2016 Empulse TT: Victory Motorcycle Unveils New Electric Street Bike

2016 Victory Electric Motorcycle

2016 Victory Electric Motorcycle

electric-victory-logoMedina MN, July 28th – Building on the innovative design and engineering that produced the fastest U.S. electric motorcycle at the 2015 Isle of Man TT Zero race, Victory Motorcycles has introduced the 2016 Empulse TT, the first all-electric addition to the Victory lineup. The Victory Empulse TT is a fully electric street-legal sport bike that is as capable of carving tight lines on twisting roads as it is powering the daily commute. Building on Victory Motorcycle’s focus on performance, the Empulse TT features a sport bike-style aluminum beam-frame, an adjustable suspension, and aggressive brakes. With a combination of advanced technology and stylish, modern design, this unique new motorcycle delivers outstanding overall performance, zero-emission output, and a torquey motor.

“We have always been known for great handling and power, so the Empulse TT is an ideal fit in the expanding Victory lineup,” said Motorcycle Product Director Gary Gray.

“The Empulse TT was developed primarily as an electric motorcycle delivering a sporty ride,” said Victory Electric Product Manager Joshua Katt, “but with dual ride modes – ECO and SPORT – to choose from, and the addition of a gearbox, the Empulse TT is a versatile motorcycle that can be used for impressively sporty riding or as a casual commuter.”

2016 Empulse TT Victory Electric Motorcycle

2016 Empulse TT Victory Electric Motorcycle

The key features that allow Empulse TT to deliver a sporty riding experience include: a fully adjustable suspension featuring a single rear shock and inverted front forks; dual-disk front brakes that deliver confidence-inspiring high-performance stopping power; lightweight new cast aluminum wheels; the greatest lean angle in the electric class; and a sportbike-style riding position.

Steve Menneto, VP Motorcycles, said Victory Motorcycles is committed to expanding brand awareness and sales globally, and the Empulse TT will allow the brand to reach more markets.  “This is a company that does not fear technology and progressive products, and we want to be strong in the electric motorcycle segment,” he said.

The Empulse TT shares some DNA with the original Brammo Empulse R motorcycle. Victory has been working with Brammo since 2011, but in January 2015 Victory’s parent company, Polaris Industries, acquired Brammo’s motorcycle assets.  Since then, Victory engineers worked with the Brammo product team to achieve improvements in battery capacity, display function, and handling.  The result is a Victory Empulse TT with advanced technology, impressive performance, and sporty styling that draw from the Isle of Man Zero TT race bikes.

The Victory Empulse TT is capable of top speeds of over 100 mph, and it has a high-capacity 10.4kWh battery.  The bike has a built-in battery charger and an easily accessible SAE J1772 plug atop the bodywork in front of the seat. The bike’s Brammo Power Lithium Ion battery fully charges in just 3.9 hours using a Stage 2 charger (available as an accessory utilizing a 240V outlet). The bike will fully charge in 8.9 hours using a regular household 120V outlet.

2016 Empulse TT Victory Electric Motorcycle

2016 Empulse TT Victory Electric Motorcycle

In typical riding, the Empulse TT battery provides a rider with a range of about 65 miles, and a range of 100 miles is possible with throttle management and use of the bike’s regenerative charging. In preliminary testing, the bike demonstrated a Motorcycle Industry Council (MIC) city range of 94 miles. The bike delivered an MIC “combined 70 mph highway and city range” of 57 miles.

Riders can make the most efficient use of the battery’s 10.4kWh of electricity by using the six-speed gearbox. Shifting and downshifting help to create regenerative power (under deceleration), and also produce a feeling familiar to experienced riders of the compression braking on gasoline-powered motorcycles.

The rider only needs to use the clutch when shifting between gears, not for taking off or coming to a stop. When coming to a stop, a rider can leave the bike in gear, or choose to click the shifter down (without pulling in the clutch) to put the bike in neutral.  To take off from a stop, the rider simply needs to twist the throttle to unleash the liquid-cooled electric motor’s impressive torque.

