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This would help them sell!
365559
Parody above. But H-D missed the mark here. If you make it and it doesn't sell, that is the definition of a company close to BK. Sorry, working with marketing teams daily - H-D's LiveWire marketing team sucks.

They should have collaborated with Tesla - really. Tons of yuppies and hipsters globally are finding the $35,000-100,000 for a Tesla (US and Europe).
 

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Discussion Starter #82
I would imagine the complaints about the electric bikes are similar to when automobiles were invented. Range was less than a horse and buggy, confounded contraptions were a mystery to fix, etc. They'll catch on eventually as the government pushes the green agenda. I think battery technology is there. It's just a matter of the holders of the patents getting enough money for their ideas.
I agree that battery technology is probably already more advanced than what is currently on the market. I was reading a few months ago about the next generation of batteries being tested. They will significantly increase range, be cheaper to manufacture, safer, and have reduced environmental impact. As demand increase, so do better technology. It always does.
 

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I agree that battery technology is probably already more advanced than what is currently on the market. I was reading a few months ago about the next generation of batteries being tested. They will significantly increase range, be cheaper to manufacture, safer, and have reduced environmental impact. As demand increase, so do better technology. It always does.
I have devoted a couple of brain cells over the past few years to contemplating the problems that electric bikes are up against.

It would seem at first that bikes would be a natural for electrics, and they might be some day, but not today. For one thing, bikes have terrible aerodynamics. Even the best motorcycle is as bad as a boxy Chevy van, maybe worse. That means a lot of load on the batteries when you go any faster than cruising the boulevard.

Then you have the problem of space. Cars have lots of space to put batteries. Motorcycle don't. And range needs lots of battery space.

Combine the two and you end up with a mode of transportation that is going to lag well behind the development of cars until the power density problem with batteries is solved.

I think it is great that Harley is developing an electric bike. But the price of it only shows how much more work has to be done. The EV company they bought is probably under a lot of pressure to produce something, anything. Show results, even if it's not ready.

Personally, I think the future of motorcycles is countries other than the US now that the "Born to be Wild" and "Easy Rider" fascination is fading, we just don't have the need for them like other countries do.
 

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Discussion Starter #85

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Lots of interesting technology on the horizon. And a lot of incentives to be the dominant technology. (Billion$ of them.)

I really don't want to be a stick in the mud, because I hope for these things to happen just as much as anyone. But after following battery technology closely for over 20 years, all I ever see is things that are on the horizon. They rarely ever become reality. The ones that do are more evolutionary than revolutionary.

Batteries do keep getting better and better every year. The problem is that demand for power is still increasing faster than the technology improvements. Think wireless charging is amazing? Nicola Tesla demonstrated it in a working lab prototype over 100 years ago. It's not that businesses aren't trying. There needs to be a revolutionary breakthrough in science for it to happen. Right now, engineers and physicists are stuck with applying current knowledge that has been known for decades.

A breakthrough will happen someday. It always does. Now that we are serious about it, when it does happen, the Union Carbides of the world that sat on their hands for over 100 years and just milked existing technology will fade away and be replaced by more progressive companies. It may not even happen in our lifetime. But future generations will look back at this era with amusement about these machines that had little day to day value and wonder how we ever got by.
 

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Discussion Starter #88 (Edited)
I really don't want to be a stick in the mud, because I hope for these things to happen just as much as anyone. But after following battery technology closely for over 20 years, all I ever see is things that are on the horizon. They rarely ever become reality. The ones that do are more evolutionary than revolutionary.

Batteries do keep getting better and better every year. The problem is that demand for power is still increasing faster than the technology improvements. Think wireless charging is amazing? Nicola Tesla demonstrated it in a working lab prototype over 100 years ago. It's not that businesses aren't trying. There needs to be a revolutionary breakthrough in science for it to happen. Right now, engineers and physicists are stuck with applying current knowledge that has been known for decades.

A breakthrough will happen someday. It always does. Now that we are serious about it, when it does happen, the Union Carbides of the world that sat on their hands for over 100 years and just milked existing technology will fade away and be replaced by more progressive companies. It may not even happen in our lifetime. But future generations will look back at this era with amusement about these machines that had little day to day value and wonder how we ever got by.
I agree with most of what you've said but I believe demand is what will drive innovation. My guess is that more expensive power tools with brushless motors and lithium ion batteries still out sell cheaper ni cad powered tools by a great margin, simply because they are more useful for their intended purpose. When using ni cad in the past, the tools were never ready when I needed them, required one or two batteries to be on charge at all times to complete a project, and had no where near the available power to do a job. They just wasn't practical for any job bigger than hanging curtains.

