15. July 2019 by Steve Hanley
Harley Davidson has a problem. The sale of their iconic motorcycles in the United States is sagging. 50 years after Easy Rider "hog" from Milwaukee made the ultimate protest symbol, Wild Bunch has become Mild Bunch. They gather on the weekends to tear along America's highways and byways slightly below the stated speed limit in a procession that is more homage to flatulence than freedom of speech.
Will an electric motorcycle make Harley Davidson great again? Five years ahead, its LiveWire electric bike will start production soon and you can order one online today. Prices start at $ 29,799. For it gets a buyer a bike that screams to 60 mph in 3 seconds, powered by an electric motor with torque that never ends. The stated range is 146 miles in the city. The Aerodynamics Act is what they are – the wind resistance increases by a factor of 4 when the speed doubles – the combined city / motorway is more than 95 miles. At still high speed cruising speeds, it will be even smaller.
The first easy-to-read reader will notice if LiveWire is what looks like the traditional bikes the company has been producing for generations. More sports bike than cruiser, it is obviously not meant to appeal to regular Harley riders. However, it will appeal to canyon racers with a devotion to modern technology. By using the Harley App, owners can monitor the status of their machines far away and get an alert if anyone interferes with their armor while parked. A thoroughly modern digital display contains necessary information and navigation aid.
We went out to Harley Davidson and they told us that the bike comes with a 15.5 kWh battery pack and that it can be recharged with a DC speed adapter at 80% capacity in 40 minutes or at full capacity in one hour. Charge tapering starts at 80%, and based on their numbers, we estimate that the bike can take about 18 kW maximum from a CCS station, such as those offered by Electrify America. Charging from a regular household outlet is a nightly process.
Technology is superfluous on this machine. Here's what the company has to say on its website: "The LiveWire ™ model is equipped with Reflex ™ Defensive Rider Systems. The separate features of the RDRS work together to give riders more confidence and control in less than ideal situations. Reflex ™ Defensive Rider Systems control vibration-enhanced anti-lock braking system, tractor control system and wear control system by modulating torque available on the rear wheel, combining electronic controls and hydraulics when needed, using the latest six-axis inertial measuring unit and ABS sensor technology. "
LiveWire comes with Four pre-programmed modes: sport, road, range and rain with three trip modes that the rider can customize. The forged aluminum frame provides high torsional strength with minimal weight. Front and rear suspension components are sourced from Showa and have a variety of settings that allow riders to dial in only the amount of performance or comfort desired.
Harley had a small fleet of pre-production LiveWires on hand last weekend's Formula E race in Brooklyn. Verge contributor Sean O & # 39; Kane rescued one and stated that it fits quickly and competently if it is too high for his taste (Your taste may vary. See retailer for details.). It's slimmer and more refined than the prototype Harley introduced 5 years ago when it started developing LiveWire, he says.
"Oddly, the LiveWire brand is virtually non-existent. I could see people who aren't familiar with motorcycles, easily fail for a traditional bike," Kane adds. And that's probably the point. This bike will bring new riders into the Harley Davidson Fold to compensate for the fact that Harley buyers today are almost as old as Buick owners. The company desperately needs to reach a younger audience, one that is not beaten by the "potato-potato" sound of a classic V-twin engine, whose basic layout was defined almost a century ago.
$ 30,000 is a lot to use for a motorcycle, yet another so thoroughly modern and up to date as LiveWire. Is it a sales battle or an embarrassing thought that it still bore to Harley V-Rod? "We'll see," said the Zen champion before re-reading Zen and The Art of Motorcycle Maintenance for the third time.