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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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!!

photo3

photo

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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.

photo1-e1365460965880

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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.

photo4

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

Super nice kid.

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And….Everybody….

photo5

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)

messagepart

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

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

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Brammo Blog : A Good Day for Ducks. A GREAT day for Brammo.

23 08 2012

Blog 35: And a very fun day for me. A bit sad at the end, but all in all a very nice little trip.

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So Day 3 starts like the other days: Cold, wet and foggy. Every morning I tell myself to go buy some proper gloves (I had only brought my fingerless summer gloves) and every night I forget. Oh well.

So today started out as  “A Good Day for Ducks.”

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Ok, a good day for Canadian Geese…but basically the same thing.

“It gives you wings my feathery ass,” I heard one of them say.

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More early morning Tent Action. Everybody gathering around the Empulse.

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The weather stayed foggy and wet longer on Sunday than any of the other days. This added to the tension. As if there needed to be MORE tension. New rider, new bike, hiccups on both Friday and Saturday; you would think that would be tension enough. Brammo and the Electric Motorcycles were to race at 10:20, but that got scrubbed. Too wet. There was some concern that the race could even get canceled. But, thankfully, that did not happen.

There ended up being two options: 1) Race at 4:20pm after all the other races had finished; or 2) Race at 12:20. We were hoping for the 12:20 time slot as racing at the end of the day would be anticlimactic…most of the crowd would be leaving during the race. Luckily the 12:20 time slot stuck. It seems that the track has a “quiet time” when there are no bikes allowed to race. Something to do with a quiet lunch time? Well it was decided that the Electric Motorcycles are quiet enough to actually have practice time and even race during this “quiet time.” Sweet. Another bonus of electric drive.

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With the delay, the Brammo crew got to spend a little extra time talking to fans before the race.

I was surprised just how much access the fan got to the riders and crew. Paddock Pass for the win.

(A side note. On Saturday I spent about 20 minutes talking to Rebecca, Eric’s fiance. Crazy-nice young woman. So on Sunday when I went over to the Paddock and saw her again I said “Hi” and handed her one of the Brammo brochures of Eric Bostrom. She was, “Oh, sure, I can get Eric to sign that for you.” Me, “Oh everybody gets Eric’s autograph. I was hoping you would sign it.” Sadly, no such luck as she said her handwriting is horrid. Hello, I have the signature of a 3 year old….a 3 year old after drinking 4 Red Bulls.** Maybe next time.)

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Turn 2. Andretti Hairpin.

The sun came out and it ended up being a beautiful day for racing.

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Sitting on the hill by turn 2 with BrammoJenn and BrammoDavid.

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Hill is where we were sitting to view the race. Brammo Tent is the Brammo Tent…duh.

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Just a few bikes. Even more parked on the Paddock side of the track.

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Pre Start. View of hairpin and cars on the hill, bikes on the lot…etc.

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And the race starts…Sorry the images are small…iPhone.

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One warm up lap and the real racing begins.

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Start of race…Barnes, Bostrom and Atlas.

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Ha, I love this as it shows my ADD. Gavin is filming the race a bit. He start to pan over to see the bikes head up the hill…”Oh, birds”… opps, back to racers. Gawd I had the attention span of a gnat on Red Bull**.

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Barnes on the Lightning bike leads at the start, with Eric Bostrom in second. Brammo photo. I was not that close 🙂

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Lean. Brammo Photo.

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At the start Eric is second, Steve Atlas in third. A good start for Team IconBrammo. Brammo photo.

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We got a bit of a scare. Seems that A) the announcers can’t actually see the whole track, so they mostly do their “play by play” from watching the bike transponders signal on a computer screen. B) The bike transponders weren’t working well.  Sooooo, a few times the announcer is “Eric Bostrom is out of the race…nope, sorry, he is in second place.” It was crazy. I like BrammoJenn’s commentary of  “Go ahead and scare the crap out of me.” Exactly.

