Ask Me Anything Motorcycle.com Road Test Editor - HD LiveWire Forum
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post #1 of 18 Old 07-17-2019, 01:27 PM Thread Starter
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Ask Me Anything Motorcycle.com Road Test Editor

Hi everyone,

Troy Siahaan here. I'm the Road Test Editor at Motorcycle.com, and last week I was in Portland, Oregon to be among the first group of people to ride the 2020 Livewire. You can check out my review, if you haven't already, right here.

If you have any questions about the bike or the experience, ask away and I'll do my best to answer.
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post #2 of 18 Old 07-17-2019, 08:21 PM
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Hi Troy. I want to know why, if it's using level 3 DCFS, it can't charger faster than 1C. The stations are clearly capable of delivering a lot more, and the Energica bikes are charging twice as fast. What gives?
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post #3 of 18 Old 07-18-2019, 11:39 AM Thread Starter
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Of course, the first question out of the box is one that stumps me. Instead of guessing, I'll forward this question on to someone at Harley in hopes they get back to me.
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post #4 of 18 Old 07-18-2019, 04:31 PM
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To be fair I didn't actually expect you to be able to field this one, but it is a question I have for the H-D engineers. And I do feel it's important.
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post #5 of 18 Old 07-20-2019, 11:07 AM
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Hey Troy, did it take you a while to get used to riding the LiveWire or did it feel like riding any other gas-powered bike?
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post #6 of 18 Old 07-22-2019, 11:46 AM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by Bobby77 View Post
Hey Troy, did it take you a while to get used to riding the LiveWire or did it feel like riding any other gas-powered bike?
Hey Bobby. Having ridden electric motorcycles before, it didn't really take much time to get used to riding the Livewire. In fact, even if you've never ridden electric before, the learning curve isn't very steep. Since you don't have a clutch or gears to shift through, it's literally twist-and-go. The few differences are:

- The lack of exhaust sound. It's not that electrics are quiet. The sound of the exhaust is replaced by the whine of the motor, the friction of the belt spinning, (depending on your speed) nature around you, and even the sound of the brake pads touching the discs once you squeeze the lever.

- The lack of heat. Some gas bikes are worse than others, but if you've ridden a gas bike that just spews exhaust heat at you when you're at a stop, you'll appreciate the utter lack of heat on an electric.

- The lack of vibration. Again, some gas bikes are worse than others (especially gas bikes without an internal counterbalancer), but comparatively speaking, electrics are smoooooth at the bars.

- Instantaneous torque! On a gas bike you have to slip the clutch to get moving. With an electric, just twist and hang on that's a lot of torque available the moment you ask for it.

Hope that answers your question.
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post #7 of 18 Old 07-22-2019, 02:03 PM
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Did Harley show guys like you from the media any cut aways of the Livewire's battery and electrical powertrain/drivetrain? Hoping to gain insight on its overall build.
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post #8 of 18 Old 07-23-2019, 12:45 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by MVetter View Post
Hi Troy. I want to know why, if it's using level 3 DCFS, it can't charger faster than 1C. The stations are clearly capable of delivering a lot more, and the Energica bikes are charging twice as fast. What gives?
Here's the answer I got, directly from Harley-Davidson:

"At low battery SOC, the LiveWire will charge at 90A (1.5C) and step down to 60A (1C). This profile was developed to optimize performance over the life of the product. Charge rates are based on a combination of cell chemistry, targeted battery design life, and warranty duration."
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post #9 of 18 Old 07-23-2019, 12:46 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by eHD View Post
Did Harley show guys like you from the media any cut aways of the Livewire's battery and electrical powertrain/drivetrain? Hoping to gain insight on its overall build.
Cutaways? No, but they did have individual pieces like the battery and motor on display. Was there something specific about the architecture you wanted to know?
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post #10 of 18 Old 07-23-2019, 01:17 PM
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Originally Posted by MOtrizzle View Post
Here's the answer I got, directly from Harley-Davidson:

"At low battery SOC, the LiveWire will charge at 90A (1.5C) and step down to 60A (1C). This profile was developed to optimize performance over the life of the product. Charge rates are based on a combination of cell chemistry, targeted battery design life, and warranty duration."
First off, thank you so much for checking into that and getting a response! I didn't expect you to get an answer. It still doesn't add up though, mathematically. If it kept the 1C rate from 0-80 that would be 40 minutes anyway so I'm not sure where the 1.5C factors in. Second, and more interestingly, it looks like H-D is saying it's a 60Ah battery pack and it's 13.7kWh nominal. So, 13700 / 60 = 228.3 Volts is in the operating range. The minimum for CCS charging is 200V, and the charge rates get weaker the lower the voltage.

This could mean... hang on. Oh man if the lowest SOC on the bike is around 200, and someone drains their LiveWire all the way empty, there's a chance they'd have to wall charge it before the CCS will accept it and fill it back up again. It also means potentially that because the voltage is so low the stations just flat-out can't deliver. So, more than likely, the bike starts at 60A and as the voltage rises the station becomes able to deliver more power until voltage cutback at ~80%.

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