Tag Archives: motorcycles

Driver gets ‘slap’ for swerving at riders

A Canberra motorist facing possible jail time for swerving his car at two lane-filtering motorcyclists has got off with a relative slap on the wrist.

The driver, whose name has not been released by ACT police or the courts, has been convicted on driving with intent to menace.

He had faced maximum penalties of more than $3000 in fines or 12 months in jail or both for each of these charges.

However, he has been released on a one-year good behaviour order and disqualified from driving for three months.

He also avoided a fine.

It is not yet known if the charges of driving with intent to menace were downgraded.

Menacing videos

The incidents occurred on Majura Parkway on 30 October 2018. One incident is shown in this video which we published on November 2.

ACT Police were made aware of this video a day later and began investigating.

A second video later emerged showing the same driver swerving at another rider.

ACT Police made several calls for help to identify the two riders so a charge could be laid.

Police seek riders in lane filtering incidents call faces charges menacing
The rider in the second incident

At the time, ACT Police issued these details of the incident:

About 4:30pm, the riders were separately travelling northbound on Majura Parkway, Majura, when a green Ford Falcon swerved, almost colliding with the riders. At the time, the riders were lawfully lane filtering.

Swerving justice

The Australian Motorcycle Council says it is “of concern when a driver uses their vehicle in a premeditated manner, as a weapon to harm others”.

“There appears to be little distinction between the quality of actions of this driver and those of the driver who killed pedestrians in Melbourne, although a difference in the scale or degree,” the MCA says.

ACT rider Bill Gemmell says “keeping the offender’s name name out of the public gaze does nothing to ensure the deterrence objective is met”.

“This result doesn’t make me feel safer because the place has an epidemic of bad driving,” he says.

Legal filtering

Interestingly, these incidents occurred only a few weeks after the ACT made lane filtering legal.

Lane filtering was introduced in NSW five years ago and is now legal in all states and territories.

Not only is lane filtering legal but it also benefits all motorists as it helps move heavy traffic more quickly.

You can do your bit to educate drivers by sharing our “Open letter to drivers“.

Filtering rage

Drivers obstructing riders has been happening since lane filtering was introduced.

Check out this video from 2017 sent to us by Newcastle rider Harry Criticos.

“I was filtering legally when a driver stuck his whole body out in an attempt to block me,” the 2016 Triple Black R 1200 GS rider told us.

“I did not stop and he did make contact with the bike. I hope it hurt.”

This motorist was fined $325 and three demerit points.

Lane filtering is legal 

Surely it is time for some major advertising campaigns in each state to advise motorists that riders are allowed to filter and what benefits there are for ALL motorists.

That was the major finding of an online poll we conducted in 2016, yet there are still few major ad campaigns.

So far, lane filtering education campaigns have been minimal and mainly aimed at riders, not the general motoring public.

We not only need major ad campaigns, but also roadside signage such as this photoshopped sign.

lane filtering signs consensus duty defend filter call charge
Here’s a sign we’d like to see!

We are not aware of any polls about lane filtering in Australia.

However, in California where lane splitting (filtering at higher speeds than 30km/h) is legal, polls have found it is vastly unpopular among other road users. The main objection is that it’s unfair!

That breeds hostility which results in stupid behaviour such as in the above video.

Lane filtering lane splitting America danger bosch filter call charge
Lane splitting is unpopular in the USA

So long as lane filtering remains unpopular and/or erroneously believed to be illegal, motorists will do stupid and dangerous things to stop riders filtering.

Source: MotorbikeWriter.com

Watch out for unmarked Tassie Tigers!

If you are heading down to do a lap of Tasmania before or after your annual MotoGP pilgrimage, watch out for the unmarked Tassie Tigers!

We don’t mean the extinct thylacine, known affectionately as Tasmanian Tigers.unmarked tassie tiger

We are talking about the Triumph Tigers that Tasmanian Police seem to have approved as covert motorcycles.

Unmarked cop bikes

Unmarked police bikes are civilian versions which have discrete emergency lights, sirens and cameras fitted, but no police identification stickers, numbers or paintwork.

While we are not exactly sure what models the Tassie cops are using, when we asked Police Minister Mark Shelton for specifics a spokesperson said they wouldn’t be “releasing further details for operational reasons”.

However, they did include this photo of a Triumph Tiger XRx adventure bike, so it appears they will be able to patrol on dirt roads as well.Unmarked Police-Bike

Here is the ministerial press release:

This contemporary patrol method allows the unmarked motorcycle to penetrate traffic by lane filtering and is primarily used to detect offences like speeding, mobile phone usage, inattention, traffic light offences and blocking intersections,” a ministerial statement says.

The initial trial in Hobart detected more than 1000 offences in the first three months with the majority being high risk offences and 1-in-4 being a mobile phone offence.

The unmarked motorcycles are fitted with full lights and sirens and three different models of motorcycle will be used.

Motorcycle officers report that there has been a noticeable change in driver behaviour and the introduction of helmet-mounted recording cameras has led to only one person challenging an infringement.

