I've had my new bike a few times now. My first ride I just took it around my apartment to get a feel. I was surprised when I lit up the rear wheel in my parking lot. Instant torque is going to take a little getting used to. I'm still following the published break-in procedures, although I don't know why since they make no sense to me. That means keeping the RPMs under 3500 for the first 150 miles - which gives it a top speed of 62mph. It's still plenty fast around town even with the motor RPM limited. I'll hit the 150 mile mark tomorrow on my way to work, and then I'll be able to go to 5000 RPM. Once transmission oil is changed at 600 miles, I'll be able to use the full range up to 9000 RPM and use their sport mode which makes the throttle response and regen much stronger.
I did about 60 miles yesterday, with about an hour's worth of charging at home on a level 1 charger, and 30 minutes on a public level 2 charger. I had ~45% battery left at the end of the day. I had a "cold battery, motor cutback" message displayed for most of the day, except for one 4 mile blast at 60 mph on HW 83. As soon as I got off the highway the message came back. According to the lead designer, the power isn't actually being cutback, it's just something they forgot to change in the software. It'll be fixed with their next update, which will also make the battery's heaters a bit more potent. Even with the message displayed, I had no trouble out accelerating anyone next to me.
There is a power output display on the dash, and at 60 mph and upright I was using about 14KW, but when tucked that went down to 11KW. I am quite surprised at how much more efficient a tucked position makes the bike. On surface streets the power ranged between 4KW and 8KW, which matches what you would expect for their advertised ranges. Full regen generates about 1.5KW
The Avon tires the bike comes with are useless in the cold (probably useless in the warm, too), so I haven't had a chance to push it anywhere. The ride on the highway is firm, but not uncomfortable. Definitely better than my 1098 from a comfort perspective, but also much better feel than my SV. It may be a little harsh for a commuter, but I think it'll suit me just fine. When I did spin the rear wheel, the bike was very predictable, and I did not feel out of control at all.
Slow speed maneuvers and starting from a stop are a lot different than ICE motorcycles. The Empulse has a typical MC transmission which has play to make shifting quicker and smoother, but since the engine is not rotating at a stop the transmission unloads. This causes there to be a clunk starting or when switching between accelerating and decelerating. Some people have found it to be very disconcerting, but it did not bother me. I will have to learn to keep the motor loaded in slow turns by using the rear brake, otherwise it becomes herky jerky. Feathering the clutch is impossible because the motor revs so quickly. On the plus side, no need to rev match or pay for a slipper clutch because the motor instantly matches wheel speed on downshifts. But on the downside, it is impossible to clutch a wheelie because their is no motor inertia. I suspect once Brammo gets some more usage data they will update the motor controller to make the power ramp steeper, and then power wheelies will be very possible in lower gears.
If anyone wants to see, I'll be riding it to my go karting league today at the Buffalo Grove CIR. I'll be getting there around 2 to see if they'll let me plug in. If not, I'll be charging at the Walgreens down the street. There's no way I'll be able to do a round trip with temps as low as they are, but I only need a few hours at level 1, or about 30 minutes on a level 2 to make it. Drivers meeting is at 5, and I'll be heading home around 9.
Here's a pic of me charging in downtown Naperville yesterday: