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The Harley Davidson Livewire electric bike thread

Discussion in 'Electric Motorcycles' started by Kawazacky, Jun 18, 2014.

  1. HadesOmega

    HadesOmega Been here awhile

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    Well I got to ride a LiveWire the other day at San Jose HD. It was kind of lame demo ride we took 2 livewires out around the block but it was fun. I got harassed by Ron the owner or manager of the dealership for just wanting to come in and ride it and have zero intentions of buying it. That's what I straight up said when I came in too, they asked me if I was going to buy or take it out for a joy ride. I didn't lie I straight up told them I just wanted to ride it. Harley Davidson keeps on showing my these ads about test riding a HD and they work but this dealership experience was cringe. I filled out the test ride request and got no reply. Couple days before the scheduled demo ride I get an email from HD whether anyone contacted me about the demo ride and I chose the NO I was not contacted option. Demo day comes and I get no reply still and I don't feel like riding it now. So two days later I'm in the area and said hey what the hell lets just pop in at HD and see if we can ride one and I was able to do a very short test ride, no freeway also. They told me only recently had they started to allow people to ride them. (I'm just laughing thinking to myself it's probably because they aren't selling them). He even said he watched my video of my last experience, so you can bet I will have a video about my customer experience there. Never have I left a dealership with a bad experience and this is the 2nd time. Everything was fine until Ron opened his mouth. You can bet if I wanted to buy a Livewire I wouldn't buy it at that dealership.

    Anyway I rode it I liked it. But do I like it more than an Energica or Zero? Not really its about the same and it's $10,000+ more. This is a case of the Energica is faster and better and cost 1/3 less. I heard you can even buy an older certified pre owned energica for like $15k also. It was a lot like riding the SR/F I suppose it made a little more noise than the SR/F/S. The riding position is very sporty like it has drag bars and your knees are bent a lot but it's still a mid controls. It was narrow too more narrow than the SR/F, it didn't feel heavy but I got so little ride time on it it's hard to tell and I didn't get enough time to try out all the doodads and gizmos on it. I think if they just got rid of all those doodads and gizmos they could bring the price down. Maybe i don't need cruise control, or blue tooth, infotainment, security system, etc... All I'm saying is there's better out there for less and other mainstream manufacturers are coming with their electrics in the future so HD is gonna be hard to sell. GLWS HD! They had 4 of them sitting in the show room, so if you want one now you can buy one, but that's why they're sitting there they're not selling =P Might be a good deal in a year or so when they're collecting dust in the showroom!

    Yup that's my KLR
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    I like the black one BTW, would be nice if that had a midnight blue though
    [​IMG]

    Ouch
    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    Not a big fan of all these buttons, typical HD stuff I guess.
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
  2. chainslap

    chainslap BlessedarethesicK Super Supporter

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    Boy it sure sounds like the dealer soured any constructive criticism you may have been able to muster. That's too bad. Because I have been enjoying both the positive and negative feedback based on the bike itself. I think most agree it's overpriced but spec wise it seems from most of the feedback it's pretty comparable to similar offerings from other brands.

    Why certain dealers treat folks that way I'll never understand. And I'm not calling out HD dealers. Its just some dealers in general do a really shitty job at what they are supposed to be good at. And that's selling bikes and making new customers.

    I really enjoy my local HD dealer. They make you feel at home. Welcome. No pressure.

    I've got a suzuki dealer that's been around for ages, how I don't know. Everytime I go in there it's like you can hear the collective sigh. As if they had better things to do than try to be friendly, sell some parts or even a bike. They have shit thats so old on the floor it's got dust on it and still selling it over current msrp and will not negotiate at all. I think they must be selling crack because they sure aren't selling bikes.

    Sucks you had a shitty dealer experience. Because I bet that influenced your impression of the bike.
    AZbiker, Pcfly, voltsxamps and 3 others like this.
  3. alienbogey

    alienbogey Been here awhile

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    I've had two test rides and both were good dealership experiences. Both times I told them I just want to ride it.

    Dealer 1 said no problem, I signed my life away and 10 minutes later I got a 15 minute ride following an employee on a Road King. Not the greatest, but it included freeway so, thanks.

    Dealer 2 I went to with my buddy who wanted to try one. Saleswoman asked if I wanted to ride one also, I said no, I've already done it and I'll just chase my friend riding my bike. She said go ahead, I reconsidered, and 10 minutes later we left, unescorted, on two Livewires. They only asked that we come back before we ran out of juice. We had so much fun chasing each other on local twists that there weren't many electrons left when we got back.

