Victory Empulse TT Preview, Specs and Photos
This past June, Victory Motorcycles entered electric-motorcycle history when it fielded two prototypes in the Isle of Man TT Zero – a one-lap race around the famed 37.73-mile Mountain Course.
The Victory TT prototypes – based on Brammo Empulse Rs – were piloted by Lee Johnston and fan-favorite Guy Martin. Johnston earned third, giving Victory bragging rights as producing the fastest electric motorcycle at the 2015 TT. As for Martin, he finished fourth.
This quickly propelled the manufacturer of performance cruisers into the new territory of electric motorcycles. But was a production model in the works? Harley-Davidson had already entered the territory last year with its Project LiveWire prototype, but the LiveWire was just that – a prototype.
Victory answered this question Wednesday with the release of the 2016 Victory Empulse TT – the first all-electric motorcycle offered from the American OEM based out of Spirit Lake, Iowa.
The Victory Empulse TT is basically an upgraded Brammo Empulse R – an already popular electric sport motorcycle. Victory Motorcycles first began working with Brammo engineers back in 2011, but things amped up when the performance-cruiser parent’s company, Polaris Industries, acquired Brammo’s motorcycle assets in January 2015.
The Victory/Brammo relationship strengthened, and Victory engineers helped Brammo improve “battery capacity, display function and handling.” This ultimately led to the Victory Empulse TT, which has a possible range of 100 miles and can reach speeds over 100 mph.
“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. “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.”
The biggest change over the Brammo Empulse R is the high-capacity 10.4kWh Brammo Power Lithium Ion battery, which can fully charge in 3.9 hours using a Stage 2 charger (accessory, needs a 240V outlet), making it the fastest charging battery currently in the market.
The Victory Empulse TT has a built-in battery charger and an easily accessible SAE J1772 plug atop the bodywork to the front of the seat, Victory reports.
Victory says the Empulse TT is capable of range of 100 miles with “throttle management and use of the bike’s regenerative charging,” though most riders likely would see around 65 miles.
In preliminary testing, the Victory Empulse TT 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.
Other highlights of the Victory Empulse TT fully adjustable suspension with 43mm inverted forks and a direct-acting shock out back; Brembo brakes; a six-speed transmission (unlike other one-speed electric bikes); lightweight cast aluminum wheels; sportbike styling and riding position; and the “greatest lean angle in the electric class.”
Victory highlights the six-speed gearbox, saying shifting and downshifting “helps to create regenerative power (when the bike is under deceleration) and also produces a feeling similar to the compression braking that riders experience on gas-powered motorcycles.
Unlike gas-powered motorcycles, the liquid-cooled Victory Empulse TT has a clutch that is only needed for shifting between gears – it is not needed for starting or stopping. Neutral is found between second and third gears and a rider can leave the bike in third gear for most riding speeds and conditions. To begin riding, a rider can simply turn the bike’s power on, select third gear (without the clutch), twist the throttle and go, Victory reports.
The Victory Empulse TT also arrives with two riding modes – ECO and Sport. As expected, Sport uses more batter power – 20-percent more. Victory reports that Sport mode also increases the amount of regenerative braking – or “regen” – that 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. To select Sport mode, a rider presses and holds the start button for 1 second.
As for instrumentation, the Victory Empulse TT arrvies with an LCD data display that 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.
The 2016 Victory Empulse TT will be available in late 2015; no price has been reported, but expect to pay around $20,000.
2016 Victory Empulse TT Specs:
- Electric Engine: Internal Permanent Magnet AC Induction
- Peak Engine Power: 54hp
- Peak Torque: 61ftlbs
- Transmission: 6-speed gearbox with multi-plate, hydraulic activated wet clutch
- Battery: Brammo Power Lithium Ion
- Battery Capacity: 10.4 kWh
- Battery Voltage: 103.6V / 117.6V (max)
- Charge Time: 3.9 hrs (at Level 2 / 0% to 100% SOC) 8 hrs (at Level I / 0% to 100% SOC)
- Emissions: None
- 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
- Max Speed: 100mph
- Regenerative Braking: Extends riding range and provides familiar rider feedback
- Front Suspension: Adjustable 43mm Inverted Forks
- Rear Suspension: Adjustable Direct-Acting Shock
- Carry Capacity: 167 kg
- Dry Weight: 213 kg
- Ground Clearance: 18.54 cm
- Length: 206.5 cm
- Rake/Trail: 24° / 7.62 cm
- Seat Height: 80.0 cm
- Wheelbase: 147.32 cm
- Instrumentation LCD display; speed, tach, odometer, gear position, energy consumption, battery status, estimated range and system status
- Tires: Continental Sport Attack II
- Front tire is a 120-70 ZR17 58W and the rear is a 160/60ZR17 69W
- Wheels: Front is a 17” x 3.5” / Rear is a 17” x 4.5”