The program has also received strong public support with many motorists supportive of mobile phone enforcement and other offences that contribute to traffic congestion.

Is it sneaky?

Police using covert TruCAM laser speed camera impossible
Police using TruCAM laser speed camera in an unmarked car with tinted windows

Using unmarked motorcycles or cars to patrol for traffic offences is similar to the use of covert speed cameras.

The Minister’s assertion that the public approves of such covert traffic policing may be askew, says the Australian Motorcycle Council.

“The perception of unmarked vehicles has changed as result of other aspects of an increasing surveillance culture by governments,” the AMC says.

“Marked police vehicles in all states are a visible presence which positively influences road behaviour, often to improve rider safety.

“Unmarked police vehicles such as used by detective agencies are understandable, but unmarked vehicles for road law enforcement appear more punitive as they have no perceived positive role in encouraging good roadcraft.

“A great opportunity exists if well-trained police riders were tasked with giving words of advice to riders displaying poor skills. A good rider is a good risk manager.”

Unmarked cops

Road safety crash accident motorcycle
Unmarked police bikes

Tasmania is not the only state using covert police motorcycles.

Police in most states and territories use a variety of unidentified road and off-road motorcycles, mainly BMWs and even a Suzuki Hayabusa in Queensland!

Queensland Police Service unmarked Suzuki Hayabusa patrol bike - Ducati Panigale V4 busa covert
Queensland cop Busa

Queensland Police Sergeant Dave Nelson says he can scan a motorist’s speed up to 1km away on his “plain-clothes” motorcycle.

“So I can see you before you see me and by the time you realise that I’m not just a normal motorcycle, but a police motorcyclist, it’s too late,” he says. 

The QPS stays they use unmarked motorcycles as “both an operational resource and to engage with motorcycle riders to discuss and promote road safety”.

Queensland has a fleet of six unmarked motorcycles and “intends to expand its fleet with a view of targeting road users doing the wrong thing and promoting road safety”.

Source: MotorbikeWriter.com

Two riders die, several injured in multi crashes

Saturday was deadly for motorcycle riders with two killed and several injured as eight motorcycles were involved in three crashes in Queensland and Victoria on Saturday (20 July 2019).

Victorian crash

In the latest incident, Victorian Police say two motorcycles collided with ute towing a trailer at the intersection of Edwards and Paynes roads, Chirnside Park, about 4.40pm.

One of the motorcyclists, a yet to be formally identified man, died at the scene.

The other motorcyclist, a 38-year-old Ringwood east man was airlifted to a Melbourne hospital in a critical condition.

The driver of the ute was treated at the scene for minor injuries.

Police are calling for witnesses to the incident or with dash cam footage to contact Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000 or visit www.crimestoppersvic.gov.au.

Brisbane fatal

The 31-year-old male rider died and his 27-year-old female pillion was injured when their black Honda motorcycle collided with a Mazda 3 on Old Cleveland Rd about 2pm.

The pillion and Mazda driver, a 72-year-old woman, were taken to the Princess Alexandra Hospital with non-life-threatening injuries.

Forensic Crash Unit investigators are appealing for witnesses and dash cam footage.

If you have information for police, contact Policelink on 131 444 or provide information using the online form 24hrs per day.

You can report information about crime anonymously to Crime Stoppers, a registered charity and community volunteer organisation, by calling 1800 333 000 or via crimestoppersqld.com.au 24hrs per day.

Quote this reference number: QP1901395867.

Five-bike crash

The 54-year-old male rider of a red Harley-Davidson motorcycle had his right lower leg amputated in a five-bike crash at Brightview, in the Lockyer Valley west of Brisbane about noon yesterday.

Police say the Harley rider appears to have been overtaking a vehicle heading north when it ran into a silver Holden Commodore sedan travelling south.

“Four other motorcycles following crashed while taking evasive action,” police say.

The 54-year-old man and another motorcyclist were airlifted to hospital for treatment to their injuries with another three men treated by paramedics.

The driver of the sedan, a 36-year-old woman, was also treated for minor injuries at the scene.

If you have information, quote this reference number: QP1901395049.

Click here for tips on safe overtaking in a motorcycle group.

Source: MotorbikeWriter.com

Harley-Davidson launches new soundtrack

The famous Harley-Davidson “potato-potato” soundtrack now has a sister act with the electric LiveWire introducing a turbine whine.

Check out our video from the recent global media launch in Portland, Oregon.

You can get more details on the LiveWire, including price, tech specs, ride impressions and technology by clicking here for our full review.Harley-Davidson LiveWire electric motorcycle

Riding soundtrack

However, the most important thing about the newest Harley is the soundtrack to your riding.

Harley is famous for its distinctive exhaust soundtrack which many refer to as “potato-potato”.

Harley-Davidson’s name, trademark, and bar-and-shield and bald eagle logos are among the world’s most recognised.

In fact, in the late 1990s, the company even tried to trademark the “potato-potato” exhaust noise, but failed in US courts.

Harley-Davidson LiveWire electric motorcycle soundtrack

Harley could have produced an electric motorcycle with virtually no sound like all the other electric motorcycles and scooters.

