)

+++

Then I replaced the front turn signals.

photo(7)

Much smaller, brighter and you can see the turn signal light more easily from the drivers position. And, most important, they look cool.

+++

photo(20)

And the back turn signal lights and new license plate…with Masonic license plate bolts! I’m not a Mason, but I do like the “G” for Gavin. I just like to do weird stuff from time to time. 🙂

+++

And finally, the bike with it’s first round of mods done.

+++

photo(16)

Tail tidy, new mirrors and turn signal lights so small in size you can barely see them. Plus the neighbor’s  Oklahoma Redbud tree is blooming nicely and the wind has the American Flag all held out and patriotic. And of course the Sandia Mountains in the background. I thought it would make a nice photo.

+++

Till next time…

Take Care

Gavin

For more info on Brammo, please visit: www.brammo.com
For more images, photos, discussions and all around Brammo goodness: visit, lurk and maybe join: www.brammoforum.com

+++





Brammo Blog: The Return of the Blog. The Bloggening. Dos Bloggen…etc etc

8 04 2013

BrammoBlog Version 2.0–#1.

Oh the Blog, Oh the Blog
Oh the Blog is back
Stone cold sober* as a matter of fact…

*Sadly. But smart since it’s like 8 am on a Monday morning as I’m writing this. Anything other than Stone Cold Sober would be questionable. One can only get away with a certain amount by saying, “Dude, I’m Irish. A beer or two at breakfast isn’t drinking, just priming.”

+++

So it’s been a while, and I will be rusty at this. Of course that entertains the notion that I was ever any good at this blogging stuff and I just need to scrape some rust off my bony fingers. The reality is far from that. Still I soldier on. And by “soldier on” I mean ramble wildly. And “Lord I was born a rambling man.”

Those words mean something different when you see me on the street corner having a heated conversation with the faux ornate lamp posts along downtown Route 66. Those lampposts think their soooo special. But I digress.

+++

There is big news afoot that is much more important and interesting than those stupid lampposts with their special curves and pretend cast iron paint. It makes me mad just thinking about them now and my coworkers are looking at me strangely as I curse while typing. Maybe I should move on. Or get a more private cubicle.

+++

In short: I have a new bike: A Brammo Empulse R. And one bike, the Enertia Plus (T’Challa), has returned to Ashland. Today I will talk a bit about the new bike and save the maudlin goodbye post for later this week.

So…Hello Brammo Empulse R.

+++

Empulse mine

This is the first time I saw my Empulse R. My daughters comment when she first saw it was, “Dang, I would be mad at my friends for putting graffiti on it already.” She thought my scooter friends had written on the bike. It was not my scooter friends, but it was 2 of Brammo’s professional racers who signed the “tank”.

+++

photo(14)

Eric Bostrom (EBoz) signing the panel’s left side while on a break from speed testing at Thunderhill Raceway.

Empulse EBoz

+++

messagepart

Shelina Moreda (Shezracing) signing the right side.

Shelina 93

+++

Both really nice people with lots of energy.

Sadly SteveO (2 time champion for Brammo) was not at Thunderhill the weekend of testing. Since the part is now clear coated and probably wouldn’t take a signature, maybe I can convince him to send me one of his cool SteveO decals. 🙂

+++

But back to the bike….

Some facts: She’s FAST. End of facts.

+++

Well I guess I should give some more information…but really you can get all that from:

http://www.brammo.com/empulse/

The home page of the bike straight from the manufacturer—located in beautiful Ashland, Oregon.

And yes, as I’m often asked, the Empulse R is designed and built right in the old U S of A.

or

http://brammoforum.com/

A really great forum with lots of information and photos…and even some odd ramblings from me from time to time.

or

http://translogic.aolautos.com/2013/03/18/translogic-125-brammo-empulse-r/

Has a pretty cool video that discusses the Empulse and shows it in motion.

