Harley-Davidson announces technical details
Since the announcement of the electric motorcycle, Harley-Davidson has held back with technical details pretty much. At the EICMA exhibition in Milan, Harley-Davidson has now presented details on engine, chassis, technology and design. Information about any prices will not be announced at the moment, so curious bikers are expected to wait until January.
The LiveWire is sportier than any previous Harley-Davidson motorcycle. The fairing and the raised stern offer a unique café style, while the aluminum chassis and swingarm look very modern. Harley-Davidson promises a completely new driving experience: no clutching, no shifting. Just accelerate. The motorcycle offers seven different driving modes that adapt to the driving style. Of these four driving modes are set ex works, three can be customized. The fully adjustable Showa suspension front and rear should provide with the adjustability for a perfect handling. The standard traction control system and the brakes with curves ABS are to convey an extremely safe driving feeling. We are very curious how this vehicle moves on the roads!
One of the most important questions with an electric motorcycle is the given or not given infrastructure with which the bike has to be operated. The LiveWire has a rechargeable energy storage system made of lithium-ion cells in a ribbed aluminum housing. While a main battery powers the engine, the bike is also equipped with a smaller battery for the light and other small systems. Charging can either be done with a simple Charging Station 1 charger that can be plugged into a simple household power outlet or charged to a Charging Station 2 or 3 at a public charging station at all H-D dealers selling LiveWire.
The LiveWire is powered by a permanent magnet electric motor mounted on the lower part of the bike. The engine also involves, in its development, generation of a sound that increases in tone and volume with increasing speed.
The drive, which is housed in an aluminum frame, is specially emphasized on this bike. The EV powertrain is designed to require minimal maintenance. The Brembo front calipers grip the 300mm brake discs. The bike is fitted with 17-inch Michelin sports tires as standard.
A new TFT (Thin Film Transistor) promises a bright and easy-to-read display. Music and GPS can be controlled via a modern infotainment system with touch screen and Bluetooth function.
The shown bike comes with new Michelin Scorcher Sport tires in 180/55 ZR17 and 120/70 ZR17 dimensions and 2CT+ technology, that combines a hard center with soft tire shoulders to achieve good stability, grip and wear attributes.
Prototype model shown. Production model features will vary. Not yet available for sale. All future models shown may not be available in all markets.
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Test report of the test drive 2015
by Ben Ott, Photographer & Film Producer
We were very surprised when we were invited to test the prototype of the LiveWire at the Hockenheimring. Of course you should not miss out on this opportunity. Harley-Davidson produced a total of 50 LiveWire prototype models and sent them in 2015 for over a year on world test trip. Of course, if you’ve always been used to the feel of a Harley-Davidson with up to 300 kilograms and a bubbling engine to exhaust system, the first ride on an electric motorcycle is very strange. But I have to say that the modern naked bike design is thrilling from the beginning.