However, the engineers knew that they had to have a distinctive sound to satisfy the Harley fans.Harley-Davidson LiveWire electric motorcycle soundtrack

And since there is no exhaust, the engineers meshed the primary spiral bevel gears to achieve the turbine whine that we hear in the above video.

You don’t really hear it much at low speeds.

The whine really kicks in when you give a fistful of throttleHarley-Davidson LiveWire electric motorcycle

And it disappears behind a wall of wind noise over about 80km/h.

So we wonder why they even bothered with the sound.hat do you think of the new-age Harley sound?

Source: MotorbikeWriter.com

Curtiss offers wild Zeus and Hades EVs

Curtiss Motorcycles is now taking orders for the wild Zeus electric motorcycle with radial “V8” batteries and has released plans for the even wilder Hades with a bullet-shaped battery and motor.

They say both will go into production next year and cost $US75,000. They are now taking “reservations of interest”.

That’s much cheaper than their previous petrol-powered bikes such as their Warhawk at $US105,000 (about $A140,000).

Curtiss Motorcycles Warhawk - Zeus Prototype
Curtiss Warhawk

Zeus and Hades

Their first electric motorcycle prototype Zeus is now entering pre-production stage.

Curtiss Zeuss Hades electric motorcycle

The Hades is still just life-like drawings.

They say the bikes will have 201hp (150kW) of power and 199Nm of torque which is far more than the Harley-Davidson electric LiveWire at 78kW and 116Nm.

There are no more technical details available and we have yet to see these bikes rolled out.

However, they have met their crowdfunding goal so they could be going into production on schedule.

Curtiss Hades electric motorcycle

Curtiss history

Curtiss Motorcycles was formerly called Confederate Motorcycles but last year the Alabama motorcycle company ditched its now-controversial name after deadly race riots in Charlottesville, Virginia. 

Confederate Motors president H. Matthew Chambers said the company changed the name to honour motorcycle racer Glenn Curtiss who invented the first American V-Twin motorcycle.

Glenn set a world speed record of 136.3mph (219km/h) in 1907 on Ormond Beach, Florida, on a motorcycle he built with a 4.4-litre V8 engine he had designed and built for aircraft use.

Curtiss Motorcycles Hera has world's first V8 battery
Glenn Curtiss on his V8 motorcycle

He was a pioneer aviator and leading American manufacturer of aircraft by the time the US entered WWI. 

Curtiss began his career in the bicycle business, earning fame as one of the leading cycle racers in western New York state before building lightweight internal-combustion engines for motorcycles.  

In 1904 when the American aeronaut Thomas Scott Baldwin bought a Curtiss motorbike engine to power his airship California Arrow. 

At the invitation of Alexander Graham Bell, he joined the then newly formed Aerial Experiment Association (AEA) in 1907. 

Flying the AEA June Bug in 1908, Curtiss won the Scientific American Trophy for the first public flight of at least 1 km  with an American aeroplane. Curtiss died in 1930.

Source: MotorbikeWriter.com

Harley-Davidson LiveWire is electrifying

Two things stand out about the Harley-Davidson LiveWire electric motorcycle: it is literally electrifying and cool!

That’s more than just a couple of gratuitous puns.

This bike is not an electric toy! It’s a real bike that is claimed to go from 0-100km/h in three seconds and we proved it on the world media launch with several impromptu drags on a lonely country road outside of Portland, Oregon. So that’s electrifying performance in anyone’s lexicon.Harley-Davidson LiveWire electric motorcycle

Many moto journos talk about the nirvana of having ultimate linear power delivery. That’s exactly what this supplies. There are no surges or lags, just a hand-of-God thrust in the back as you hurtle forward and the world tons to a blur.

And after a vigorous 110km test ride through the streets of Portland and beautiful surrounding country, the bike was still cool to the touch, even the water-cooled motor, battery and radiator.

So it doesn’t just look cool and represent a cool trend in motorcycling, it’s literally cool to touch which makes it an ideal summer commuter bike!Harley-Davidson LiveWire electric motorcycle


The dual-seat LiveWire is made in Cork, Pennsylvania and has been in development almost a decade.

It finally goes on sale shortly in the USA at about $US30,000 in a choice of cool lime, a bright orange and gloss black.

It will arrive in Australia late next year probably at more than $A40,000 which is more than most of their Touring models.Harley-Davidson LiveWire electric motorcycle

Harley-Davidson Australia and New Zealand say they won’t have a definite figure until closer to our launch.

It’s expensive, but it also has suitably premium components, a high quality of ft and finish (not a cadmium bolt in sight!), thick and lustrous paint, plus premium controls including a proximity key fob.

Styling is a subjective matter, but I like the modern, minimalist look and the big cooling fins around the battery, although the gloss black model looks way too dark. Maybe they should have made the calling fins silver on that one.

Harley-Davidson LiveWire electric motorcycle
Harley-Davidson LiveWire electric motorcycle

The remote rear fender with number plate allows for a tidy wasp-like tail with the pillion seat suspended in mid-air.

