Motorcycles

Victory introduces its first road-legal electric motorcycle, the Empulse TT

The Victory Empulse TT is designed for both sporty riding and casual commuting
The Victory Empulse TT is designed for both sporty riding and casual commuting
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The Victory Empulse TT is designed for both sporty riding and casual commuting
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The Victory Empulse TT is designed for both sporty riding and casual commuting
2016 Victory Empulse TT
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2016 Victory Empulse TT
2016 Victory Empulse TT
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2016 Victory Empulse TT
The LCD display hosts a speedometer, tachometer, gear indicator, clock, battery level and estimated range
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The LCD display hosts a speedometer, tachometer, gear indicator, clock, battery level and estimated range
The Brammo Power Li-ion battery generates 10.4 kWh; a marginal increase over the 10.2 kWh of the 2014 Empulse R
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The Brammo Power Li-ion battery generates 10.4 kWh; a marginal increase over the 10.2 kWh of the 2014 Empulse R
The bike has a built-in battery charger accessible through a SAE J1772 plug
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The bike has a built-in battery charger accessible through a SAE J1772 plug
The bike has a built-in battery charger accessible through a SAE J1772 plug
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The bike has a built-in battery charger accessible through a SAE J1772 plug
Two Brembo 4-pot radial calipers act on 310 mm disks
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Two Brembo 4-pot radial calipers act on 310 mm disks
The adjustable rear shock absorber is made by Sachs
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The adjustable rear shock absorber is made by Sachs
The twin-spar aluminum frame accomodates the Lithium ion battery pack
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The twin-spar aluminum frame accomodates the Lithium ion battery pack
The charging system can be found beneath the seat unit
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The charging system can be found beneath the seat unit
This is the optional high screen for the Victory Empulse TT
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This is the optional high screen for the Victory Empulse TT
A set of panniers is included in the Genuine Victory Accessories; range
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A set of panniers is included in the Genuine Victory Accessories; range
Right below the Empulse TT logo sits an optional frame slider
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Right below the Empulse TT logo sits an optional frame slider
2016 Victory Empulse TT
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2016 Victory Empulse TT
2016 Victory Empulse TT
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2016 Victory Empulse TT
2016 Victory Empulse TT
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2016 Victory Empulse TT
The single rear disk is coupled with a Brembo two-piston caliper
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The single rear disk is coupled with a Brembo two-piston caliper
This is the optional low screen for the Victory Empulse TT
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This is the optional low screen for the Victory Empulse TT
2016 Victory Empulse TT
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2016 Victory Empulse TT
2016 Victory Empulse TT
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2016 Victory Empulse TT
2016 Victory Empulse TT
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2016 Victory Empulse TT
2016 Victory Empulse TT
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2016 Victory Empulse TT
2016 Victory Empulse TT
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2016 Victory Empulse TT
2016 Victory Empulse TT
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2016 Victory Empulse TT

Victory Motorcycleshas turned a new page by unveiling its first fully electric motorcycle. The 2016 EmpulseTT is a road-legal electric streetbike based on Brammo's Empulse R. The company's entry into the electric market follows itssuccessful participation at the 2015 Isle of Man TT Zero race, where its Empulse-poweredracebike emerged as the fastest US electric motorcycle.

Oregon-based Brammo's electric motorcycle business was bought in January by Victory's mothercompany, Polaris Industries, so common sense dictated that it was a matter of timebefore an electric motorcycle would emerge from either Victory or Indian – orpossibly both. After all it was Harley-Davidson that had drawn first blood withits project Livewire. Now that the production version of the electric H-D hasofficially been put on hold, Polaris has an opportunity to take the initiative.

The EmpulseTT is effectively a rebadged Brammo Empulse R. The naked electric sportbikefeatures a twin-spar aluminum frame, fully adjustable suspension with an invertedfork and a single rear shock, dual-disk brakes at the front and lightweightcast aluminum rims all around. A notable difference from the Brammo model isthe change from 180 to a 160-section rear tire.

The LCD display hosts a speedometer, tachometer, gear indicator, clock, battery level and estimated range
The LCD display hosts a speedometer, tachometer, gear indicator, clock, battery level and estimated range

It is poweredby a Permanent Magnet AC Induction electric motor, peaking at 54 hp (40.3 kW)and 61 ft-lb (80.7 Nm). The power source is a Brammo Power Li-ion battery, withan output of 10.4 kWh; a marginal increase over the 10.2 kWh of the 2014Empulse R. It requires 3.9 hours for a full charge with a Stage 2 charger, whichis available as an accessory. With a Stage 1 charger the same process will need8 hours.

These outputnumbers are a far cry from the 150 hp this motor was making in racetrim at the 2015 Isle of Man TT Zero (the obvious inspiration in naming the EmpulseTT).

Victory Electric Product Manager Joshua Katt describes the Empulse TT as a "versatile motorcycle that can be used for impressively sporty riding or asa casual commuter" – this is a road going motorcycle and, as such, inevitably subjectto practical demands. Although it is capable of top speeds over 100 mph (160 km/h),it needs to deliver a viable range with a single charge. Victory informsus that the Empulse TT battery is sufficient for a range of about 65 miles (104km), though a maximum of 100 miles (160 km) is achievable with throttle management anduse of the motorcycle's regenerative charging. During testing the Empulse TTdelivered a "combined 70 mph (112 km/h) highway and city range" of 57 miles(91.2 km) according to the Motorcycle Industry Council's standards.

