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.

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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.

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http://brammoforum.com/

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

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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.

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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.

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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?

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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.

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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.

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Bike in room…killer heater in the wall

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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.

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

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

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

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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.

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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.

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Death Valley off-road Panorama.

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

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Shoshone sign panorama

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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:

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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.

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All together now: I Park Where I Want.

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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 🙂

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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.

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

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

Now that I was offended by.

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





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.

tchalla final

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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….





Brammoblog: More unrequested advertising efforts.

4 12 2012

Blog 59: not really a blog…just bored at work and so….Wait…isn’t that the definition of 98% of all blogs?

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Obviously I am not a marketing person. And it shows.

For most people knowing their limitations is a good and healthy start. Me? I know my limitations and, like a Honey Badger**, I  just don’t care.

Now the smart and sane thing would be to know one’s limitations and then either accept them or work at improving oneself….privately. Me? I know my limitations, don’t care, AND will share all my failings for the world to see (or at least the three people who read this…me, my mom, and my other personality).

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Today I “help” Brammo with their Advertising campaign. And I use the word help very loosely.

So why I am helping them? Because they asked??

Ha.

Because they might find any of my ideas helpful in some small way?

Nope…

If anything my constant emails and posts take Brammo away from needed work and further delay them.

So Why?

Because…well because I am neither smart nor sane and so there…

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BRAMMO: LET’S RIDE

brammo lean

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brammo lean 2

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brammo charging

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brammo green

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bramm clean

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brammo mean

LETS RIDE: BRAMMO

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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

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**I Just Don’t Care…

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BrammoBlog: White Sands and More. Ok, not more. Just White Sands. Believe me, just White Sands is Enough.

12 10 2012

Blog 51: White Sands was amazing. Got tons of photos, some nice panoramas and somewhat shaky video. I forgot to put a helmet cam connector on my new Icon Airmada Hi Viz Helmet, so I rode with the camcorder in my left hand. Actually it was kinda nice. I could video to the sides without turning my head.

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First Note: Head slowly clearing…Still I think this post will be mostly photos and videos and very little of my ramblings interrupting the flow. So, in other words, probably one of my better blog post.

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But less talk, more photos.

Added note: All the photo files are quite HUGE. Click on them and you will get a large image to look at.

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This video shows the ride into the park. I always forget that the road basically disappears under compressed sand that looks like packed snow.

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First of a number of Panoramic photos. Click to make bigger. Click that opened photo to make insanely big.

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I park where I want 🙂

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I like the people on the top of the dunes.

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So, as promised, few words, many images. Next will be the ruins.

Till then, ride safe.

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 Time.

from yesterday’s post that had the balloon photos…forgot I did a couple of seconds of video too.

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Second Bonus

Ha….as I was getting off the bike to take some photos with my iPhone I accidently turned on the helmet cam that I was holding in my other hand. So most of this video is up side down and weird angles. I get off the bike and walk to the middle of the road and take some photos and then some panoramas.





Brammo “Weekly” Blog: Enertie gets some Culture.

26 09 2012

Blog 44: Culture: Not just for yogurt anymore. And, sadly, the Enertie (rhymes with Bertie) nickname has stuck in my head. Worst nickname ever. (though if I get a black Enertia Plus of my own I hope to call it T’Challa)

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So this weekend was a cultural weekend for me and the loaner Enertia Plus. We went on a multi-museum trip, caught a show at the Albuquerque Little Theater, toured Old Town and also found time for a breakfast ride through the North Valley.

Friday was a private showing of the Machine Wilderness show at the Albuquerque Museum. So expensive wine and beer and finger food for all.

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The Enertia felt right at home at the Electronic Arts show.

http://www.cabq.gov/culturalservices/albuquerque-museum/exhibitions/current-exhibitions

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Solar Chair. Moved around the Museum on it’s own. Cute…but not sure I understand the usefulness of a solar chair unless I truly do shine light out my @ss like my Grandfather accused me of thinking so many years ago.

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This car was GREAT. It was made to travel around the broken and abandoned railroads of Mexico. Can travel by rail or road. 

Oh, and Hi Mom.

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The front and back had the railroad track wheels.

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I loved the little details.