+++

But all you really need to know is this:

2013 Motorcycle of the Year by Playboy magazine.

BDjqS_HCIAAHcV3

+++

And while I’m linking faster than Jimmy Dean, one last one…

http://www.jaylenosgarage.com/video/2012-brammo-empulse-r/1431474/

The Empulse R hanging out at Jay Leno’s Garage.

+++

But what this blog post is suddenly lacking is more ME!!

+++

I’ve only had her for less than a week. So I haven’t had time to do a lot of Riding and Testing and Trips. Oh my. But I have ridden her as much as my insane schedule has allowed. So here goes.

+++

First day at home. New mirrors added for sporty look…and they actually show more of the stuff behind me as it quickly fades further and further away.

+++

photo(16)

First day driving to work. One of these things is not like the other…..

+++

Friday night the whole family went to the late showing of Jurassic Park in 3D.

+++

I don’t often go downtown during the week…but I had to stop and try out the Electric Charging Station there. Free Juice!!

photo3

photo

+++

Not sure how long the free parking AND free charging will last, but nice to see. And thank you Brammo for including a ChargePoint card with the bike.

photo1-e1365460965880

+++

And though I haven’t taken any real trips on her** yet, I did have to stop at Walter White’s house. After all it is only 1 1/2 miles from my house.

photo4

+++

and I did meet Walter’s son the other day…

Super nice kid.

+++

And….Everybody….

photo5

I PARK WHERE I WANT!!!

+++

Till Next Time…

Take Care

Gavin

For more info on Brammo, please visit: www.brammo.com
For more images, photos, discussions and all around Brammo goodness: visit, lurk and maybe join: www.brammoforum.com

+++

**-I had thought of the new bike as a she…till some annoying person said I should call her Walter White…and damn it that is just too good to pass up…So “she” becomes a he and is now Walter White, or Walt…or Mr White.





Brammo Blog: Closed for Renovation

5 03 2013

Blog 65: This blog can now, at the ripe old post age of 65, officially retire and collect…well nothing.

+++

Shutting down for a renewal. Kinda like a Phoenix, if a Phoenix was a pudgy and balding middle aged man.

+++

And by Renovation and renewal, I mean very little (if any) actual change.

I am horrid at web design so I follow the path of KISS. Which means I either try and Keep It Simple, Simpleton…or I listen to Detroit Rock City every night.

+++

But it looks like I will be giving the Enertia Plus back to Brammo and getting an Empulse R…Shipping Friday…Probably.

When do I get it exactly? However long it takes the trucking service to get from Ashland to Dealer to Albuquerque (there is a country song in there somewhere).

+++

So I’m boarding up the Enertia Blog shop and opening up the Empulse Blog shop. The new shop will open shortly after the bike arrives and I get some rides and some photos.

In the meantime, please keep the graffiti on the store front classy:

e=empulse

E=Empulse

E= Energy

E=please don’t sue me Banksy

not sure how E equals the last one, but I really don’t want to be sued

Take Care

Gavin

+++

For more info on Brammo, please visit: www.brammo.com
For more images, photos, discussions and all around Brammo goodness: visit, lurk and maybe join: www.brammoforum.com

Ps:

shelina copy

Here is Shelina doing a crazy wheelie on the Brammo Engage prototype.

+++

Last time I showed an image of Eric Bostrom signing the tank panel of my Empulse R.–

+++

Today I have the image of Shelina signing the tank panel.

(at least I think that is Shelina…It could also be the lead singing of most hair bands of the 80’s, he types jealously while rubbing balding head)

messagepart

Sadly, what I’ve learned is that clearing coating over Sharpie marker is VERY hard to do…

Haven’t seen what the panel looks like, but hopefully the pros at Brammo found a way to do it well…

+++





Brammo Blog: The Fork in the Road.

13 02 2013

Blog 64: Will you still need me, will you still read me, when I’m Blog Post 64?

+++

Ok…(heavy sigh)…I have approached the proverbial “Fork in the Road.”  Two paths. Which should be fine since I have two feet. Sadly my two feet must always walk together in one direction. Stupid feet. Why have two feet if they have to stay together? But I digress. It is a common problem of mine. Or a problem of mind.

