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Unread 2014-06-23, 07:44 AM   #26
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They already gave one to Marvel for The Avengers sequel for use, so it should get some exposure
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Unread 2017-05-12, 11:28 AM   #27
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Harley-Davidson preparing range of electric models













Sound will still be a part of the experience.
Harley-Davidson is closely following the automotive industry's shift towards electrification. The Milwaukee-based brand has announced it is preparing to launch a range of electric motorcycles as part of an ambitious product offensive. "We actually showed a prototype of the electric Livewire [three years ago] and that project is alive and well. We don't know yet when we're going to introduce it, but it is progressing well and we will eventually introduce it," said executive Bill Davidson in an interview with Australian website Drive.

The Livewire concept (pictured) previewed what a Hog looks like without a V-twin engine. Davidson didn't reveal whether the production model will resemble the concept, or if the company is taking its first battery-powered bike in a completely different direction. However, we imagine the powertrain will ultimately be offered on several different motorcycles, not just a single model.

Purists will undoubtedly argue removing a Harley's vocal cords is sacrilege; the sound is part of the experience. The company agrees, but it won't settle for simply reproducing the V-twin's unique exhaust note.

"We've actually created a unique sound through various technologies," Davidson explained. "We did not want a normal-sounding electric motorcycle. We wanted something that plays into that look and sound formula. It is something really cool. I often refer to it as sounding like a jet fighter," he added.

Harley-Davidson isn't about to turn into the Tesla of the motorcycle world. The company will continue investing in and building gasoline-powered two-wheelers. In fact, its product plan calls for the launch of no less than 100 new models in the next decade.
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Unread 2017-05-12, 11:40 AM   #28
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That thing looks sick! Hopefully they don't water it down much for production.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Cree View Post
Leaks are everywhere. MoCo may confirm or deny officially later today. Pretty neat idea, wonder how well it will do.

http://www.motorcyclenews.com/mcn/ne...with-livewire/
Throw back to OP, I can't believe this hasn't been said...

but TYPICAL HARLEY, LEAKS FROM EVERYWHERE
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Unread 2018-09-04, 03:22 PM   #29
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Harley-Davidson Livewire Shown In Near-Production Form


Harley-Davidson’s LiveWire is being shown at the 115th Anniversary celebration in Milwaukee for the first time

What you’re looking at is a design validation vehicle, or DV in industry speak, which means it’s as close to a production model as there is of LiveWire. This one, however, didn’t roll off an assembly line. A lot of the finishing touches were done by hand and because of this, it also means we don’t get to ride it. Just yet.

Unless you’ve been under a rock for the past four years, you’ve been teased a-plenty with
Harley-Davidson’s
foray into building an electric motorcycle. It was 2014 when we got our first glimpse at what the Motor Company was then calling
Project LiveWire
. The bike sitting in front of us in Milwaukee today, is a significant evolution from what that early look machine was.


LiveWire, as it sits today, is just one model, but as Harley-Davidson confirmed that it will be the launchpad for a new line of Harley electric bikes. Additional models which are slated to arrive in 2022. Harley is calling this their new “twist and go” portfolio of product designed to attract new riders with new ways to ride while establishing the company as a force to be reckoned with in the electric motorcycle industry.
During a media panel, when questioned as to why the MoCo would build an electric bike, or if doing so dilutes the brand, Vice President of the Harley Davidson Museum and great-grandson of found William A. Davison, Bill Davidson responded explaining that LiveWire carries with it the company’s DNA where look, sound, and feel are central to any new product; “just wait till you ride it, it’s every bit a Harley-Davidson” he promised.
Company executives even showed enthusiasm for the app-based shareable electric scooter trend that’s taking many cities by storm lately. “We love the idea of shared economy e-scooters; it introduces people to the idea of freedom. Harley-Davidson represents the premium end of the product,” was Vice President and Managing Director International Sales Markets, Marc McAllister’s quick take on the topic.

The new all-electric LiveWire will be built in York, Pennsylvania, and comes to market in 2019. It will be available in three color variations for the US market: a gloss black, a matte yellow, and the Fused Orange seen in the photos here.

Something went wrong. Please make sure you added the video correctly.

Video URL: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1U4I9ucRcek
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Unread 2018-11-06, 09:51 PM   #30
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Harley-Davidson shows off production LiveWire electric motorcycle

The electric hog gets fleshed out






It's been no secret that the Harley-Davidson LiveWire was headed for production, but now we get to see the production version and get a sense of what its final spec will look like thanks to its debut at the EICMA show in Milan, Italy. It seems like Harley has a chance at making good on the promise it made to Autoblog back in January that the bike will be on the market within 18 months.

