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Brammo Tries To Throttle Up With $13M Of $45M Series C

July 12, 2012

Electric motorcycles seem to be hitting the open road faster than electric cars in the United States and their financial standing seems to be more solid as Oregon-based Brammo closed an initial $13 million tranche in their $45 million Series C.

Off-road vehicle manufacturer Polaris (PII :NYSE) led the round who could easily employ Brammo’s technology in their own line-up in the future.

In addition to the financing, GE Capital’s Commercial Distribution Finance (GE :NYSE) has agreed to provide inventory financing to support the expansion of their dealership network. Previously Brammo was trying to sell its motorcycles through Best Buy (BBY :NYSE).

Brammo’s street bike is the Empulse, a 100+ mph scream machine that has a range of 121 miles in the city and 56 miles on the highway. The Empulse is not going to replace any Harley Davidson (HOG :NYSE) for cross-country cruising, but it does have better specs than its Santa Cruz-based rival, Zero Motorcycles.

The Zero S ZF9 tops out a more modest 88 mph but has a $14,000 price tag versus the $17,000 Empulse.

Making money in motorcycles is a tricky business as Harley Davidson can attest to.  A little over three years ago the king of the road’s shares were eating asphalt. But the company put the hammer down and retooled its operations. Now its shares are riding a super slab and investors are confident the company can handle any bumps in the road that it may encounter.

So will Brammo or Zero be the next king of the road? Today’s announcements will definitely give Brammo an edge but we think one of them will be acquired by Harley Davidson once the technology improves a little more.

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