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SteveO making a run at Barnes. Would it be enough? That Lightning bike is FAST…but part of Brammo’s stratagy was to keep close and catch Barnes at the end. Brammo felt they had the better battery with more energy at the end than the Lightning bikes.

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Steve Atlas pulls ahead of Eric Bostrom. Now Barnes 1st, Atlas 2nd, Bostrom 3rd.

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And that was the finishing order. Barnes, Atlas, Bostrom. Brammo takes 2nd and 3rd. A very good day for Team IconBrammo.

Both bikes finish. Both riders on the Podium. Cue the Champagne.

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I’m not good with play by play, but I can say a few things.

1) Steve Atlas drove his ass off. A great ride by him. Aggressive and strong. Great Job! “Lots of new parts” didn’t keep him from riding fast and hard.

2) Eric Bostrom was riding great and seemed very fast…but his bike visibly slowed down at one point. Some of the Brammo crew thought he was holding back for the end, but I didn’t think so. The bike just lost a bit of speed.

It was only the second time he had ridden the bike, so he and Brammo will improve. It was still a very strong ride. I talked to Eric a bit after the race. He took the blame, which is crazy, and told me that he was coming up over the hill and saw Barnes ahead and thought he could grab back a second all at one time and just pushed the bike too much and felt her “glitch”. There is a patience to motorcycle driving and he felt he had tried too hard. But that is part of the sport and also part of the learning. He will be a great rider for Brammo.

3) The Lightning bike is fast, and Barnes is an amazing rider. But the gap is closing. SteveO came in second by less than 3 seconds. Eric, without the glitch, would have been right there too. Fun times ahead.

4) The racing is eerily quiet. Especially after hearing those crazy MotoGP bikes.

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Paddock Photos. Congrats Steve Atlas. And Team IconBrammo.

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Paddock Photo. Congrats to Team IconBrammo’s newest rider, Eric Bostrom.

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I didn’t get to the Paddock for the above photos…so mine is a bit more lonely.

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Eric Bostrom post race.

SUPER nice guy. I met him on Friday and asked if I could get a photo of him and the bike. He was busy, but told me he would get back to me in a bit. But then he went one way, I went another. On Saturday he came up to me and said, “Gavin, sorry I never got around to taking that photo for you.” I couldn’t believe he remembered my name, let alone remembered about a silly photo op. We didn’t do it Saturday either, but we did get to it on Sunday. Thanks Eric. 🙂 Still sorry about blinding you on Saturday.

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So the racing was done for Brammo and the Electric Motorcycles. Congrats to all the teams, all the riders. After that it was back to the Marketing Tent. But even that was a bit slow as the finals of the MotoGP was coming up and EVERYBODY was watching that. I spent some time at the Paddock, some time watching LOUD motorcycles and some time in Marketing. But it all seems like everything and everybody was now relaxing.

Shelina did come over to the Marketing Tent to try out the new Empulse TTX. And she always draws a crowd. So that was a nice addition to the end of the last day.

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Adrian and Shelina. Shelina smiling is a given…Adrian, not so much 🙂

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Glasses and Shirt match the TTX livery. Nice job.

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End of last day. All races done. Everybody leaving and still Shelina and the TTX bring a crowd.

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Shelina running the gears for the crowd.

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Brian bring the Empulse TTX back into the tent and spinning the wheel on the astrocarpet.

I was trying to get some video of the Empulse in motion as I did have one person come up to me and have a longish conversion about the bike. He mentioned that he still hasn’t seen the Empulse being driven and until then….well he had/has doubts….and we will leave it at that. Sadly I couldn’t get my phone on fast enough. Next time I will direct him to the Hell for Leather review or let him know where James is doing Demo rides. I will just say, “Good luck and I hope for much success to you. The market needs both Brammo and Zero to succeed.”

