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Transportation Power

Harley-Davidson Unveils Their First Electric Motorcycle 345

Major Blud writes Harley-Davidson has unveiled their first electric motorcycle called "Project LiveWire." The bike is currently not for sale and detailed specifications are scarce. Harley plans on taking it on a demonstration tour of the U.S. for the next year to gather customer feedback. "The new LiveWire won’t make the distinctive 'potato-potato-potato' chug that Harley once tried to patent. Its engine is silent, and the turbine-like hum comes from the meshing of gears. But electric motors do provide better handling and rapid acceleration — with the electric Harley able to go from 0 to 60 mph in four seconds. LiveWire’s design places the engine at the bottom of the bike."
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Harley-Davidson Unveils Their First Electric Motorcycle

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  • Re:Dangerous (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday June 19, 2014 @10:27PM (#47278551)

    Bikes aren't dangerous ... bimbos in SUVs are dangerous. Cell phone drivers are dangerous. Bikes are devices. People are the problem.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday June 19, 2014 @10:34PM (#47278595)

    Ever notice how the queers who own Hollywood always sneak in pro-homo garbage in their movies? Like the queer who "peaks" when Adam Sandler is peeing in Little Nicky, a kids' movie?
    The same thing happens with the naked queer law enforcement officer in Wild Hogs when his "hey you guyth!!!" while skinny dipping behavior is portrayed over and over and in a positive light.
    In conclusion, this is PERFECT for the middle aged homosexual yuppie Harley rider that would be afraid that he would break a fingernail on a REAL Harley and would be afraid that the vibrations from the garbage flathead motor would be too much stimulation on his prostate after the previous night of massage...

  • Re:Dead on arrival (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday June 19, 2014 @10:36PM (#47278607)

    > Bikers such as myself appreciate the engine noise their bikes make.
    We'll you and your kin are the only ones. Nothing more annoying than a handful of Harley's driving downtown between the buildings, holding the clutch in, and revving the engine.

  • Re:Dead on arrival (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday June 19, 2014 @10:37PM (#47278613)

    Please buy one and get rid of your ridiculous 130 db bike. Nobody is impressed. The noise of 30 bikers rumbling through tourist towns and mountain scenic highways is highly annoying. I've been in towns like Taos and Durango where Harley bikers are not appreciated by the business owners. They don't buy the art and they scare away customers who want to eat outside on beautiful days.

  • by msauve ( 701917 ) on Thursday June 19, 2014 @10:41PM (#47278633)
    That's OK. Without the loud noises, you won't get the attention you desire, anyway.
  • Re:Dangerous (Score:5, Insightful)

    by mellon ( 7048 ) on Thursday June 19, 2014 @10:52PM (#47278679) Homepage

    Oh, are you one of those people who thinks a glass muffler gets you noticed and keeps you safe? More likely startles some poor minivan driver into swerving into your path. If you want to stay safe, the way to do it is to pay attention. Keeping the bike quiet means you'll hear Mr. Minivan coming. See and avoid, man. See and avoid.

  • by Runaway1956 ( 1322357 ) on Thursday June 19, 2014 @10:56PM (#47278689) Homepage Journal

    Ever heard those crazy bastards claim "loud pipes save lives"?

    A REAL motorcycle makes plenty of noise, but by the time anyone hears it, the bike is a couple hundred yards out in front of them. The thunder always follows the lightning. Loud pipes are compensation for 75 year old technology that won't run any faster than the family car. It's amazing how many people have spent all that money on a Harley, but either the machine won't run over 80 mph, or the rider is to scared to exceed 80. My commuter is 33 years old, only 500 cc, and it will run 100 mph from one fill-up to the next. The other bike is only 7 years old, 600 cc, and it runs well over 150. I don't know HOW MUCH over 150, because I've not had the opportunity to find out.

    Loud noise? I sure as hell can't hear the exhaust, for all the wind noise. Attention? Don't need it, don't want it.

  • Re:Dangerous (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Harlequin80 ( 1671040 ) on Friday June 20, 2014 @02:18AM (#47279375)

    Yes and no.

    While bikes are more dangerous than cars you can avoid more accidents on them then if you are in a car.

    What most bike riders don't like to acknowledge is that, as much as we would love to blame the volvo driver, we tend to kill ourselves by ourselves.

    Have a look at the statistics. A huge percentage of fatal motorcycle accidents are single vehicle. It comes from the fact that you can but an absolute weapon of a vehicle for essentially pocket change. Then most of us ride for fun at the weekend so our total number of hours driving a bike are relatively low, and as such so is our skill levels.