+++

The Fork in the Road. I guess the most famous quote is from our Greatest American Spokesman: Yogi Berra.

“If you come to a fork in the road, take it.” Wise, sage words.

But I’m more of a Cheshire Cat kinda guy, so I would go with:

“Alice came to a fork in the road. ‘Which road do I take?’ she asked. ‘Where do you want to go?’ responded the Cheshire Cat. ‘I don’t know,’ Alice answered. ‘Then,’ said the Cat, ‘it doesn’t matter.”

Lewis Carroll was a witty man. Damaged for sure, but witty.

+++

cheshire-cat copy

and speaking of damaged….

+++

And still I find ways to delay. It is likely because I am torn by the decision. Or that I’m too lazy to focus on the task at hand. My wife would know which to pick.

The Fork in the Road.

fork

+++

As some of you know, I have a very low pre-order number for a Brammo Enertia Plus. A bike that would be identical to the Beta Test bike I currently have at home. And I love using the word currently when talking about my electric motorcycles.

+++

snowing

T’Challa at “home” getting a light dusting of snow

+++

I also have a very low pre-order number for a Brammo Empulse R. I knew I could only get one, but I was hedging my bets and placed an order for each.

Would I like both? Heck yes. Would my lovely wife instantly leave me? Most likely. She has had 30 plus years with what she calls my “frivolous” spending. She is dangerously close to the breaking point.

But back on point: Just about a week or two ago I got a message from Brammo:

“Hey Gavin. Got a bike or two with your name on it. Which do you want, the Plus, the Empulse or both?”

“Of course I want BOTH!”, I almost screamed out into the phone.

Luckily I remembered that I do love my wife and don’t really want to be homeless, nor, shudder, garage-less. So I had a decision to make.

“Can I think a bit and get back with you?”

“Sure. Take all the time you need, as long as it’s in a day or two.” I think that was a joke……

+++

And that brings us to the topic of today. The Fork. The Road. And what to do.

+++

fork with bikes

The known and lovely Enerita Plus       or      The sexy and powerful Empulse R

+++

So I thought and I thought and I thought. Then I played a bit on my computer and made myself a nice sandwich because I was a bit hungry. And then I thought some more.

And I thought: Let’s do this rationally. Let’s write out the Pros and Cons. And let’s stop saying “let’s“…I don’t think “me” = “us”. But (all together) I digress.

+++

Pros and Cons:

Enertia Plus:                                                           Empulse R

   Cost: Much cheaper                                               Cost: Much more

And the list could have stopped right there. But I had to dig a bit deeper.

+++

The Plus is a great commuter bike. Easy to ride. Nimble and quick. Good range for my riding. And I know her well after riding many thousands of miles on her.

Downsides are: One seat. The Enertia Plus can ride on the highway, but not for long bits. She is a bit too light and a bit too slow (top speed just over 65 mph) for a lot of highway riding.

+++

The Empulse R is a bigger, faster bike. She seats two (a plus as my wife likes to ride to the Isotopes games on the motorcycle. Better, closer parking). The Empulse is much better on the highway than the Plus. She is Brammo’s “Halo” bike. She would be a new bike to me, and I do like new toys.

Downsides. Cost. That’s about it…maybe a small downside would be that I know the Enertia and love it…will I feel the same about the Empulse?

So I kept playing it through my head. I couldn’t discount the Empulse purely because I had never driven one. It is a logical reason not to buy a bike. And really a sane person doesn’t buy a motorcycle without riding it. But I had planned to buy the Enertia without riding it, so that reason would have been a bit inconsistent.

I also realized that the Empulse is Brammo’s “American” bike. The bike they want to sell the crap out of here in the States. And I really wanted to show that bike off around town and to other riders and local dealers. Everybody in Albuquerque has seen the Enertia. Nobody has seen the Empulse.

Still…I wasn’t sure what to do.

