Harley-Davidson’s First Electric Motorcycle on Track for 2019 Release

Megalith

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Harley Davidson CEO Matt Levatich mentioned in February that his company’s electric motorcycle would be ready in 18 months, and he confirmed those plans this week in an interview with TheStreet. The hogs are expected to reach dealers in the summer next year and will be marketed toward younger, urban riders.

We continue to see electric vehicles as a tremendous opportunity. These motorcycles are easier to ride than bicycles, they lend themselves to urban environments where our product is maybe less targeted or less suited. They are suited to a generation of people that don’t have the mechanical depth of experience that maybe boomers had with manual transmissions and clutches.
 

phillyboy

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So it leaks electrolyte instead of oil? :sneaky:

Anyways, would be interesting to see what range you could get out of these. Less embarrassing then a scooter on the highway, right?
 

Merc1138

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So where do the loud pipes go so some guy sitting next to me at a stop light who tunes the engine to the point where it can barely idle just sits there hitting the throttle over and over again in my ear?
 
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From the article:

"It is no secret that Harley Davidson’s core base is aging, resulting in year after year of declining sales. Without a serious pivot, Harley Davidson’s ridership will keep plummeting."

Great news! Now maybe we can get some fucking peace and quiet. The Harley Fag next door routinely fires up his "Hog" at 5am and revs it up for like 20 minutes. The only good thing about winter here is that the extremely loud fart-machines aren't much good on snow/ice.
 

Garrick

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Silent and deadly. Might be easier to ride but it will mean more "organ doners" on the road. Having riden a quiet bike on the road, the first thing you want is some noise so you do not get flattened.

Sould rename Company to Harley-Deadson's.
 
Last edited:

bristol17

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So where do the loud pipes go so some guy sitting next to me at a stop light who tunes the engine to the point where it can barely idle just sits there hitting the throttle over and over again in my ear?
That actually may be closer to the truth than you think. Many of the experienced riders (not just Harley guys...the sportbike crowd does it too) probably started on dirtbikes or other styles of carbureted motorcycles which, when tuned for peak wide-open-throttle performance, often required revving them up consistently at a stop (like the starting line of a race) or they would stall or bog down when hammered out of the gate and end up at the end of the pack. Most likely this habit stayed with the seasoned riders and the new riders just did it because that's how the vets did it and they thought it was normal. I have owned sportbikes, cruisers, and some stuff in between and although I have never raced or done any dirt riding I see these habits most often on people who started out racing small displacement carb'd engines...or people who are shameless attention whores. Not trying to justify the revving of engines because I hate it as much as the next person, I'm just saying that your comment of "tunes the engine to the point where it can barely idle" has a solid foundation in racing that just hasn't translated well into street riding strictly out of habit. The people who just do it for fun I can't excuse lol.
 

Garrick

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I can see a market for fake exhausts and a noise generator to sound like a "real motorcycle.
This will occur as soon as the new riders realise that without any noise they are just an accident waiting to happen.
Car drivers will totally forget these silent bikes are on the road. This will be worse in the targeted areas. The urban enviroment.
Riding your Harley-Davidson Roadkill , that is what you are likely to become.
 

Merc1138

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That actually may be closer to the truth than you think. Many of the experienced riders (not just Harley guys...the sportbike crowd does it too) probably started on dirtbikes or other styles of carbureted motorcycles which, when tuned for peak wide-open-throttle performance, often required revving them up consistently at a stop (like the starting line of a race) or they would stall or bog down when hammered out of the gate and end up at the end of the pack. Most likely this habit stayed with the seasoned riders and the new riders just did it because that's how the vets did it and they thought it was normal. I have owned sportbikes, cruisers, and some stuff in between and although I have never raced or done any dirt riding I see these habits most often on people who started out racing small displacement carb'd engines...or people who are shameless attention whores. Not trying to justify the revving of engines because I hate it as much as the next person, I'm just saying that your comment of "tunes the engine to the point where it can barely idle" has a solid foundation in racing that just hasn't translated well into street riding strictly out of habit. The people who just do it for fun I can't excuse lol.
You're probably right about the sportbikes, but I'm referring specifically to the Harley riders. There's this weird thing in some portions of the HD community(I guess) where they tune(more like de-tune) the engine so it barely runs to try and have it sound like "potato" at a stop light. Seriously, just search: harley davidson potato, and you'll see what I mean, and I wish I were joking.

