Brutus: The Electric Cruiser (w/video)



Brutus V9

Not everyone in the electric motorcycle building business thinks that an electric drivetrain means a bike has to look like it came out of a science fiction movie like Tron or The Avengers.  Chris Bell, founder and head of Brutus Motorcycle, has a more traditional (and comfortable) vision.  Enter, the Brutus V9.

The V9 is the second in the line-up of 4 electric bikes Brutus offers, and the one most clearly aimed at the Harley-cruiser market.  With the 33.7kWh battery pack it has an estimated range of over 200 miles with a top speed of 115mph (gearing limited).  There’s even a Law Enforcement package available for the bike.

Brutus, from Bell Custom Cycles, is clearly focused on becoming a viable electric motorcycle builder.  From the site:

Bell Custom Cycles (BCC) is a family-owned business formed through our love for motorcycles and a common bond all riders share. Early in 2010 Chris started building and fabricating the original Brutus motorcycle after 2 years of development, unveiling it late in February 2011.

The BCC family has expanded and our ties to the motorcycle community have grown strong. Our team has forged bonds that enable us to stay current with the motorcycle industry, both electric and ICE (Internal Combustion Engine), as well as provide fresh, innovative, and award-winning designs year after year.

Our motorcycles are hand made in America, and we carefully select as many American suppliers as possible to insure quality and consistency. We have worked hard to build the Brutus Electric Motorcycle brand and proudly stand behind our entire product line and the products we use. We believe in conservation, recycling, and independence, values that are incorporated into every motorcycle we design and build. Our main goal is to provide an attractive product line as an alternative to the mainstream options now available.

Take a look a the complete specs:

Motor 9” DC
Weight 784lbs or 886lbs
Length 100.5”
Width 36.5”
Rake 27.2°
Wheel Base 65”
Seat Height 26.2”
Battery Pack 18.8kWh or 33.7kWh
Top Speed 115mph (Gearing Restricted)
Horsepower 125 (Motor)
Torque 277ft lbs (Motor)
Mileage (18.8kWh) 165 City / 125 Highway (estimate)
Mileage (33.7kWh) 280 City / 210 Highway (estimate)
Front 21” x 3.5”
Rear 16” x 3.5”
Front Suspension 58mm Inverted
Rear Suspension Dual Shocks
Front Single or Twin 32mm 4 Piston Fixed 11.5” Rotor
Rear Single 32mm 4 Piston Fixed 11.5” Rotor
Lighting Full HID and LED Lighting
Brutus Cafe

Brutus Cafe

The Brutus family includes the Brutus 2, an evolution of Bell’s first design, the Brutus Cafe, the V9 and the V2 Rocket – the bike that Jeremiah Johnson piloted for the win on Pikes Peak this past summer – even with some severe battery pack issues at the very last moment.

The V9 has a starting price of $32,490 and there are bikes in stock, ready to deliver.

Bell’s obviously a man who knows his way around motorcycle culture, and he’s not afraid to step into the Ring of Fire in the heart of the Forbidden City of Electric Motorcycling: Sturgis.

A huge annual gathering of the faithful followers of Milwaukee iron, blue smoke and wet t-shirts (sometimes even on attractive young girls), riding an electric motorcycle into the maw of this beast may seem sacrilegious – and possibly suicidal.

To those brave souls who’ve strayed into that community with an electric bike, though, it doesn’t come as a surprise that the bike was accepted, and even embraced.  Electric bikes are crossing all boundaries, and the traditional cruiser-types are as intrigued by something as unique as the V9 as everyone else.  To a lot of long-time riders, the electric drivetrain, in whatever form, is just too cool to ignore.

To see some of the reactions, check out his video of Sturgis this summer on the V9:

The Brutus V9

The Brutus V9

Category: Bikes


12 responses to "Brutus: The Electric Cruiser (w/video)"
  1. kdawg says:

    I like them, but $32k is out of my price target 🙂

  2. Vinny says:

    What about charging? Any internal L2 capability? CHAdeMO?

  3. y vachon says:

    how can they squeeze a 33.7kWh battery in a
    886lbs bike?
    in my chevy volt the 16.5 kwh batt weight
    435 lbs.

    1. protomech says:

      1. Using much denser cells. NCR18650B for example would be an excellent candidate cell – cells alone for 33.7 kWh (thermal energy of 1 gallon of gas) would weigh around 140 kg or 300 pounds.

      2. Less need for battery cooling or heating. Motorcycles tend to be operated in human-comfortable temperatures, which is conveniently temperature ranges where cells are happiest as well.

  4. Kosh says:

    I’m confused about what demographic they’re targeting with those two models in the picture….. 😉

  5. Vinny says:

    Checking out the Brutus web site it is tough to tell if these bikes are actually available to buy or if they are just vaporware. They show a base price but there is no link for reserving or ordering one of them. I emailed Chris about charging options so will see if there is any response. The V9 certainly has interesting specs for an electric motorcycle. But if it is actually available then Brutus needs to figure out how to market them because this would have been the perfect e-bike to show off at a H-D Live Wire event.

    1. Ted Dillard says:

      Chris told me he has a couple of bikes on-hand to sell. Sorry, I meant to include that in the story.

      As far as the Livewire event, HD specifically asked some friends of mine to remove their electric bikes from the lot (and the cameras) at the Boston event, to avoid any “competition”.

      I know, I know. 😀

  6. Steven says:

    I’d like to say “I’ll take one!” But even as a Harley rider, that price will make me blink twice.

  7. Vinny says:


    Thanks for the response. At first glance the V9 looks more like a H-D than the Live Wire bike does. I love the range potential of the 33.7Kwh battery pack. A pack that bigs really needs a DCFC capability in order to really travel with the bike. That would be what turns it from a big commuter bike into something you can really do long distances with.

    1. Ted Dillard says:

      For sure. The LiveWire raises far more questions than it answers, and as I hinted in the title, you have to kind of wonder why they floated such a “non-Harley” configuration.

      Stay tuned, I’m doing a story on the Lito Sora in a few days – another big, honkin’ beautiful cruiser. 😀

    2. kdawg says:

      If only there was a Tesla cruiser in the works. Then we could use the Superchargers.

      Not sure what size pack they could get in there, or what rate that pack would charge at, but no matter what, it would still be fast compared to L2 charging.

  8. David Stone says:

    Thqt is the ugliest bike I have ever seen, and I love choppers!
    And a motor with brushes? For that price I would want a motor with no maintenence.
    I have to find some nearby who can do a conversion if I want to get a good cruiser that I like and can afford.