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I thought the flash was off when I took this…the Museum guard wasn’t happy. I thought I should use this so the stern look I got wasn’t for nothing . Go visit the site.

Really some cool stuff for engineers…for design people…for exploration people.

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http://www.seft1.net

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http://vimeo.com/37751272

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Some unusual art at the show…

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...Made better…By Science!!

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Reminded me of the Aliens in the funky French cartoon movie I saw as a kid…Fantastic Planet (The Planet Wild in French).

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And out in front of the Museum… It was getting dark but I wanted to get a few photos.

A Cattle drive would be so easy on a Brammo…No loud pipes to cause stampedes.

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Friday night, after the Art Museum, I traveled over to Explora and the Museum of Natural History for some quick photos. I had to hurry as it was quickly getting dark and the iPhone doesn’t love the dark.

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First stop:  Explora.

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Explora is great…but the outdoor photo ops are kinda limited. So I hurried over to my next stop.

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Next stop. There are a couple of fun outdoor things here… 🙂

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I wanted to do an “objects in mirror are closer than they appear” photo…but I had to shine the headlight on the dino to get a nice shot.

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Outline only and very grainy in this light.

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The light was a bit better toward “Sera”, but not great…I knew I had to come back when the light was better.

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I did play around with a couple of shots to see if I could get a nice image…

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Fun, but not what I was looking for…so….

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I went back on Sunday…after breakfast (more on that later), before riding through Old Town (more on that later) and before the play (more on that later too). I didn’t go riding on Saturday…see last post for info on why.

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First, a shout out to the Artist…These dinosaurs are beautiful. And impressive. Amazing job Mr. Thomas.

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Spike…I call her Sera.

Sera/Spike is great…but let’s face it, we love the Carnivores….

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After that a nice little ride around Old Town…Video at the end of Blog.

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Then, for fun, a quick stop at the Hot Dog House…

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And then to the Albuquerque Little Theater for an afternoon showing of The Hobbitt.

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The Parking Security actually stopped me and told me to park right by the Entrance and not in the parking lot.

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My eldest, when she was 14 and 15, was in a couple of plays at the ALT. Met her future husband during the second play.

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So a fairly busy weekend…and I didn’t include the Breakfast ride. Will put a video or two at the end of the blog post.

I will say that where we met to ride from is right next to a Breaking Bad filming site. Where Badger is arrested in the second season by DJ Qualls in “Better Call Saul.”

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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

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Bonus Video clips:

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shows a bit of the balance of the Enertia Plus…rides almost like a mountain bike in terms of balance.

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Showing the Engine Braking. The faster the speed, the more noticable. At 25 mph, not much breaking, but at 45 mph you go down to 35 mph fairly quickly.

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Downtown. EV Charging stations see at about 20 seconds into video clip.

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Group start to ride for breakfast. Not many riders as it is hard to get scooter people up at 8 am on Sunday.

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Group riding by Old Town.

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Solo ride around Old Town Church.

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Going Solo to a Winery in the North Valley. I love that we have this “countryside” in the middle of Albuquerque.

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Going to the Museums after Breakfast.

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DINOS.

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Parking at Little Albuquerque Theater. Everybody must know that I park where I want as the parking “dude” stopped me and told me to park right at the entrance.

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And the last two are a bit longer videos of the “small” group ride going through the North Valley.

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Brammo “Weekly” Blog: Some Photos, Some Phacts and Some Phun

19 09 2012

Blog 43: Review number 1 of 2 for the Enertia Plus.
Some Sunset photos. And a trip to Madrid….New Mexico.

IT”S BLOGNESDAY!!

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Starting with the easy part….PHOTOS. (reviews are hard) Friday night I was out getting some Vodka and hot dog buns at Costco because we needed big bottles of Vodka and an insane amount of hot dog buns. Costco is the place for that.

Saturday was our “End of Summer” party as we don’t want to have 3 birthday parties in one week (me, my wife and my sister in law’s birthdays are all within 6 days of each other). So as I’m driving to Costco I notice that the sunset is looking quite nice in my large Enertia Plus mirrors (will be discussed in Review part 1). And like I often…too often…do, I stopped to get some photos. And then I force you, the readers of this blog, to look at them.

