Spreading the Gospel of Brammo at 8000 feet.

6 09 2013

Brammo Blog: Mesa Verde felt like a Church and I was a Disciple.

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I have to admit that I had a hippie upbringing as a child. Southern California in the 60’s, a cat named Love, VW camper out front that Mom had to park on a hill to get a rolling start. Nature, open spaces, and quiet beauty have always been a draw to me. And it doesn’t get much more beautiful, open and quiet than Mesa Verde National Park in southwest Colorado.

I took a nice little 3 1/2 day weekend and headed north. Mesa Verde is only 250 miles from Albuquerque (I should freaking go every weekend), so not “far”, but too far to ride the Empulse R unless I wanted to take a few more days off work—which is what I will do next time.**

I didn’t take enough days off to drive to and from Mesa Verde by electric motorcycle, but I really wanted to ride the Empulse once I got there. Electric motorcycles excel at riding through nature. So quiet and smooth, you feel so attuned to the surroundings. Plus Mesa Verde has some cool twisties.

So off to U-haul to rent a trailer.

(hint to Brammo…Make an Empulse Trailer. I will buy one)

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Loaded up and ready to go.

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IMG_7673Like Sammy Hagar would sing/scream: “I can’t drive “backwards” 55″

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So I get a bit of a late start (this will figure into the blog later). I worked half a day Thursday and then went to get the trailer at about 1pm. When I got to the U-haul location where I reserved the trailer I noticed they only had a tiny trailer with 8 inch wheels. Their first question,

“So you don’t plan to go over 35 mph do you?”

Me: “Well yes, I am driving to Colorado and back.”

Them: “Oh, this trailer can’t do that. It is for in-town towing only.”

Ignoring the bigger question of why U-haul is renting trailers not much bigger than the Radio Flyer pull-cart my granddaughter gets pulled in around the Albuquerque Zoo, and trying to keep the incredulous look off my face, I ask, “What person would rent a motorcycle trailer for 4 days if they are only using it in-town?”

So off to a second U-haul stop where I get the trailer shown above. It doesn’t have a ramp and they want to send me to a third U-Haul location, but luckily I have a ramp at home. So with that bit of trouble over I am finally good to go. I get home, load up and it is suddenly 3pm (I had planned to leave before 2–I guess a hour late isn’t too bad). Deanna usually gets home from work at 3:30, so I decide to wait to say goodbye before leaving.

I hit the road just after 3:30pm. Since it is a 4 1/2 hour trip I figure I should get to the park at 8 pm (right at sunset). Off I go.

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And, as predicted, I am just outside of Mesa Verde as the Sun is setting (the edge of one of the Mesas is seen at the left of the photo).

Panorama Photo. If on the intrawebs, please click the photo for the bigger.

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So I get to the entrance at about 10 after 8 and the Entrance Booth is un-manned (un-womanned too). With nobody home and I drive on through. I notice a sign that says: “No Trailers beyond Morefield Campground.” I wonder if Morefield Campgrounds is before or after the Far View Lodge where I’m staying. Even so I figure they can’t mean a small little motorcycle trailer, right.

It’s 15 miles from the Entrance to the Far View Lodge where I had reservations for a couple of nights. It is rapidly getting DARK. I’m about 5 miles in when I pass a second sign that says, “Morefield Campground. No Trailers beyond this point.” OK. Hmmm, well I have reservations and there was nobody to ask at the Entrance Booth nor here in the middle of nowhere. So I drive on.

Suddenly I am no longer just the “I park where I want” guy; I am now the “I trailer where I want” guy. Both guys can get into trouble when on Federal Land (see Trinity Site blog).