    Twice the range at half the price and I would have bought one long ago. Twice the range and I might pay full price. Marvelous bike.
  4. liberpolly

    liberpolly Lazy rider

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    I hear if you mention "employee pricing", the OTD cost drops by about $3K, if it helps anyone.
  5. voltsxamps

    voltsxamps Advolturer

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    HadesOmega, good and complete review. Appreciate the share. I am going to the local HD dealer to test ride the LiveWire tomorrow, and your experience and others like Alienbogey’s give me an mixed bag of what to expect. I’ll be sure to share how my visit goes.

    Trying not to sound like a fanboy here as I try to be as unbiased and open minded as I can be, but CPO Enérgica’s start at $12,290 US
    and new start at $15,350 US and they include L1/2/3 charging, have cruise control, ABS, eABS,TC, Bluetooth, app control, carbon fiber fairings, high end brakes and suspension, high quality display, premium materials.. all standard stating at half the price of HD.

    I will however go in with a positive mindset as HD’s success with the LiveWire helps overall with mindshare buy-in as far EM’s go, but at the same time it’s not a home run as more range, lower price, and L2 charging are glaring misses for the brand that bears the bar and shield. It’s really going to take great customer service and support from the dealerships to bridge the gap that Zero & Enérgica strongly leads in. I wish this was a four horse race with Brammo/Victory in the picture as I really think a second gen bike version of the TT could’ve been a strong contender as their first bike had an early head start with potential dealership accessibility through Victory, but coincidentally they went out the same way of Alta did after partnering with a bigger cruiser brand.. but that’s another discussion. Soon perhaps, we’ll see what the big Japanese four do with their shared battery collaboration. When they start releasing big bikes, I think the playing field will get real interesting, though with a swappable battery strategy, they’re going to have much smaller capacities, lighter weights, even shorter range, and prices likely still in the 10-14k range to start if my crystal ball is working well.

    Anyways, if HD dealerships can get out of the same problematic mindset that I’m sensing from a handful of reviews, (same mindset Chevy dealerships have with selling the Bolt btw) they could really gain early market share and mindshare before the big Japanese four, BMW, Ducati, etc flex their manufacturing prowess. Interestingly, KTM has been dabbling with electric propulsion in the dirt, and I’d really love to be surprised by them to come out with a 400-600cc like bike that fits somewhere between the SR & TT and the SR/F/S & Enérgica’s. That middle ground is where most sales happen and where Zero has done a great job getting butts in saddles.

    I’m most curious what HD’s next street bike will be like as I doubt they’ll budge much on the LiveWire’s MSRP. If it ends up being 90% as good as the LW with a few cost saving measures thrown in to hit a $19,995 price point, I think they’d drive a lot more traffic into their dealerships and send more riders out on electric propulsion. Speaking of butts in the saddle, riding the LW tomorrow will be a nice prequel to watching the Long Way Up and give me a better sense of what Ewan & Charley felt even if my ride will be 1/100000th the time they spent on one.
  6. HadesOmega

    HadesOmega Been here awhile

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    Don't get me wrong I have a good opinion of HD. I used to do their demo ride days back when they had the IMS in San Mateo and I've loved doing their demo rides. You literally signed up, picked a bike, when its your turn they take you to the bike and literally ask if you got any questions? Here's the keys have fun! Then you go to to take the bike out like a big boy and ride it on their own following a route they laid out. That gave me a really positive image of of HD and my recent experience has kinda soured that a bit. It has to be this dealer, I might try just try to rent the one on twisted road on my birthday or something. All the dealers I have been to don't pressure you or at least not a lot into buying the bike. I must have gotten asked like 5 times, so are you deciding to purchase? When are you going to purchase? Oh so you just want to take it on a joy ride? Same dealer, the first time I tried to ride it in December they had me do a credit check first (hey I got enough credit to pay for it if I broke it!) and even then they wouldn't let me ride it unless I was going to buy it. They gave me some BS about someone was going to buy that bike, then when I went to see if I could ride it after my scheduled day apparently the buyer had "backed" out, umkay whatever. But they still wouldn't let me ride it. But yeah I was having a positive experience until Ron opened his mouth, I think he is the owner or general manager. His staff was nice however he was not nice and that's how it is $hit rolls downhill. Just because I made a video about my dealership experience the first time. You can bet the 2nd dealership experience video is going to be far negative this time around, I was nice last time the time for that is passed.