I did also talk to a Zero employee for a bit. He agreed. If the market is so small that only one company can survive, well that doesn’t bode well for even that one company in the long term. And he liked the Empulse. 🙂

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So then it was the end of the last day. Truck loaded, tent empty. Time for the Goodbyes.

Adrian had two comments at the end that I remember.

1) “So Gavin, is there anything promised that wasn’t delivered?” Interesting, possibly loaded, question. Hmmm, let’s see…did Brammo promise me a Plus at SECA? Nope. An Empulse at SECA? Nope. So I replied, “No. Thanks, I had a great time.” Admittedly I was hoping for a surprise…but was also pretty sure I was waiting a bit longer to upgrade the Legacy Enertia loaner bike.

2) Adrian, “Well Ok. Thanks so much for all the work you did. I thought you would spend the whole weekend in the Hospitality Suite, so it was nice that you worked so hard.” Me, “Wait….that was an option???”

Truthfully I wouldn’t have had nearly as much fun if I spent the whole time in the Hospitality Suite. That said, I would have spent more than 4 minutes there…which is how long I was there over the whole 3 days.

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Adrian, Adam, David, Sarah and Me.

Special thanks to my 17 Mile Drive and Marketing tent buddies. BrammoDavid, BrammoJenn, Adam, Adrian, Sarah and James. Thanks for putting up with me. And thanks for letting me hang out and play Brammo Employee for a few days. Fun, Hard and Interesting. Kinda like Physics or…well Physics is the only thing that is Fun, Hard and Interesting.

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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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**Damn marketing…I don’t even like Red Bull and now I’ve mentioned them half a dozen times.





Brammo Blog : Saturday: Laguna Seca, Day 2.

20 08 2012

Blog 34: I play salesman again. I play “Solar Reflector” again. And I get into the Pit for some qualifying racing.

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Ok, Saturday was hella fun. Hella busy. Hella tiring. Just a Lotta Hella Everything.

Before I get into the day I have to “right a wrong.” I met a number of people on Friday and didn’t mention them. I met the race crew and they were all very nice to me (when not running around like crazy). Greg is great, and designed a beautiful bike with the TTX.  Brian’s dad is a wonderful man. And I liked how I would be introduced and a few seconds later you see the light go on and they say, “Oh, you’re that Gavin.” I’m not sure if it was a good thing or a bad thing…and didn’t ask as I was afraid of the answer.

And I met Charles Hennekam of FIM. A nice, very outgoing gentleman. And, not surprisingly, very busy and much in demand at Laguna Seca.

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And Rupal Patel, director of TTXGP. She just might be the sweetest person I had ever met. We had a nice long conversation in the Paddock on Friday. On Saturday I saw her again and walked up and gave her a hug. I’m not sure I was supposed to do that, but she is just so nice you have to greet her with more enthusiasm than normal.

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I think both were so pleased that everything was done (all the HARD work of setting up the race was finished) and that they could spend time talking and meeting people and being “fans” just like everybody else at Laguna Seca.

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But Saturday was mostly about Qualifying. And trying to get a Pit Pass was the first task I hoped to accomplish. That is after helping out in the Marketing tent all morning of course. I gotta dance for my supper after all.

Nobody from Brammo had an extra Pit Pass, and both myself and Peter Anton (Director Digital Media & Marketing at Brammo) were on the lookout for a way to get into the Pit.

Since this was an FIM race, with the TTXGP racers invited to make it a combined race, I was told to ask Charles Hennekam, the director of FIM. I had met him a couple of times over the last 2 days, but only fleetingly as he was very busy. I lucked out when I saw him come into the Brammo Marketing tent. Instead of having to look through the thousands of people to find him, he instead came right to me. My My My Said the Spider to the Fly ** 🙂 Well he didn’t come to see me, but to check out the Brammo TTX. Still it was my chance and I got in line to talk to him. He spent about 15 minutes talking to 3 gentlemen and when they finally left I walked up and said, “Hello. Do you remember me? I was the one helping your photographer take photos of the Empulse RR yesterday. I was told you are the man to see about getting a Pit Pass for the Electric Motorcycle qualifying race today.” Charles, “I very sorry but I just gave the last three pit passes to those men from BRD motorcycles, and we have to keep the number of people in the pits down for safety reasons.”