Additionally there's another thing regarding I think the oil pump or something? It's been a while since I had this conversation with someone who worked on older bikes, where at low RPM the thottle had to be blipped regularly at a stop to keep oil moving... on the HD engines from a few decades prior and it hasn't been an actual issue for years.

What I do know for sure, is that the sportbike guys may use loud pipes, but they don't do this in traffic. Even most of the guys on Yamaha or Honda cruisers don't do this crap, yet sure enough if you're at a stoplight and the guy next to you on a bike is sitting there hitting the throttle over and over... it seems like 9 times out of 10, they're on a Harley. Everyone else on a bike with loud pipes, they're there... the light goes green, they move on and it's a non-issue.
 

IcePickFreak

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You're probably right about the sportbikes, but I'm referring specifically to the Harley riders. There's this weird thing in some portions of the HD community(I guess) where they tune(more like de-tune) the engine so it barely runs to try and have it sound like "potato" at a stop light. Seriously, just search: harley davidson potato, and you'll see what I mean, and I wish I were joking.

Additionally there's another thing regarding I think the oil pump or something? It's been a while since I had this conversation with someone who worked on older bikes, where at low RPM the thottle had to be blipped regularly at a stop to keep oil moving... on the HD engines from a few decades prior and it hasn't been an actual issue for years.

What I do know for sure, is that the sportbike guys may use loud pipes, but they don't do this in traffic. Even most of the guys on Yamaha or Honda cruisers don't do this crap, yet sure enough if you're at a stoplight and the guy next to you on a bike is sitting there hitting the throttle over and over... it seems like 9 times out of 10, they're on a Harley. Everyone else on a bike with loud pipes, they're there... the light goes green, they move on and it's a non-issue.
That's not so much tuning as it the design of their motors. 2 cylinders with a single crank pin is really lopey by design, and a big part of HD's claim to fame (at least in the past.)

I'm not defending the rev'ing at stop lights though, trust me. I'm in Milwaukee so I get more than my share of it. It's just idiots being idiots and playing biker. 95% of HD riders think they're "1%ers" - at least on Saturday & Sundays when the weather is nice.
 

bristol17

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You're probably right about the sportbikes, but I'm referring specifically to the Harley riders. There's this weird thing in some portions of the HD community(I guess) where they tune(more like de-tune) the engine so it barely runs to try and have it sound like "potato" at a stop light. Seriously, just search: harley davidson potato, and you'll see what I mean, and I wish I were joking.

Additionally there's another thing regarding I think the oil pump or something? It's been a while since I had this conversation with someone who worked on older bikes, where at low RPM the thottle had to be blipped regularly at a stop to keep oil moving... on the HD engines from a few decades prior and it hasn't been an actual issue for years.

What I do know for sure, is that the sportbike guys may use loud pipes, but they don't do this in traffic. Even most of the guys on Yamaha or Honda cruisers don't do this crap, yet sure enough if you're at a stoplight and the guy next to you on a bike is sitting there hitting the throttle over and over... it seems like 9 times out of 10, they're on a Harley. Everyone else on a bike with loud pipes, they're there... the light goes green, they move on and it's a non-issue.
Yeah, that sounds about right lol. I've never owned a Harley and don't really have any interest in owning one so I'm not surprised their brand is in danger. Can't lump them all in with the asshole owners but the assholes sure do stand out. Wouldn't surprise me if a lot of people were biased towards their brand based on a sampling of their riders.
 

sadsteve

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That's one ugly looking bike.

I'm a boomer and I have NO desire for a Harley (I've got a Triumph Bonneville). I know a few motorcycle cops and they said that their departments stopped buying Harley's because they required twice the maintenance compared to the Honda's and BMW's.
 

lostin3d

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Be really interesting to see what the acceleration is like for these since electric gets max torque nearly from the start.
 