Underneath the seat is a small lockable compartment for the the mains charger and cable that includes a handy helmet hook. Harley put the key fob under the seat so we wouldn’t lose it and it was the only mechanical sound in the whole bike. Most riders would keep it in their jacket pocket!Harley-Davidson LiveWire electric motorcycle

You can also get a small “speed screen blade”, decorative trim, different hand and foot controls and a cover that includes a charging cord port. Many traditional Harley accessories such as wheels and bars can also be fitted.

LiveWire comes with two batteries. The big 15.5 kWh high-voltage Lithium-ion battery or “Renewable Energy Storage System (RESS)” made up of Samsung battery modules has a five-year/unlimited kilometre warranty.

Harley-Davidson LiveWire electric motorcycle

Harley chief engineer Glen Koval says the recyclable battery should last 10 years without significant loss of capacity unless it is not treated well or used extensively in extreme cold conditions.

There is also a small 12V lithium-ion battery to power instruments, lights, etc.

Harley has not said how much a replacement main battery will cost, probably because in five years from now it will cost a lot less, anyway!

Silent running

Of course, the electric LiveWire is quiet, especially at low speeds, but not exactly silent.

When you switch it on, the headlight and instrument screen lights up, but there is no accompanying motor noise.

As you take off,  you can feel a gentle buzz which is induced by the rocking of magnets. Harley wanted riders feel the “heartbeat” of the machine.

When you give it the berries, the bike makes a turbine “whoosh” noise thanks to the belt drive and “meshing” of the primary spiral bevel gears. At highway speeds all you can hear is the wind.Harley-Davidson LiveWire electric motorcycle

While I missed the throbbing sound and feel of a Harley V-twin engine, I actually found it made you more aware of surrounding noises from other vehicles.

It also meant that when I listened to music, GPS directions or phone calls on my helmet intercom, I didn’t need to turn the volume up quite as high.

The lack of noise also seems to have a calming effect on the rider.

However, I was acutely aware that other road users couldn’t hear me coming and a couple of times I tapped the horn to announce my presence.

RangeHarley-Davidson LiveWire electric motorcycle

Harley recently released details that claim city range of up to 235km and 152km of highway range.

While they don’t give total charging time from a mains outlet with the provided cord, they do tell us that a 120/240-volt outlet will provide about 20km (13 miles) per hour of charging. That means it will probably take at least 11 hours from flat to reach full capacity. And the cost would be less than $4.

They also claim their Fast Charge (DCFC) technology will recharge a flat battery to 80% in 40 minutes and full in 60 minutes.

Harley-Davidson LiveWire electric motorcycle
Mobile DC fast chargers at work

They brought in three mobile DC fast chargers for the event which they say are not as powerful as the permanent ones that will be at Harley dealerships. These chargers were only used at the end of the day’s ride.

None of the bikes ran out of “juice” on the road test, even though we mainly rode hard and fast in the electrifying “Sport” mode.

We covered about 110km and my bike still showed 30% charge left.

The charging port is in the top of the “fuel” tank for easy access.Harley-Davidson LiveWire electric motorcycle

You can check the battery recharging status and time left to full on the instruments or on an accompanying H-D Connect app.

The Android and iOS app also alerts you if someone is tampering with your bike, includes a GPD tracker if its stolen, shows the closest charging stations and reminds you when the bike needs a service. But since the only consumables are the brake pads, servicing should be cheaper. Still, service intervals are 1600km first and then every 8000km like their conventional bikes.

Harley PR rep Joe Gustafson says the app gives the rider “peace of mind”.

H-D Connect uses a cellular telematics control unit (TCU) that functions as an LTE-enabled modem connecting LiveWire motorcycles to the cloud. Owners will get the service free for a year.

It will be available soon in the USA, Canada, Puerto Rico and most EU countries and becomes available in late August 2020 in Australia, Brazil, Mexico and Japan. Subscription details and pricing will be available online.

Electrifying modesHarley-Davidson LiveWire electric motorcycle

There are seven riding modes: Range, Rain, Road and Sport, plus three customisable modes.

Each mode affects the acceleration and response from the twist-and-go throttle.

It also affects the amount of “regeneration” which is like engine braking and helps to recharge the battery.

Both of these also affect the range.

The modes also vary the amount of cornering-enhanced traction control that includes a wheelie control to stop the front wheel lifting and a rear-wheel lockup control.

They label their traction control High, Medium and Low, but high is not for high intervention but high slip, so it is opposite to what it appears.

Riders can select the modes on the fly with a button on the right-hand controller. Your selected mode is displayed on the big, easy-to-read 11cm colour touchscreen which is like a mini iPad.

