motorcycle events

Harley Davidson’s LiveWire Tour: Santa Monica

Harley Davidson’s LiveWire Tour: Santa Monica


When we heard that Harley Davidson’s LiveWire Tour was coming to California, and in particular Southern California we were delighted! You see, as one of the biggest cities in the nation, Los Angeles spreads throughout hundreds of square miles and the traffic, usually, is very bad. Over the last decade, the increase of people riding motorcycles has been significant. In part, this is due to the rise of gas prices but nonetheless, motorcyclists are on the rise and that is a trend that is sure not to taper.

Harley-Davidson is no stranger to the motorcycle industry, as a matter of a fact, Harley-Davidson goes better than peanut butter goes with jelly, and that’s saying a lot. When Harley-Davidson unveiled their latest project, Project LiveWire, the whole world was taken aback. Headlines read, “Harley-Davidson making an electric bike?” Most bloggers couldn’t get enough information about the said LiveWire and neither could we. Gladly, we live in the Los Angeles area and their stop near the world famous Santa Monica Pier was an event we wouldn’t miss. I should let you know that even though the event was in the early part of the day, we still hit traffic and it took us over an hour to get to Santa Monica, had my motorcycle not been in the shop, that time could’ve easily been cut in half, but I digress.


It was an overcast morning and the sun wasn’t out but that didn’t stop hundreds of tourist from hitting the famous 3rd St. promenade nor the Harley-Davidson tour stop. There were kids and older ladies waiting in line to ride their stationary LiveWire set up where one could hop on a bike without any prior knowledge of riding a motorcycle. Harley-Davidson also had a station where they were actually letting people with motorcycle licenses ride the actual motorcycles through the streets but when I was there it seemed like they were all out of currently being charged so I didn’t get the chance to ride one personally. That being said, I couldn’t skip riding it even if it was stationary.


Before hopping on, I was given a brief run down of what the LiveWire had in terms of features that weren’t available on any other Harley, nor any other motorcycle for that matter. The gentleman picture to my right was very knowledgeable in anything LiveWire and was easily able to answer any and all questions that I had.


While the bike is certainly smaller and lighter than any other Harley, weighing in at a feathery 400 lbs, I felt right at home with my 200 lbs frame. I turned on this bad boy and gunned it! The response was instant, while I was on rollers and not on the streets, I could tell that it had a good throttle response, given the weight, I wasn’t surprised. From my experience, the LiveWire acts more like a sport bike than a cruiser and its menacing street fighter look certainly plays the part.


There were other cool things and stations to look at if you weren’t in line to ride the stationary LiveWire though. One of the stations was a tweeting station, where you could log onto your account and share pictures or tweets with Harley’s own #ProjectLiveWire hashtag… could, of course, just do this from your phone but don’t tell Harley-Davidson that. To those that actually went ahead and used their station, cool prizes were given from a nice looking vending machine.


The LiveWire tour stop also had a nice area set up in the corner for a company called, Nuviz. Nuviz had created an aftermarket heads up display that is can be retrofitted to any full-face or modular helmet. In the picture below you can see what it would actually look like if you had one on your own. The display gave you real-time data like your speed, direction, and step by step navigation to your destination etc.


That being said, the display for the LiveWire was really amazing. I say this because I’ve grown up in the touch screen generation of phones, tablets, and computers and I know when I have a lemon. This touch screen display on the LiveWire is nothing short of amazing and I think its one of the better displays on anything out there. The navigation screen was really easy to use and it allowed you to choose between two different power modes. The first mode is their standard “range” mode that gives you less horsepower but gives you a much longer range in terms of miles. The “power” mode does just that, it gives you more power but cuts your range in half. Nonetheless, the max range at the moment is 60 miles, the power mode gives you only 30 miles and a full charge will take 3 hours. While this is not very impressive, this is still a prototype and Harley-Davidson expects the range to at least double by the time it actually hits the streets, if it ever does. One has to remember that this bike is meant for the busy city streets. Someone living and working in downtown Los Angeles or Manhattan will likely not be traveling more than just a few miles but doing that in a car can take a long time, the LiveWire will feel right at home in this environment.

If the Harley-Davidson Project LiveWire tour comes to a city near you, I highly recommend you make an effort to stop by. You can read tons of blogs about that any particular blogger thought about it but there’s nothing like actually checking it out first hand. The people at Harley-Davidson were very nice and courteous and they should be able to answer any questions you might have. Cheers!

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