The Harley Davidson Livewire electric bike thread

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

  1. Micky99

    Micky99 Adventurer

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    Hmm
    I think there's only 1 gear on that bike so you don't really shift. I imagine it works like CVT. The fake sound, not sure I dig that. I think I'll stick to my KTM 2cylinder for now. Decel pop is pretty rad
  2. Micky99

    Micky99 Adventurer

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    I think it's smaller than a diavel. It looked like a Honda CBR 400
  3. liberpolly

    liberpolly Nu, shoyn, nudnick!

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    Yeah you don't shift but the motor has internal fixed gears, so the sound is not fake.
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  4. wheresbaoskee

    wheresbaoskee Been here awhile

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    It's mostly stabilizer, which is why it looks weird. The big disk/platform/flat-ish box looking thing at the top is most likely a couple of plates separated by curved cables under tension to reduce vibrations. I can't tell from the pic exactly what they are using, and it's likely just been built from a combination of printed parts and cut up cables from the local hardware conglomerate. They basically look like this:

    [​IMG]

    From there down it looks like a GoPro (or maybe one of those sony RX series competitors) in a very elaborate sealed housing, which may or may not include an external battery for the camera itself, but from the size of the block I'd assume there is one.
  5. alienbogey

    alienbogey Been here awhile

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    I called my local dealer and they said they have 3 Livewires inbound and should be in the store by the end of the month.

    2 are already sold.
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  6. ctromley

    ctromley Been here awhile

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    Huh?!?

    After literally years of promotion, a big build-up to release, countless news items and videos, endless speculative internet chatter and a limited number of HD dealers carrying it, and only two of the three first ordered are sold?

    I hope like hell they purposely held one for dealer display, and all subsequent orders for a couple of months already have deposits. Otherwise it looks like a pretty 'Meh' public reception. Any news from other dealers?
  7. KiLeR650

    KiLeR650 tjoseph is unethical.

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    @ $30,000, they must have been expecting 'meh'. If they weren't they're in worse shape, leadership wise, than I thought. We'll know by what actually shows up in dealers the next few years. If there's not a $20,000 version with more range, even if they handicap it so it's slower than this livewire, short the stock
  8. ctromley

    ctromley Been here awhile

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    And pity the dealers who ponied up $100k each for the privilege of selling the Livewire.

    I hope other dealers are doing better than this.
  9. Monkeyshines

    Monkeyshines Long timer

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    You're trying way too hard there.
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  10. ctromley

    ctromley Been here awhile

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    You're not really saying what you mean, so I'll take a guess. You think my disdain for the Harleys of old means I want HD to fail with the Livewire. You could not be more wrong. Success for the Livewire hastens success for EVs in general. It's not my cup of tea, but success only comes with a big-tent approach.

    Success for the Livewire means success for HD (which appears to be flailing in their attempts to stop their sales slide), success for their investors, success for riders who want choice in selecting an EM. My disdain for HD is aimed in large part at their management, who should have seen that a $30k price would be problematic. (Or flat-out ridiculous. Take your pick.) Not just for their own profits, but who wants to risk a dealer revolt by forcing a $100k investment to carry a bike that falls flat due to HD's imposition of a ridiculous price? Would you want to lay out that kind of coin only to have to work for maybe two years to start making money from it? The Livewire situation might become a lot worse than trying to move a leftover V-Rod or two that were taking up space on your sales floor. Let's hope not.

    We also have to remember that the Livewire is only the tail of a big old dog that's not doing so well and will be taking more hits. The new V-twin for the Streetfighter and Pan America is the future of HD's ICE offerings going forward. Euro-5 requirements mean air- or oil-cooled ICEs simply can't compete any more, and international sales are the only place HD is doing sort-of OK. A large part of the HD 'mystique' is their engines - what happens when their engines become just like everyone else's? (Or more likely not quite as good, since the competition has been refining theirs longer?)

    HD has built their success on selling overweight retro-bikes with really nice paint and chrome and charging WAY TOO MUCH. They got away with it because enough people believed, and had enough money to support the belief. That's the totality of their business model. So what do you do when the believers age out of motorcycling, potential newcomers don't give a rodent's derriere about your belief system and don't have the money you're demanding anyway, and the rolling idols the whole thing is based on are forced to change, erasing their most distinguishing characteristic?

    What do you do? See the writing on the wall and change with the times, or arrogantly continue hanging onto the ridiculous belief that you make the best motorcycles that ever were or will ever be, and charge accordingly, as you watch your believers drift away and/or die off? What happens when it gets much harder to claim you're the 'best'?

    The Livewire should have deposits tying up months of orders. If it doesn't, it's because of HD management's arrogance and ineptitude. There's no getting around that, and yeah - I'm going to be pissed about it. If a significant portion of Livewire owners aren't new to HD, shareholders should be pissed about it too - HD's survival is critically dependent on new HD buyers. I'll be more than happy to eat these words if sales pick up once Livewires get out in the wild.

    If you assume that the Livewire is only a flagship or standard-bearer, not a serious market contender (what else can it be at that price?), and their upcoming smaller EM and e-scoot offerings are where the profits and new riders will come from, keep in mind that startups and other smaller players are releasing new and tasty stuff seemingly every week. HD will be jumping into a very fast-moving river. They are going to have a big challenge competing, especially with China Inc. Go over to the News/Updates thread on p41 and check out the Sur-Ron Storm Bee, note that it's street legal, it has lots of room for hot-rodding, and imagine it in SM or roadster versions. Who's going to want to pay HD big money for zippy and fun commuter runabouts or stealth off-roaders when there's lots of choice out there and the real value is in everyone else's products? That's just nuts.