Doward

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That actually may be closer to the truth than you think. Many of the experienced riders (not just Harley guys...the sportbike crowd does it too) probably started on dirtbikes or other styles of carbureted motorcycles which, when tuned for peak wide-open-throttle performance, often required revving them up consistently at a stop (like the starting line of a race) or they would stall or bog down when hammered out of the gate and end up at the end of the pack. Most likely this habit stayed with the seasoned riders and the new riders just did it because that's how the vets did it and they thought it was normal. I have owned sportbikes, cruisers, and some stuff in between and although I have never raced or done any dirt riding I see these habits most often on people who started out racing small displacement carb'd engines...or people who are shameless attention whores. Not trying to justify the revving of engines because I hate it as much as the next person, I'm just saying that your comment of "tunes the engine to the point where it can barely idle" has a solid foundation in racing that just hasn't translated well into street riding strictly out of habit. The people who just do it for fun I can't excuse lol.
Nope. Generally due to one of 2 (sometimes 3) things:

1. Idle mixture is too rich with too low of an idle (to really make the po-ta-toe, po-ta-toe sound pop), so the bike will gradually load up on fuel and die at idle. Harley's from the EVO forward require a 900-1000rpm warm idle, but people like to cut that down to a 500-600 rpm idle to make the bike sound like it has a lopey cam.

2. Vacuum leaks @ the intake boots due to deterioration over time will cause a severe lean condition @ idle when the idle jets are set too small (ie, from the factory).

3*. Asshole (this one isn't actually as common as you'd think, but yeah, it happens)

If your bike (doesn't matter the brand) doesn't fire right up by twisting the throttle once, pulling full choke, and hitting the electric start, then your bike needs some TLC. After 30-45 seconds you should be able to go down to 1/2 choke without issue, and by 3-5 miles on the road, no choke at all.

Just my .02.

*edit*

Oh yeah, as soon as Livewire comes out, I'll be plunking down my cash for one. I think it'll be a hell of a good commuter bike back and forth to work!
 

Eickst

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I think their 'riderbase' is dying off due to the reduced sperm production of males who ride vibrating motorcycles every day. The studies have proven it.

So the guys who like loud motorcycles are producing less kids, meaning less generations to pass down the exhaust loving gene down to.
 

PenGunn

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Back in the day the left twist grip was time. You could have your bike sit outside the store, barley turning over. The thump, thump ... thump, thump, of a 270 degree motor was quite apparent.
 

painintheworld

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Jun 5, 2007
Messages
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"They are suited to a generation of people that don’t have the mechanical depth of experience that maybe boomers had with manual transmissions and clutches."

Sigh. Pull clutch lever, move left foot up or down to change gears, smoothly let out clutch lever. Surely it isn't so bad these days that the youngsters do not grasp that concept.

 

amddragonpc

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From the article:

"It is no secret that Harley Davidson’s core base is aging, resulting in year after year of declining sales. Without a serious pivot, Harley Davidson’s ridership will keep plummeting."

Great news! Now maybe we can get some fucking peace and quiet. The Harley Fag next door routinely fires up his "Hog" at 5am and revs it up for like 20 minutes. The only good thing about winter here is that the extremely loud fart-machines aren't much good on snow/ice.
Could be worse. You could have a guy next door banging his jap bike off the 10,500 rev-limiter for 20 minutes. Just sayin ...
 

BitMaster

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They never saw you coming, now they won't even hear you coming. Such a small and silent bike cries for being run over 20 x a day.

Good luck !

I prefer a loud bike, it doesn't need to be THAT loud, but loud enough to declare my presence
 

Flatrock19

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I would definitely want high visibility if not noise. It would also be worth paying close attention to when you are in the blind spot of the car in the next lane over. You need to practice good defensive driving when you have much more to lose from what might be a minor accident between two cars.

I'd like to have one to commute to work on surface streets, but I'd stay off of the expressway. Daytime running lights, and visible coloring would also be a requirement for me.
 