  • Sport: Full, seamless power and 80% immediate throttle response. This offers truly electrifying performance. I thought it might make it a little jerky, but it so smooth and predictable, even in slow-speed manoeuvres. Traction control is also set to High which is the lowest level of intervention. However, you can turn it off when stopped. Regeneration is also quite significant at 80% so you don’t even need to use the brakes to come to a full stop. The only time I touched the brakes was in emergency brake tests and when riding hard.
  • Road: This mode softens throttle response to 55%, power delivery to 80% and regen to 30%, plus medium traction control. Harley says it feels more like a traditional petrol-powered bike and they are right, but because of its twist-and-go transmission (like a scooter), you can’t slip a little clutch to smooth out power delivery for tight, feet-up u-turns. But guess what! You don’t need to. It’s super-smooth with plenty of feel, unlike any EFI fly-by-wire throttle. Medium traction control can be turned off when stopped.Harley-Davidson LiveWire electric motorcycle
  • Range: Obviously this is the economy mode to squeeze extra range out of the bike. Throttle response is smoother at 55%, power 40% and regen 80%, making it quite jerky when you roll off the throttle. Traction control is medium and can be turned off when stopped.
  • Rain: Like the rain mode on many conventional bikes, this has 0% power, 30% soft throttle response, 15% regen and Low traction means high intervention and cannot be turned off.
  • Three Custom Modes: You can select your own levels of power, regeneration, throttle response and traction control and save them to A, B or C modes. Power, regeneration and throttle can be adjusted from 0-100% in 1% increments, and traction can be set to Low, Medium or High intervention.

Since most riders won’t touch the brakes to slow down, the rear brake LED light will light up on regenerative braking to alert traffic behind your that you are slowing, avoiding rear-enders.

Lively LiveWire

Sporty Harley-Davidson electric LiveWire parade silicon standardise
Harley’s LiveWire electric motor

Harley says the H-D Revelation electric motor has 78kW of power. That’s not too bad for a 249kg bike which is about the same as a 1200 Sportser or Ducati Diavel.

That power figure is the same as a KTM 1190, but the porky LiveWire weighs a substantial 32kg more.

More importantly, the bike has 116Nm of torque which is substantially more than the 95Nm in the 1200 Sportster .

Full-tilt torque is available as soon as you twist the throttle, which is why traction and wheelie control is so important.

It feels lively and lithe, like many streetfighter-style bikes with its flat bars.

On the highway it’s stable, around town it’s manoeuvrable and in the twisties it feels planted and precise, thanks to the premium Showa suspension.

It’s fully adjustable, but rather than playing around with the clickers, you can go to the instrument screen and put in the weights of you, pillion and any luggage and it will calculate the right settings. How clever is that!

Some claimed it felt top heavy, but I didn’t think so. The weight is carried low in the underslung motor. It feels a little heavy coming up off the side stand, but then it feels perfectly balanced.

Harley-Davidson LiveWire electric motorcycle
Clever locking sidestand

I love the use of Harley’s clever stable side stand that won’t allow the bike to roll forward when parked downhill.

The low centre of gravity makes it easy to turn and quick to change direction.

However, the seat is 779mm high and is narrow so even shorter riders can get their feet flat down on the ground. I’m 183cm tall and I could still bend my legs with my feet flat on the ground. There is also a Slammer seat that is 25mm lower.

The Brembo brakes are powerful and have plenty of feel, but with the regenerative braking of the motor, you really don’t need to use them that often, although it’s nice to know they are there when you need them in an emergency.


At this price, it’s going to be a hard sell, even for cashed-up, early adopters and techno nerds.

But they will find this is not just some toy. It’s a serious, full-size, hard-charging, fun motorcycle that is both easy to ride and a hard charger for the adrenalin junkie.

Harley-Davidson LiveWire tech specs

  • Price: $US29,799 (about $A42,500)
  • Available: Next month in North American and Europe, late next year Australia and New Zealand
  • Colours: range, lime and black
  • Battery warranty: five-year, unlimited-km
  • Motor: H-D Revelation permanent-magnet, water-cooled electric motor
  • Power: 78kW (105hp)
  • Instant torque: 116Nm (86ft lbs)
  • Battery: Air-cooled 15.5kWh high-voltage lithium-ion battery (Rechargeable Energy Storage System)
  • Transmission: motor output shaft, 9.71:1 gear reduction, belt drive
  • Acceleration: 0 -100km/h 3 seconds; 100-130km/h 1.9 seconds
  • Top speed: 177km/h
  • Range: 235km (city), 152km (combined stop-and-go and highway range using MIC City and MIC Combined tests), 158km (World Motorcycle Test Cycle)

    Harley-Davidson electric LIveWire parade
    Charging points on the LIveWire are under the “fuel” cap.

  • Charging: 120/240-volt outlet 20km (13 miles) per hour of charging; DC Fast Charge (DCFC) 0-80% in 40 minutes or 100% in 60 minutes
  • Weight: 210kg
  • Suspension (rear): fully adjustable Showa Balanced Free Rear Cushion-lite mono-shock
  • Suspension (front); Showa Separate Function Fork-Big Piston

