Thoughts on Harley's e-bike LiveWire? - Star Motorcycle Forums: Star Raider, V-Max, V-Star, Road-Star Forum
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post #1 of 19 (permalink) Old 07-03-2014, 08:11 PM Thread Starter
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Thoughts on Harley's e-bike LiveWire?

Just saw the press release and Time article on Harley's new electric bike, LiveWire. Has anybody else seen it? It's definitely a departure from their std look. It's more sporty than their Buell line ever was.

Not sure how successful it will be. Time suggests pricing might be about 20k, which given that their main demographic is more into cruisers, I'm not sure how many of the targeted young crowd will shell out for this. I mean, I don't ride motorcycles for environmental reasons, and even if I did, I'm already getting 50mpg on my gas bike. With a range of 100 miles and a 3 hour charge time, you can forget about long, winding rides with this. (Unless you stop at a pub for a few hours.) Heck, you could buy so many other fast sport bikes for half of that cost. It just seems way overpriced.

I like the design, don't get me wrong. But I had to laugh at their press release that boasted it sounds like a jet engine. Harley, that's not unique. That's what a sport bike sounds like.

My other vehicle's a Prius.
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post #2 of 19 (permalink) Old 07-06-2014, 10:23 AM
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I think electric bikes will be a common site on the roadways in the next ten years. Right now it will be for the wealthy, as technology brings down the cost of batteries and range is increased, all of a sudden many urban/suburban dwellers will want one.

Do NOT mistake electric for being weak and slow, you will find, over time, no gas powered bike will be able to beat their acceleration and top end speed. I think to the point that maybe limiters might be needed.
Speed, acceleration and having the fastest bike in town, in its own right, will make them the bike to own, for the guy, who wants the fastest bike around.

Me, in my area, long distance riding, not ready to be tied down to a "cord" and by the time that cord can be cut, I might be to old to ride. *L*

That "jet engine" noise? When the guy riding that bike can beat every gas powered bike in his town, all of a sudden that jet engine noise will earn a LOT of respect.

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Last edited by alarmguy; 07-06-2014 at 10:27 AM.
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post #3 of 19 (permalink) Old 07-07-2014, 08:33 AM Thread Starter
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Yeah I guess if any mfr was going to be successful in the American e-bike market, it'd be Harley. They've got the brand value.

I knew electrics could be fast, but I didn't know they could out power a gas bike. Guess I'm thinking of my Prius versus a gas engine. Hahahaha. I know a guy who drives a Tesla. He loves the engine power. I think he said he got up into the 100s once? I've been dying to get a ride with him. He says it's a totally different experience.

I'd be curious to drive LiveWire for sure, but I don't have $20k to spend for a test product.

My other vehicle's a Prius.
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post #4 of 19 (permalink) Old 07-07-2014, 11:10 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Vstar fanatic View Post
.

I knew electrics could be fast, but I didn't know they could out power a gas bike......
I didnt know they were faster either, until I started reading some reviews. Here are some links I just looked up fast, NOT where I got my original info though. All very interesting, another interesting thing is I am not certain but think some do not have transmissions. Meaning the electric motor starts off at 0 RPM and spins as fast as necessary to achieve the speed it needs to.

http://www.brammo.com/empulse_specifications/

Or how about 500 HP and 0 to 60 in 1 Sec? 1/4 mile in 8 secs @ 174 MPH..
http://killacycleracing.com/about-us/killacycle/

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Last edited by alarmguy; 07-07-2014 at 11:14 AM.
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post #5 of 19 (permalink) Old 07-07-2014, 03:12 PM
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I'm a cruiser guy myself and I'm drawn into the look of bikes more, plus the sound, so the livewire look is kind of a turnoff to me because it's more of a sport/duo bike look. I agree in this news piece too, that the sound would be a turnoff as well, plus the price, which is why I don't have a Harley today. I still pick my Yammy 950 over the livewire. But you're right, maybe for the younger, gotta go fast crowd.

http://www.theverge.com/2014/6/24/58...ric-motorcycle



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post #6 of 19 (permalink) Old 07-07-2014, 03:49 PM Thread Starter
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Yammy 950s for the win! Thanks for the link. I liked the video. It looks cool in action. The sound is like a jet engine, so they weren't really exaggerating.

Somewhat related: I get irked when I hear about Harley's "trademark" sound. While Harley may have started the rumble fashion, people have this misconception that 1) only Harleys sound like that and 2) Harleys naturally sound like that. I've never met a Harley rider who didn't swap out their pipes at some point, if not before they even left the dealer. In fact, I'm not actually sure I could pick out the sound of a stock Harley pipe...though many people confuse the sound of my bike for one.

My other vehicle's a Prius.
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post #7 of 19 (permalink) Old 07-07-2014, 04:29 PM
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I'm glad that Harley is getting into the game. Not because I'm a Harley fan, but because it will take a top-tier manufacturer to get others into the game. What has been a niche product for a few years stands a much better chance of becoming main-stream now.
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post #8 of 19 (permalink) Old 07-07-2014, 04:41 PM
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Potato, Potato, Potato - they argue often imitated, never duplicated, no mater who's exhaust is on um.

Live wire definite must have for the Techno Geeks & Green Freaks. At least that's their target market and a business gamble. Remember the V-Rod? But you don't survive over a century without thinking outside the box now and then.
Find it hard to imagine the current loyal rider base crossing over - but the younger riders, even first timers and the European markets may very well be quite a bit different...

Last edited by Captnkidd; 07-07-2014 at 09:38 PM.
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post #9 of 19 (permalink) Old 08-16-2014, 06:13 PM
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What I'm guessing is the Harley crowd is aging and the motor company is looking for ways to keep humans on their product. Hell, you can get an HD Factory built trike by Harley these days. Roughly 30-35K for one. The electric scooter IMO is intended to get young folk on the marque....with hopes they become hooked and eventually pony up for a highly profitable heavyweight cruiser.

Just a guess there, I've been wrong before....more times than I care to admit.

EDIT: For you guys interested in the electric motorcycle, check out ZERO motorcycles. I went to a presentation on their product recently. They've got one helluva nice electric bike there. If I were a rich guy I'd certainly consider one for sure.

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Last edited by jbasile; 08-16-2014 at 06:15 PM.
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post #10 of 19 (permalink) Old 08-16-2014, 06:18 PM
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The world changes and Harley just looking to keep their share of the pie just like ANY motorcycle company in the world (or any company for that matter) that wants to stay in business.

Its easy to trash or criticize a company that sells more 800 + cc bikes in the USA then ALL OTHER motorcycle companies combined. Think about that, more motorcycles then ALL other companies combined. There used to be and still is a time that Americans cheer any USA company with that success rate and devotion to a product.

Harley Davidson is the envy of every motorcycle company that sells motorcycles in the USA and why so many companies seek to copy their designs.

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Last edited by alarmguy; 08-16-2014 at 06:22 PM.
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