Electric motorcycle manufacturer, Brammo Inc., wants to know how much abuse their forward-looking electric machines can take. So what are they doing to find out? Looking for police departments to beat the living snot out of them.
In the past, the standard choice of a motorcycle for American police departments was a large, heavy machine. The most popular among those options was typically a Harley-Davidson, a big Kawasaki or even, in some cases, big Moto Guzzi bikes.
But now, in response to the cost of maintaining and feeding fossil-fueled bikes, the Fort Collins, Colo., PD motorcycle division have just begun a month-long examination of Brammo’s Enertia Plus LE motorcycle.
“As we look to maximize fuel efficiency and green technology, it made sense to conduct a trial of Brammo’s all-electric motorcycle,” said Captain Jim Szakmeister, department spokesman.
Greg Lemhouse, Global Fleet Director for Brammo, said Colorado State University campus police also plan to test the Enertia Plus.
“We believe in our product and technology,” Lemhouse said. “Once a government agency has the opportunity to use it, they’ll see how it will benefit them.”
According to Lemhouse, Harvard University and Providence College (along with police units in Newark and Kansas City) also plan trials. At this point, Brammo motorcycles are currently in use by the Hong Kong police.
The Fort Collins Police now operate a seven-motorcycle fleet of Harley-Davidson Ultra Classic Electra Glides and Kawasaki Concours bikes.
The police versions of the Enertia Plus LE models are equipped with emergency lights and other accessories which will allow Fort Collins police to use them in a variety of patrol details.
“There’s a range difference and a different feel when you’re putting the pedal to the metal,” said Matt Johnson of the Fort Collins police. “You get used to the traditional gas engine response, and there’s a much different sensation with this.”
Johnson said he fully expects the Brammo bikes in the trials to be pressed beyond the current single-charge range of 100 miles.
“It’s not uncommon for them to ride quite a distance during the day,” Johnson said.
Enertia Plus Specifications
- Battery 6.0 kWh Lithium Ion
- Avg. Range* 80-100 miles on a single charge
- Weight 324 lbs
- 72-volt DC motor
- Top speed – 63 mph