Dang it. I really can’t begrudge giving passes to the BRD people…they make electric motorcycles after all. Still….grrrrrrr. So close.

But this is where Adrian came into play. “Gavin, just tag along. We will be taking photos of the bikes and the girls after the qualifying run, so grab the reflector and just keep walking when we get to the pits.” So I grabbed one reflector and Peter Anton grabbed the other and we just followed the Umbrella Girls and the Photographer straight into the Pit and nobody questioned us in the least. Sweet.

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One of the two Lightning bikes being pushed into the Pit.

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The two Schott Solar bikes.

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A third Brammo bike? Nope, but it is running a Brammo battery, hence the Brammo logo.

Ely Schless’ bike for ProtoMoto

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Pre-Race.

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SteveO chilling pre-race. He seemed in good spirits and ready to go.

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Aaron, SteveO and Peter Anton.

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I ended up with 3 jobs on Pit Row.

1) Lightning was having an issue with a part on one of their bikes. Brammo was nice enough to loan them a few tools and give them a couple of plastic tie-downs. Aaron (Manager, Mechanical Engineering)  gave me the job of making sure ALL of the tools made it back to Brammo’s tool bag. I like the fact that the every expensive Lightning bike was able to race because of a couple of 10 cent plastic tie-downs and a number 4 Allen wrench. Crazy.

All the tools were returned. And I was given job number….

2) I was asked to keep track of SteveO’s lap times. Actually the conversation went something like this: “Gavin, do you have a way to keep close track of time?” Me, “I have my iPhone with a stopwatch on it.” “Great. You’re in charge of keeping track of Steve’s times. Just keep hitting LAP with each time he goes by the same spot in front of you.”

It was a shorter job than I expected. After the first lap I was asked, “What was Steve’s time?” Me, “1:41, plus or minus a half second.” Slight laughing, “1:41 is fine, we’re not worried about half a second here in qualifying on the first lap.”

But SteveO’s bike developed a glitch and he didn’t finish any more laps. I was probably the first to realize there was a problem as I was the one watching the timer and noticing it going longer and longer without SteveO coming by. Luckily his time on that one lap was enough to get him into the final race on Sunday.

My last job in the Pits:

3) Sun reflector dude, again. More on that later….

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Warming the tires with a Brammo battery module.

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Brian watching over Eric’s bike.

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Eric getting mentally set.

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Steve Atlas and Eric Bostrom taking off from the Pit for the start of Qualifying.

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Eric “chatting” while getting a quick suspension adjustment.

It is the nature of the beast in racing, but it is interesting that a glitch kept Eric from getting practice in on Friday, and then a separate glitch kept SteveO from getting more than one lap in on Saturday. What will be in store for Sunday?

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Spinning the tires after an adjustment to Eric’s Empulse RR

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Eric explaining the proper way to fillet a fresh piece of Salmon. Or maybe something about the ride of the bike…but I’m leaning toward fillet.

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Virginia Tech ran their bike out onto the track with about 30 seconds of racing left. Not enough time to run the needed lap to qualify for Sunday’s final.  Since they did raced on Sunday, I gather once you are on track you get to finish your lap. It was great to see them make it…by the skin of their teeth. It was close.

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After the Qualifying, Michael Barnes of Lightning and Eric Bostrom of IconBrammo get together to talk. Michael had the fastest qualifying time. Eric had the second fastest. I really liked how they both just wanted to chat a bit after racing. No crazy competition. Just friendly talk.

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Eric helping move the Empulse RR for the post Qualifying photo shoot.

Not many photos of Steve Atlas. After his bike glitch he was either off with the bike or out of the Pit area. I may have to go to Daytona just to get to talk to SteveO a bit more.