    HD's only chance for survival is to lose the arrogance, get a clue and start competing on performance and value. Just like everyone else. It's not something they've done for a Very Long Time. If they fail, it will be a very visible failure for EVs in general. The public won't see that the failure was a completely un-forced error rooted in arrogance and incompetence.

    I want HD to succeed. I want to be wrong about all of this. I don't know if HD is capable of pulling it off, because it requires them to change so much. They quite literally need to change who they are - the current corporate identity is a road to failure. The major problem there is that narcissism is self-reinforcing and self-protecting.

    We should know by the sales results from now through 2Q20 if I'm full of it, at least concerning the Livewire. The Pan America and Streetfighter too, if they release in time. How are other HD dealers doing with Livewire pre-sales?
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  11. Monkeyshines

    Monkeyshines Long timer

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    I started to respond to this but the amount of ridiculous statements leaves me not wanting to put in that much work. I'll just say go ride a Livewire and see what you think.
  12. ctromley

    ctromley Been here awhile

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    We'll all know soon enough who's being ridiculous. I honestly hope you're right and it's me. Either way, my opinion of the Livewire could not possibly be less relevant to the question at hand. As far as my personal preferences are concerned, no need to ride one. I know it's not for me because of the Flash Gordon-esque styling, too much weight, an artificial, unnecessary turbo-swooshy noise you can't get rid of (though I might look into a different gear set), way too slow charging (Level 1 only? Seriously? Except for long rides, which I don't get to do much), and then there's that truly nutso MSRP.

    Other than those minor quibbles, I'd probably like a Livewire just fine. But my choices are mine and not for everyone. Everyone should ride what they like.

    Also, not one of my objections to the Livewire has anything to do with the fact that it's a Harley as you probably suspect. I don't anthropomorphize corporations like some people. I don't take what they do personally, I don't love them or hate them, I have no loyalty to them because I am quite certain they have no loyalty to me. Any appearance of caring about me is purely coincidental - they're looking for revenue. They're not like people, they're more like sharks - no reasoning, they just follow the food and feed. More food is better, and it's all that matters. You can't train them; they aren't advanced enough creatures for that. But you can control their food supply. If you feed them when they do something you prefer, they're likely to do it again.

    Certainly there are people in the corporations that care. The corporations do not. The corporations care about their numbers and their shareholders. Especially HD, whose revenue stream is slowly but steadily crumbling and they're scrambling madly to fix that. Numbers matter. All else is secondary.

    I would have been much more interested in the prototype version of the Livewire that HD trucked around to demo days years ago to get public feedback. Those were a much cleaner design, not as over-styled or overweight as the production version. I might have bought one of those in spite of the stupid swooshy noise. (If it wasn't too objectionable.) One of those might have been worth feeding the shark. Yes, even for a bike with an HD badge on it. I'm perfectly OK with that.
  13. Monkeyshines

    Monkeyshines Long timer

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    Good grief
  14. liberpolly

    liberpolly Nu, shoyn, nudnick!

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    I rode Livewire. Loved it. What does it change though?
  15. Monkeyshines

    Monkeyshines Long timer

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    It can put a smile on your face.
    I know it's getting attention among the general population and feedback out there seems positive.
  16. liberpolly

    liberpolly Nu, shoyn, nudnick!

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    For sure. For $30K though? Highly doubtful. You know what put an even bigger smile on my face? Zero FX for $9K. And I cannot wait to try my buddy's SurRon that costs $4K.
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  17. Monkeyshines

    Monkeyshines Long timer

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    Sounds like you have a plan. I had wanted to ride a zerosrf close after the livewire just for the kicks but the closest dealer looks to be in illinois. A friend suggested coming out to the superbike races next year and checking out the zero headquarters/test ride an srf, maybe they'll have the full fairing version out by then. I think at this point zero has a chance of still being here after the other big motorcycle manufacturers invariably steam roll the e-motorcycle market.
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  18. liberpolly

    liberpolly Nu, shoyn, nudnick!

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    At this point it seems like Chinese are poised to take over, they're offering multiple e-bikes at half price, and the quality is not far back. I am fairly sure Zero will survive though, but most "big motorcycle manufacturers" will most likely not.
  19. Monkeyshines

    Monkeyshines Long timer

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    Nah. The big automakers survive just fine alongside Hyundai and kia.
  20. wheresbaoskee

    wheresbaoskee Been here awhile

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    In a global sense, you are most likely correct. The most cost effective solution is going to win for the urban billions of most of the world I would expect.

    That said, this does make me wonder how many of these e-mtbs Ducati is actually selling/sold. Which I know is a tangent, but is another recognized brand entering the electric space with a "high-end" offering priced above the relative competition. That bike is sort-of more in line with the market than the Livevwire, arguably. On the other hand there are e-mtb's from the likes of Specialized for twice as much, but those are a LOT more bike than this one. So I'd say compared to bikes of similar caliber, it's at an expected premium for the way Ducati operates.

    https://www.cyclevolta.com/ducati-mig-rr-electric-mountain-bike-review/

    This bit is interesting:

    I don't know much of this sort of history, so if that's apocryphal then you know, cool. But it is sort of interesting from a "corporate approach to the matter" perspective. If it's their branding/marketing plan (ie "This is how we started, now watch what we do next...") it's likely to be a fairly effective one.

    Brand loyalty is a thing - assuming a large enough group with discretionary income - so it's not that much of a stretch that various brands would try to stay with a price analog to their existing ice-engined offerings. I don't think either the Livewire or the MIG-RR were ever intended to sell in large numbers, which has probably been mentioned previously in the thread. Who can remember, lol.

    So I get what Harley is trying to do. Will be interesting to see how well that works out for them.