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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Screen Shot 2013-07-02 at 3.25.35 PM

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)

+++IMG_7024Shelina getting ready to follow Eric…But which bike is that? Not the TTX bike she usually rides.

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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.

+++IMG_7046And then the TTX is brought out in new Livery.

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

+++IMG_7044A Panorama of Thunderhill’s Start/End straightway by the paddock.

+++IMG_7042Icon’s latest helmets. As I said, Icon doesn’t do subtle. I actually kinda like the blue 32 helmet, but I don’t think it would go with my jackets nor my bike. Now the black and white goes with everything…and the fluorescent yellow adds safety!! Well at least that is what I will say to justify buying yet another helmet.

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.

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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_6976

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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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.

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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.

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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.

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drive out

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

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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.)

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drive out pano

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

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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.

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park mine shaft

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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.

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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.

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

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madrid mileage

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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.

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lunch

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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.

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bad outlet bad

Shame on you Mister Outlet.

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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.

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good outlet

Walter White grabbing some juice.

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good outlet good

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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.

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madrid car

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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.”

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photo park

Panorama of this Photo Park. I loved it.

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train store

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

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rope art

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

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ghost town

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

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wild hogs sign

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

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wild hogs

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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red train panorama

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

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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.

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

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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

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vista

Facing West with the Sandia mountains again in the background.

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vista virga

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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.

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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

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Bonus: well maybe a bonus.

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

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geezers





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.

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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.)

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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.

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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.

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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.

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sandia crest house

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

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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.

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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.

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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)

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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.)

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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.

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Heading down the mountain.

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More heading down the mountain.

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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.

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photo(24)And Home.

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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?

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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.

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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

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

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photo(22) saturatedSuper Contrasty Empulse R

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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.

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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.”

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One such stop.

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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.

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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!”

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

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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.

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

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Second mod. Mirrors.

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

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Third mod. A small one.

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

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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.

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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.

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Then I replaced the front turn signals.

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

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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. 🙂

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

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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.

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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

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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.”

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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”.

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

Empulse EBoz

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Shelina Moreda (Shezracing) signing the right side.

Shelina 93

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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. 🙂

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But back to the bike….

Some facts: She’s FAST. End of facts.

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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.

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But all you really need to know is this:

2013 Motorcycle of the Year by Playboy magazine.

BDjqS_HCIAAHcV3

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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.

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

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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.

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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.

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

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

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

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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.

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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.

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

Super nice kid.

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And….Everybody….

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I PARK WHERE I WANT!!!

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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

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**-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.

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

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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.

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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).

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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

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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

Ps:

shelina copy

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

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

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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)

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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…

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