So about a mile past that last sign I drive by a Ranger going the other way. And I see the near instant U-Turn of impending doom. When the authorities pass you and immediately make a U-Turn it is never a good thing. Ask my wife (that is another story though—short version—a child had been taken in a red car. My wife has a red car. Cop jumps a medium doing a U turn behind her and pulls her over. She starts to roll down her window when she notices the cop is now in the middle of the road with his gun drawn and pointed straight at her. He yells at her to put both hands out the window .Our daughters are in the back seat. My wife freaks out. She does everything she is asked, but is in tears from fright. The cop says, “Sorry, wrong make of car” and takes off. A man points a gun at my wife while our kids are in the back seat and he says, “sorry”. I know he has a job to do…a hard job…still, though this happened 15 years ago, I would like to politely punch him in the face. Especially as I have a police officer friend who tells me that anytime a cop pulls a gun he is prepared to use it. And if they fire they are not shooting to wound, but to kill.)

Blue Lights start flashing and I “pull” over. Pull over is a bit of a misnomer as there is no place to pull off the road. So I guess I more accurately “stop” in my lane.

Now the Ranger walks briskly up and I ask, “Do you want me to move further up the road and find a place to pull over?” He ignores this and I notice that he is actually quite angry…more so than I expected.

Him: “Did you see the signs back there?” He was red in the face and instantly pissed off.

Me: “Well it is pretty dark.” Perhaps not the best reply.

Him: “There are two signs that say, No Trailers. Did you stop at the Booth and get clearance?” He looked at his watch. “Oh, maybe they had already closed?”

Ok, I see that I am not going to get shot. He is pissed, but he hasn’t moved his hand toward his hip. Do Rangers even carry guns? I didn’t want to find out.

Me: “I’m sorry. Nobody was at the booth. I have a two night stay up at Far View Lodge and, yes I saw those signs, but I couldn’t ask anybody at the empty booth and thought I would ask up at the lodge. I just drove up from Albuquerque and I really wasn’t’ sure what to do. When I made my reservations nobody told me I couldn’t bring a motorcycle trailer. I ride an Electric Motorcycle and they don’t have the range, yet, to get here from Albuquerque. But I really wanted to ride it up here at Mesa Verde as it seems the perfect way to see the park without being loud and invasive.” A bit wordy…I might have been more nervous than I thought at the time. I really didn’t want to turn around and look for a room for the night some place outside the park.

He walked away and radioed somebody my license plate and name and came back a totally different man.

“Ok, just let the lodge know you have the trailer and have a great visit.” Holy Invasion of the Body Snatchers, he was smiling and pleasant. And then he left without another word.

On a side note: A) the road is twisty, but I’ve been on worse. I had no issues with the trailer, even in the near pitch black. B) I saw that same Ranger 3 more times over those two days. We had a pleasant conversation each time. He asked about the bike and my trip and was a very nice guy. I wonder if they have had some major issues with trailers in the past. When I told the Lodge about having a trailer and that I was to let them know, they didn’t seem to care at all. And at the Lodge there was another trailer parked right next to mine. So not sure what the fuss was about, but now I know to not bring a trailer…or get there earlier so I can get permission at the gate.

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But enough of all that. It was a 5 minute delay and not really a big deal…more important is this:

Mesa Verde.

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and

IMG_7738click…Cliff Palace. An amazing place.

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It is just so beautiful. And perfect for riding an Electric Motorcycle. More on that in a bit. For now…more photos.

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The weather was just insanely nice. Cool in the morning. A bit warm and intermittent cloud bursts in the late afternoon. Clear and crisp in the evenings.

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There are multiple cliff dwellings throughout the park.

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IMG_7776Panaroma. I call this “Life finds a Way”. The Mesas stand about 2 thousand feet above the surrounding area and get tons of lightning strikes, especially at this time of year with the summer monsoons. Huge areas are burned. But life, and flowers, keep coming back.

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IMG_7785Panaroma. Many dwellings are in the cliff. But there are ancient dwellings up on the Mesa tops too. The Native Americans do not want us to use the word “Ruins.” The spirits of the people are still here.

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This shows Eric Bostrom’s signature and his “signature” helmet.

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close up

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The mountains in the background are where Durango is. I love Durango. I love Mesa Verde. What a great area.

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I avoided most of the rain while riding, but I was often the highest thing on the Mesa and wondered if my electric motor and battery pack would attract or repel any lightning. I must of seen close to 100 lightning bolts in the time I was there. Not flashes, but bolts.