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So first I drove to every inch of the Costco parking lot and couldn’t get the photo I wanted. So I left Costco and found a nice little construction site…but still no good….So off to a field across from the Nuclear Museum and BINGO. Photo one.

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And then I thought, “Hey I bet the Nuclear Museum** would be a nice backdrop” So…..

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But the lighting wasn’t quite right…and I was using just my iPhone…which does great in daylight, but not nearly as nice at night.

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But then I remembered a little trick. Focus in close and take a photo…and then focus out far and take a photo…and then “merge” them…So you have a nice bright foreground and a nice natural color background.

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And all these would have fit in nicely with my last blog of How I Learned to Stop Worrying…

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and then I had to get a little fancy and get rid of the wires overhead…

It was a nice little diversion…but there was Vodka to be bought…and Costco closes kinda early….

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That was Friday night. No driving on Saturday as it was our End of the Summer Party…and there is no driving for me that day for sure:

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A fun day….but not a day for driving. 

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I made up for it on Sunday. A ride to Madrid, NM and back. 87 miles of mixed driving, but most of the ride was over 50 mph.

I love the ride out to Madrid. Up, down, flat, curvy, and mostly empty open roads. And then you end up in Madrid, a funky little ex-mining, ex-ghost town. It was the town used in Wild Hogs. An awful movie. And for the bar fight scene in Paul. A much better movie.

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But first I leave home to meet up with some friends for the ride.

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Leaving the house. The Enertia Plus and my Maxi-Scoot. My son-in-law now rides my Fuoco as I am always on the Brammo.

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First stop….Einsteins on Tramway and Central. All rides to the East Mountains start here.

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I had to ride up and talk to William…he had a new scooter I had not seen before.

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I like to ride in the back when filming

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That Ram Mount better hold…my iPhone is My Precious.

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Handlebar camera. I am now rocking two cameras…Now I just need to stop being lazy and edit the clips down.

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Heading into Madrid

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A couple of long videos will be added at the bottom of this post….

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And I always stop at the Mine Shaft Tavern for a Buffalo Burger.

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Fun and funky.

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At first I parked here…

but no outlets (Tavern is OLD…and haunted)

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so I moved and found me some free charging 🙂

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and it was a cool place to park…right by the entrance to the Old Mine Shaft.

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and leaving Madrid (pronounced MAD RID)

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more leaving….

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On the road back….this is the high point of the highway…7027 feet. I stopped to see what the elevation was.

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And yes my iPhone battery was almost empty…I was doing some video with my helmet cam and my iPhone on the ride. It was a “use up all your batteries” kind of day…but more on that in a minute.

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And that minute is now: I knew the Plus couldn’t make it to Madrid and back. It is 87 miles round trip from my house and I have done almost 87 miles on the Plus, but that was city/suburb riding. No way with a large portion of the trip being 50 mph or more.

So I get to Madrid with my odometer looking like so:

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60 percent used. Ok. I need to charge back up to about 60 percent before I leave.

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and an hour and a half spent in the Mine Shaft Tavern fit the bill perfectly.

Except…I rode home without the scooter people. I rode a bit faster heading home as I wasn’t staying back with the 150cc 2-stroke bikes that take the trip a bit slower than I do on the Enertia Plus. Thus I used more juice. Long story short, at 81 miles traveled and 6 miles or so from home I was at zero battery. Bike was still going, but I didn’t want to push it. I stopped at a Smith’s Grocery store, hooked up the charger and bought a soda. Drank the soda and unhooked and headed the rest of the way…And was at zero again at home. It still was going fine  (I wonder how much extra distance you can go on zero?) but I did get a “hey dude, charge up you fool” warning.

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But all in all, a good day, a nice ride and “almost” enough juice. I should have stayed and walked around Madrid a bit with the scooter people, then it would have been fine. But I had Sunday Football at my brother’s house and didn’t want to be too late.

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Review: 1 of 2.

A short review.

This is basically a review of the differences from the Enertia to the Plus. It really won’t mean too much to anybody other than those who have owned an Enertia. For everybody else, the Plus will likely be the only commuter Brammo bike you demo or ride and won’t know what the Classic or Legacy Enertia was like….So.

