Bonus Blog. A Brammo Blog Breaking…story. Sorry couldn’t think of another B word that fit.

18 07 2013

This is the part where I went snooping and asking questions and Brammo gave me some information to get me to leave them alone.

A Brammo Blog Exclusive

BrammoBlog Ver. 2.0. Number 8.

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Ok, so if you follow Brammo on the Facebook you will get some tid-bits of information and some pretty photos. Like this one:

Eric Bostrom doing a sick wheelie on the Empulse RR at Thunderhill Speedway.

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Or this one:

A bunch of Brammo bikes getting ready to head to Laguna Seca for the Red Bull United States Grand Prix, featuring the MotoGP World Championship

http://www.mazdaraceway.com/red-bull-us-grand-prix

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Or you might find photos where Brammo is trying to be “Artsy” and come across this:

A pretty photo of the Team heading by Mt. Shasta on the way to Laguna Seca.

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And if you’re really sneaky you will follow Brammo on Twitter and find even more photos and information.

Like this:

What we see is a new rider cleaning Eric Bostrom’s bike…or at least pretending to for the camera. Is this a new rider?

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Still, one photo of a new rider all in Leathers at the Brammo paddock does not instantly make me think that rider is part of Brammo’s team of riders.  Brammo gets quite a few guest riders showing up to check out the bikes. Just last week Chip Yates leather-ed up and took a ride on the TTX as part of a story for Motor Trend Magazine:

 http://www.motortrend.com/.

But seeing Mr. Yates ride that Zebra and Neon Yellow Empulse TTX,  while doing a story on Brammo, didn’t make me think he was joining Brammo’s Team.

It did make me think Ms. 93 would be ticked off if he hurt her bike.

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I just thought this rider, all in leathers, was a friend of the Team. Pro Motorcycle racing is a fairly small group and they do tend to hang out and have fun together when not trying to beat each other on the track.

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Then I find this image:

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Test rides are one thing, but few companies let test riders do wheelies on their hella expensive race bikes….

Instantly my “what’s going on here” senses went off. Either that or my vertigo has returned. Damn you wretched gravity and rapidly spinning World.

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After taking a moment to regain my balance, I continue my snooping around looking for clues. (Dan Brown has my permission to cast me in his next novel. Is the title: The book that didn’t sell and ended Dan Brown’s career because the main character was boring as hell, too long?)

Snooping didn’t take long as I quickly found that Adrian Stewart, Brammo’s Head of Marketing, has just that day “liked” Shane Turpin on the Facebook. Hmmmm…the plot, as they say, thickens. Not unlike my blood due to my skyrocketing cholesterol from too many breakfast burritos. Which might also explain my vertigo.

And finally I find this photographic evidence:

With this final clue I assume Brammo is adding a new racer to their stable. After all, you get your name on a windshield and you’re part of the team.

So we have a new Brammo rider for Laguan Seca:

Shane Turpin

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A well known and well liked rider. He is a Pro, especially at his home track at Miller Sport Park in Utah.

http://www.millermotorsportspark.com/

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Which raises the question: Will he be riding for Brammo this year at Laguna Seca AND at Miller? And maybe even more races? I don’t know any of that…yet 🙂

And when I bug Brammo enough about how my “master sleuthing” (Benedict Timothy Carlton Cumberbatch has nothing on me…except fame, fans and a really crazy long name) leads me to believe that there is a new Brammo rider being added, I get this short reply:

Shane Turpin
“Tornado Turpin # 14”
Brammo building the dream team…

Which is a bit much in marketing terms. I would have gone with a somewhat more nuanced approach, but I put it here for the readers.

Congrats to Brammo and to Shane. And I really hope I get to see him race at Miller this year. That would be cool.

http://shaneturpin.com/

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More to come…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:

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Wait…if having your name on the windshield makes you part of the team….

rr tank turpin

I must be on the TEAM!!! Looks pretty authentic to me…

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

3 07 2013

Brammo Blog Version 2.0, #6.

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

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

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

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

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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)

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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.





The Mothership Connection: Beam me up Adrian.

29 06 2013

Brammo Blog Version 2.0-Number 5 

And So We Land In Ashland.

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

parliamentship

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

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

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

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

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

And the reason was:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

IMG_6977

This is the first Enertia.

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

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

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

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

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

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IMG_7010

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

Because it HASTA be SHASTA!

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

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

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And here is where we stop for the day.

Next is THUNDERHILL.

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

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

But for now…

Take care,

Gavin

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

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Bonus:

My Brammo swag.

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Cool Parker Racing hat with Brammo logo on sides

and

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Icon/Brammo motorcycle jacket. I sleep in this.

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

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