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A little back story. This is the “Sleeping Ute” mountain. Link here: http://deewebs.homestead.com/ute.html. The natives believed this was an ancient warrior god who was wounded in battle and had laid down to sleep and heal his wounds. I had to take some photos with this in the background.

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Cloud burst hitting Cortez, Colorado

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After a bit of rain, I went back to the Mesa Top Loop at sunset. Fun and beautiful…and I was the only one out at that time of day (the road closes at sunset…so I was pushing it a bit and thought I might end up getting my second unfriendly Ranger visit…but I finished before the road was locked shut. Lots of wildlife out and about at sunset. I didn’t have any issues as my motorcycle was driving past them before they knew I was there. Quiet is nice. One thing of interest. I’m use to white tailed deer. At Mesa Verde they have black tailed deer. They are bigger, and for some strange reason look dumber than white tailed deer. Hard to explain. They just have a slightly dim, goofy face.)

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Cliff Palace at sunset.

I mentioned about how nice it is to ride the electric motorcycle in nature. Example: early in the day when I was touring the Cliff Palace there was a group of Harleys parked up where the Empulse is in this photo. Well when they took off everybody in the tour turned and looked over as the Harleys were loud and suddenly they were part of our tour…or so it seemed. It’s not a horrid thing I guess, but it feels so much better to be moving so quietly through that place that the deer don’t even run from you.

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And the next day it was time to head back. Goodbye mesa tops. Hopefully in a few years as the tech improves, and there is more quick charging infrastructure, I won’t be trailering my next Brammo motorcycle.

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And coming down off the mesas I can see my next stop…Durango.

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Why stop in Durango? Ska Brewing. Had to pick up a few shirts and hats and such. And the Ska Brewing truck matches my black and white themed bike.

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And I had to get some Breakfast while I was there.

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Till next time:

Gavin

**Next time I go to Mesa Verde: I can ride from home to Cuba, NM. 80 miles of highway is pushing it, but I will likely stop for breakfast (a real breakfast, not a Ska Brewing breakfast) and get a few more miles of range by charging at that stop. I will charge to full in Cuba and then drive from Cuba to Bloomfield. I can stay the night in Bloomfield (never thought I would say that) and charge overnight. Next day, drive from Bloomfield to Durango. Charge while getting breakfast. Then Durango to Mesa Verde. Charge overnight. Couple of days in Mesa Verde and head home. Adds a night in Bloomfield each way (boring), but then I’m only taking the bike which is nice. And getting lots of riding in, which is nicer. There is some beautiful country between Albuquerque and Mesa Verde. Charging at Cuba could be a pain, but I think there should be 220 at the local RV park.

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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:

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some photos, without the bike, from my trip:

IMG_7683morning from my room…at 8135 feet. Panorama.

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IMG_7687Excavation of a Pit House (approx 600 AD)

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IMG_7690Work being done on this cliff dwelling

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IMG_7720Cliff Palace from above.

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IMG_7748Cliff Palace from the far side heading out.

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IMG_7745A Kiva at Cliff Place.

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Inside a Kiva that was rebuilt at Spruce House.

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Leaving OZ: I don’t think we’re in Ashland any more Dorothy…I mean Deanna. Oops.

3 07 2013

Brammo Blog Version 2.0, #6.

So this is the blog were Deanna and I leave the Mothership and head to Thunderhill for some racing.

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Deanna and I had a nice time in Ashland. (see yesterdays blog) Thanks Adrian for the tour of the town and heading out with us to Peerless for dinner and helping me kill at bottle of Pinot Noir. Nothing like heartburn at 3 am to make any trip extra nice.

Then came the tour of the Headquarters which was covered in the last blog.

And today we cover heading down to Willows, CA to watch Brammo race a bit at Thunderhill Raceway.

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The Track. 3 miles of Fun.

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IMG_7040Nice rolling, brown grass hills…And Wind Power.