    My bike will do 120kph in 1st gear and get there unbelievably quickly, then the only thing that caps its speed as an electronic limiter at 300kph..... Way faster than this electric harley. There are so few cars that can even come close and none of them are affordable.

    If we weren't out having fun on our super awesome toys tearing up and down the local mountain the fatality rate would be a hell of a lot lower.

  • Of course you'll still need to lubricate and adjust the throttle, brake and clutch cables

    A throttle cable? Why would you want a cable to move a potentiometer to adjust current flow? Just put the potentiometer on the handlebar and run a wire down to the engine. All solid state.

    Brake cables... maybe, though they could be eliminated if you want.

    Clutch cable? With an electric there's no need for a transmission, so no need for a clutch.

    inspect/repair the brakes

    Yes, although with regenerative braking there's a lot less wear on brake pads and discs.

    inspect shock absorbers, inspect/replace front fork seals, inspect/add front fork oil

    Yes, still need those, although why you wouldn't just go with permanently-sealed shocks I don't know.

    adjust the chain (or belt, if it's a Harley)

    It looks like this model still has a belt, but it could actually be eliminated and replaced with a hub motor.

    lubricate steering head bearings, and go over all the critical fasteners

    Yes, although with so many fewer moving parts there will be far fewer fasteners.

    The only real difference is changing the oil and adjusting the valves.

    Only if you insist on designing an electric bike to be identical to a gasoline-powered bike. But there's really no need to do that.

  • Re:So hang on, (Score:4, Insightful)

    by wideglide ( 899100 ) on Friday June 20, 2014 @03:01AM (#47279471)
    Depends ... I prefer my 1982 H-D Wide Glide Shovelhead over my 1939 BMW R71 ... both are not really reliable but at least the old shovel can almost be used on a regular base. The BMW is a different beast ... And regarding the $$$ for the H-D - I bought it new in '82 when everybody was talking about H-D shutting down. Rode her around the mediterranean in '82 and up to the north cape in '83 - over 330'000 km with 2 rebuilds. The price was steep even then but I wanted it and I worked 2 shifts for 1 1/2 year to get the cash together. The electro bike looks sharp, I'd love to test ride one of these. And with a range of around 200 km I could live. Not doing long tours anymore ... just some small roads on a clear evening or saturday / sunday. No traffic, scenery is beatiful and this will burn the days issues and stress away. Bikes are like women - they come in all flavours. To each his own ...
  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday June 20, 2014 @03:34AM (#47279565)

    I ride bikes and I've always seen this attitude as more of an excuse to ride an anti-socially loud vehicle more than anything else. I'm not sure how blowing a lot of extra noise out behind you is supposed to help the cars in front of you (who so like to pull out of side roads) notice you, with their windows shut, AC blasting, and perhaps the Stereo on.

    Just ride defensively and stop giving politicians more reasons to legislate motorcyclists

  • by Rei ( 128717 ) on Friday June 20, 2014 @05:42AM (#47279893) Homepage

    Here's my issue with the whole loud pipes thing. Take out a dB meter, pick an arbitrary cutoff, find a nice spot out in the open, and start your motorcycle. Now walk in front of it until you hit your target dB level, then walk around it maintaining the dB level and mapping out the distance you are from the motorcycle.

    You'll find that loud pipes give you a quadrant behind the bike that's extremely noisy, noisy for a far longer distance than in other directions. But is that really the direction you want to be throwing off noise? Is that really the most likely direction for an accident to a motorcycle to come from? I really doubt it.

    And let's be honest, are audio cues really the best cues? When people are driving along, they're not "listening for other vehicles", they're *looking* for them. If you really want to increase people's awareness of your bike, put little flashing lights or the like on them. But that'd "look gay" or something, right? It feels better to pick a "manly" way that makes you feel better about safety than something would have a lot more effect at getting drivers' attention, doesn't it? I'm not saying that sound doesn't play a role, but it mainly plays a role at the pedestrian level; pedestrians rely on sound cues far more than drivers.

    My last problem is, picture what things would be like if everyone started driving their cars around with their hand on the horn at all times because "Constant honking saves lives!" Do you really have the right to create noise pollution so that you can get a greater feeling of safety for a means of travel that you yourself elected to take part in, knowing the risks? Does everyone else have to endure your pollution of the commons for your enjoyment? Do I have the right to jet-ski in a drinking water reservoir or offroad a caterpillar in a national park? The commons is just that - common. Everybody owns it and has a stake in it. Meaning you don't get unlimited access to dump into it without the consent of others, regardless of your intentions.

All science is either physics or stamp collecting. -- Ernest Rutherford