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  1. #1
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Dec 2016

    Could The Now Affordable Victory Empulse Become Your Second Bike?

    Now that the Victory Empulse has a $10,000 cash back from the factory and remaining bikes are selling for as little as $7,000, I know a lot of riders to include a few Zero guys are looking at them was a second bike, so I thought I would briefly share my findings on the Impulses weakness compared to the Zero.

    While the Victory Empulse is an attractive bike with some good features, its falls way short regarding its drive train and electronics when compared to the new generation Zero's - My Victory dealer in Virginia has been dying to sell me one since they were released. Regretfully, even now with $10-12,000 off retail, a rider would be better off looking a low end Zero demo bike at nearly the the same price.

    I’ve driven the Empulse possibly a dozen times on different occasions, and each time came back disappointed on its performance, mechanical design and range. The biggest hold back for me from buying one was the “Dreaded Transmission” attempting to sync the motor to the next gear is a real trick with the quick reving motor. You can just forget all your ICE shifting experience, since this is totally different. The tach with all its flashing lights to help you shift, is confusing and in direct sunlight is almost impossible to see. I’m not saying you can’t shift it with some practice, just saying it's not anything like a conventional transmission. My self I could not deal with the clunking every time I moved the throttle, there is no way I’m going listen to that noise.

    Making matters worse, the transmission has other problems, the mechanical back lash is totally un-acceptable, by simply adding or letting off the throttle, if felt the transmission was falling apart. This combined with the problems shifting, is why during test drives, the dealer instructs you to just leave it in third gear and drive it like an automatic - its clear that when Brammo designed the gear box (which was not needed) they fell short regarding tolerances. Regretfully, Victory just chose to just re-badge the bike with almost no changes and put her out there.

    Another major difference is power and range, for the most part, if you're using your bike to commute, the power is fine. Regarding range which I've seen advertised from 130-140 miles - this is not going to happen. Most of the time as I rode different bikes, the dealers were telling me 50-60 miles, I drove one fully charged 32 miles and used up over half the charge.

    Other than the shortcomings of power, range and the transmission, the bike looks good, has decent suspension, rides good and handles well.

    I can buy one now for around $8K out the door, but with the fact that Victory has disappeared with the possibility of scarce parts combined with no “Educated” Empulse techs and no real Victory dealers and no trade in value on the back end, raises all the red flags this could be major mistake.

    Regards - Mike

  2. #2
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Apr 2017
    For me, I would not be opposed to buying the bike, it seems decent enough, however I am primarily an off-road and adv rider, so this type of bike does not fit would I would consider. It is hard to say, but I'd say that it is competitive with the SR models that Zero has on offer.

    At this point in the development cycle of the electric moto movement, I am supportive of all-comers. I really want a pure dirt bike, however given where I live in northern NV, the range is still not even in the ballpark for what I need. Typical rides here are 100 mi before lunch and then 100 mi until the next night stop. Electrics unfortunately can't handle that yet. I want them to be there, but it is not reality yet for that kind of riding as I am in the 'worse case scenario' part of the country and type of riding. I think within 5 years, that will be an option though.

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