Verge

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So where do the loud pipes go so some guy sitting next to me at a stop light who tunes the engine to the point where it can barely idle just sits there hitting the throttle over and over again in my ear?
Majority of deaths are caused by crap riders plain and simple. I’m so tired of this excuse for being a D-bag and blasting people’s eardrums.
 

WorldExclusive

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I used to enjoy a good throaty exhaust on any vehicle, but now it's annoying. Anything that reduces the noise and CO2 pollution is a plus in my book.
 

[21CW]killerofall

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Loud pipes saves lives......

So does loud highly reflective orange and green safety vests.....but that's not "cool"
There is no data to prove that "loud pipes save lives." There is also no data to prove the reverse either, so basically no one knows if it does or not so you shouldn't state that it does, unless you can provide evidence to confirm it.
https://www.revzilla.com/common-tread/stop-saying-loud-pipes-save-lives
https://www.motorcyclecruiser.com/last-word-on-loud-pipes-tech-matters
 

ncjoe

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well, nhtsa will be mandating that all electric motorcycles have some noise , for safety ...
which proves loud pipes can save lives...... just saying

don't like the lack of saddlebag support on these electric bikes....
 

Richard R

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Loud pipes saves lives......
There has never been a scientifically conclusive study one way or another on that point, so I prefer good riding habits and thinking that everybody else on the roads with me is an idiot.

So does loud highly reflective orange and green safety vests.....but that's not "cool"
My ST1300 has good front/rear lighting and I replaced the front/rear side reflectors with LED 'reflectors' of the same size.

As for the HD electric bike, I'd be interested based upon the range and price. My combined commute is just over 80 miles and I would like a comfortable margin above that. (Then again it might not be comfortable, which is the most important aspect)
 
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DustMite

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A lack of saddlebag supports and the limited range of about 53 miles on a charge. No thank you, my daily commute requires a bit more range. Not everyone has the ability to charge their car/bike/scooter/vehicle at work. I'll stick to my good ole fashioned gas burning motorcycle with it's "complicated" clutch and manual foot shifter. I would be a bit more interested if an electric bike had more range and one could mount saddlebags.
 

Gweenz

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There are zero rational reasons to buy a Harley over almost literally anything else, and an electric boutique bike with a 60 mile range isn't going to change that.

My ST1300 has good front/rear lighting and I replaced the front/rear side reflectors with LED 'reflectors' of the same size.

As for the HD electric bike, I'd be interested based upon the range and price. My combined commute is just over 80 miles and I would like a comfortable margin above that. (Then again it might not be comfortable, which is the most important aspect)
Stick with your ST1300, which is a legitimately good bike. The Harley will barely cover half your commute.
 

xorbe

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Problem is, batteries are heavy (lighter weight bikes are more fun), and electric bikes with range and performance cost an insane amount of money right now. Nobody wants an electric Harley. They are a dead man walking company. Not unless they can shake their existing culture and public image and old school sales force.
 

carnageX

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There is no data to prove that "loud pipes save lives." There is also no data to prove the reverse either, so basically no one knows if it does or not so you shouldn't state that it does, unless you can provide evidence to confirm it.
https://www.revzilla.com/common-tread/stop-saying-loud-pipes-save-lives
https://www.motorcyclecruiser.com/last-word-on-loud-pipes-tech-matters
Pretty sure he was being sarcastic, hence the 2nd part of his post. The "loud pipes save lives" is a mantra for bikers, particularly HD riders.

My FZ6R is pretty quiet, sounds about like a car.
 

zkostik

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Silent and deadly. Might be easier to ride but it will mean more "organ doners" on the road. Having riden a quiet bike on the road, the first thing you want is some noise so you do not get flattened.

Sould rename Company to Harley-Deadson's.
Maybe some middle ground? Be too loud and some folks will want to run your ass over for noise pollution...

Either way, electric Harley is gotta be the biggest joke ever. Folks get them for being old skool American bike company, chrome and noise.
 

BitMaster

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There is LOUD, like pipes soild in the U.S. without any german TüV appliance, way above 100dB,...and there are modest pipes that are nexyt door friendly but loud enough to work as a safety measure.

No, I have a bunch of kids, I know what is too lud...but a silent bike...LoL suicidal
 
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