Review of the Harley-Davidson LiveWire from Two Different Blogging Sites

It is always nice to find out what a first ride review of a motorcycle for a new year is, and the Harley-Davidson LiveWire is no exception. We at AMERiders found not one but two blogging sites that did a first ride review of the Harley-Davidson LiveWire and we are going to share their thoughts with you of what they thought about it. Now, we have already given you information about the Harley-Davidson LiveWire a few times, including when it was in the planned production stage. So time to get to work on what is thought of the ride now.

Bradley Brownell of Jalopnik and Jason Marker of RideApart both did first Rides of the Harley-Davidson LiveWire. Both of them had good things to say about the motorcycle and I will go into what they each had to say, on each topic. First, you should know that these rides of the Harley-Davidson LiveWire took place in Portland, OR.

The Ride Itself

So we are gonna start off with a short paragraph each of what they both thought of their ride of the Harley-Davidson LiveWire itself with actual quotes from their blogs so we don’t give you misinformation. Harley-Davidson has this to say about the LiveWire when you ride it? “0 TO 60 IN 3 SECONDS — Get instantaneous power the moment you twist the throttle. No clutch to release. No gears to run through. All you do is flick your wrist and take off. ” What did Bradley and Jason have to say about their Harley-Davidson LiveWire Rides?

Bradley Brownell of Jalopnik courtesy Harley-Davidson

Swing a leg over the Harley-Davidson LiveWire and you’ll instantly feel the crashing waves of a sea change. A magnet inside the motor rocks back and forth to indicate the bike is alive, it feels like a faint heartbeat. It’s a little on-the-nose, but it’s as if this bike is directly channeling the pulse of the industry. Is this the future of riding?

Bradley Brownell of Jalopnik

and

Image courtesy of RideApart

LiveWire is a phenomenal motorcycle, but is it the right motorcycle?
And just like that, the LiveWire and I went face-first into the hedge at full throttle. Now, before we get too far into this, there are two things you should know. One, I had just spent over an hour flogging Harley’s new electric wünderbike through some of the loveliest and most technical roads the Greater Portland Metropolitan Area has to offer and was really feeling myself. Two, there’s no neutral on an electric bike. When active, it’s always armed, as it were. My cockiness high spirits, combined with the LiveWire’s always-on status was a recipe for disaster. Or hilarity. Either one.

Jason Marker of RideApart

They give us a short on how it performs but it sounds like they both wonder if the Harley-Davidson LiveWire is going to be the next bike of the future. Let’s move forward, and see how their ride went and were Harley-Davidson took them on their first ride with the Harley-Davidson LiveWire.

The Ride

What did they both think of their ride well lets find out?

I’ll admit to a slight nervousness when I first climbed aboard the good ship LiveWire. I’d heard horror stories about electric torque catching people off guard and ripping the rear wheel out from under its rider, or aggressive throttle wrist leading to an unintentional wheelie dumping rider off the back. I went the first few blocks with a bit of trepidation, but rapidly adjusted to this new sensation. “Damn,” I thought to myself, “this thing is easy street.”

You wouldn’t think of a 100+ horsepower streetfighter-style sport bike as being docile and friendly. It’s just one way that this bike shirks the norms. With a smooth and fluid delivery, the EV powertrain is a gem that proves its worth immediately. Click the ignition switch to on, retract the sidestand, and you’re ready to roll. There’s absolutely no drama.
When coming to a stop at the first traffic light a block down the road, I find myself dipping a toe at an imaginary shifter and reaching for an absent clutch lever. On the mean streets of distracted drivers and occasionally hellacious traffic, it’s refreshing to know you’re never in the wrong gear. Rear brake. Front brake. Throttle. That’s all you have to worry about. Which is great, because Harley thinks it’s likely that many LiveWire miles will be lived in cities.