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Cha-Cha-Cha-Cha-Changes…

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  • Range: The most obvious change. I was getting about 35 mile per charge in my city commute. I expected the Plus to go about 70 miles. I am getting 84-86 miles per charge on the same route. So the expected doubling of the range, plus about 15 miles more. Sweet.
  • Mirrors: Nice…I can now actually see something in the mirrors other than my shoulders 🙂 They are, in my opinion, perhaps just a bit too large. I see about 3 lanes on either side in them now. A happy medium would have worked. But better a bit too big than a bit too small.
  • Turning–Steering lock–The garage and parking lot maneuverability of the Enertia Legacy was fairly poor. She did great on the roads, but had a very limited turning radius at “walking” speed. Basically the times you move the bike within your garage or other tight areas. The new Plus has much improved turning. Very Very nice. In and out of my garage with no effort at all.

No more do I need to pretend to be Austin Powers as I make my 18 point turn in the garage (exaggerated for humor).

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  • O-Chain. Oh my oh my do I love the O-Chain. Nuff Said.
  • Top Speed. I could go an indicated 65 on the Legacy. It did 60 mph easily and as long as I wanted. I can go an indicated 70 on the Plus. It does 65 mph easily and as long as I want. I have not confirmed the speedo with my GPS at highway speeds. It seems fairly accurate. And I have ridden with the GPS in town and the speedo is about 1 mph high at 40 mph (GPS said 39 mph). Will try and GPS on the highway this weekend.
  • Engine Braking–Regen. The Enertia Legacy had no engine braking and no regen. The Plus has both. It is the one change I wasn’t completely happy with at first. I loved coasting. Especially at night. I felt, with no noise and no vibrations, that I was a piece of the bike moving through the wind. Like the nose cone of an airplane. It was fun. The Plus does not coast. The upside is that the engine braking gives some regen and it does make the Plus feel more like a “real” motorcycle. It is also killer fun in the twisties where engine braking is both joyous and helpful.

So I am still just a touch “torn” on the Engine Braking. LOVE it in the mountains. But I would like to turn it off with night riding. A clutch would solve that…but adds complexity. A “no-regen” switch would be nice. But that is for the future, if Brammo wants. The Engine Braking does make the bike feel more solid and it likely will be appreciated by motorcycle people. And really only myself and a few other Brammo riders will even know engine braking is a new thing. So…I missed the coasting a lot at first…now I hardly miss it at all….but still would love to have it for dark, still nights.

  • New Motor: The new motor does give a bit more top end…and a more powerful pull through the middle speeds. Again, feels more like a “big-boy” bike. It is a smidgen slower off the line, but quickly makes up for that with a faster middle. Again, for the future I would love a switch…City/Highway. City gives more speed off the line, but less top end. Highway takes off a bit of the low speed acceleration, but gives a higher top speed. Always looking for ways to help Brammo by giving them more work to do 🙂
  • Start up LCD screen: The start up LCD screen is, thankfully, the 3rd screen on the Legacy. The screen with all the information. The screen I always used.
  • Horn placement: Moved from body to under headlight. Not horribly attractive, nor does it jump out as a design error…so looks are neutral. But it is a far bit louder being outside the body of the bike. And louder, for a horn, is nice.
  • Noise: The new motor seems a bit louder than the old one. And the Legacy, with coasting, had periods of near silent riding. The new motor seems a bit louder with acceleration, but also louder overall because engine braking is making noise too. So, where before the bike was silent at stops and when coasting, the Plus is only silent at lights.

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Well, saying all that, what it comes down to is: “I like it. A lot”. I can go to the top of the mountain and back on one charge (70 miles and 5ooo feet gain in elevation). I can go to Madrid and back with a nice little lunch break. I can commute all week on one charge.

It is a big difference. But more on that with the “real” review. This was just a teaser review…a review for current owners only.

See ya next week.

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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

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Bonus video…longer, but has some pretty stuff.

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Long helmet cam ride towards and into Madrid

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leave no man, or woman, behind.

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The group gets separated a bit.

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longish handlebar camera (iPhone) video heading toward Madrid.