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So first we have to find the Brammo folks. Luckily that is fairly easy as they travel with a big truck.It is a variation on the phrase, “Speak softly and carry a big stick.” They drive quietly and travel with a big truck. On second thought, I guess those two phrases are nothing alike.

At the Entrance the nice people at Thunderhill tried to charge Deanna and myself an entry fee. I told them I was with Brammo and they quickly waved me through. Fibs make Baby Buddha cry. But this was a small semi fib. A Fib-ett. A Fib-let. A demi-fib. A…ok, enough of that.

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IMG_7014Brammo claiming their space.

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IMG_7016Deanna and I parked and walked over just as both racers (Eric Bostrom and Shelina Moreda) were getting ready to take some laps.

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It was, as it always seems to be, frantic kinetic energy and then Eric was quickly on his bike and gone.

IMG_7020Or maybe he wasn’t gone….maybe he just blended in with the herd of Zebras near the track*

*(full disclosure–there are no herds of Zebras near the track)

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IMG_7021Nope, Shelina was taking her first ride on an RR!

ps… I’ve been taking “The JJ Abrahms school of Photography” where their slogan is: “No amount of Lens Flare is Too Much Lens Flare.”

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IMG_7025Eric was out first and back first. Notice the mountain bike in the background. That is an Eric Bostrom edition. Notice the helmet he is wearing. That is an Eric Bostrom edition.

A few more endorsements and he will be moving into NASCAR territory. 🙂

As for that helmet…I just might have to get one. It would look wicked with Walter White.

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IMG_7026Shelina came back and was grinning from ear to ear.

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When Shelina came back after her first ride she was bouncing around like a 4 year old who had just had 6 Otter Pops and a fist full of Pixie Sticks. She loved the ride and was chatting up a storm about the bike. I think, but I’m not sure, that she liked it. 🙂

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Then it was discussion time with the crew and the riders. I do like how the riders give instant feedback to the crew and there is a very good and interesting back and forth. A few adjustments are usually made based on the rider’s suggestions and back out they go for a few more laps.

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IMG_7028+++  IMG_7030Close up of the companies helping to make Electric Racing a mainstream event. It takes a village to change the World.

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IMG_7048Some adjustment to the second RR.

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IMG_7045Lordy Lordy, those Icon people are not fond of subtle Livery.

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And that’s Brian heading out of the truck. I want to thank him and everybody on his team. They were all so open and friendly and willing to spend time with me. Brian was also very gracious with his time and talked with me for much longer than I thought he would/could…and he is a busy man.

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IMG_7049An Empulse getting some charge at the track.

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IMG_7037 Shelina on the RR.

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Shelina back from a ride on the RR and giving her impression. Here she is talking to 2 young professional men…and one old, bent-over geezer in a Mammoth Brewery shirt.*

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*Must remember to work on my posture…in my next life. Baby Buddha told me I might come back as a Silver-back Gorilla if I’m good. But I think he was just making fun of my white beard…and back.* I’m still hoping for an Orca or Eagle or Gibbon. Mostly I want to be the top of the food chain in the Sea, or the top of the food chain in the Air, or a Gibbon. I like Gibbons and I would love to have crazy long arms.

*(I’m kidding about the white back hair. I have the back of a twelve year old…just don’t tell him I have it, he might want it….back. Gawd, a disturbing joke ending in a disturbing pun. I am a horrid human being and now Baby Buddha suggests I might come back as a tapeworm.)

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Well, I can not possibly end on that note. So I have a couple of more photos to show. This next photo shows the Brammo van parked at night outside a restaurant in Willows. You may wonder why I took this photo. It’s boring and doesn’t really mean anything. Well it doesn’t mean anything until you have a bit more context.

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So let me explain a little more. This is Friday night and the team had a long day at Thunderhill. They returned to their hotel to clean up and then all jumped in the van to go out for dinner. Deanna and I stayed at the same motel and we also ended up at the same restaurant for dinner. The thing is this: Deanna and I didn’t drive to the restaurant. Nope, we walked. Why did we walk all the way from the motel to the restaurant at night in a town we did not know? Because it was literally 100 feet or so from the motel.

