The LiveWire is Gonna Recharge Harley-Davidson, and We Can’t Wait

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Harley’s new electric motorcycle may not sound like a classic Harley, and for H-D Forums‘ Cameron Vanderhorst, that’s just fine by him.

It’s one of the most often-repeated falsehoods in our hobby: “Loud pipes save lives.” It’s a dubious claim at best. But it highlights a hallmark of the Harley-Davidson experience. A loud, throaty exhaust is, to many, a big part of what makes a Harley-Davidson a Harley-Davidson.

It’s also a major reason why some Harley-Davidson enthusiasts find themselves opposed to the upcoming LiveWire, Harley’s all-new electric motorcycle. There are certainly a lot of folks out there who think that a quiet Harley is no Harley at all.

If you’re one of those people, and you’re reading this, I certainly see your side of things. All I ask is that you give me a chance to explain the reasons I think the LiveWire has a chance to be one of the best motorcycles in Harley-Davidson’s lineup before you take to the comments and call me a “millennial snowflake.”

Harley-Davidson LiveWire

First off, let’s go back to that safety statement: “Loud pipes save lives.” As a motorcyclist, I feel that this attitude towards rider safety is dangerous. It relies on the drivers around you to be aware and make appropriate choices. I will never trust my safety to an increasingly distracted and less skilled driving public.

Having a motorcycle that emits little to no noise may be less satisfying to ride, for some. The LiveWire’s bevel gear drive system is said to sound like either a turbine or a vacuum cleaner, depending on who you ask. However, the lack of engine noise could allow riders to hear what’s going on around them better. This means more time to make evasive maneuvers and avoid accidents with other vehicles.


All I ask is for a chance to explain why I think the LiveWire has a chance to be one of the best bikes in H-D’s lineup before you call me a ‘millennial snowflake.’


Regardless of how you feel about this issue, always take ownership for your own safety. Never take for granted that the driver of any given vehicle might have seen you or heard you–always assume that they didn’t.

Speaking of evasive maneuvers, let’s talk about a major strength of electric motors: Torque, and where it’s available. Electric motors generate prodigious amounts of torque, and it comes at the bottom of the RPM range where it’s needed most.

‘The LiveWire is Gonna Recharge Harley-Davidson, and We Can’t Wait’ continued…

Longtime motorcyclist and automotive journalist Cam Vanderhorst is a regular contributor to Harley-Davidson Forums, Ford Truck Enthusiasts, Corvette Forum and MB World, among others.

When he's not busy working on his Harley-Davidson bike, the vastly experienced writer has covered an array of features, reviews, how-tos, op-eds and news stories for Internet Brands' Auto Group and is also a co-founder and co-host of the popular podcast Cammed & Tubbed.

Check him out on Instagram at: Camvanderhorst.

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