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Harley-Davidson is offering test rides on the HD Livewire and it wants to hear what the people think of its new electric bike. Here is what I have found is the consensus.

Many riders who got on the bike called it "agile," "sporty," and "nimble." People thought that it was fun given that there is no need to shift and no need for a clutch. That was the good news.



Where a lot of the discussion comes in is on the sound of the electric engine. One report says that the engine "sounds more like an over-sized vacuum than a vehicle." Another compares the difference between the gas and electric motors to the difference between a vinyl record and a MP3. The record may have imperfections, but there is something emotional about the sound quality.

Harley-Davidson marketing chief Mark-Hans Richer said, "This isn't a bike for most Harley traditionalists, after all, so the question may be what new, younger riders are looking for." Ultimately, it is not so much about the exact sound that the bike makes, but rather its about having the bike stir an emotional response in the rider. I think that is a fair goal to have. It simply won't be possible to reproduce a traditional Harley sound with the Livewire, so you need to figure out what people like about the sound other than the actual noise.

People further argued that more noise would be needed for safety. People were afraid that other drivers wouldn't hear the Livewire approach because it's so quiet. Harley denies this though.

 

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Could sound different in person, and I also think people may be overly critical because of what they would usually expect from a Harley-Davidson engine. I think Harley is going to put a lot of focus on trying to create a robust electric engine sound. Should be interesting to see what they come up with in the future.
 

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WTF is a robust electric engine sound? This is the trade off. If thery try and masquerade the Livewire as something its not it will be an instant failure and a complete insult to the intelligence of bike culture everywhere.

I'm jsut very confused as to where these opinions are coming from, these are people who complain its not loud enough and then laud the fact they don't have to shift at all? WHO ARE THESE PEOPLE.

I know, they're scooter people, the same jackoff you saw on an EMMO electric scooter that is parked blocking the footpath that you saw on your way into work this morning.

the vinyl/MP3 comparison may is ostensible at BEST. This is more like comparing MP3 and MP4, two completely DISTINCT forms that cannot be compared across a common "metric"
 

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Could sound different in person, and I also think people may be overly critical because of what they would usually expect from a Harley-Davidson engine. I think Harley is going to put a lot of focus on trying to create a robust electric engine sound. Should be interesting to see what they come up with in the future.
This is true.

Not all video camera's that capture sound do a good job of it, also even with video camera that has a good mic, it doesn't beat hearing what something is like in person.

At least for now if we can't get to see and hear it in person we can depend on those attending the tours to tell us what it's like.
 

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WTF is a robust electric engine sound? This is the trade off. If thery try and masquerade the Livewire as something its not it will be an instant failure and a complete insult to the intelligence of bike culture everywhere.

I'm jsut very confused as to where these opinions are coming from, these are people who complain its not loud enough and then laud the fact they don't have to shift at all? WHO ARE THESE PEOPLE.

I know, they're scooter people, the same jackoff you saw on an EMMO electric scooter that is parked blocking the footpath that you saw on your way into work this morning.

the vinyl/MP3 comparison may is ostensible at BEST. This is more like comparing MP3 and MP4, two completely DISTINCT forms that cannot be compared across a common "metric"
I can't say exactly who these people are, but i don't think its crazy for Harley to focus on the engine sound. Not all electric engines sound the same, so why wouldn't Harley try to make it sound the best that it can. HD has to balance between its already well established brand, and going in a new direction (electric bikes generally.)
 

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They merely used the gearing needed to properly orient the power delivery as a distinctive sound source. They, or the aftermarket, could easily make a system with speakers and sound files to simulate any engine one wanted to hear. Much like that simulator for guys stuck in minivans or other crappy vehicles. They can listen to a nice V8 sound thru their stereo.
 

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But don't you think that having the sound created by a speaker system would make it seem so artificial. I'm not sure if it's possible to make the engine sound more burly without a simple speaker system, but that would be nice.
 

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I don't think that it is possible to get the kind of robust sound that people are imagining without using a speaker system of some kind. As to whether the speaker system is too artificial, I think that that is one part how well they design the sound that comes out of the speaker, and another part just how you look at it.
 
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