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Discussion Starter #1
The challenge in building an electric motorcycle is to shift from thinking about building a bike around an engine, to thinking about building a bike around a battery. Batteries are heavy though. Rumor has it that the battery in the Livewire would have to weight around 250 lbs in order to get the range and recharge time that Harley is claiming. That means that weight had to be cut elsewhere.

The frame around the battery box weighs only 14 lbs, and the wheels have hollow spokes. Harley claims that these wheels are the lightest aluminum wheels it's ever produced. Weight was saved on the exhaust system because, well, there isn't an exhaust system!

Hopefully with the expert engineering that has gone into reducing the weight of the Livewire, it lives up to the standards that Harley Davidson has become known for. That means it has to be able to go fast and not feel under powered or encumbered.
 

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Good points on weight being cut in the area's mentioned. Do you think they could have possibly used carbon fiber to cut weight?
 

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Well a HD V Twin by itself tips the scales (depending on which one) between 150-175 lbs, and that's without including gearbox... So yea there is weight added but its not as severe a problem as the auto manufacturers face where you're adding hundreds and hundreds of pounds...
 

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Carbon fiber could be a cool material to use. Not sure what that would do to pricing though. I'm not sure if Harley has ever even used CF in any of its past motorcycles so it may be a new foray for them.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
I wonder where Harley is getting their batteries. Do they have a R&D team working on batteries to make them lighter and such, or are they just using technology from some other company either through a partnership, or simply buying them on the market.
 

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I wonder where Harley is getting their batteries. Do they have a R&D team working on batteries to make them lighter and such, or are they just using technology from some other company either through a partnership, or simply buying them on the market.
There are a few major companies that they could have got the battery and the electric motor from, you can see those companies listed here:http://www.hdlivewireforum.com/forum/9-harley-davidson-livewire-parts-accessories/890-harley-livewire-lithium-ion-battery-discussion.html
 

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CF i not worth it. If Ferrari have decided that Aluminium is better value in terms of weight, cost and structural rigidity then I don't there is another company out there that should honestly believe CF is the answer. Especially not HD ;) Talk about non durable, if you thought Harley had reliability issues before wait until they start making bikes out of Carbon... ;)
 

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Discussion Starter #8
I mean I think that the CF is lighter its just way more expensive than aluminum is so it makes sense that aluminum is getting far more of the attention and use. BMW is using carbon fiber lots in their "i" line so if there becomes enough scale with carbon fiber it might go down in price down the road a while.
 

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I mean I think that the CF is lighter its just way more expensive than aluminum is so it makes sense that aluminum is getting far more of the attention and use. BMW is using carbon fiber lots in their "i" line so if there becomes enough scale with carbon fiber it might go down in price down the road a while.
There are not enough places on a motorbike that can be used safely. Sure a few trinkety bits can be made carbon but your major mass points CANNOT be made from carbon due to impact and durability concerns. There are very few superfluous elements on a motorbike. Unless you want a CF frame that will disintegrate from any type of impact....
 

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that is very true, seems like the industry needs to look into some other material that's light which can still have as much strength.
 

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aluminium and magnesium seem to be just about the only way to go frame wise. However magnesium is SOFT and malleable so you might run into issues running significant torque through them and aluminium requires you to completely change your construction methodologies.

Twin spar Aluminium frames have been the standard in motoGP for about 20 years now, there was mild experimenting with partially carbon frames a few years back but that was quickly abandoned.



Or they could move to a Trellis like Ducati in GP and KTM in Moto3 both use, but highly unlikely ;)

 

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I still can't get over the idea of going carbon fiber, i hope that's something which is still on the drawing board for them and that it will one day be in production.
 
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