The LiveWire has been in development for an eternity, it should be noted. The project that spawned it started in 2010. We rode one in 2014, a 74-horsepower prototype that made 52 lb-ft of torque and could hit 92 mph. It had a range of 60 miles, though. We assume the production bike will do better.

But, we don't know, even with this EICMA announcement. We have details but not complete specs. Motor output, battery capacity, and range are all unknowns. That said, we can start filling in some gaps. It is still electric, of course, but we now know that it pushes power through a permanent-magnet motor. Like the prototype we rode, it makes a sound that increases in pitch with speed. Perhaps it's been refined, since the prototype just sounded like most other electric bikes out there. Sound characteristic is an important Harley feature, and we hope the new LiveWire sound is distinctive.

The battery will be a multi-cell lithium-ion unit protected by a finned aluminum housing. It'll get juiced by an onboard Level 1 charger (the cord stores under the seat) or a Level 2/3 using the J1772 connector. Any Harley dealer that sells the LiveWire will (prudently) have a DC fast charging station on the premises.

The production LiveWire will get Showa adjustable suspension: a monoshock in the back and SFF-BP front fork. The SFF-BP fork separates the spring from the damper, one in one tube and the other in another, for reduced friction and increased responsiveness.

Braking is provided by Brembo Monoblock units, with dual 300mm discs up front and an unspecified rear system. ABS and traction control are standard, and it'll wear Michelin Scorcher tires (co-branded with Harley) at 180mm rear and 120mm front sections. It'll sport four predefined drive modes and three user configurable ones, too. As a high-tech centerpiece of the line, it'll feature a touchscreen display with lots of information available, including nav, Bluetooth, and vehicle functions.

Harley says we'll have pricing and availability in January. Here's hoping we'll get more specs then, too.


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Unread 2019-01-07, 05:25 PM   #31
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Harley-Davidson Livewire Electric Motorcyle: 110-Mile Range For $29,799





Was it worth the long wait?

Harley-Davidson has been teasing its first electric motorcycle, the Livewire, since dinosaurs roamed the earth. We first rode it way back in 2014. It featured prominently in Avengers: Age of Ultron, but seemed as much a part of Marvel’s fantasy world as the superheroes themselves. Harley has been teasing us about the Livewire for at least five years now, showing it off from time to time but never giving us any more significant information about it, even at the 115th-anniversary opportunity. That ends today, however.


Today’s news came not at a motorcycle show, but at CES 2019, which focuses more on electronics and technology. Vehicles have become a much bigger part of the show in recent years, though, as the line between them and high-tech gadgetry becomes more and more blurred. Not only was the Livewire there in all its glory, but Harley also showed off prototypes of an electric dirt bike and scooter, as well as a concept drawing for four potential models. We’ll write about these in another article.
Finally, we get some official specifications of the Livewire’s performance. It’ll do 0 to 60 mph in 3.5 seconds. The range will be about 110 miles. It will charge off any standard household outlet at Level 1, as well as support Level 3 fast charging. H-D did not provide any charge times. But it did provide a price: $29,799. You can now look up a dealer that will be able to sell you the Livewire on H-D’s website.
There’s still a great deal that we don’t know—the size of the battery or the power of the electric motor, for example. Harley’s always a little bit cagey about ratings like this anyway. The Zero SR is known to have a similar 120 mile mixed city/highway range with a 14.4-kilowatt-hour battery. The Livewire is probably a bit heavier than the SR, so we could be looking at a low to mid-teens kilowatt-hour battery. The range is not out of line with other comparable electric bikes, but certainly short of a typical Harley touring bike. You’ll be hard-pressed to finish your poker or toy runs on the Livewire.
While performance specs are scarce, we do have lots of information about the H-D Connect Service, “an LTE-enabled Telematics Control Unit coupled with connectivity and cloud services using the latest version of the Harley-Davidson App.” The bike will be connected to the cloud. Owners can check the battery charge and expected range remotely, know where it is and if it’s been tampered with or moved, and automatically receive service reminders. Perhaps this is why the Livewire was revealed at an electronics show rather than a motorcycle show.
Finally, since a giant part of the Harley experience is the sound, the Livewire promises “a new signature Harley-Davidson sound as it accelerates and gains speed. This new futuristic sound represents the smooth, electric power of the LiveWire motorcycle.” We don’t know if this will be the turbine whoosh of KITT from Knight Rider or a modernized version of the classic “potato-potato” sound. What we do know is that unlike other Harleys, adding loud pipes to the Livewire won’t help amplify the sound.
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Unread 2019-03-10, 05:06 PM   #32
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Harley-Davidson's LiveWire Performance Numbers Are Better Than Expected