Fast forward to the latest technology, my tools can go months without charging and still be ready when I need them, one battery is sufficient to do most jobs, and the power of the tools are incredible. I can drive 6 inch lag bolts and deck screws all day on a single battery and recharge them in less than a hour.

Likewise I believe the automobile/ motorcycle industry technology will continue to evolve. The battery is key, but I feel that more efficient motors, lighting, controllers, and accessories will also play a role in extending battery life. As they become more main stream, prices will come down. I recall the first LED light bulb I purchased was a flood light on the high side of my house. They were $30 each but I bought them anyway because of their proclaimed long life. It's been nearly 20 years and they're still there. I thought about that the other day when I was carrying in my 18 pack of LED bulbs that I purchased for $20
 

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You are certainly correct. Innovation comes from demand.

We are certainly far ahead today than we were 30 years ago. Nobody clamors for Ni-Cads any more, for good reason. I have a full size Milwaukee 7 1/2" circular saw that is nearly as powerful as my corded one. Couldn't do that with a Ni-Cad.

But this actually drives my point. These are evolutionary changes. Lithium Ion was developed in the 70s. Sony was the first to commercialize it around 1990. But how far have we really advanced? 30 years on the market, with cell phones, laptops, cars, and power tools clamoring for more power, and we are still relying on battery technology that was invented 50 years ago. That is nearly 2 generations. Energy density keeps getting better, and safer versions are just around the corner. But these are just baby steps. Lithium Ion will soon reach a saturation point where it can't go any further. There are new technologies being developed, but it's the same thing. 10-20% better than existing tech, and then more of the same. We need a breakthrough that will be exponentially better than what we have today.

There is a concept in computers called Moore's Law, which was stated in 1975. it said that processor power would double every two years, and it has held true for nearly 50 years. But it is in danger of ending, because companies are no longer asking for more power. The reason? Lack of batteries to support it. Even with improvements, batteries are not keeping up with technology. Companies now want lower power consumption as first on the wish list instead. Your next laptop or cell phone may not be any faster than the one you have now.
 

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A breakthrough will happen someday. It always does.
Tesla has their Battery Day announcement coming this April. If they reveal what is rumored then they will unveil a sub $100/KWhr battery which they can mass produce in very large quantities. This would substantially reduce the costs of owning and operating EV's to a point where they will become much cheaper than gas vehicles. If this new battery is cobalt free then it will be a BIG deal.
 

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I am a big fan of Elon Musk. I think he is a visionary that is willing to bet his fortune on his ideas. I will never bet against him. But like most geniuses, he also has a couple of screws loose. Even I have learned to temper my anticipation regarding rumors involving Tesla, because they are usually badly exaggerated and often don't pan out. (He has a wild imagination.) There are numerous rumors floating around. One is for a 500 mile range on the S. Another is a cobalt free battery that costs 10% less. And there are others as well. And you can bet they are working on things in their skunk works that nobody has ever heard of yet. Most of them won't amount to anything, but all it takes is one big one.

Tesla is at the leading edge of battery technology, and if anyone can do it, they will. But I will wait until it actually happens before I get too excited. We have been down this road before, and not just with Tesla, but with many battery companies that announce they have found the holy grail.
 

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As much as we want to fight it, more and more electric vehicles are going to come on to the market and eventually take over the market. Once electric vehicle ranges go up and charging times come way down, I wouldn't be surprised to see a electric Goldwing.
 

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Still haven't seen a Livewire on the street!
 

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Discussion Starter #94
Still haven't seen a Livewire on the street!
Me either, but to be fair, I've only seen 2 of the new Goldwings and 4 Yamaha Transcontinentals on the road and they've been out 3 years. I have seen very few of the k1600 Glt ( probably about a half a dozen) and they've been out about a decade.
 

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CEO of HD has packed his bags.

Under new management.

Funny, they wanted change so they promoted a 20+ year plus H-D manager to CEO?

Can't change unless it's from new blood with a vision to capture the desires of the 20-30-40-something consumers.
 

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They are giving demo rides in Daytona. Got to ride one this morning and liked it a lot. Everyone that went on ride had positive comments. It's fast and smooth. However I don't have unlimited money to buy a play toy for around town. But if I did.;)
 

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I think the electrics will be the future and perhaps the one thing that may save the MC industry but the Livewire will not be up to speed (pardon the pun)
 

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As much as we want to fight it, more and more electric vehicles are going to come on to the market and eventually take over the market.
Yep. I've test driven two Teslas now and the car is incredibly convincing. My next car will be a Tesla Model Y, but not for many years.

Electric motorcycles though, they just aren't there yet for me. If you want a fun short range sport bike then sure a Zero or a Livewire will suffice, but for touring it's not practical at all yet.
 

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Discussion Starter #100
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