It doesn’t take long to notice the sounds surrounding me. Stopped at a traffic light I can hear the conversations of pedestrians over on the sidewalk, and the bass hit of the music playing in the car next to me. We’re riding in a pack with four traditional Harleys—a lead rider on a big bagger and a trio of sweep riders on Sportsters at the back—and their staccato V-twin thumping is comparatively imprudent.

Once out on the back country roads, separated from the ICE bikes a bit, I notice more bird calls. And my own thoughts. I don’t like to be alone with those too long.
The LiveWire isn’t silent. It’s actually got quite a dynamic range of sounds. The most prominent sound is that of the drivetrain’s single spiral bevel gear whine. It’s still eerily quiet, however. Quiet enough that you can hear the belt drive, the tires, the brakes, even the shocks.

I asked a Harley engineer about the 90-degree bevel gear and belt-drive setup employed, and why it was preferable to a simple shaft-drive. The bevel gear was chosen to give the bike that Formula E sound, despite a slight parasitic drain. The belt drive is simply because it’s a Harley staple, having been equipped on the company’s bikes since the ‘80s. And why is the motor longitudinal instead of transverse? To make it an important visual piece of the bike’s design.
I also imagine that if the motor was turned transverse, the bottom of the bike would be much wider. With a longitudinal layout, Harley says the LiveWire’s layover angle is 45 degrees—more than any other HD product—before the foot pegs scrape. I didn’t have a float level on hand to prove that measurement correct, but it felt like plenty of angle to work with.

Point the bike in the direction you want to go and hammer down the throttle, you’re transported through time and space like you just hit a wormhole. It’s not so much the acceleration [with a 0-60 time in the 3-second range] that gets me, it’s the ease with which acceleration happens. There’s no pause to shift, no clutch, no lift, just building speed.

In road or sport modes the regenerative braking is functional, but doesn’t quite replicate the engine braking feel you’re used to on an ICE bike. In “range mode” the brake regen gets more aggro and gets a little bit closer. It’s a new sensation, but if used right, you can hop off the throttle and the bike will whoa perfectly into the corner without pedal or lever.
Ultimately, Harley could have made a recognizable riding experience with an EV drivetrain, but it decided instead to build something in a form factor that doesn’t pay much attention to heritage. It also rides in a decidedly un-Harley way.

Bradley

and

I had just come back from my penultimate photo pass. The route was exhilarating. Turn right out of the staging area, a cozy little joint called the Rock Creek Tavern, on to a long, flat straightaway just over a mile long where you could unwind the LiveWire and get a sense of its power. Then, as quick as you like, get off the throttle, let the regenerative braking haul the bike down to a manageable speed, and ease into the gentle left-hander. Sweep right over the bridge, then hard left to a short uphill straight into the lethal, left-handed, decreasing-radius hairpin where the photographers were camped out. Whip through the hairpin as fast as you can to look your best for the cameras (while trying to ignore them), throttle out, scream up the hill and into one more gentle right-hander, then pull over at the dirt road to wait for the next pass to do it all over again backward. Lather, rinse, repeat.

This thing sounds like a speederbike. It’s awesome.
As I pulled back into the tavern’s parking lot after my sixth pass, I felt like Rennie Goddamned Scaysbrook. Each pass I’d made had been faster and better than the last, every line tighter and truer. I was, in the words of Lightning McQueen, speed. You see where this is going, right? I got into the turnaround at Rock Creek at a bad angle—nose down a little hill and pointed at a hedge separating the parking lot from the property next door. So, like I would with any other bike, I pulled back on the bars to yank the bike’s front end up the hill for a little turnaround. You know, the electric bike, the one with no clutch lever and no neutral. As I pulled back I apparently grabbed a fistful of throttle (apparently, because things get blurry for a few seconds here) and the LiveWire leaped forward like a stung horse.