When Harley unveiled the production-ready LiveWire electric bike at CES in early January, we were all focused on the Wisconsin brand’s pricing strategy. With an MSRP of $29,799, and a whole lot of estimates, question marks, and TBAs when it came to the bike’s ultimate performance, we were forced to assume the worst. As it turns out, things are a bit better than we may have believed in January, but the bike is still hellaciously expensive.



According to Harley, it has finally performance tested and certified the LiveWire in production trim. The 0-60mph time was previously expected to be 3.5 seconds, but that’s been beat by a massive half-second, sitting at 3.0 now. The 60-80mph time is even more impressive at just 1.9 seconds. According to Cycle World, that’s way quicker than anything non-electric, including the legendary Suzuki Hayabusa and Triumph’s Rocket III.



Acceleration was always going to be the LiveWire’s strong suit. It was expected to fall short on range. While Harley still won’t say what size its battery stack is, it appears to be just a smidge smaller than that found in the new Zero SR/F. While the Zero manages 82 miles of 70-mph riding, the Harley falls short of that. It doesn’t quote a full highway number, but somewhat misleadingly slaps an 88 mile number on a “combined” city and highway. 140 miles of city range for the LiveWire isn’t too bad, however.



So, the Harley is really quick. It’s not quite as quick as Kawasaki’s supercharged H2, despite costing about the same money. For now, the fastest of gasoline motorcycles still outpace Harley’s electric, but it’s closer than we thought.



I’m starting to come around on the price of the LiveWire, but it’s still pretty expensive. Give it a few years and inexpensive electric bikes will start coming down the pike. For now, we have to rely on people to buy into the more expensive models, like the Livewire, to push companies to focus on making more of them. I’m ready for it.
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Unread 2019-07-07, 02:11 PM   #33
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What Do You Want to Know About the 2020 Harley-Davidson LiveWire?



The LiveWire is Harley’s revolutionary look to the future of motorcycles. In stark contrast to the company’s entire history, the LiveWire is all electric. The just-under-500-pound EV bike is expensive, some might say far too expensive, at $29,799. It’s also ridiculously quick with a 3-second 0-60 time, and can manage 140 miles of range in city riding.



The first LiveWire concept was unveiled way back in 2014, and we’ve been anxiously awaiting the production version of the EV bike ever since. Later this week I’ll get the opportunity to ride the production-ready bike in Portland. So, what do you want to know?


The LiveWire is a departure from Harleys past as well, featuring streetfighter-ish good looks, sporty mid-controls, and a cast aluminum trellis frame. With a battery array where you’d normally find a big V-twin, the bike looks straight out of a futuristic sci-fi feature.



I look forward to seeing what it’s like to ride a bike without shifting, as the “gearbox” holds a single beveled gear cog. Even among EV bikes, setting the motor longitudinally is unique to Harley, necessitating a 90-degree bevel to turn a belt drive to the rear wheel. I imagine it will be strange to experience an eerily quiet Harley, but it has a truly unique whine thanks to that beveled gear.



Personally, I’m looking forward to the riding experience, as just looking at it you can see it holds a lot of performance potential. Will it lure new bike buyers into Harley showrooms? Will traditional Harley buyers want it? Will it be worth the massive price tag? I’ll let you know after I’ve ridden it.
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Unread 2019-07-16, 01:58 PM   #34
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2020 Harley-Davidson LiveWire First Ride Review | This hog is shockingly good