In the Empulse TT’s proprietary transmission, neutral is found between 2nd and 3rd gears, and the transmission can be left in 3rd gear for most riding speeds and conditions. To begin riding, a rider can simply turn the bike’s power on, select 3rd gear (without the clutch), twist the throttle, and go.

Not all competitive electric motorcycles have gearboxes, so the Empulse TT gearbox gives the bike a significantly sportier feel, and it enhances a rider’s engagement with the bike.

In everyday riding conditions, the Victory Empulse TT can be operated in ECO mode, but it also has an optional SPORT mode for high-performance riding. In SPORT mode, 20 percent more battery power is released to the motor, resulting in enhanced acceleration.

2016 Empulse TT Victory Electric Motorcycle

2016 Empulse TT Victory Electric Motorcycle

SPORT mode also increases the amount of regenerative braking – or “regen” – which further increases the feeling similar to compression braking when the rider rolls off the throttle. Regen uses the inertia of the motorcycle to return energy from the motor back into the battery pack, which increases available energy. To select SPORT mode, a rider presses and holds the start button for 1 second.

The bike’s LCD data display features a speedometer, tachometer, gear indicator, and clock. It also displays the battery level as a horizontal bar accompanied by the percentage of battery energy remaining, and provides an estimate of remaining riding range.

Genuine Victory Accessories immediately available for the Empulse TT include Victory performance forks, frame sliders, tall and short windscreens, and side bags that hold cargo.

The new Victory Empulse TT electric motorcycle is scheduled to be available for purchase in the United States in late 2015. Victory is in the process of determining global demand for the bike before announcing its international sales plan.

Additional specifications and high- and low-resolution images are available at our media site: www.VictoryPressKit.com

TECHNICAL SPECIFICATIONS

ENGINE

ELECTRIC MOTOR: Internal Permanent Magnet AC Induction

PEAK MOTOR POWER: 54hp

PEAK TORQUE: 61 ft-lb (available from a full stop)

TRANSMISSION: 6-speed gearbox with multi-plate, hydraulic activated wet clutch

EMISSIONS: None

BATTERY PACK

BATTERY: Brammo Power Lithium Ion

BATTERY CAPACITY: 10.4 kWh

BATTERY VOLTAGE: 103.6V/117.6V (max)

CHARGE TIME: 2 hrs (Level I/20% to 80% SOC)
3.9 hrs (Level II/0% to 100% SOC)
8.9 hrs (Level I/0% to 100% SOC)

BRAKES

FRONT BRAKING SYSTEM: Dual 310mm Brembo floating discs with twin 4-piston radial mounted Brembo brake calipers

REAR BRAKING SYSTEM: Brembo single disc with dual piston hydraulic Brembo brake caliper

PERFORMANCE

MAX SPEED: 161+ km/h / 100+ mph

REGENERATIVE BRAKING: Extends riding range and provides familiar rider feedback on deceleration

SUSPENSION

FRONT SUSPENSION: Adjustable 43mm Inverted Forks

REAR SUSPENSION: Adjustable Direct-Acting Shock

CHASSIS

CARRY CAPACITY: 167 kg/368 lb

DRY WEIGHT: 213 kg/470 lb

GROUND CLEARANCE: 18.54 cm/7.3 in

LENGTH: 206.5 cm/81.3 in

RAKE/TRAIL: 24°/7.62 cm (3 in)

SEAT HEIGHT: 80.0 cm/31.5 in

WHEELBASE: 147.32 cm/58 in

OTHER COMPONENTS

INSTRUMENTATION: LCD display with: Speedo, tach, odometer, gear indicator, energy consumption, battery status, estimated range, and system status

TYRES FRONT & REAR: Continental Sport Attack II 120-70 ZR17 58W &   160/60ZR17 69W

WHEELS FRONT & REAR: 17” x 3.5”/17” x 4.5”

Isle of Man Electric Motorcycle Race News Updates

Isle of Man: Victory Racing has charged forward in its second practice with Guy Martin replacing injured William Dunlop to ride his first ever lap of the TT course on an electric motorcycle.