We probably reached 30 miles-per-hour in the six feet between where we started and where we hit the hedge. I buried the LiveWire in that hedge up to the foot pegs before I had the presence of mind to lay off the throttle and bail out. I was half on the bike, half stuck in the hedge and, after a moment, the bike listed slowly to port and trapped my right ankle. I was immediately rushed by a dozen Harley techs checking to see if I was okay, reassuring me, and tending to the bike—which seemed more freaked out than I was, if the numerous warnings and buzzings and flashing lights on the TFT were any indication. Pride definitely wenteth before the fall. So, yeah. That’s my story of how I crashed a LiveWire into a hedge in front of God and everyone else during a press ride.

Jason

Sounds like they had fun Yeah? Well, both Bradley and Jason also let us know that Harley is taking the Harley-Davidson LiveWire seriously and what they thought of the LiveWire and the future of Harley because of it. As well as some tidbits that CEO Matt Levatich had to say about the Harley-Davidson LiveWire.

Future of Harley-Davidson and their thoughts

The LiveWire is aluminum where the traditional Harleys are iron. It’s a philosophical change from the norm, and hopefully indicative that Harley is taking this bike seriously.
Harley-Davidson CEO Matthew Levatich was keen to harp on the theme that “We build riders” which appears to be a signal that the company is shifting its focus to a younger generation of riders.
As the global population trends toward urban living, Levatich says he wants to focus on meeting the needs of that demo. And electrification is apparently one of the ways to do that.

Harley bills the LiveWire as a halo electric product, and that many more EV models are coming, priced from $1,000 on up to the LiveWire’s $29,799. This bike, and the others on the way, are the backbone of its electric strategy. Levatich continued, “We aim to lead in the electrification of the sport.”
It’s astonishing to me that it wasn’t Honda or BMW that pushed mainstream motorcycle manufacturers into the electric sphere, but good ‘ol Americana Harley-Davidson that took that leap. 

Whether it’s by necessity or by choice doesn’t really matter. If Harley clearly and consistently pushes forward with this strategy and it pays off—if it becomes more than just an expensive halo bike for early adopters—this gamble has the potential to be a product shift on the level of Iaccoca-era Chrysler. Harley has had quality products and failed to deliver before, but I genuinely hope this one succeeds.

My dad, who has had a Heritage Softail for over a decade and recently bought a Tri Glide Ultra, is the guy you see in your mind when you think Harley buyer. His response to the LiveWire? “Wow! I bet that is quick! I need to try one out.”
My barber, the tattooed punk rocker type of vintage Harley rider had a very different response. “Pass. Harley has gotten way off course with their new models. Trying to appeal to the younger generation that are not buying motorcycles at all. Stick with what you know, HD.”
So it might be a mixed bag.

Bradley

and

The LiveWire’s technological innovation doesn’t end at its ability to stop and corner, however. If the Revelation motor is LiveWire’s heart, the powerful, adaptable Reflex Defensive Riding System is its brain. The RDRS is an onboard computer and electronics suite that controls the bike’s high-tech systems and provides numerous rider aids and riding modes to fit any taste or style. It includes a cornering enhanced ABS system, cornering enhanced traction control system, rear wheel lift mitigation, and drag-torque slip control system. That’s a lot of technobabble for what is, essentially, a bunch of sensors and a six-axis inertial measuring unit that help the rider keep the wheels firmly planted on nearly any kind of surface.
All of the bike’s techno-wizardry is controlled through a trick 4.3-inch, full-color TFT display that makes up its gauge cluster and infotainment control system. It’s equipped with an ambient light sensor that adjusts both brightness and contrast (I never had trouble reading the TFT through my polarized visor no matter how bright it was outside) and displays the clock, speed, and idiot lights. It can also cycle through various functions and displays like range, voltage, odometers, etc. As befits a thoroughly modern motorcycle, the TFT is Bluetooth enabled and can sync to iOS or Android devices. The rider can sync up, toss their phone in a pocket, and control everything via the bike’s touch screen. That includes things like displaying turn-by-turn navigation and controlling music and phone calls. Pretty nifty. Sadly, none of the test bikes were set up to actually do this, so I didn’t have a chance to try it out. Hopefully next time.