Sure, it's expensive, but it's exceptionally well-executed




PORTLAND, Oregon – There was one crucial element missing at the launch of the 2020 Harley-Davidson LiveWire: the brain-rattling thump of V-twin engines. Virtually every other test ride in the brand’s 116-year history has been punctuated by the rumble of fuel-burning powerplants, but this time our two-wheeled armada glided through the city in near silence using nothing but electrons.
Electric motorcycles have been produced for years by startups like Alta Motors, Brammo, Energica, and Zero, to name a few. But the battery-powered LiveWire marks a dramatic departure from Harley-Davidson’s century-old formula of converting dead fossil fuels into relatively high amounts of sound (and little performance fury). How did the folks in Milwaukee tackle the growing EV market?
First, some vital stats. The LiveWire’s permanent magnet motor produces 105 horsepower and 86 lb-ft of torque from a 15.5 kWh lithium-ion battery, good for 0-60 mph in 3 seconds flat. Combined range is 98 miles according to the World Motorcycle Test standards; city range, based on the MIC scale, is 146 miles. Harley also claims that constant cruising at 70 mph can get you 70 miles before a recharge.
But the charging setup is, simply put, a paradox. The good news first: the LiveWire’s onboard DC fast-charging system can deliver 80% charge in 40 minutes, and a full charge in an hour, using a compatible DC fast-charging station. But if you’re not near a fast-charger, the onboard AC charger can only provide Level 1 charging. A full charge will take an excruciating 12.5 hours.

What gives? Chief engineer Glen Koval suggested that the company is counting on the growth of DC fast charging, as evidenced by their collaboration with Electrify America. He also cited the packaging complexity and thermal demands of combining DC fast charging with Level 2. Long rides will require planning ahead to make sure DC fast-chargers are on the route.
Power is routed to the rear wheel via a bevel gear primary drive (which produces a mild thrum), and a relatively quiet belt-driven final drive. And speaking of acoustics, the LiveWire emits its own signature sound, which CEO Matt Levitach likens to a “TIE Fighter from Star Wars.” Though the sound is subtle and more apparent to onlookers than the rider, it’s definitely there, dispatching a vaguely sci-fi and somewhat mechanical impression.
Interestingly, about halfway through the bike’s development Harley engineers felt it was missing a certain something. In an attempt to make the rider feel more connected to the bike they added a “haptic pulse,” which is essentially a slow beat emitted by the motor that’s perceptible only when the bike is at rest in propulsion mode (ie, when it’s “in gear”). The so-called heartbeat can be dialed up, down, or be completely eliminated by a software update at Harley dealerships.
The haptic feature was in its low setting on my test bike, and took a moment to notice when I was waiting at stoplights – one of several details that reveal the considerable level of thought that’s been put into LiveWire. But it still might take some time for traditionalists to acclimate. For example, there are no gears – the LiveWire uses a single-speed transmission, like most EVs – so there’s no clutch lever to grab with your left hand. Just like a scooter, you simply twist and go.
But unlike a step-through, the LiveWire truly scoots: pinned, the whoosh of acceleration builds up the faster you go: zooming from 60 to 80 mph requires only 1.9 seconds. Top speed, however, is electronically limited to 110 mph in consideration of ride, handling, and range according to a Harley rep.

Four preset riding modes and three customizable settings can be selected via a hard button on the right handgrip. Though the presets include mild calibrations intended for wet conditions or range preservation, I primarily rode the LiveWire as I would any other motorcycle: in the most entertaining “Sport” and “Road” settings. In both modes the throttle response is intuitive, and immediate enough to produce satisfying thrust – it feels just right.
The chassis and suspension are similarly well-tuned, especially considering LiveWire’s hefty 549-lb curb weight, which puts it just under big internal combustion bikes like the Kawasaki ZX-14R (593 lbs) and the 1,340cc Suzuki Bandit 1250S (560 lbs). Thanks to a combination of favorable weight distribution and relatively low unsprung mass, the LiveWire’s heft felt well-masked on Cornelius Pass Road, a flowing one-lane ribbon that winds through the forested mountains just outside of downtown Portland.
You won’t confuse it with a flickable supermoto, but the LiveWire does manage to corner with more nimbleness than its spec sheet might suggest. Ease off the throttle and lean over at turn-in, and the LiveWire finds its line easily, exhibiting good stability while negotiating bends. Unlike most conventional internal combustion motorcycles, the LiveWire’s “engine” braking can be fine-tuned via the 4.3-inch TFT touchscreen for everything from a free-wheeling, zero drag effect to a setting so aggressive you hardly ever have to pull the brakes. Just like an EV car, this can completely change your corner entry and exit strategy. For instance, I prefer a high regen setting, which means I can adjust my entry speed by simply rolling off the throttle. It works wonders on twisty roads: just focus on modulating the throttle, and there’s virtually no need to bother with the brakes.
The bike responds well to mid-corner adjustments, with the bespoke Michelin Scorcher 180-mm rear and 120-mm front tires transmitting feedback nicely. Credit also goes to Showa’s high-end rear monoshock and Big Piston front fork, which are fully adjustable. Harley’s first-ever use of cornering enhanced ABS promises the dual-rotor 300-mm front brakes work optimally when the bike is leaned over, though I (thankfully) didn’t have to test emergency mid-corner stops despite the deer along our rural route.