The electricmotor can be operated in two modes; the Eco mode is sufficient for everydayriding, while the Sport releases 20 percent more battery power for strongeracceleration.

2016 Victory Empulse TT
2016 Victory Empulse TT

A centralfeature in the Empulse TT is the use of a six-speed gearbox mated to a wet multi-plateclutch. It is designed to enable the rider to take full advantage of theengine's potential, while at the same time allowing for a more efficient use ofthe bike's battery. Downshifting assists in creating regenerative power – evenmore so in Sport mode – and also mimics the engine braking effect that most ridersare used to from conventional motorcycles.

One couldargue that six gears are far too many for an electric motor; two or three shouldbe more than enough. Interestingly, in this transmission neutral is found between second andthird gear, as the third is used for most riding speeds and conditions. Starting the Empulse TT translates to turningon the power, selecting third gear (without using the clutch) and just twistingthe throttle. Evidently the bike's rider will rarely run through all six gears.

The clutch isanother feature that will not see much use. It is needed only when shiftingbetween gears, not for taking off or coming to a stop.

Apparently this transmission system is also designed to provide familiarity for thetypical motorcyclist who is not used to a single gear electric motor.

The EmpulseTT is scheduled to be available in the US by the end of 2015 at an MSRPstarting at US$19,999, complemented by a line of Genuine VictoryAccessories that include Victory performance forks, frame sliders, tall andshort windscreens and panniers. Victory says it will determine its internationalsales plan according to the global demand for the bike.

Watch the Empulse TT in action in the official promo video below.

Empulse TT - Victory Motorcycles

Source: Victory Motorcycles

7 comments
Buellrider
Gearing an electric is unnecessary complexity. The idea in my way of thinking is to achieve as high a mileage per charge as possible and do it without having to shift. Polaris is probably engineering the shifter out of this bike for the next iteration. The beauty of an electric motorcycle is that it's quite, cheap to fuel and no clutch, just like Zero does it and the Livewire. 20K is a bit expensive for a 70 mile per charge bike. I'd like the LiveWire to become available for purchase and if that doesn't happen within the next year or two then I'll go to Zero.
Daishi
@Buellrider Even if LiveWire was released soon I'm not sure how much HD wants to compete head to head with other companies on price vs performance. They are a premium brand for the most part and I don't blame them for not being interested in offering best bang for the buck with super thin profit margins. The number I saw said LiveWire would cost $50k if they launched it today. HD also makes a lot of money in after market parts and accessories and they would have to figure out how to adapt that to electric. I don't have any hard numbers on it but most the Harley Riders I know easily have over $3,000 in after market parts on their bikes. It's not unusual to drop $2k on a Screamin Eagle exhaust system alone and HD has to be sitting around thinking about what their strategy will need to be with electric to stay as profitable as they are today. I would be surprised if LiveWire cost less than like $30k.
PedroNuno
@Buellrider - I dont agree with your point of view that the way to go is to achieve as high a mileage per charge. Electric vehicles never did, don't and never will have a range problem. The real problem is the charging time. If you get the technology to evolve to a point that you can charge in split seconds and this is possible today but the batteries don't "like it", if we reach that point, things would change dramatically. Look at the difference between charging a tesla car at your home or with their super chargers. Again, the big problem is not range but time of charge. One more thing, When will these companies hire competente designers to design their bikes?. When we have to pay a lot of money for a bike, the electric fact shouldn't be the only thing different from a normal bike. Good design also sells.
Martin Winlow
@PedroNuno The problem with really fast charging is not just whether the batteries can take it but how much power is required as well. If what currently takes a hour to charge could charge instead in 1 second your power source would need to go from 10kW (in the case of the featured EV - easily and cheaply achievable today) to 36MW - the output of a small power station! On top of that, what sort of cable would you need to connect them? An utterly impractical one, unfortunately. Realistically we are stuck with a practical minimum charging time of around 20 to 30 minutes with todays technology - both battery and charger. Fortunately this amount of time will give you 200 miles or so of range in a car - somewhat less on a bike. But realistically, who wants to drive for more than 2 - 3 hours (especially on 2 wheels) without taking a break? If you want to do it faster, take a train or a plane - or stick to ICEVs... whilst you can! MW
gizmowiz
It's too bad Victory has chosen to not make an eCruiser. Big mistake as most of us old farts want a laid back bike for cruising like from Denver to mountains and back and want a seat height of no more than 25 inches as us older riders don't have the strength to keep heavy 750 lb beasts upright when the seats are 32-35 inches high. Get a life Victory!
gizmowiz
What we need is for Tesla to get involved with it's superior IQ to produce a good long range eCruiser (150 miles is enough with their fast charging capability). All the regular bike manufacturers are not smart enough.
wanderkip
@ gizmowiz- http://www.greencarreports.com/news/1099151_no-tesla-wont-make-a-model-m-electric-motorcycle-despite-that-rendering