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hotel-foodAnd here is a small panorama Deanna and I took on our way out the next morning. The black arrow is the Motel. The red arrow points to the restaurant that we walked, and Brammo drove, to.

When Deanna and I got to the restaurant I had to go over and give the Crew a hard time about driving (and driving a GAS van) from the motel to the restaurant.

They all laughed and told me they thought it was much further away and felt a bit sheepish.

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Next blog. I ride the Empulse from Albuquerque to Santa Fe for a Classic Motorcycle show.

Fun times.

Gavin

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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:

Information: I drive (a gas cage, 😦 ) to Gallup, New Mexico every month to do an outreach clinic and see some of our pediatric patients who live far away. Last month I passed a trailer carrying 8 Tesla S electric cars and thought, “Dang that’s cool. I bet I never see anything cooler than that again on this ride.” I was wrong. The very next month on my Gallup trip I passed the freakin’ BAT-MOBILE. Well the Bat-mobile from the 60’s TV show. I think that one is cooler than the Dark Knight one anyways. Kitsch Kounts. (I should trademark that…but I have to be Kareful not to add another K word in there.)

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IMG_7270And yes, I was driving and taking photos of the Batmobile with my iPhone. I am a bad man.

A tapeworm for sure.

Sigh.





The Mothership Connection: Beam me up Adrian.

29 06 2013

Brammo Blog Version 2.0-Number 5 

And So We Land In Ashland.

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Ok, I can not use the phrase “The Mothership Connection” without thinking of the great album by Parliament. George Clinton is totally gonna kick my ass for this:

parliamentship

and yes, shamefully i added my face into the photo.

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But (if you can manage to erase that image from your head) we move forward.

Deanna and I took a nice driving vacation this summer. Photos will be uploaded here someday when I’m less busy…like 20 years from now.

It was an amazing trip. Through Death Valley and up to Mammoth Lakes. From Mammoth to Yosemite. From Yosemite to Lake Tahoe. And then from Lake Tahoe to Crater Lake. Each stop was just perfect.

Then, after a wonderful stay at the Crater Lake Lodge, we headed home by way of Ashland, Oregon. Now Ashland is a quint little town with the famous Shakespeare Festival every summer. But on a trip of amazing National Parks it was a bit of a question as to why we stopped there.

And the reason was:

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Yes, Ashland is home to Brammo. And Brammo makes the electric motorcycles that is, mostly, the theme of this blog.

And so we had to stop. Brammo Headquarters let loose her siren song and no amount of plugging my ears or tying myself with large ropes to the car seat could keep me from her.

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So Sir Adrian* met us at the front and took Deanna and I on a tour.

*Sir Adrian was knighted in the late 90’s for his excellence in Circus work and for his efforts to rid the Isle of Man of wild Alpacas. He was, for a very short time, considered Britain’s Pied Piper.

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The tour did get off to a slow start as the staff had a bit of fun at Adrian’s expense. Knowing that Adrian always starts his tours showing off the IET manual transmission they put super glue on the top of the model. And in his left front pants pocket. You can actually see him saying, “Jesus, I will fire every last sodding one of you worthless….” softly when he realizes this.

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But after a bit we got going. First stop was the awards cabinet. Or cabinets. The awards are starting to pile up.

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And then off to the work area. I could only take photos of this side as the other side of the large work area is largely for future projects and updates to current projects.

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I’m pretty sure I got to see a few things I shouldn’t have seen. But I really don’t remember as on the way out I was given the “Men in Black treatment”.

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We did get to tour the Battery area and get a nice history. Deanna was impressed and asked more questions than I did. Of course I was still giggling about the super glue gag.

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Battery pouches. It’s kinda like Tang was for the Astronauts. Energy contained in sealed packages.

Ok, it’s nothing like Tang. I just felt like I had to say something here and panicked a bit.

ps…don’t put a straw into and then try and drink from any of these pouches. Adrian will yell at you. Don’t ask how I know this.

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After the battery tour, and Sir Adrian removing all straws and other objects from my pockets, it was off to the Assembly Line.