William fell from his Tyco BMW S1000RR at Laurel Bank in the morning’s Superstock practice lap and was taken to Nobles hospital. He had a broken rib and bruising, ruling him out of any more racing this week. After consultations with both teams and both riders, William’s Tyco BMW teammate will ride the electric motorcycle inWednesday’s TT Zero race.

For his first ever ride on the electric bike, Guy Martin rode an incredible 104.56mph lap and hit 147.8mph through the Sulby speed trap. Guy is known for his love of engineering, but even he was almost left speechless at the end of his lap. “I couldn’t be more impressed,” he said. “It was mega. So quiet and really fast. A mega experience.”

While Guy took much of the spotlight during today’s practice, Lee ‘General Lee’ Johnston rode a 103.94mph lap and screamed through Sulby 15mph faster than his previous practice lap, hitting 157.9mph. Riding over the 150mph mark will be come as some solace for William Dunlop as he had told the team in their morning briefing that he was eyeing up 150mph at Sulby today. Little did he know at the time how his day would pan out.

With Guy stepping in last minute, the team was able to run two bikes and now has two sets of battery data that it will study to make decisions about the setup for the SES TT Zero race on Wednesday.

Knowing exactly what battery power settings to choose is proving crucial to success, as both Lee and Guy slowed as they rode over the finish line, with Lee running out of battery power as he brought the bike back up pit lane after his lap.

As he walked up pit lane, Lee said he knew he’d ridden fast early on: “I caught up with Guy at Sulby and got a good slipstream then passed him,” he said. “I was starting to slow coming down from the Creg, then Guy came past.”

Team Manager, Brian Wismann, said: “The team were gutted to hear of William’s crash during practice this morning, but are relieved to learn that he’s OK and will make a full recovery.

“We had a talk with William and he pegged Guy as the best rider to fill in for him on the Victory Racing electric prototype, so we moved quickly to get Guy confirmed for the bike.

“We sent Lee and Guy out for today’s session with the power turned up a bit from the first session, and the riders made good use of it! Unfortunately, we overshot our mark a bit and both riders slowed in the final mile to cross the line.

“Luckily, we’ve been given another qualifying session tomorrow so we can take another shot at getting the perfect balance between power and energy consumption.”

The practice highlights how performance in the Zero TT is down to the amount of electrical energy that can be stored onboard. Parker’sUS-based strategic account manager, Kevin Holloway, sums it up succinctly: “Energy storage is the Holy Grail for electric vehicles.”

After Lee achieved 157.9mph today on the bike, Victory Racing and Parker Racing have more details about the design of the electric motor that propelled him to that speed.

The motor is made by Parker and called the Parker GVM. It’s cylindrical and sits behind the swingarm’s pivot point. The Parker GVM is just eight inches (0.2m) in diameter and five inches (0.13m) long, but generates 175hp giving around 165hp at the rear wheel.

It is 97 per cent efficient; nearly all of the electrical energy drawn from the Brammo batteries is converted in to kinetic energy to drive the chain and sprocket on the rear wheel.

Parker has designed an internal water-cooling system for the GVM motor. It resides within the motor, rather than creating a jacket around it; this way the smaller volume achieved means that the motor has a much higher power density.

Can Harley & Tesla Develop A Great Electric Motorcycle?

Harley Davidson has underestimated the potential of Project LiveWire and needs to pursue strategic partnerships to succeed in the market. Excerpts from an article at http://iveybusinessreview.ca

For 111 years, Harley-Davidson has sold a story of freedom and independence. It built a brand that connected with the youthful rebellion of a generation and has become entrenched as an American cultural icon. However, with 65% of the company’s revenue last year coming from Caucasian men over the age of 35 and an expected 20% decline in its baby-boomer customer base by 2030, Harley is facing its own mid-life crisis. This demographic shift, combined with a rising median age among motorcyclists and a decline in first-time buyers, paints a dark picture of future growth prospects, particularly among the younger generations. Moreover, despite the fact that revenues are currently on the rise, unit sales are still down 30% compared to 2006. Harley’s cultural ubiquity has allowed the brand to become a symbol of American individuality, which has translated to commercial success in the past. However, this powerful branding is no longer relatable to younger audiences, and unless it can revitalize its brand, Harley will fade into obsolescence.