    Speaking of Alta I'm still not happy with what HD to to Alta. Imagine if you could buy Redshifts at HD dealerships. It would expand their reach to the dirt bike market. Probably could have made a better redshift also, HD has enough engineering skillz to bring out the Livewire.

    For what it's worth its up there with the newer Zero and Energica offerings but yeah it's so damn expensive.

    I am really interested to see what they did to those bikes in Long Way Up because I wouldn't want to ride the Livewire near anything dirty. The bike looked like it barely cleared the curb as they rode down it and it's got that big honkin motor sticking out of the bottom.

    My favorite HD is still the V-Rod also, shame they stopped selling it.

    I also noted if you want to track a Livewire it would be VERY hard to track it without some kind of DC fastercharger around. I track my Empulse and the 3kw charger is barely good enough to get through a trackday. Might have to skip a session but I did like 100 miles around Thunderhill West. The HD with it's weak L1 charging wouldn't cut it at the track at all. The premium 6kw charger on the SR/S/F would make it a great trackday bike.
    chainslap likes this.
  7. voltsxamps

    voltsxamps Advolturer

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    Good to know. I too loved the V-Rod and had a giant poster of it on my wall in my office and I told my wife that was my next bike.. it never came to be, but that bike got me excited about where HD was going in those days.. sadly (and this is what I was talking about earlier) is the old school mentality seems to hinder HD from breaking out of its loud, expensive, (fill in any other stereotype) image and I’m not sure if that’s a good thing or a bad thing, because on one hand it’s worked for them for so long, while on the other hand, you don’t want to become the latest Kodak or Nokia by not adapting to the times. It’s going to take much more than a great motorcycle to bring riders ready to buy into those showrooms.. it’s gotta be the people and culture that believe it the new propulsion the LW represents, because if it fails, it becomes another footnote like the V-Rod, and that would truly be a shame.

    I understand that a company that large with so much history is going to have to deal with a lot of pushback, but it’s gotta stay committed to a clear direction because the world will move in without you if you’re not keeping up and doesn’t care how great you were last year or the decade before. Those who care about nostalgic things relish living in the past, but that doesn’t sell new motorcycles to younger riders and that’s been HD’s dilema now for going on nearly a decade now. The headlines were big when HD announced the LW.. the headlines will equally as big of it meets the reaper rather than the road. I’m hoping to see more on the road and an improved successor at a price more competitive and attainable for the other 99% of riders that have 30 large burning a hole in their pocket. HadesOmega, I appreciate your videos, honest and candid posts, and your insightful perspectives. Perhaps one day we’ll meet up as I’m south of you and travel through the Bay Area every so often. When it comes down to it, I respect pretty much anything on two wheels and the rider who chooses the open air instead of a cage. While the number of riders are fewer compared to years past, these are undoubtedly exciting times and I think the motorcycles we have to choose from today has never been better.
    Mykola likes this.
  8. HadesOmega

    HadesOmega Been here awhile

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    You know a company that is just killin it right now that has been around for a while is TRIUMPH. They are the cool hip brand now. They got so many bikes for so many different people and they are just livin it up. I went to their launch party after the new year and they had so many cool bikes and free beer! They know how to entice the public. They do demo rides all the time too. I don't own a Triumph but I wouldn't mind owning one and I have a very positive image of them.

    HD on the other hand I have to say has kind of disgusted me with that whole Sturgis incident. I watched this one video where are these Harley Davidson folks are doing all this cringe stuff. I'm like man I don't want to be associated with any of this. Like we're freakin rebels or something haha.
    MJSfoto1956 likes this.
  9. liberpolly

    liberpolly Lazy rider

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    This
    Looks quite enough:

    [​IMG]
    Pcfly, MJSfoto1956 and voltsxamps like this.
  10. woodsrider-boyd

    woodsrider-boyd Wow, these guys are fast

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    Too bad about the negative interaction at the dealership. When I test rode an Alta at one of our local ORV riding areas, one of the owners of the dealership was manning the Alta test ride tent. I was planning on taking a test ride during the weekend, but after piling on a ton of single track miles, I decided I was too beat to bother riding it and that I would do it another time.

    Walked past the demo tent and started talking to the dealership co-owner, he talked me into taking the Alta for a test ride right then and there. I ended up buying one because of that test ride (used, after Alta went belly up, F-you Harley).