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Mmmmmm, tasty new Empulse Rs. Had the new bike smell…and taste. And I was yelled at again 😦

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A bird’s eye panorama of the production floor. Don’t ask how I got this photo. I pretty much assume I am never invited back to Brammo…or Ashland…or probably Oregon.

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At one side of the production floor I did spy an Empulse that was a bit different than any I’d seen. A dual sport model? Not really, but it did have big knobby tires and lots of mud all over it. So yes it would work in city and highway and off-road. But not a production version of a dual sport. Just a modded Empulse R.

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IMG_6975I did get to sit on it and flash my “East Side” gang signs for all my homies in Uptown.

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We also snuck upstairs to see the “Classic” bikes outside of Craig Bramscher’s office.

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This is the first Enertia.

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And here is a “production ready” Empulse before Brammo decided to go from a single speed to the 6 speed shifty transmission.

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It was a short but sweet visit. I got to meet a small number of the staff (see below) and they were all great. But at least half the staff was out of the office…more on that a bit later.

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Friday afternoon most of the staff will go for a ride out for lunch. Here is a group, and me, as they are heading out for pizza. 5 electrics and one on a gasser…for shame. 🙂  They asked if I wanted to go, but Deanna and I had a bit of driving to do that day to get to our next stop.

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Our next stop was in wonderful Willows, California. Home of…well I don’t think it is home of anybody famous. But it does have Thunderhill Raceway.

And, by coincidence—honest and I swear—our trip was planned long before the event at Thunderhill was announced–Brammo had their race team down at the track for some racing against gas bikes.

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On the way from Ashland to Willows we passed by Mt. Shasta. Beautiful. Just like on the soda can when I was a kid.

Because it HASTA be SHASTA!

Ah, it will rot both your teeth with it’s sugar and your mind with it’s butching of the English language.

I’m surprised they haven’t already had Arnold Schwarzenegger doing a commercial for them.

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And here is where we stop for the day.

Next is THUNDERHILL.

And then a blog about battery performance in hot weather (we are breaking records left and right here in Albuquerque this summer).

And one on my ride up to Santa Fe for a Classic Motorcycle show. Busy Busy Busy

But for now…

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

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Bonus:

My Brammo swag.

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Cool Parker Racing hat with Brammo logo on sides

and

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Icon/Brammo motorcycle jacket. I sleep in this.

and nothing else….which is even scarier than the Parliament image at the start of this post.

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BrammoBlog: In the immortal words of the great American poet, Steven Tyler, “I’m Back! I’m back in the saddle again!”

14 01 2013
BLOG 61: The Pickup.

Sung in the tune of Led Zeppelin’s Rock and Roll: “It’s been a long time since I blog posted…It’s been a long time, been a long time, been a long lonely lonely lonely lonely time.”

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Soooooo, Tiny backstory, then on to the meat and potatoes…On the Road with Gavin. (I ain’t no Kerouac, my prose is as pleasant as a 4-vessel disease heart attack…and that’s a fact…Jack.)

Out of extreme (and mildly confusing) kindness, Brammo first loaned me an Enertia Classic. I had it for almost a year and put 5000 miles on her. Brammo seemed to be fairly pleased that I rode her a lot, took far too many photos of her, wrote about her some and that I didn’t wreck her. So they loaned me a Beta version of the Enertia Plus (a classic with double the range and a few improvements). I had this for only a couple of months before Brammo needed her back in Ashland. She was a beta bike and they needed to do some tests and such.

It was with great sadness that I let her go. A) I was just getting to know her 🙂  B) It was the first time in a year that I didn’t have an Electric Motorcycle at my house and that made me “have a sad.” It is now known as The Time of Great Loss and Increased Petroleum Use. Known might be overstating it some.

And it was 2 long, horrible months of driving my pickup truck everyday. She’s a good car, but she is still a cage…and even a gilded cage is still a prison.

But then I received an email from Brammo that they were done with the testing and I could have the beta bike back if I wanted it. Silly question. I planned to drive to Ashland and pick it up myself. It would take weeks for shipping and I wanted it NOW.