    Sporty Harley-Davidson electric LiveWire
    Fully adjustable Showa rear shock

  • Brakes: Dual Brembo Monoblock calipers, 300mm rotors
    Tyres: H-D/Michelin Scorcher (180mm rear and 120mm front)
  • Rider aids: Reflex Defensive Rider Systems (RDRS), Cornering Enhanced Anti-lock Braking System (C-ABS), Cornering Enhanced Traction Control System (C-TCS) and Drag-Torque Slip Control System (DSCS)
  • Technology: 4.3” colour TFT touchscreen, Daymaker LED headlamp, LED lighting, H-D Connect service connectivity and Harley- Davidson App
  • Riding modes: Seven selectable Ride Modes electronically control motor performance and level of RDRS intervention
  • Accessories: dual seat and tail, speed screen blade, decorative trim, hand and foot controls and cover with charging cord port
Sporty Harley-Davidson electric LiveWire
Touchscreen instruments

More tech specs

2020 Harley-Davidson LiveWire MODEL SPECIFICATIONS


84.1 in. (2,135 mm)

Overall Width

32.7 in. (830 mm)

Overall Height

42.5 in. (1,080 mm)

Seat Height, Laden / Unladen

30 in. (761 mm) / 30.7 in. (780 mm)

Ground Clearance

5.1 in. (130 mm)

Rake (steering head)

4.3 in. (108 mm)

58.7 in. (1,490 mm)

Tires, Type

Michelin® Scorcher® “Sport”

Scorcher® “Sport”

Tires, Front Specification

120/70 ZR17 58W

Tires, Rear Specification

180/55 ZR17 73W

Transmission Capacity

0.34 qt (0.32 L)

Coolant Capacity

0.8 qt. (0.72 L)

Weight, As Shipped

549 lb. (249 kg)

Weight, In Running Order

549 lb. (249 kg)

Gross Vehicle Weight Rating

949 lb. (430 kg)

Gross Axle Weight Rating, Front

434 lb. (197 kg)

Gross Axle Weight Rating, Rear

580 lb. (263 kg)


Primary Drive (*Cert)

Spiral bevel gear , 55/17 ratio

Final Drive (*Cert)

Belt, 3/1 ratio


Single Speed

Gear Ratios (overall) 1st (*Cert) (X.XXX)

Aluminum cast

Aluminum cast

Front Fork

SHOWA® 43 mm Inverted Separate Function Forks – Big Piston (SFF-BP®), fully adjustable

Rear Shocks

SHOWA® Balance Free Rear Cushion Lite (BFRC-lite®), fully adjustable

Wheels, Type

Black, Split 5-Spoke Cast Aluminum

Wheels, Front Dia. / Width

17 in. (432 mm) / 3.5 in. (89 mm)

Wheels, Rear Dia. / Width

17 in. (432 mm) / 5.5 in. (140 mm)

Brakes, Caliper Type

Dual 4-piston monoblock radial mount front, dual-piston rear

Brakes, Rotor Type

Dual floating rotors (front), floating rotor (rear)

Brakes, Front Diameter / Thickness

11.8 in. (300 mm) / 0.2 in. (5 mm)

Brakes, Rear Diameter / Thickness

10.2 in. (260 mm) / 0.2 in. (5 mm)

Brakes, Anti-Lock Braking System (ABS)

Suspension Travel, Front / Rear

4.5 in. (115 mm) / 4.5 in. (115 mm)


Lean Angle Testing Method

Lean Angle, Right / Left (deg)

Lithium Ion, 12.8V , 24 Wh, 120 A

Onboard DC to DC conversion

Lights (as per country regulation), Headlamp

All LED, low beam, high beam and signature position lamp

Lights (as per country regulation), Tail/Stop

LED with light pipe tail

Lights (as per country regulation), Front Signal Lights

Lights (as per country regulation), Indicator Lamps

High beam, turn signals, ABS, traction control, EV fault

Lights, Rear Turn Signals

LED, Amber

4.3” WQVGA 480×272 TFT Color Display with Ambient Light Sensor, 9 warning lights, Real Time Clock and Integrated Bluetooth Connectivity to a Smartphone to provide infotainment features including turn-by-turn navigation, telephone, music, and voice recognition.

Electric Power Outlet

USB C-type; output 5V at 3A

EV Specific Content: Motor

Internal Permanent Magnet Synchronous Motor with Water Jacket cooling

Motor Name


Inverter type

Pole Count

Power (hp/kW)

105 HP (78kW)

6.69 in. (170 mm)

Stack Length

3.94 in. (100 mm)

EV Specific Content: RESS

Lithium Ion

15.5kWh total, 13.6kWh min usable

EV Specific Content: Charging

Charge Plug Type

SAE J1772 Combo Inlet (CCS1) / IEC 62196 Combo Inlet (CCS2)

On-board charger, charge rate

AC wall charging time (not verified)

Target – Full charge in 12.5 hrs
– Capable of 12.6 miles/hour charge rate (MIC city cycle)

DC fast charging time (not verified)

Target – Full charge in 1.0 hr
– Capable of 192 miles/hour charge rate (MIC city cycle)

DC to DC conversion

450W at 14.2V

EV Specific Content: Range

146 mi (235 km)

Highway (70 mph sustained)

70 mi (113 km)

95 mi (152 km)

WMTC (World Motorcycle Test Cycle)

98 mi (158 km)


Hands-free Mobile Phone – via Bluetooth

Voice Recognition Languages: Phone functions only

Via paired iOS or Android device

Voice Recognition Languages: Tuner/Media/ Navigation

Via paired iOS or Android device

USB Type-C

Phone/media supported


(Harley-Davidson paid for our flights, hotels and meals.)