    It ALWAYS amazes me when I get a less then friendly vibe from bike shops, and its not uncommon. I really don't think I'm that unfriendly, Lol. I mean, I'm usually there spending my hard earned money for f's sake, Lol.
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  11. chainslap

    chainslap BlessedarethesicK Super Supporter

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    I'm curious too if those parts are a "bolt-on" option or was there some real fabrication involved. From the interview it wasn't just the front and rear suspension they re-worked. They completely re-did the tail/rear section to accommodate bags and tweaked some other parts to make them more suitable for their trip. So these definitely weren't off the shelf livewires. I wonder how much else was done that we don't know about or won't hear about.
    liberpolly likes this.
  12. liberpolly

    liberpolly Lazy rider

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    Hopefully Harley will listen to the consumers and make an Adv version, since they've already done most of the engineering...
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  13. KiLeR650

    KiLeR650 tjoseph is unethical.

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    It's less than certain Harley will make any effort to sell the ADV bike they're already committed to releasing next year. Holding out for an ADV livewire just because some of their engineers put two together after hours for LWU, is really stretching optimism.
  14. liberpolly

    liberpolly Lazy rider

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    Agree, just hope for sanity to prevail. Sometimes it does.
  15. voltsxamps

    voltsxamps Advolturer

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    An electric Pan America I suppose as they used the front end suspension from it.
    liberpolly likes this.
  16. Monkeyshines

    Monkeyshines Long timer

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  17. norseXL

    norseXL Northman

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    ... listen to the consumers, Harley...?
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  18. liberpolly

    liberpolly Lazy rider

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    [​IMG]
  19. voltsxamps

    voltsxamps Advolturer

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    LW test ride;

    80E3241F-0B52-495F-80AC-C36986241749.jpeg

    Had it in Eco mode for the first minute; after a couple full stop twists, I switched to Sport mode. Snappier response. Rain mode was very gradual acceleration and regen, and regular mode was like sport but with a less aggressive lurch.

    Seat was comfortable, bars were a bit far to reach and a bit wide for my liking. Foot pegs were a bit high and rider position is a tad aggressive and seat height is low allowing for flat footing. That helped because the 553lbs does feel a bit weighty when still, but felt fairly neutral once you were rolling. Turn ins were fine, though the wide bars at a reach made it a little harder for me to do u turns with my short arms. When the bike sits still, it “twitches” to simulate a pulsating motor. I thought something was wrong like it wanted to take off on its own at first, but that was a HD thing. Speaking of that, the sound was more than a Zero but less than Enérgica and could barely be heard once wind noise takes over.

    Pull was quite strong up to 65/70, and tapered as it approached 90. Suspension was set for someone heavier than I so it felt a bit stiff for me and bumps didn’t get absorbed as well as Enérgica, but was a smooth, planted ride overall. I felt lower to the ground compared to the Ribelle, due the seat height, though I prefer the more upright positioning of the Ribelle. (Rep said a handlebar swap should solve that). Screen and switchgear were easy to understand and operate, though I really didn’t like having to use my right thumb to activate the right turn signal. Having to adjust my throttle hand to reach my thumb over and down felt slightly cumbersome. Also you have to remember if you hit it just once b/c you have to hit it again to cancel. No separate cancellation button, but HD riders likely know this anyways.

    DC5E5719-0845-4F5F-9B65-B520E8E95405.jpeg
    Charger under the seat rattled a bit on bumpy roads or irregular transitions, but a cloth or some foam can solve that.

    Representative said HD could retrofit a faster onboard charger to replace the 1.5kW at a future date. Overall, Quaid HD’s staff were friendly and informative. Felt a little quicker than an SR/F, but not as quick as a Ribelle. Speedometer was a little small on the screen, but I liked that the LCD screen tilted. Air ducted and fin cooled battery and a coolant cooled inverter rounded up the components next to and under the tank shroud. Overall, a nice bike, but feel that for $33,000+, it should have L2 on board and a higher capacity battery, especially at nearly the Enérgica’s weight. Rep said that to the best of his knowledge, all interest in rides or purchases have been from other bike owners and not from existing Harley Riders so far. They had 3 in the showroom; green, black, and orange.

    Attached Files:

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  20. SGrider

    SGrider I give up Supporter

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    Harley's have self cancelling turn signals, I'd assume this does too. You shouldn't have to cancel unless you don't turn.