My brief jaunt through downtown Portland later in the day revealed user-friendly riding characteristics. Low-speed handling is surprisingly manageable despite the LiveWire’s bulk, and the brakes provide enough feedback to make it easy to produce smooth deceleration for stoplights. Urban hooligans will be disappointed to learn that the lack of a clutch makes it essentially impossible to do a wheelie, but smoky burnouts are easily achieved by disabling traction control and twisting away.
After a half-day of riding, Harley’s claimed mileage estimates appear to be spot-on based on my real-world experience. I started with a full charge, and after around 65 miles riding the trip computer indicated 41 miles remaining, despite aggressive riding and, yes, a burnout or two.
The LiveWire packs some surprise-and-delight elements in its industrially styled body, and it’s quick and agile despite being hefty. Overall, this is a well thought-out and diligently executed bike. The details are there, including a smartphone app that monitors the bike’s status, charge state, and service needs via available over-the-air software updates. A partnership with Electrify America will provide 500 kWh of free charging, as well as two years of free charging at ChargePoint stations via LiveWire dealers.

But there are also two glaring shortcomings with Harley’s first EV: the lack of Level 2 charging, and the considerable starting price of $29,799. Though impressive in its overall concept, the LiveWire’s specs fall short of some of its competitors, which include Zero Motorcycles’ SR/F, which produces 140 lb-ft of torque, weighs only 485 lbs, and offers a combined 123 miles of range. That model can also reach a 95% charge in 80 minutes with an optional 6 kW fast charger, which adds $2,300 to its $18,995 base price.
If you play the numbers game – and many EV buyers do – the LiveWire won’t make a whole lot of rational sense – its lack of Level 2 charging is a significant should give potential buyers pause, certainly. But don’t discount the value of the Harley-Davidson brand or the solidity and thoughtful detailing of the LiveWire, all of which come at a price that’s also typical of Harleys. More than anything, it’s an exceptionally well-executed motorcycle and an otherwise outstanding way to bring two-wheeled EVs into the mainstream.


Featured Gallery2020 Harley-Davidson LiveWire



Related Gallery2020 Harley-Davidson LiveWire - Official Images

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Unread 2019-07-16, 02:09 PM   #35
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The Electric Harley-Davidson LiveWire Is a Shockingly Fun Bid for the Future



Swing a leg over the Harley-Davidson LiveWire and you’ll instantly feel the crashing waves of a sea change. A magnet inside the motor rocks back and forth to indicate the bike is alive, it feels like a faint heartbeat. It’s a little on-the-nose, but it’s as if this bike is directly channeling the pulse of the industry. Is this the future of riding?

(Full Disclosure: Harley-Davidson brought me to Portland, Ore. to ride its new all-electric LiveWire motorcycle, as well as eat and stay free of charge.)





You never know what the weather is going to turn up in the Pacific Northwest in the middle of summer. As it happens, Portland was a bit warm and absolutely beautiful for the days I was in town. It was pretty close to perfect riding weather, a bit cool in the morning, warm by lunch time, and dry the whole trip. There were a few places where the overhanging trees and ambient humidity had conspired to leave a bit of wet streaked across the road, but nothing severe.

The route was chosen by HD to expose these motorcycles for what they are, starting in the heart of the city, heading out for the hills to the east of Portland to bomb around for a bit, and then saunter back into the city.
Riding dynamics under the microscope, I was able to observe bumper-to-bumper stoplight riding, and give it a bit of lean through some of the extra-urban environments. In all, it was about 70 miles of hard two-wheeled thrashin’. In other words, a good time.
The Ride



I’ll admit to a slight nervousness when I first climbed aboard the good ship LiveWire. I’d heard horror stories about electric torque catching people off guard and ripping the rear wheel out from under its rider, or aggressive throttle wrist leading to an unintentional wheelie dumping rider off the back. I went the first few blocks with a bit of trepidation, but rapidly adjusted to this new sensation. “Damn,” I thought to myself, “this thing is easy street.”