2_quote1Checking the Mirrors

To mitigate the issue of its aging customer-base, Harley has recently focused on new product development. The Harley- Davidson Street 500 and Street 750 motorcycles, released in late 2014, were intended to serve as platforms to attract a new generation of young, urban riders to Harley.

This new line, however, may not prove to be a long-term solution as the cheaper Street may dilute Harley’s image, built upon notoriously loud, up-right heavyweight motorcycles. Deviation from this image has historically been ineffective. Focusing on the Street line alienates Harley’s core fan base and shifts the brand image into murky territory that it has not been accounted for in its marketing and messaging.

3_quote2The Street line also moves Harley away from its established competitive strategy of strong differentiation based on its heritage and cult following, to a space that is highly saturated by competitors. Harley has a lower capacity in purchasing and manufacturing compared to its counterparts, such as Honda. Harley sells approximately 400,000 units annually, while Honda sells close to 10 million, giving Honda higher buying power against suppliers and potentially improved economies of scale. From a manufacturing standpoint, Harley is accustomed to producing low volumes of high-margin motorcycles. When switching its focus to the Street line, Harley may face challenges in adjusting to higher manufacturing volumes.

Rather than placing its reliance on the Street Line to appeal to the younger generation, Harley should pursue Project LiveWire: its prototype electric motorcycle. By focusing on LiveWire, Harley can introduce a new and relevant product to the younger generation, while still maintaining its position as a premium motorcycle manufacturer.

Test Driving the Competition

Project LiveWire is Harley’s first foray into the electric motorcycle market. A prototype model is currently being toured throughout North America and Europe in an attempt to solicit consumer feedback. This feedback will help Harley decide if and when to bring an electric motorcycle to market. The prototype has a single gear, a touch screen dashboard, and is strangely quiet. Harley’s CMO, Mark-Hans Richer, denotes that Project LiveWire is all about building buzz and showing Harley can appeal to new kinds of customers, rather than a concrete plan to release an electric bike . This narrow focus is a missed opportunity for Harley Davidson.

5_quote3Harley is not the first to enter the electric motorcycle market. Electrics have been a niche market since 2010, with the space comprised almost exclusively of small companies such as Zero, Brammo, Energica and Mission. However, these players currently have insignificant sales compared to traditional motorcycle manufacturers. Zero Motorcycles expects to sell about 2,400 bikes this year globally, a small fraction of Harley’s 2013 sales of gasoline-powered motorcycles.

This market may not stay quiet for long, as big player Yamaha has hinted in its 2013 annual report at an introduction of electric bikes in the near future.

6_quote4The main obstacle Harley will face when attempting to enter this new market is its lack of expertise in manufacturing electric motorcycles. Notably, the current specs of LiveWire pale in comparison to those of niche brand bikes, specifically when it comes to range and speed. These issues stem from battery capacity limitations and component manufacturing, as the technology is not yet mature and battery quality is a key factor for both cost and bike functionality. Despite these challenges, it is important for Harley to stay ahead of the curve and spot opportunities early in order to maintain sustainable growth. The most effective method through which Harley can maintain its positioning is to seek out strategic partnerships to complement its strengths and offset its weaknesses.

Paving the Way

If the LiveWire is to assume a premium position and become the market leader in the electric motorcycle space, Harley will need to design a bike with best in-class performance. The current specs of the LiveWire are insufficient to achieve this status. To bridge the gap between their current abilities and the required skills, Harley should seek the expertise of Tesla Motors.