So last Friday morning at work, as I do most Friday mornings, I was scanning an OB patient. I look at fetal hearts if the OB department is worried and wants either a second opinion, or if they think something is wrong and want Peds Cardiology to give a more complete diagnosis. And I was scanning a nice woman similar to this smiling one…

+++

+++

And I know it is very likely that on my screen I was seeing a cute little kid, possibly sucking his toes like this:

+++

Or perhaps peeing into the amniotic fluid like this:

(I actually caught this video clip quite on accident. Fetuses pee all the time in utero, but it’s not often you get just the perfect angle to see it this well)

+++

But all I kept seeing on my screen was this**:

ultrasound

So I decided I should probably either:

A) Change my meds.  B) Up my meds.  C) Get the Empulse R.  D) Do all three.

hint: unlike the SATs where B is usually the correct answer, here D is obviously the correct answer.

Though B could be correct if worded as “Up my meds A LOT!”. Again, I digress.

+++

Truthfully, I really want to try it out after all the positive reviews. And I want to show it off up at Coffee at Dawns (every Saturday and Sunday morning there are 100’s of bikers stopped there to talk and show off their rides before hitting the road up the Sandia Mountain or taking the Turquoise Trail to Santa Fe. Both wonderful rides I plan to do often on the Empulse R).  And though I LOVE the Enertia Plus, if you want to show off, well the Empulse R is the bike to do that with.

Soooooo, 1 Empulse R in white ordered. And now a little bit of a wait, but hopefully not too long. On a positive note:

+++

photo(14)

Eric Bostrom this week at Thunderhill for some Empulse TTX testing with Brammo and Shelina.

This is my first Empulse R “MOD”…weeks before I get the bike 🙂 . White panel getting signed before the clear coat is put on.

Thanks EBoz…and Shelina too? I think so, but don’t have photographic evidence.

Sadly SteveO was not at Thunderhill…perhaps I can get him to sign at a later time.

+++

Take Care

Gavin

For more info on Brammo, please visit: www.brammo.com
For more images, photos, discussions and all around Brammo goodness: visit, lurk and maybe join: www.brammoforum.com

Bonus

+++

messagepart

At SEVENteen thirty five, with SEVENty one percent of battery and SEVENty eight miles on the trip odometer, I hit SEVEN thousand SEVEN hundred SEVENty SEVEN point SEVEN miles.

** close up of the image on the Ultrasound monitor.

Brammo_Empulse_Ultrasound1

This image was, surprisingly, not made by me. It was, I think, commissioned by Adrian Stewart and then never used as some people found it disturbing. I think the theme was something like, “The Birth of the Electric Sports Motorcycle” or something like that. I, of course, didn’t think the image was disturbing at all…kinda fun. But the image alone is a bit much for some people…which is why I used it in a bigger setting. Keeps the image small and gives some context to the image. At least that was my thought process going into the finished photo used up above with me in riding attire. Well that and I thought it funny…in a David Lynch/Blue Velvet kinda funny.





BrammoBlog: From San Francisco to Albuquerque: with an ill-fated stop in Baker, Ca. Thank God for Abducted Cow Alien Beef Jerky or the stop would have been a total loss.

19 01 2013

Blog 63: The Pickup Part 3. Or: All Good Things Come to an End, so why do bad blogs go on forever?

+++

So Part 1 was about getting to San Francisco. Part 2 was about being in San Francisco. And this, Part 3, is about getting the bike back home.

Needless to say it should be the most boring. The ADVENTURE is always about the trip. The discovery. The conquest.

The Hobbit: There and Back…was about the getting “there”. Back was a few throw away pages at the end. The Legend of Zelda always has Link winning the fight and then “game over”. Once Ganondorf is slain you don’t see Link at home heating up a pot pie and catching up on missed episodes of Breaking Bad on his DVR. Hmmm, maybe I should come up with less geeky references. All my street cred is gone. Ok. I never had any to begin with.