You wouldn’t think of a 100+ horsepower streetfighter-style sport bike as being docile and friendly. It’s just one way that this bike shirks the norms. With a smooth and fluid delivery, the EV powertrain is a gem that proves its worth immediately. Click the ignition switch to on, retract the sidestand, and you’re ready to roll. There’s absolutely no drama.
When coming to a stop at the first traffic light a block down the road, I find myself dipping a toe at an imaginary shifter and reaching for an absent clutch lever. On the mean streets of distracted drivers and occasionally hellacious traffic, it’s refreshing to know you’re never in the wrong gear. Rear brake. Front brake. Throttle. That’s all you have to worry about. Which is great, because Harley thinks it’s likely that many LiveWire miles will be lived in cities.




It doesn’t take long to notice the sounds surrounding me. Stopped at a traffic light I can hear the conversations of pedestrians over on the sidewalk, and the bass hit of the music playing in the car next to me. We’re riding in a pack with four traditional Harleys—a lead rider on a big bagger and a trio of sweep riders on Sportsters at the back—and their staccato V-twin thumping is comparatively imprudent.

Once out on the back country roads, separated from the ICE bikes a bit, I notice more bird calls. And my own thoughts. I don’t like to be alone with those too long.
The LiveWire isn’t silent. It’s actually got quite a dynamic range of sounds. The most prominent sound is that of the drivetrain’s single spiral bevel gear whine. It’s still eerily quiet, however. Quiet enough that you can hear the belt drive, the tires, the brakes, even the shocks.



I asked a Harley engineer about the 90-degree bevel gear and belt-drive setup employed, and why it was preferable to a simple shaft-drive. The bevel gear was chosen to give the bike that Formula E sound, despite a slight parasitic drain. The belt drive is simply because it’s a Harley staple, having been equipped on the company’s bikes since the ‘80s. And why is the motor longitudinal instead of transverse? To make it an important visual piece of the bike’s design.
I also imagine that if the motor was turned transverse, the bottom of the bike would be much wider. With a longitudinal layout, Harley says the LiveWire’s layover angle is 45 degrees—more than any other HD product—before the foot pegs scrape. I didn’t have a float level on hand to prove that measurement correct, but it felt like plenty of angle to work with.





Point the bike in the direction you want to go and hammer down the throttle, you’re transported through time and space like you just hit a wormhole. It’s not so much the acceleration [with a 0-60 time in the 3-second range] that gets me, it’s the ease with which acceleration happens. There’s no pause to shift, no clutch, no lift, just building speed.

In road or sport modes the regenerative braking is functional, but doesn’t quite replicate the engine braking feel you’re used to on an ICE bike. In “range mode” the brake regen gets more aggro and gets a little bit closer. It’s a new sensation, but if used right, you can hop off the throttle and the bike will whoa perfectly into the corner without pedal or lever.
Ultimately, Harley could have made a recognizable riding experience with an EV drivetrain, but it decided instead to build something in a form factor that doesn’t pay much attention to heritage. It also rides in a decidedly un-Harley way.
The Future of Harley-Davidson

The LiveWire is aluminum where the traditional Harleys are iron. It’s a philosophical change from the norm, and hopefully indicative that Harley is taking this bike seriously.
Harley-Davidson CEO Matthew Levatich was keen to harp on the theme that “We build riders” which appears to be a signal that the company is shifting its focus to a younger generation of riders.
As the global population trends toward urban living, Levatich says he wants to focus on meeting the needs of that demo. And electrification is apparently one of the ways to do that.
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Unread 2019-07-16, 02:13 PM   #36
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Harley bills the LiveWire as a halo electric product, and that many more EV models are coming, priced from $1,000 on up to the LiveWire’s $29,799. This bike, and the others on the way, are the backbone of its electric strategy. Levatich continued, “We aim to lead in the electrification of the sport.”
It’s astonishing to me that it wasn’t Honda or BMW that pushed mainstream motorcycle manufacturers into the electric sphere, but good ‘ol Americana Harley-Davidson that took that leap.

Whether it’s by necessity or by choice doesn’t really matter. If Harley clearly and consistently pushes forward with this strategy and it pays off—if it becomes more than just an expensive halo bike for early adopters—this gamble has the potential to be a product shift on the level of Iaccoca-era Chrysler. Harley has had quality products and failed to deliver before, but I genuinely hope this one succeeds.





As an informal poll of Harley riders I know, my father and my barber both weighed in.