7_quote5Tesla has a history of developing key electric vehicle components for other manufacturers. Tesla contributed both the battery pack and the electric drivetrain, which are key components needed to be improved on LiveWire. Tesla also released a number of its patents to the public in June 2014, indicating that the company wishes to standardize its charging technology. With Tesla actively looking to expand its customer base, Harley can capitalize on Tesla’s expertise to resolve the major issues facing LiveWire. This will allow the Harley to develop a model with leading specs and be seen as a front-runner in the industry.

8_chargers

Fine Tuning 

Harley has overlooked the potential to fully launch the LiveWire to not only appeal to younger riders, but also to be the first to pave the future for sustainable motorcycle riding. Harley should focus on expanding its market share of young professionals in the US between 24-45 years of age that earn over $90,000 annually, indicating a current market size of 5.77 M people. This demographic is typically concentrated in urban areas, have disposable income, and are increasingly choosing alternatives to cars due to limited parking and high traffic. With 32% of vehicles being purchased on average by that age bracket and a 3% ratio of motorcycle sales to vehicle sales in the US, Harley stands to see a market size of $343 M. In comparison to their expected sales of its Street line-up, Harley would need to capture 22% of the market to achieve similar top line growth. While this is significantly smaller compared to Harley’s entire motorcycle market share in the US, Harley can jumpstart this capture by heavily pushing sales in California.The value of the opportunity is bolstered by the international potential of LiveWire, specifically in Europe, where there is growing demand for renewable energy transportation.

Hitting the Open Road

The LiveWire can allow Harley to maintain profitability by selling a technologically advanced product that justifies premium pricing and high margins. In a partnership with Tesla, Harley will not only be able to better execute its strengths, but also take advantage of Tesla’s innovative technology to produce a top-line motorcycle that aligns with Harley’s brand. This move will create a sustainable competitive advantage by establishing Harley as the first major brand in the new electric motorcycle market. More importantly, this move will attract a new generation of Harley fans. Harley must not let the roar of the past overpower the hum of the future.

Please click on http://iveybusinessreview.ca/blogs/xxuhba2016/2015/01/09/road-less-travelled/ for the entire article.

Polaris Adds Brammo Electric Motorcycle to Victory & Indian Brands

Polaris Industries Inc. today announced it has acquired the electric motorcycle business of Brammo Inc. In addition, Polaris is acting as a leading investor in a recapitalization of Brammo that enables the company to focus exclusively on the design, development and integration of electric vehicle powertrains.

Going forward, the two companies will leverage Polaris’ leading position in the global powersports industry to market a variety of electric vehicles utilizing Brammo’s award winning lithium-ion electric drivetrain technology, while freeing Brammo to continue developing its innovative electric vehicle powertrains. Brammo supplies these products, including the Brammo Power™ battery pack and Brammo Power™ vehicle management systems, globally to a wide range of OEMs. As part of this transaction, Polaris will utilize the assets acquired to begin manufacturing electric motorcycles in the second half of 2015 at its Spirit Lake, IA facility.

“We have enjoyed our involvement with Brammo Motorcycles over the past three years, and our excitement about their industry-leading lithium-ion electric drivetrain technology has increased commensurate with their improvements in cost and performance. Polaris and Brammo share a goal of adding the most advanced and highest capability electric solutions to Polaris’ portfolio of leading powersports products,” said Scott Wine, Polaris Chairman and CEO. The agreement allows both companies to be more agile during the development cycle with clear accountability toward selling products that exemplify Polaris’ standard for delivering world class vehicles.

Polaris has been a strategic investor and partner with Brammo since 2011. During that time, the companies have collaborated on a number of projects in motorcycles, off-road and on-road vehicles. “Today’s announcement strengthens not only Polaris’ commitment to bringing our consumers lithium-ion electric solutions, but also this partnership’s ability to continue innovating and developing leading electric drivetrain technology,” said Wine. “We anticipate a return on these investments and believe the new alignment brings us that much closer to delivering world-class electric solutions across our products.”

