Electric Harley: the emotion lowers the voice. Our LiveWire test


The dark rumble and rhythmic like the heartbeat is gone. Replaced by a whirring more like a hiss. The Harley Davidson of the future silent as a battery-powered techno object. It’s called LiveWire, it has a permanent magnet motor that pushes and recharges energy, a kind of smartphone instead of the odometer and a voluminous lithium battery pack under the tank. What a fake, because, instead of gasoline, it contains an electronic heart.

Not a heresy, or perhaps yes, if judged with the eyes of those who love roaring US twin-cylinder, protagonists of a long motorcycle epic that began in a garage in Milwaukee more than 112 years ago. Americans are adapting to the times: the Live Wire opens another door, but does not close with the past. Harley-Davidson will continue with the V-Twin, LiveWire will meet tomorrow’s users.

Technological, ecological and fast, the electric H-D. The third aspect is most striking because the electric power can not excite, referring more to the world of household appliances than to that of street emotions. But this bike disintegrates prejudices and shocks the senses. Its 116 Nm of torque push immediately, because the engine (from 106 hp) produces them at the same moment in which the accelerator is activated. If there were not seven driving modes to regulate the intensity, it would be a problem … In sports, the thrust so strong that it triggers from zero to 100 times in 3 seconds. The other modes: rain, road (for normal driving), eco (to save energy: the House declares 235 km of autonomy), plus three profiles that can be customized in the power and response of the accelerator and engine brake. The latter term sounds bizarre on a motorcycle, but a lot: when the gas is closed (it is more correct to call it a potentiometer) the engine brakes more or less strongly. The system thus recovers energy, which is stored in the 15.5 kWh high-voltage accumulators enclosed in an aluminum housing that also serves to dissipate heat.

Two ways are used to recharge them: with domestic electricity 21 km of autonomy are stored for each hour of charge; with fast charging, 309 km per hour. The cable to connect to the power located under the saddle. The battery level and the residual km are visible on the TFT color display, which can be controlled by touch (but without gloves …) like a smarthpone, which is also remembered in its shape. a refined tool that allows fine adjustments of the parameters, by dragging the level indicators with the finger in the desired percentages. also connected and connected to the mobile phone, it functions as a navigator and remote control of the vehicle.

Live Wire tries to amaze technically, but on the dynamic one that the attempt succeeds in full. The balanced bike, precise in trajectories, stable when braking. To drive a pleasure, you need just a minimum of practice with the use of the engine brake in curves and its 249 kg go into the background. The shift levers are not there, because the automatic LiveWire. finally also pleasant to look at. The sporty naked design hides the voluminous battery pack. LED lights are a pleasant touch of modernity. The cost: 34,200 euros. Is it worth it? Technically yes, as regards feelings, every valid answer. It should be known, however, that it opens a new course that will propose cheaper models.

May 25, 2020 (change May 25, 2020 | 11:03 am)


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