+++

But back on topic. Getting home. Personally I hate taking a return trip that is exactly the same as the one going out. To me this seems, and is, redundant. So for the trip home I decided to veer north at Barstow and stop at a small town called Baker, California. Home of the World’s Tallest Thermometer. This path would take me closer to Death Valley and I thought a night in Baker could be fun. It was not. Though the next morning ended up being much much better than the night I arrived.

Ah…were shall I start? So it turns out that there is only one motel in Baker still open. And that motel is currently for sale and staffed by people who kinda just don’t care. Likely they are just poorly paid caretakers in the employ of a far distant owner. The room had a strange odor I’ve never smelled before and was heated by an old, in-wall heater. When I turned it on…well it just didn’t seem right. I was fairly sure it was putting out tons of carbon monoxide and that I would surely perish. I tried watching a downloaded episode of Shameless on my iPad and the image seems to shift and jump and blur just a bit. It could have been my tired eyes, a bad download or a number of things–poor electrical lighting in the room or the beginnings of my much expected psychotic break…but I chose to focus on one thing: The beginnings of Carbon Monoxide poisoning.

I didn’t really want to die in Baker. I kinda didn’t want to stay overnight or even be in Baker for longer than a quick fill up of the pickup’s gas tank and go. But dying in Baker was pretty far down on my list of things to do on a weekend…or weekday. Especially now that I had just gotten the Plus back. Oh, and my lovely family…I would miss them too. So I turned off the heater and decided not to use it. I also decided I was going to sleep in my clothes on top of the bed. Yes, it was that kind of room.

Well the temperatures dipped into the 20’s and I found myself freezing without the use of heater or covers. So I decided to open the bathroom window for ventilation and turn the heater back on. Not only on, but on HIGH to battle the cold cold outside air. I figured the outside air would dilute the carbon monoxide enough to keep me alive. Possibly with some brain damage, but it likely wouldn’t be worse than any one of a thousand nights I had in college.

Which is how it came to be that; on top of the bed sheets, fully dressed, with the heater pumping hot air at me and the bathroom window allowing freezing air inside, I slept. Mostly I slept because of the comforting hum of the Brammo Enertia Plus charging in the room with me. A) I love sleeping to that sound. B) It’s always nice to get an overnight charge. And C) I didn’t trust the bike being outside. Heck, I wasn’t too sure I trusted it in the room with me. Cheap, old fashioned door locks with a key older than the one I used as a kid when I was a latch-key kid…in the freaking 60’s. So that door was little protection. That and…

THIN WALLS. I could hear the people next door talking very clearly. Not quite enough to hear exactly what they were saying, but close. And the conversation, the ebb and flow, the cadence and pattern, all suggested a friendly and flirtatious relationship. I was very very VERY worried that the talking was going to become “something else”. And I really didn’t want to be in that room, fully dressed and laying on top of the bed sheets, both freezing and overheating, having the carbon monoxide slowing killing me, while also listening to two strangers Go at IT. It would have been toooooo much. Luckily the room fell quiet and the people either left (if they were smarter than me), fell quickly to sleep or were good WASPs and did the nasty in complete silence.

+++

photo11

Bike in room…killer heater in the wall

+++

So, somewhat surprisingly, I survived the night. And it was a rather quick getaway from that room as I was already dressed 🙂 . I had looked at the shower and decided to skip it. My wife would be surprised. A) I always take a shower in the morning. It is what wakes me up. And B) I’ve bathed in some fairly sketchy places. For me to forgo a wake up shower means that the bathroom was pretty bad. And it was.

So I got up and packed up the car with everything except the Plus. I was determined to get a short ride in before leaving. After all I picked Baker so I could possibly ride into Death Valley. And to see the World’s Tallest Thermometer (which doesn’t seem to be working. Maybe they just turn it off in the winter? Or maybe, like almost everywhere else in Baker, it has been forgotten, neglected and finally succumbed to time, apathy, inertia. A Ghost Thermometer for a Ghost Town. An abandoned relic for future generations to puzzle over).