My dad, who has had a Heritage Softail for over a decade and recently bought a Tri Glide Ultra, is the guy you see in your mind when you think Harley buyer. His response to the LiveWire? “Wow! I bet that is quick! I need to try one out.”
My barber, the tattooed punk rocker type of vintage Harley rider had a very different response. “Pass. Harley has gotten way off course with their new models. Trying to appeal to the younger generation that are not buying motorcycles at all. Stick with what you know, HD.”
So it might be a mixed bag.
Charging

The battery, or renewable energy storage system in HD parlance, has an impressive 15.5kWh worth of lithium ions onboard. That battery is good for 146 miles in the city, 70 miles on the highway, and 95-ish mixed. You might be able to stretch those numbers if you’re aggressive on the regen.
Then again, if you are hard on acceleration you could suck it dry of electrons in far less. Frequent 0-100 launches? Yeah, that’ll run things down.




LiveWire owners will have their options open when it comes to charging. Harley says most owners will probably treat their bike like a smart phone, plugging it in every night to recharge before using it as an urban/suburban commuter ride. For the ones who want to ride farther and longer, the LiveWire joins Energica in offering DC Fast Charge. You can shove one of those bad boys into the top tank and it’ll fill from zero to 80 percent charge in 40 minutes, and up to 100 percent in one hour, according to Harley.



Every one of the 150 “Phase One” Harley-Davidson dealerships to get the LiveWire had to install at least one DC Fast Charge station, send at least one of its master certified mechanics for LiveWire-specific maintenance training, and prep its salespeople to answer EV specific questions. As part of this package, LiveWire buyers will be entitled to free charges at all HD dealerships for the first two years.



In addition to the dealer network, Harley has tapped a partnership with Electrify America’s network of fast charge stations. Each LiveWire owner will get free charging up to 500 kilowatt-hours for the first two years of ownership. That equates to about 40 free charges from Electrify America. If you plan your trips right, you’re paying nothing to ride the thing for the first two years.
Specs That Matter

One of the things that currently plagues the world of EVs is weight. The LiveWire is hardly a lightweight motorcycle, tipping scales at 549 pounds ready to run. Sure, that’s not as light as a Triumph Speed Triple, or an Aprilia Tuono, but it carries its weight quite well. I never had a thought that the bike was too heavy or that the weight made it difficult to ride or transition through corners. In a vacuum, it’s a quite fun ride that speaks volumes for EV tech.
Harley-Davidson has finally released an official power rating, setting it at 105 horses and 86 lb-ft from a 15,000 RPM permanent magnet synchronous motor with water jacket cooling.
Harley calls this motor Revelation, and maybe for good reason.





Harley’s RESS battery is a pretty tricky unit. Because the battery has to be encased in a puncture-resistant case for crash safety reasons, it’s a pretty solid chunk of weight. Rather than hanging it off of a beefy trellis frame, Harley developed a cast aluminum wrapper that treats the battery unit as a kind of stressed member. It’s a stiff bike that feels super solid, allowing the suspension to do its thing.



Speaking of the suspension, you’ve got SHOWA 43 mm inverted forks up front with (mechanically) adjustable damping and rebound, and a fully adjustable SHOWA monoshock out back. In talking with the Harley engineers, my bike was set to its “comfort” setting, which seemed about right for the bumpy and chunky roads we were dealing with.
Harley offers a suspension calculator in the bike’s companion smartphone app where you can enter variables like rider weight to let you know where the suspension should be set for your needs. For the price of the LiveWire, I would have liked to see this kind of thing computer controlled and integrated into the bike’s ride mode settings.

What’s Good

Outside of the outstanding ride dynamics I’ve already discussed, there are a few totally awesome things to like about the LiveWire.
I truly find this to be a stylish bike. I like the air-cooling fins on the battery, drawing a visual connection between Harleys of old and the company’s EV-inclusive future. The motor slung below the bike is another cool piece of the design, being the only piece in silver makes it an eye catching style point.
The 4.3-inch color TFT touch screen is quite nice to look at. The numbers are crisp and clear, the whole unit is legible and easy to read, and the touch activation works decently even with a gloved hand. Unlike some other bikes I’ve been on, the touch screen is only active when the bike is stationary, but the operation toggles on the right handlebar are perhaps even easier to operate than the touch screen anyway.





You can sync up your cell phone with your bike to control things like music and turn-by-turn directions. The latter of which can be displayed on the screen with a direction arrow, upcoming street name, and distance to turn. Live maps are not compatible with this screen, which is kind of a shame, but it might be too small a screen to accommodate something like that.