And a road trip was hatched in my head like so many parasitic fly eggs. (a public service announcement: Traveling to sub-Saharan Africa? Get all the shots they recommend.)  I would drive the pickup to Ashland, tour the Brammo headquarters and bring the Plus back to Albuquerque. Those plans were dashed when a big winter storm hit Ashland right when I would be traveling there.  Luckily Brammo was making a delivery of Empulse motorcycles to San Francisco that same weekend and they were kind enough to place the Plus on the truck with the Empulses (I call this bike T’Challa…all my vehicles tend to be female in my head, but this one is definitely T’Challa** to me). But enough of the boring stuff…Photos and road trip info coming up….

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I was traveling alone and didn’t want to push the driving too much. Albuquerque to San Francisco–16 hours, 1100 miles–would be done in two days. I did forget that I have the ass of a truck driver and that I can spend all day driving. I got to my night’s stay, Barstow, California, in 10 hours and felt silly stopping for the night at 5 pm. 700 miles in 10 hours. Easy to do on our highways when you don’t stop to eat or drink or pee. One stop in Flagstaff to gas up and back on the road.

Boring and uneventful…though I did hit snow twice. Once outside of Flagstff—expected since Flagstaff is over 7000 feet in elevation–and again outside of Mojave—not, to me at least, so expected. Heck, Mojave is in the freaking desert very near Death Valley. I was not at all expecting snow there.

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Just west of Flagstaff, AZ

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Outside of Mojave. Nice wind towers.

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and just a bit further…out of the snow and I had to pull over to get a nice panoramic view.

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The ride from Barstow to San Francisco, 400 miles, was uneventful. I did see a ton of Golden Eagles along Highway 5. One even swooped down and picked up a small animal out of the grass beside the highway. Lovely to see. Unless you where the small mammal suddenly clutched in talons so tight.

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But this blog isn’t about boring rides from city to city. It is about ME :). Well mostly about the Brammo bikes. And so…off to Scuderia West to pick up my ride.

ps…the people at Scuderia West were amazing. Super nice, energetic…and handing out donuts and fresh made tea and coffee to a complete stranger…of course I have always relied on the kindness of strangers.

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The Un-Loading of Bikes. I stood back and watched as I did not want to hurt any of those lovely Empulse R bikes.

I think this white one was Bill’s bike.

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“T’Challa Unloaded”–not to be confused with “Django Unchained.” Now with mini windshield. Wanted to test it in Winter riding.

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Bill’s bike…nice bar end mirrors. Looks good. I almost stole this bike. 🙂

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A nice “batch of Brammos”. Or an “Enormity of Empulses.” Fresh off the truck and ready for their new homes.

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I’m a sucker for lens flare…though I could do without the purple fringing over the front tire.

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And what is a road trip to San Francisco without taking a little ride 🙂  But that is for tomorrow’s blog. Please come back as I have a few lovely photos. San Francisco is a beautiful city…a lovely city with horrible roads. And I had a 500 plus mile ride ahead of me. And I wanted to get to my stop before dark as I did not know the city at all (City is an incorrect description. “Tiny hell hole in the middle of nowhere” is a much better way of putting it.)

Ignoring the time, I did a couple of hours in San Francisco and left a bit later than I wanted. Oh well. It was just a beautiful day that I really didn’t want to pack up T’Challa and leave. Such a nice day for riding, and I had just gotten*** the bike back and…but the highway called and I had to go…

Tomorrow….Photos from around The City.

Till Next Time…

Gavin

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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

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Bonus

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at Scuderia West…Brammo needs to make this important accessory.

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An Enertia Plus LE…In Ashland. I wanted that model. Siren for the win.

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**T’Challa is the name of The Black Panther. I loved The Black Panther as a kid. No “real” super powers. Just strength and training and will.

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***I am not sure “gotten” is really a word. And even if it is, it is just a horrid word. It comes off tongue in just an harsh and ugly way. I shall not use it ever again….