Victory Motorcycle Stolen From Brammo HQ: Reward Offered

JUL 18 2015 BY TDILLARD 10

In what has got to be one of the strangest twists in a long, strange history of strange twists from Brammo, the Victory “prototype” Brammo RR bike that placed 3rd at the 2015 IOM TTZero has apparently been stolen from Brammo headquarters in Talent, OR.  Here’s the post on the Victory Facebook page:


The historic Isle of Man TT racer piloted by Lee Johnston Racing was stolen overnight from Brammo Headquarters in Talent, OR.

The motorcycle was on display with its complete race bodywork, as shown in the images. Johnston’s Racer #3 was on this particular machine.

Brammo HQ, Talent OR

Brammo HQ, (as Walmart) Talent OR

The Frame VIN is stamped #004 and there is a $1000 reward for information leading to the recovery of this historically significant motorcycle. Individuals with information or who feel they may have seen this motorcycle should contact:
INVESTIGATING OFFICER: BILL MAY, CASE# 15-2149, at the Talent, Oregon Police Department at (541)535-1253

The teams from Victory and Brammo are gutted that thieves made off with this important piece of motorcycling history, and appreciate the diligence and assistance of motorcycle enthusiasts across the country. We request in particular that those in the Pacific North West be on the lookout.

Via the Mail Tribune story, it appears that the break-in happened sometime between Thursday evening and Friday morning. “A Brammo employee discovered the bike was missing at about 7 a.m. Friday, according to Chief Mike Moran.”

“There were some indications of force used to enter the building,” Moran said, adding that specifics on how suspects got in and left with the bike were still under investigation. “It appears that the bike was the only thing taken.”

The story also states the value of the bike to be $250,000.

Speculation is unavoidable, but there are a few things that are clear.  The bike has value only to a few – historic value, for sure – personal value, without doubt to team members and Brammo top management – parts and intellectual property value only to competitors or those trying to sell information to competitors – or value in some way to disgruntled ex-employees, of which Brammo has its share – where publicly embarrassing Brammo would be the main objective.

We’ll update as more information comes in.

UPDATE:  This just in from the Talent, OR. Police Dept:

On July 19, 2015 the Talent Police Department received information that the Stolen Empulse RR Race Bike valued at $250,000 was at a residence in Talent

Based on the information received a Search Warrant was done at the 100 blk of 3rd Street in Talent around 2000 hours.

The Motorcycle was recovered and two subjects were arrested for this incident.

Michael Joseph Manring age 23 was lodged on charges of Aggravated Theft I and Burglary II.

Juan Vega -Nunez age 24 was lodged for Conspiracy to Commit Theft I and Burglary.


Michael Manring                     Juan Vega-Nunez

Michael Manring – Juan Vega-Nunez

The investigation was assisted by Ashland Police Department and the Phoenix Police Department.

Victory also offered a press release, minutes later, with a lot of the usual PR blather, but this as well:

The Talent Police Department worked the case aggressively throughout the weekend and were able to get information on the bikes whereabouts by late Sunday afternoon. A warrant was served for a rental residence ending in the custody of two individuals. The main suspect, who has a long history of run-ins with law enforcement, told police he intended to disassemble the bike and sell the parts, though nobody has admitted actually breaking into the Brammo headquarters where the race bike was on proud display.

No current or former Brammo Inc. employees have been implicated in this case.

The fastest American motorcycle in the class, Johnston took the #3 all-electric racer to a top speed of over 145 miles per hour and an average lap speed of 111.062 miles per hour in the SES TT Zero class finishing in third place in the class.

“Everyone at Brammo are relieved to have bike #3 back in the stable and are extremely grateful to the City of Talent Police Department for working diligently to solve this case.  We’ll need some time to fully assess any damage done, but from initial inspection it appears mostly cosmetic and repairable. What a bizarre event this has been. Thank you to everyone that shared the story and participated indirectly in the recovery.”   Brian Wismann – Director of Product Development, Brammo Inc.

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10 Comments on "Victory Motorcycle Stolen From Brammo HQ: Reward Offered"

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So the bike is worth $250,000 ans they’re offering a $1000 reward.

Does anyone else see a problem here?

Something tells me that bike has already been disassembled and is being reverse engineered.

Watch and see.

What is there to reverse engineer? The bike doesn’t use anything remotely groundbreaking. Very conventional motor, battery pack and controller. The chassis is no big deal, the suspension and brakes are off the shelf items. It just doesn’t make sense to steal something to reverse engineer that doesn’t have anything that anybody would benefit from reverse engineering.