It was a pretty morning. Pretty and cold. I thought of Death Valley and assumed it would be warmer, even in mid winter. My ride was at 32 degrees exactly. And I had my Fall gloves. Grrrrrrr. The wrong gloves…it is a reoccurring theme for me. Heck, it could be my autobiography title. The Wrong Gloves and other mishaps and missteps.

But I soldiered on.

+++

big temp final

World’s Tallest Thermometer. Not working. The building behind it was empty too.

+++

IMG_5314

+++

It seems the Thermometer is owned by Bob Big Boy…it also was closed.

photo6YOU”RE HERE….(but really wish you weren’t)

+++

So the next stop, before I realized how cold it was, was to be a nice ride down Death Valley Highway. I didn’t go far. 8 am, 32 degrees, wrong gloves, 60 mph road, bad night of sleep and carbon monoxide poisoning all worked against me. The cold got to my hands pretty quick. But I rode a few miles north on Death Valley Highway and took a few photos.

+++

photo9

When I first looked at Baker and the Death Valley Highway I really wanted to go to Shoshone. A) I live on Shoshone Rd. B) Shoshone is the home to Death Valley High School. And I really wanted a photo of the Plus in front of Death Valley High School. The name alone makes it perfect for an old drive in movie plot line. But 56 miles each way was just too much for a photo op that could have been crappy. So that part got scrapped.

+++

photo

Death Valley off-road Panorama.

As I said, it was a beautiful day. Now if only it had been 20 degrees warmer.

+++

photo7

Shoshone sign panorama

+++

So I did about 10 miles round trip on Death Valley Highway. Maybe in the Fall I’ll go back and do a proper trip. But the cold and lack of sleep forced me back into Baker to load up the bike and finish the trek home. BUT….

Next to the motel was a store front proclaiming: Alien Fresh Jerky.

How does one skip that? The answer: They Don’t. So I drove over, thinking it closed too, and took some photos. Which are here:

+++

photo5

+++

photo3

I did my best DeNiro here: What are you looking at? You looking at me?

Sadly my DeNiro is more like a slightly mad pee wee herman. The Alien was not afraid.

+++

photo1

+++

photo2

All together now: I Park Where I Want.

+++

While I was taking the photos a couple walked out of the store and into their car. So the place was open for business. Nice. And in I went. While inside I talked a bit to the man behind the counter. Telling him I liked the store and disliked the motel next to it. He commented that the motel was nasty but that the owner of the Alien Jerky store was planning an Alien themed hotel. I told him that I would have loved to had stayed in an Alien Themed hotel and it was a great idea. I also commented that I bet they get a lot of people taking photos of the store. He said yep, but that my motorcycle seemed to be getting more attention than the store. I looked out and a group of people were surrounding the bike. I told him, ‘Yeah, that happens all the time.

He pointed to one of the guys around the bike. “That’s the owner of this store.” Oh….So I went out and had a nice talk with him. About the bike. About his store. About his planned hotel (3 stories. Already breaking ground behind the Fresh Alien Jerky store. Should be completed and open in 2015). Nice guy. Hope it does well. But Baker seems a town already on Hospice care. Whether it can be saved/revived, who knows?

At least the nice little ride, and then the visit to the Alien Store, took some of the bitter taste from my mouth. That and the Jerky and treats 🙂

photo-8

+++

After that it was a fairly uneventful drive home. And the next morning I got to ride the Plus for my commute to work…in a slowly increasing snow fall. Enough to delay school the next day. Sigh. Still it was nice riding, even if a bit wet and snowy and cold.

+++

snowing

Till Next Time…

Gavin

+++

For more info on Brammo, please visit: www.brammo.com
For more images, photos, discussions and all around Brammo goodness: visit, lurk and maybe join: www.brammoforum.com

+++

Bonus

+++

photo copy 4

Wasn’t sure if I should be offended or flattered that they used my likeness…

+++

photo copy 3

My Fortune was merely: “Your species, like your hairline, is doomed.”

Now that I was offended by.

+++

photo copy

+++

and

photo copy 2

Driving away from Baker, this rock formation summed it up for me.