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Old 07-29-2015, 12:00 AM   #1
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2016 Victory Empulse TT

Itís eerie to walk out onto the bleachers, watching racers pull triple-digit speeds in relative silence. Walking through the pits and not seeing oil stains and cans of gas strewn about. Sure, you still smell the burning rubber, but not the familiar aromas of gasoline and oil. The mechanics all have clean hands and for the most part are just looking at computer screens. This is the future we are heading towards, and Victory Motorcycles is taking us there.

Last month Victory brought myself and a group of other motorcycle journalists to the High Plains Raceway in Deer Trail, Co. A unique track that seemed to be made for Victory's new race-bred electric motorcycle: the Empulse TT. This track is completely isolated, we drove for hours through the vast beautiful landscapes of Colorado before seeing several flags and towers sticking up in the distance indicating our arrival. It was the perfect place to unveil the electric bike: a completely silent track, beautifully designed, all to ourselves. I had seen images of the bike, but now it was sitting in front of me and I was chomping at the bit to get my turn at riding one.

The Victory Empulse TT was my first experience with a modern electric bike, and it was unlike anything I had ridden before. It wakes up with a flare on the meters in front of you, rather than roaring to life like an internal combustion engine, and doesnít make any noise other than a faint hum until you turn the throttle. Holding down the starter button to turn it to Sport Mode (one of three riding modes, including normal and rain), I headed out to line up behind the other riders on the track. Our first couple of laps were slow, just pacing and getting used to the throttle response and feel of the bike. My first impressions were that it was very thin and had quite a low center of gravity, which was nice getting into the turns. After a couple of laps they let us open it up.
Going 104 mph with your chest tucked to the tank and hearing nothing but the wind on your helmet is an incredible feeling.

This is not the cruiser that we have grown to expect from Victory. This is their step into not only the electric market, but the sport/standard market as well. The massive Brembo dual-disc front brakes provide the shortest stopping distance in-class and adjustable front and rear suspension provide that race-tuned feel specific for your weight and riding style. Also, with the highest in-class lean angle, riders during our track day had no problem dragging a bit of knee. In fact, I took the thing out in my casual boots(dang it) and ground half the soles off from getting down in it. The Empulse TT only weighs 460 lbs and delivers a healthy 54 hp and 61 ft-lb torque, which it wears very well. A low center of gravity and improved steering dynamics make this a fun package thatís easy to throw into the corners at speed or just whip through the city streets.

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This new bike is building off of the technology from the company Brammo, which Polaris acquired at the beginning of this year. They have increased the battery capacity by ten percent, and increased the range to 140 miles. Stylistically the bikes have very much in common, as the TT seems to be the next step after the Brammo Empulse R, under a different banner. But itís the banner that makes the difference moving forward. Having Polaris and Victory backing this project means that we will continue to see a push towards faster electric bikes and higher performance with the funding of a major company behind it, which is important because this is an exotic beast.Itís a full-blown little sport bike: unlike anything in the Victory line-up. But we shouldnít be surprised, as Victory has been pushing performance and demonstrating it all over the world this last year. The bike that took Lee Johnston to podium at Isle of Man was built on the same platform, and when legendary racer Guy Martin took that bike for a spin he only had one thing to say through a massive grin: ďItís the futureĒ. And it absolutely is. Whether or not the future has arrived with the Empulse TT, however, is up to you.

While the Empulse will surely be a universal object of desire, itís not going to be a bike for everybody. With a price tag of $20k, itís not marketed towards the average Joe, and Victory knows that. The customer for this bike is your Tony Stark type. The well off, established individual who has a couple other bikes and cars and wants to add something unique and economical to the collection. The bike that might be out of reach for most customers, goes to show that the technology weíve been waiting for is within reach. And so it seems Victory is not pushing sales, they are pushing performance and they are pushing technology.
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EngineElectric MotorInternal Permanent Magnet AC InductionPeak Motor Power54hpPeak Motor Torque61 ft-lbsTransmission6-speed gearbox with multi-plate, hydraulic activated wet clutchBattery PackBatteryBrammo Power Lithium IonBattery Capacity10.4 k!-hrBattery Voltage103.6 volts/ 117.6 volts (max)Chargine time2.0 hrs (Level I / 20 to 80% SOC), 3.5 hrs (Level II / 0 to 100% SOC), 8.0 hrs (Level I / 0 to 100% SOC)EmissionsNoneBrakesFront BrakeDual 310mm Brembo floating disks with twin 4-piston Radial Mount Brembo Brake CalipersRear BrakeBrembo single disk with dual piston Hydraulic Brembo Brake CaliperPerformanceTop Speed100+ mph/ 161 km/hRegenerative BrakingExtend driving range and provide familiar rider feedbackSuspensionFront SuspensionAdjustable 43mm inverted forksRear SuspensionAdjustable direct-acting shockChassisCarry Capacity368 lbs/ 167 kgDry Weight460 lbs/ 213 kgGround Clearance7.3"/ 18.54 cmSeat Height31.5"/ 80 cmWheelbase58"/ 147.32 cmKey ComponentsInstrumentationLCD display; speed, tach, odometer, gear position, energy consumption, battery status, esitmated range and system statusTires Front/ RearContinental Sport Attack II 120-70 ZR17, 58W / 160/60ZR17 69WWheels Front/ Rear17"x3.5" / 17"x4.5"For more information on Victory Motorcycles and their newly unveiled 2016 lineup, check their website

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