115 months ago

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Here is a very sober evaluation of the Harley Live Wire Project

Toronto, On, Canada

A must read

"My feedback takes the form of congratulations and caution and encouragement. I offer it as a Harley-Davidson fan, having owned a new factory-ordered 2005 Road King Custom (still my favorite) and a new 2012 Ultra Limited with significant customization. I love the rumble of my 103 cubic inch v-twin engine as much as anyone, and have enjoyed the big twin bikes. They are — and will continue to be — great motorcycles.

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7 months ago

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107 months ago

well just think of it as a "Tesla" the first few were just a rich guy toy, and now they are getting closer to reality. I would not say it is a bold move for Harley, but more of a panic move, if you have been keeping up on what the new CEO of the MOCO is up to. the old school'ers are dieing off, and they are scrambling for a new Younger revenue base.


115 months ago

@Teramuto - While the Harley range is low, it's not that much lower than most of the other electric bikes, which can rarely top 120 miles. I also want to be clear in that I didn't mean that as a criticism of Harley, but electrics in general. The ride time isn't so bad, but it's the recharge time that kills it. Gas powered machines, you can add another 200km to the tank in a minute or two. With electrics, it will take hours but this will improve with time and new technology (for example, using capacitors)

On the other hand, it's just about awesome for a dirt bike especially if we can have inner city moto-x


115 months ago

I'm not too sure what the range is of the other electric bikes out there and @alex you may have a point that there needs to be an improvement but I can see a world where both the loud V Twin and the LiveWire exist together.  Much like you say they will need to do some very careful branding and marketing - indeed like Ducati is doing with the Scrambler but I think it is a brave but necessary move for Harley to maintain or increase their market share.  

The truth is there will always be guys who want their carbureted VTwins (I am one of them - I love the carb), but the reality is that these options are diminishing rapidly.  It will not be in the too distant future that air cooled Harley's will be eliminated from production due to tighter emission requirements that necessitate water cooled engines (you can see they are paving the way with their water cooled heads for 2014 in some bikes).  Some Harley guys will hate this and threaten to sell their bikes (tho not sure what that would accomplish), but the majority will see the writing on the wall and if they want a new Harley (their brand) they will buy a water cooled bike - and maybe even a LiveWire.


115 months ago

Great read by Jeff Henshaw! Having seen the H-D electric close up and with the benefit of speaking to one of the engineers in Milan, I have to agree that it does seem LiveWire is closer to production that the company will admit. H-D needs to catch up in terms of reducing the overall weight and range, but judging from the oohs and ahhs at the Europe press launch, people are excited!  

In the meantime, Harley, please get the Street 500 and Street 750 into dealerships!


115 months ago

It is certainly a brave move from Harley, but I don't think it will be a successful one. It's clear electric motorcycles are our future, whether you want it or not. But 70mile range? And three hour recharges mean it's not for today. While you have to applaud Harley for trying, I can only see their customers as being too besotted with the blast of the v-twin through unrestricted pipes. Take that away and you may as well be riding anything. Harley sell on image alone. With the livewire, they are going to need to redefine that image and I suspect they may have to create a new brand to do that, much as ducati are doing with scrambler.