Brammo has designed and developed numerous electric vehicles, including the award-winning Enertia and Empulse motorcycles. Testifying to its capabilities and technology, Brammo motorcycles have won a number of awards including:  2013 Playboy “Motorcycle of Year” and “Best Electric” (Empulse R), 2012 GQ “Best Stuff of the Year” (Empulse), 2011 Popular Science “Best of What’s New” (Empulse), 2011 Motorcycle.com “Best of 2011” and a 2010 Silver Edison Award. In addition, Brammo’s motorcycles have won numerous racing championships including the 2013 FIM eRR North American World Cup Champion and 2012 TTXGP World Championship.

Harley’s First Electric Motorcycle Will Appear In Marvel’s AVENGERS: AGE OF ULTRON

LiveWire_Comic-Con_AvengersSAN DIEGO – At the San Diego Comic-Con, Harley-Davidson® and Marvel Studios will introduce Project LiveWire™ – Harley-Davidson’s first electric motorcycle – to fans gathered at the annual international convention. Project LiveWire, which is featured in Marvel’s Avengers: Age of Ultron, will be the ride of choice for Natasha Romanoff (a.k.a. Black Widow) played by Scarlett Johansson, in an epic scene with Captain America in the film.

The addition of Project LiveWire to Avengers: Age of Ultron confirms months of speculation that Harley-Davidson and Marvel are, indeed, teaming up again. Harley-Davidson motorcycles – including the Harley-Davidson Street 750™ featured in Marvel’s Captain America: The Winter Soldier earlier this year – have appeared in a number of Marvel movies and television shows over the last several years.

“Our partnership with Marvel continues to provide thrilling platforms to showcase our latest innovations to existing and new fans of the brand,” said Dino Bernacchi, Director of U.S. Marketing at Harley-Davidson Motor Company. “Not one, but two bikes will be featured in Avengers: Age of Ultron – Project LiveWire and the all-new Street 750, which is now available at Harley-Davidson dealerships.”

While not for sale, Project LiveWire is specifically designed to get insight into rider expectations of an electric Harley-Davidson motorcycle. In keeping with the company’s customer-led product development approach, Harley-Davidson is taking Project LiveWire to consumers across the country. Fans in San Diego will be able to ride the bike at the San Diego Harley-Davison dealership July 25-26 and provide feedback to help shape the future of Harley-Davidson’s first-ever electric motorcycle. To learn more about Project LiveWire and The Experience Tour, visit www.projectlivewire.com.

About Marvel’s Avengers: Age of Ultron
Written and directed by Joss Whedon (Marvel’s The Avengers), the film returns its iconic cast, including Robert Downey Jr. (Marvel’s Iron Man 3, Marvel’s The Avengers) as Tony Stark/Iron Man along with Chris Hemsworth (Marvel’s Thor: The Dark World, Marvel’s The Avengers) as Thor, Mark Ruffalo (Marvel’s The Avengers, Now You See Me) as Hulk, Chris Evans (Marvel’s Captain America: The Winter Soldier, Marvel’s The Avengers) as Captain America, Scarlett Johansson (Marvel’s Captain America: The Winter Soldier, Marvel’s The Avengers) as Black Widow, Jeremy Renner (American Hustle, The Avengers) as Hawkeye, and Samuel L. Jackson (Marvel’s Captain America: The Winter Soldier, Marvel’s The Avengers) as Nick Fury. Joining the cast are Aaron Taylor-Johnson (Godzilla, Kick Ass 2) as Quicksilver, Elizabeth Olsen (Godzilla) as Scarlet Witch and James Spader (The Blacklist, Lincoln) as Ultron.

Set for release in the United States on May 1, 2015, Marvel’s Avengers: Age of Ultron is produced by Kevin Feige. Executive Producers are Louis D’Esposito, Jeremy Latcham, Victoria Alonso, Patricia Whitcher, Alan Fine, Stan Lee, and Jon Favreau.