Source: MotorbikeWriter.com

Macna Bastic a clever summer jacket

This Macna Bastic bomber jacket looks like casual wear, not a motorcycle jacket, yet it has a lot of protection and some clever features that make it ideal for next summer’s riding.

The European motorcycle clothing company makes some advanced technological gear with a lot of street smarts.

We’ve tested several of their jackets and they all seem to have some unique features such as the Aytee all-season jacket I used on last year’s Italian Alps tour.

Macna Aytee motorcycle jacket
Macna Aytee motorcycle jacket braves the Italian alps


All European gear now has to be properly certified and these jackets contain a lot of protective materials for abrasion and impact resistance.

This Macna Bastic jacket features CE-approved impact pads in the back, shoulders and elbows.

However, I don’t think the satin-finish polyamide nylon material would have much abrasion resistance.

Clever features

But it is the clever little additions that I like.

For example, there is a sunglasses hook to hang your sunnies on your chest.

Macna Bastic bomber jacket
Sunnies holder

It also has two deep outside pockets that won’t let your valuables fall out even if you forget to fasten them with the two snap buttons.

Macna Bastic bomber jacket
Deep pockets

Instead of the usual zip in the back to attach to your trousers if they have a matching zip, there is a simple snap tag that fits to your pants’ belt loop. Simple, easy to use and it works. Very clever.

Macna Bastic bomber jacket
Pants belt loop attachment

But the most clever thing is the venting system.

I didn’t think it would be very good in hot weather with its elasticised cuffs and waist band not allowing in any breeze.

However, there are two small zipped vents on the upper arms that direct air straight into your armpits for maximum cooling effect.

I tried it out in 30C heat in Portland, Orgeon, this week on the Harley LiveWire launch and it works!

Harley-Davidson LiveWire electric motorcycle basic
Harley-Davidson LiveWire electric motorcycle

The front zip is also a clever two-stage zip.

If it’s cold, do it up to the tighter zip, but if it’s warm, zip up the second zip, leaving a 25mm-wide vent panel right down the front of the jacket.

Macna Bastic bomber jacket
Twi-stage zip with vent system

Of course, this won’t work if you are behind a windscreen.

But on a naked bike it almost feels like you have no jacket on at all; the air current is amazing.

There is also a strange, shallow pocket with no real fastener on the outside left chest. I do not have any clue about its purpose!

There is only one inside zipped pocket which is a shame, although it is quite big.

It’s also weather proof as are the pockets.

I haven’t yet been caught in the rain with this jacket, but I did give it a test in the kitchen sink and the interior stayed dry.

Macna Bastic bomber jacket

Macna men's jacket range

  • Satin finish Polyamide Nylon.
  • Soft polyester mesh liner with fixed Raintex waterproof membrane.
  • “SCS Lite” ventilation system.
  • Shoulder Safetech CE level 2, Elbow Safetech CE level 1.
  • Night Eye reflective panels.
  • CE back protector prepared, fitted with 12 mm EVA back pad.
  • Hoody holder, Air vents sleeves & back. Rear belt loop.
  • Zipgrip, Phone pocket, Sunglasses holder Coat hanger loop.
  • Olive Green.
  • Men’s sizes S-3XL

Source: MotorbikeWriter.com

Sena Savage Bluetooth helmet review

If you have been looking for an open-face helmet with Bluetooth communication, the new Sena Savage is the answer.

It features integrated controls, speakers and a microphone discretely in the brow section of the helmet.

As you would expect, it’s noisier than a full-face helmet, the microphone is not as quiet as in a full face helmet, but it’s equal to or better than the boom-mic units people attach to their open-face helmets.

And it is neater as well. The compact two-control functions on the side of the helmet are sadly visible, yet easy to use.Sena Savage

They work the same as the Sena 20S controls wth a button and a dial/button/toggle control.

With just those two controls, you can switch on/off, summon Siri, play music, answer and reject calls, pair t your phone and another intercom, summon an intercom user, skip tracks and change the volume.

The only problem I found with the Savage is that the amplifier and speakers are not powerful enough to provide adequate sound when I wear my filtered earplugs.

The filtered earplugs reduce the overall sound a little, but mainly they filter out the damaging wind noise that gives you tinnitus.

They allow you to hear important traffic sounds such as emergency siren and horns, plus listen to your music and phone conversations at a lower volume that doesn’t hurt your ears.

Unfortunately, this system is a little too quiet, so it’s really only useful up to about 80km/h.

Last year I reviewed the Sena Momentum full-face helmet and I was so impressed it has now become my go-to helmet. Read my review here.

Sena Momentum Lite Bluetooth helmet hi-fi savage
Sena Momentum Lite Bluetooth helmet

It is a shame the Savage does not have the same volume levels as the Momentum Lite.

Still, it’s a very comfortable and useful helmet for around-town duties where an open-face helmet gives you extra vision to look out for errant traffic.