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This photo is from my iPhone as I held the Sun Reflector. I was, not intentionally, driving Eric crazy with the sun in his eyes. I kept apologizing, “Sorry, just doing my job.” He is a really really nice guy…but still I thought he might come over and hit me after the photos. The women had shades, Eric didn’t and it was kinda torture for him. I think his exact quote was, “You couldn’t possibly get the sun more into my eyes if you tried.”

So….Sorry again, E-Boz.

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The Official Brammo photo.

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Shelina’s turn to be blinded by me.

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And Official Brammo photo.

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So Qualifying was over. Photo shoot was over. Time to close up the marketing tent and head to dinner. Dinner was planned for the Cannery Road Brewing Company in downtown Monterey…and I wasn’t going to miss that. There was a large group of Brammo employees (and me), so they put us downstairs in a large room. Slightly sad…the crazy fun was upstairs. Still: good food, good beer and good company. So that was nice.

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Paul, who works on battery tech for Brammo and is in the “famous” Enertia Dyno video, sat on one side of me, Adrian on the other. I have to apologize to Paul. I only talked to him a little bit. My brain was mostly fried from the long day. I really wanted to ask tons of questions about the batteries. Where is the tech right now, where will Brammo be going with the batteries in the near future. But of course I thought of all that the next morning. Next time Paul.

I did like that Brammo also invited the Brammo Girls. Adrian seems very protective of them and watches out for them. It is sweet. And they seemed to have fun. And a free meal is always nice. 🙂  Plus Samuel was hungry…inside joke.

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Instagram photo from Brammo Twitter.

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Let’s see…Steve Atlas was there and spent most of the time talking with Peter Anton. Brian’s Dad was there and I got to briefly meet Brian’s Mom. Eric Bostrom showed up with his fiance, Rebecca, who is as lovely as she is nice. Those two make such a wonderful couple.

I can’t for the life of me remember what I ate, but I had a red ale that was tasty.

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After dinner I had to head back to the Brammo house to get “my” loaner Enertia so I could ride the 24 miles back to Salinas. Most of the Brammo race crew did not go out to dinner. Lots of work and much to review after any racing. Brian, Greg, Aaron and a few others were at the house when I got there. I tend to watch and observe people a bit…maybe too much at times. But I do like to “study” people. It is the “failed” writer in me.

Greg is great. Very friendly. Smart, lots of information, willing to share.

Aaron is nice, but a bit reserved. At least around me. I don’t have any problem with that. I am a stranger….and we all know about Stranger Danger…

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Quite possibly the most disturbing video ever made.

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Brian is “interesting.” I think we talked twice…maybe three sentences from him to me. You can tell he is crazy smart, very focused. A bit intimidating. And he seems a bit wary around strangers. Sort of, “what do they want, what do they bring to the table, how long will they be around, can I trust and rely on them.” But maybe I read too much into it.

I was at the Brammo house late Saturday night and getting ready to leave, just talking a bit about the Enertia and the type of riding I was doing and how it was a loaner from Brammo. I didn’t even know Brian was listening, but then he said from across the room, not even looking up from his laptop, “I guess we need to get you a Plus.” Me, a bit startled, “That would be nice.” It was the first time Brian had joined in on a conversation with me.

Of the crew, Greg could be your friend in a day. Aaron would take a couple of weeks. Brian? It could take a year of more.*** But enough of all that….This isn’t Dear Abby. 🙂

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Till Next Time…The Final Day at Laguna Seca. Coming Wednesday.

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

I met Eric’s lovely fiancé, Rebecca on Saturday. Super nice. Super sweet. I told Eric, “Rebecca’s gonna love those photos.” Eric, “I’m hoping my over the top expression will save me.” Or he might have said, “my goofy expression”…one of the two.

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And I have no idea what was happening here. I’m pretty sure it wasn’t a “Stevie Wonder drives like this” comment.

