Harley LiveWire @ W&W
Riding Milwaukee tractors that look like they came from a museum, a junk yard or a custom mag rarely makes us feel like pioneers.
So the anticipation was huge when we got the call from Frankfurt. "It's here!" It, that's the LiveWire by Harley-Davidson, the first ever for-real electric motorcycle by one of the established motorcycle makers. It's a huge promise by the Milwaukee Gentlemen, whose more conventional products we've been wrenching and driving on this planet's roads for over 40 years now. Just because the LiveWire is so profoundly different, as if coming from a parallel universe, than our beloved old clunkers, we were all stoked up and ordered one of them newfangled doohickeys as soon it was possible.So we saddled up the Magic Bus and went to Frankfurt.
At the Harley Factory we werethe first (or so they told us:)) customers in Germany to take delivery of the bike – and even, if that's not entirely true, we'd still have that pioneering feeling. No one can take that from us now.
After a short chat with Harley Factory jefe Thomas Trapp and a similarly short introduction to the bike's systems via the smartphone-ish looking digital instrument by his son Eric, we moved out to the parking lot. The first Wrecking Crew rider to take the controls (after serious advice not to overdo it) was Chris. Which Chris did (restrain himself, that is :)) but still he had the thing zooming off as if shot out from an aircraft carrier steam catapult. No sound, just a faint whistle and the noise of the tyres at higher speed. Coming back, we saw his big, unbelieving smile coming at us very quickly behind the LED headlight. Another few turns around the parking lot, but the grin wasn't going away. The Factory crew came out from their workshop to gawp, a few customers got curious and joined us. No one has seen a LiveWire in the flesh before.
Before Chris' face went completely out of whack from continued grinning, Thomas got in the driver seat and let the amps flow full throttle. "It kinda pushes like hell" was his understated comment. What we saw was acceleration from another planet, silent and somewhat frightening. What will happen if someone turns off all those electronic stability gizmos?Old man Trapp was telling from his experiences that nothing, repeat nothing can keep up with this baby accelerating. He's a dyed-in-the wool driver of 2- and 4-wheeled vintage vehicles, of Mille Miglia and Motorcycle Cannonball calibre, and he can't seem to stop himself gushing. "You feel like in, no, ON a jet fighter!" Right, let's load up the … jet? The bike? The apparatus? The bullet? The battery on wheels? We'll form an opinion of our own. And check the few removable parts for their customizing potential. That's our business, after all, and it's kinda electrifying at the moment.