Volume XI | Issue 2 | Fall 2011
Brammo’s electric motorcycles appeal to both cost-conscious commuters and law enforcement. Each bike is outfitted with a wall-socket-sized plug. Photo: Courtesy Brammo

Southern Oregon’s own Brammo motorcycle company charges ahead

Motorcycles are charged to power through to a new future, too. Once seen as toys for biker outlaws or reckless youth, the motorcycle culture and industry opened up in the 1960s as manufacturing moved away from British bikes, and other countries joined the two-wheeled world.

Today more than 200 million motorcycles are in use worldwide. That number is growing, and the industry continues to change. Since 2008, the Southern Oregon motorcycle company Brammo Inc., has produced four electric motorcycle models.

Research, development and racing tests keep Brammo on the innovative edge

Adrian Stewart, director of sales and marketing of the Ashland-based company, says that economy is chief among the ways his company is shaping today’s transportation. Stewart says electric motorcycles rank as “the most affordable means of transportation.”

A feature on Brammo’s web site compares cars to its product. A commuter driving 11,680 miles a year could cut out 615 gallons of gas, or $2,210, by driving its motorcycle, which the company estimates would cost $95 in electricity annually.

Stewart says in addition to cost-conscious commuters, law enforcement agencies are interested in the motorcycles because they would allow police agencies to run a fleet on less money.

The flurry of charging-station construction would help electric motorcycles, Stewart says. But Brammo bikes aren’t chained to stations, as each bike is outfitted with a wall-socket-sized plug.

Research, development and racing tests keep Brammo on the innovative edge, and Stewart sees some of Brammo’s internal workings, like its electric drive-train technology, turning up in other manufacturers’ vehicles in the future.

“People often overestimate what can be achieved in the short term and underestimate what can be achieved long term,” he said. “Thirty years from now we see the majority of vehicles, both leisure and utility, as being electric-powered. Brammo will have a significant role in that future.” 

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