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**

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***I’m not dissing Brian at all here. I’m an old comic book guy, so I’ll explain it this way. Think of Brian as Reed Richards of the Fantastic Four. Now he’s in the lab concentrating on some quantum anomaly and I’m a delivery guy bringing Chinese food and girly magazines for Johnny Storm. I’m ringing the doorbell and Mr Fantastic may very well stretch his arm out 30 feet to open the door and give me a tip and grab the food and magazines and put them on the table across the room….all without looking away from his computer and all without really even noticing the delivery man/me at all. So an hour later the Human Torch comes in and says,”Hey, my Chinese food is cold. And the moo goo gai pan has leaked all over my magazines! Why didn’t you tell me the delivery guy was here?” Reed Richards/Brian, “The delivery guy was here? I didn’t notice.” Nuff Said.





Brammo Blog: Bone Weary, But Home At Last.

31 07 2012

Blog 26: A short discussion on the Brammo Empulse TTX…and then off to bed.

Tuesday to the following Tuesday. 2223 miles on the pick-up truck. About 150 miles on the Enertia. Over 100 of those at either 7 am and in 52 degree cold, damp and foggy weather, or at 11pm in cold and damp and foggy weather. So I plan to hit my bed hard soon.

But first:

1. I have many photos, many videos and many many stories to tell. They will trickle out over the next couple of weeks.

2. I didn’t plan to write a blog this evening, but I wanted to discuss one aspect of this weekend…the Empulse TTX. Not everything about the TTX, but an important detail.

3. I am a fan, and maybe also a friend, of Brammo. I was invited out to Laguna Seca by Brammo. I am not an employee of Brammo. I am not paid by Brammo. I do not know any secret plans of Brammo.  But I do have a semi-close relationship with Brammo…if one can have a close relationship with a company…maybe one can as “Corporations are People” 🙂

Still I am a fairly observant person…and I watch a lot.

So…I have been reading a lot on-line about the TTX and the how it relates to Brammo Racing and the TTXGP eSuperSport class. A nice article here:

http://www.empulsebuyer.com/?p=879

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And I wanted to maybe clarify a detail or two. Again, I don’t know Brammo’s plans. Perhaps Brammo themselves are not set on exactly what, when and where they will proceed further in racing. After all they did just add a second rider in Eric Bostrom at Seca. That said:

1. Brammo had a production Empulse and took off a few bits (turn signals, tail light and bracket) and changed out the stock color for the race colors (still in light-weight carbon fiber).

She was a production Empulse R just a week before Laguna Seca.

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Close Up.

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A nice little video with James, the new Empulse Touring guy, going through the gears. He is going to do great as he loves this bike…and put about 700 miles on it before it got the TTX trim (so yes it is a ready to go, fully functional bike).

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2. Brammo then put a name on the bike:

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3. And they just happen to have a rider with that name 🙂

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4. Who happen to try out the bike:

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5. And then stuck around to talk about the bike:

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What we know: Brammo has a production bike in race dress that fits the TTXGP eSuperSport category. Brammo has a rider for that bike.  And Brammo has a race team that can support that bike and rider. Which leaves us with actual production and sales.

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So lets look at those TTXGP eSuperSport rules:

http://www.new.egrandprix.com/news.php?id=275

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Here is the important bit:

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I was a bit surprised when I re-read the rules. I was wondering about the Empulse TTX. It seemed ready to go. Rider, bike and Team. Would it race sooner than we thought? So I went to the TTXGP site…

25 units available for sale. Not sold. Not on the road. Brammo can have 25 units in their showroom in Ashland and race at Miller.

Will they? I don’t know. But they say they are in production now. I imagine they will be working long long hours to get 25 bike built between now and the end of August. I do know the hurdle is just a bit lower than I previously thought. And I think Brammo will race 3 riders at Miller if they can.

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Till Next Time…bed calls with it’s siren song….

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…I tear up the tent with my speed 🙂