The quality of sound and noise-damping of the brow-mounted microphone is ok, but not great.

They also use this system in their Calvary half-helmet.

Sena Cavalry motorcycle half helmet with bluetooth unit savage
Sena Calvary

I talked to a few people on the phone while riding and they said it sounded a bit distorted at city speeds and over 80km/h there was to much wind noise.

That seems to be vindicated by this promotional video where the rider is mainly cruising around town.

Sena Savage

The Savage is now available in Australia in matte black in medium, large and XL sizes at $A499.95.

That makes it cheaper than buying a helmet and separate Bluetooth unit.

You can also buy optional long and short peaks and we imagine the three press studs would also fit many visors suitable for other open-face helmets.

It is the first open-face helmet with Bluetooth 4.1, connecting with three other riders up to 1.6km.

Like other Sena units, it is an intercom and has integrated 10-station FM radio which can be accessed hands-free with voice controls.

Talk time is 11 hours and the lithium polymer battery charges in three hours.

The composite fibreglass shell helmet weighs just 1100g and features removable and washable padding, with a nylon double-D-ring fastener.

Source: MotorbikeWriter.com

AKO patents leaning electric trike

Lithuanian start-up AKO has applied for a patent for an electric-powered vehicle somewhere between a motorcycle, trike and a car with the ability to lean in corners.

Of course, there are already leaning three-wheelers such as the Piaggio MP3 scooter and Yamaha Niken.

Yamaha is particularly keen on a leaning trike future and has applied for several patents as has Honda.

Yamaha Niken VMax leaning three-wheeler coming AKO
Yamaha patent drawing

However, Honda is the only one that has applied for a leaning trike patent with an electric motor.

Honda Neowing Goldwing leaning three-wheeler trike patent granted aka
Honda patent

Until now!

AKO trike

AKO leaning electric itrike
AKO leaning electric itrike

Team AKO describe their machine as an “electric inverse leaning trike”.

That means it has two wheels at the front, rather than at the rear like traditional treikes.

The “roadster” style with two wheels at the front is similar to the leaning MP3 and Niken and the non-leaning Can-Am Slyders.AKO leaning electric itrike

The AKO is a two-seater with the rider in front and passenger behind and a completely covered shell, not just a roof like BMW’s C1 scooter which the Bavarian company might be re-launching.

The leaning technology is apparently hydraulic button other details are available.

What sets this apart is the electric power plant.

Because the trike configuration is bigger than scooters and motorcycles, it allows them to fit a bigger battery which means more range.

While Harley is currently launching its LiveWire with 150km of highway range and 235km of city range, the hefty 500kg AKO is claimed to have 300km range and 140kW of power. 

Harley electric LiveWire Harley and Indian announce 2018 sales results AKO
Harley LiveWire

No other tech specs are available yet as it is still just a patent drawing.

Despite the realistic images, there isn’t even a prototype yet.AKO leaning electric itrike

Source: MotorbikeWriter.com

Ride away on classic motorcycles

If you are looking for some affordable, restored classics you can ride away, there are seven on the block at the upcoming Shannons Sydney Winter Auction on August 26 – most with ‘no reserve’.

The highlight for British motorcycle enthusiasts is a 1970 650cc Triumph Bonneville T120R (photo above), presented in restored condition and expected to sell in the $12,000-$16,000 range.

There are also two classic ‘intra-War’ BSA twin cylinder 500cc solos: ­a restored 1941 BSA WM20 and an unrestored, but complete 1946 M20. Each is expected to sell with ‘no reserve’ in the $7000-$10,000 range.

If you are looking for some affordable, restored classics you can ride away, there are seven on the block at the upcoming Shannons Sydney Winter Auction on August 26 – most with ‘no reserve’.
Unrestored 1943 BSA M20

As an alternative for British classic motorcycle enthusiasts, there is a single-cylinder, 125cc 1948 Royal Enfield ‘Flying Flea’ motorcycle. Presented in useable condition and offered with ‘no reserve’, it is expected to sell in the $4000-$6000 range.

If you are looking for some affordable, restored classics you can ride away, there are seven on the block at the upcoming Shannons Sydney Winter Auction on August 26 – most with ‘no reserve’.
Royal Enfield Flying Flea

There are two great Japanese 1980s dirt bikes: a 1980 80cc Suzuki RM80T and a mighty 600cc 1983 Honda XL600R –  both fresh from similar ground-up restorations and neither being used since completion.

If you are looking for some affordable, restored classics you can ride away, there are seven on the block at the upcoming Shannons Sydney Winter Auction on August 26 – most with ‘no reserve’.
Honda XL600R

Each is offered with ‘no reserve’, with the Suzuki expected to sell for $2000-$3000 and the Honda for $3000-$6000.

Japanese collectors may be interested in an unrestored example of Yamahas first road model – the 650cc XS-1. 

This original classic is in good rideable condition and expected to sell with ‘no reserve’ in the $9000-$13,000 range.

To view all Shannons August 26 Sydney Winter Auction lots, visit www.shannons.com.au

Source: MotorbikeWriter.com