Both Empulse models employ a 10.2 kWh lithium-ion battery, 6-speed gearbox, and a permanent magnet AC motor generating 40 kW (54 hp) @ 8,200 rpm and maximum torque of 63 Nm. This translates to a 100 mph (160 km/h) top speed and 100 mile (160 km) range, or more specifically, an estimated city range of 121 miles (195 km) and an estimated highway range of 56 miles (90 km). Charging time is 8 hours, although a fast charging option will reduce this to 3.5 hours and Brammo estimates that (based on 13 cents / kWh for electricity) the cost of getting around town is just one cent per mile while highway jaunt will cost you two cents per mile.
While the 2012 Zero S matches the Empulse in range terms it maxes out at a top speed of 88 mph (142 km/h), meaning that the combination of range and speed figures quoted by Empulse are, to the best of our knowledge, unprecedented in a production electric motorcycle.
The difference in the two Empulse models is largely in the bodywork. The Empulse has semi adjustable front and rear suspension and its body work is all plastic, while the Empulse R features a carbon fiber headlight shroud, front and rear fenders, top panel and the rear light housing.
Pricing for the Empulse has been set at US$16,995 while the Empulse R will cost $18,995. Brammo has stated that production for the Empulse R will take place first with "limited availability in June 2012 and in volume by Q3 2012." The Empulse is expected to arrive in early 2013.
So is this an attractive proposition for those looking to make the switch to zero local emissions two-wheeled transport? We think so, but we'd love to hear your thoughts in the comments section.