Disgruntled employee, pissed off customer, or thrill seeking jerk are the most likely culprits.

Ya think?! Just as likely and maybe more so is the real possibility one of the many disgruntled, disappointed, disillusioned Brammo owners left incredulous by Bramscher’s short-term greed took the bike for some pay-back retribution. Maybe an Empulse owner finally realizing he’s never likely to realize any significant product support from Polaris. Not likely though it’s one of the few remaining of Bramscher’s apologists keeping their decreasing membership forum afloat. In any event I doubt stealing a Brammo-Polaris race bike is close to being adequate retribution for low-life Bramscher corporate ilk.

Roland, upon what do you base your projection of Polaris’s forthcoming lack of support?

Bill, if your question implies you know differently, I’d gladly withdraw my intuitive notion that Polaris could give a stuff about Brammo owners, but to date I’ve neither seen nor heard ANY acknowledgement from Polaris that there is such an animal as a Brammo owner. The fact Brammo owners still have to procure parts and maintnance solutions from the Talent, Oregon Brammo facility is cause to wonder WHAT IS happening with the supposed Brammo sell-out to Polaris.

The only information I’ve seen from Brammo administration is “don’t worry,- Brammo will continue covering warranty & maintenance issues until(and if)Polaris gets around to it” which is sufficient Brammo blather to stimulate apprehension.

If you’ve got any better information than that I’d be releived and appreciative hearing it. Until then, let your imagination be your guide.

The fact is Brammo owners are victims of a shabby,deceitful sell-out and no matter how much one may admire Craig Bramscher for his “Gordon Greco” business ethic, – you can’t make chicken salad out of chicken shit.

Roland: I have a 2013 Empulse R. I needed a new rear sprocket for it a couple months ago, so I ordered one through my dealership (Scuderia West in SF) along with a new circlip. The parts arrived a few days later, and I went and picked them up and paid for them. . . . whatever shadowy conspiracy you’ve heard, I haven’t seen it. The flow of parts and support for Brammo bikes seems to be business as usual from my ownership perspective. Now it IS probably true that the ownership experience under Polaris is gonna change. As an example: I’ve met a lot of the Brammo crew at race events, and they’ve always been very helpful and personable and invited me to hang out in the pits and watch the goings-on. Polaris, however, is a much larger company — and I highly doubt merely owning a vehicle they make is going to merit some schmoe like me (who merely bought one of their vehicles off the street) to be invited into their race pits and chum around with the factory techs. The flip side of the coin is that Polaris, being a much larger company, has some practice… Read more »

Jeff, I’m also still able getting parts through what’s left of Brammo dealership networks to include Scuderia West, – a great outfit and parts source as well for other bikes I own. My point was that appearances “suggest” despite the often vaunted Polaris size, the company doesn’t seem in a hurry taking any responsibility for Brammo cycle support, much less welcoming Brammo owners into the fold or providing any encouragement that the Empulse heritage is in good hands. As it is, I’m rather inclined believing the Brammo concept will get despoiled and lost in a company itself lost in its “bigger is better” General Motors aspirations.

Whatever the Polaris intention for abandoned Brammo, the art and genius of the Empulse won’t be perpetuated in a tank factory no matter all the hope and collective wishful thinking otherwise.

“Intuitive notion.” Got it. Thanks.

Last week Brammo supplied steering head bearings after a pothole Brinelled mine. Took about 4 days.

I’m a glass-half-full kinda guy and am GUESSING that Polaris will take over the supply chain when they are ready. But maybe that’s just me not thinking such a great machine would be abandoned by a large company that paid a buncha money for it.

BTW, looks like the RR has been found.

“So the bike is worth $250,000 and they’re offering a $1000 reward. Does anyone else see a problem here?”

yeah, I see a problem: thieves live in communities, and it will be an associate in that community who may rat out this cretin. The problem I see is rewarding those Associates ever more handsomely for hanging out in a community of lowlifes.

What the original article said was its “value” was $250,000. In this case that probably means what it cost to build.

What is its true value? Probably nothing… worse yet, less than nothing right now, as it is now a toxic radioactive hot potato –whether it has been taken by Joe Meth Head, or Rich Puke collector.

This thing is like stealing a Van Gogh: you can’t fence it, and you can never display it.

Don’t confuse the concepts of Cost, Value, and Worth. And don’t excessively fund the community of thieves: the person who may turn this vermin in,already knows about it –and has not already called the cops. Do you want to lavishly fund this idiot?

$1000 will probably work just fine.

Those two guys in the photo sure look guilty to me.