The different power delivery modes are fun to play with. If you want to maximize range, you can optimize the bike for maximum regeneration and light acceleration. If you get to a fun road, you can pump both up and hammer down. Figuring out which balance you like best can really help you get the most out of the bike. With built-in Sport Mode, Road Mode, Rain Mode, and Range Mode, you can let the factory figure it out for you, or you can configure three custom modes.





The advanced computers in the LiveWire are above and beyond what you’d expect from the Harley brand. Outside of the different modes, there’s a quite sophisticated traction control and anti-lock braking system with anti-wheelie as well as anti-stoppie. The ABS system has also been pumped up to include information about lean angle when taking brake forces into consideration to keep you upright. There is also a specific system to prevent the regenerative braking from locking up the wheel on wet roads. It’s all seamless, and makes for an engaging ride safer than average.

And it’s available in JALOP GOLD, which is nice.
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Unread 2019-07-16, 02:15 PM   #37
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What’s Weak

Outside of the price (more on that later), there is very little to dislike about this EV rider. I really had to grasp at straws to find this short list.
The rear view mirrors are useless for practical purposes. I’m what some would call a big guy, with my suit jackets measured at 54" at the shoulder, so it’s likely that this has a lot to do with my rearward visibility. Luckily, this can be changed pretty easily with a set of aftermarket mirrors. I’d go for a stylish set of bar-end mirrors and never worry about it again.
While common with sport bikes, it’s worth noting that there is nary a storage space to be found on this bike. You can lift up the seat to reveal a fitted space for your wall charger to slot in, so if you choose not to carry the charger, you can probably fit a few small items in there. It’s not much.





And this problem is exacerbated by the fact that the colored cover on top of the bike, where a fuel tank would be, is made of molded plastic. In the past when I’ve needed to go on a ride while carrying anything, I’ll throw a magnetic tank bag in that space. This is minor from a convenience standpoint, as you can always throw on a backpack, and Harley says it offers plenty of aftermarket storage options that will fit the LiveWire. From a quality standpoint, however, this is the only part of the bike that feels cheaper than it would on a comparable ICE motorcycle.

And the final point I found annoying was an ergonomic issue. While the bike is quite comfortable in riding position, there is a boss around the bolt that holds the battery unit to the frame right about where my legs want to be while stopped at a light or in traffic. It doesn’t seem like it would be a big deal, but after a couple hours of riding, I developed a light bruise on the inside of my thigh just above the knee. Again, I’m bigger than the average rider, but I’m also 6'2" with a 32" inseam and think that this would be worse for people any shorter than me.
Value

There is a life cycle for adoption of a new technology which includes a large chasm between early adopters and the majority. The LiveWire feels like it has the potential to bridge that gap and introduce the technology to the mainstream. As electric charging becomes more ubiquitous consumers will adapt to the idea.



The near-$30,000 price tag is going to turn a lot of buyers off. That’s a fact. But there are some who will value the bike as a novelty, a conversation piece, and a historically significant technological touchpoint. In the same way that driving an interesting car has value, so does this bike. Most riders buy a bike because it makes a statement about who they are, it’s an emotional purchase usually devoid of logic.

In that way, if the LiveWire says you’re interesting, environmentally conscious, and maybe a smidge more counterculture than a Tesla owner, maybe you find it valuable.
Beyond just being a thing that people would be interested in seeing at a cars and coffee or at your local bike night, it functions quite well as a motorcycle. This is a quick, fun to ride, competent two wheeler with enough tech baked in to help keep you rubber side down.





And then there are the perks. When you include the unlimited mileage warranty, connectivity package, and years of free charging, it starts to approach feasible. And when you consider most buyers are going to finance or lease something like this anyway, the monthly nut looks easier to crack.

Harley says all current financing offers apply on the LiveWire, so their current 4.49 percent APR for 60 months and $0 down option would get you riding for about $500 a month.
I’m not suggesting this is the right method for you, but I could definitely see the Tesla-buying doctor, lawyer, dentist getting one of these to ship to Daytona, Sturgis, or Reno for a once-a-year two-wheel tryst.





Are supercars overpriced? Are MacBooks overpriced? In the case of the LiveWire, I’d argue that you’re paying for a brand name with at least some prestige, a bike that is packed with quality engineering, and style that will snap necks.
Is it for everyone? Not a chance. But maybe that’s why it’s good.
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