Of course, since we live in a dystopian, app-driven, subscription-based Cyberpunk hellscape now, the LiveWire is fully cloud-connected and can be controlled and communicated with via the Harley-Davidson App. Called H-D Connect (natch), the app allows a LiveWire owner to connect to their bike and do things like check its settings, charging status, security, etc. Owners can set up push notifications so that the bike alerts them of the current status of the battery, if anyone is dicking around with the bike when they shouldn’t be, and all sorts of things. It’s like a Tesla up in there, seriously. Do we need all this? Maybe. Harley sure thinks we do. I just worry that it’s a bit… much.

Yeah, Well… How Is It?
In a word, the LiveWire rules. It’s a towering technological achievement on Harley’s part, a powerful, aggressive, sporty, comfortable, incredibly fast, and agile electric bike that showcases what can be done with essentially infinite money and a six-year development time. Despite the one little hedge-related hiccup, my time with the LiveWire was amazing. It did everything I asked of it. It attacked every corner eagerly and effortlessly, and the various electronic systems allowed me to push the bike right to the edge of my riding abilities—if not its own prodigious capabilities—without anxiety. I felt like I could count on the bike, like it was there for me. It let me wind it out and never punished me for it.

At speed, LiveWire is a goddamned freight train. It just pulls and pulls and never seems to run out of steam. Roll the throttle on at any speed and the Revelation spools up instantly to rocket you into or out of any situation. Acceleration is like a kick in the ass, and more than once I felt like I was just hanging on while the bike drove instead of actively piloting it myself.
The ergos are fantastic, too. The bike has an aggressive, slightly forward, naked bike seating position with mild rearsets and flat bars. The saddle was surprisingly comfortable for how small it looks, and with the low, low center of gravity, it was flickable at speed and nimble in tight confines. I would have liked the TFT better had it been mounted a little higher, but that’s just me. Also, since the bike doesn’t vibrate or generate tons of wasted heat, LiveWire is super comfortable for the long haul and doesn’t beat you up like other bikes. I was tired at the end of my ride, but a contented tired like from a hard workout. Not a deep, exhausted tired you’d get from, say, wrestling with a hot, loud, vibrating big-twin all day.

As for fit and finish? Well, that’s only mostly great. Everything not part of the handlebar is pretty great. The paint is deep and rich, the surfaces feel good to the touch, and everything fits together seemingly perfectly. The LiveWire wasn’t slapped together at 4:55pm on a Friday and it shows. My biggest gripe is with the switchgear, levers, and mirrors. The switches and binnacles are bog-standard Harley parts bin bits with add-on buttons for the new LiveWire-specific systems. Their layout sucks and is completely counter-intuitive. I eventually just stopped using everything but the turn signals (and even then I had to keep looking for them) because nothing was where it should have been. In addition to the parts bin switches, the mirrors and levers are standard H-D fare, too. Seriously, Harley? Seriously? You’re gonna put the same handlebar controls on your 30K, high-po, hot rod halo bike as the ones I can get on a Sportster? Or on a Street 500? That’s some seriously bad form right there.

Overall, I was deeply impressed with the LiveWire. I did a whole lot of whooping and demented cackling in my helmet as I thrashed it around the twisties outside of Portland. That’s about as good a recommendation as I’ll give any bike. LiveWire is fun. Fun and cool in a way that, in my opinion, many of the Motor Company’s products are not. Is that enough, though?

Jason

So what are the specs of the Harley-Davidson LiveWire? Let’s give you a few bits of what our bloggers said on the specs shall we and what Harley said themselves.

Charging

Charge at home, or use a Level 3 DC Fast Charge station to power up. Harley-Davidson photo.

So what does Harley have to say about their Livewire and it’s Charging?

TWO EASY WAYS TO CHARGE
Use the onboard Level 1 charger and power cord to connect to any standard household outlet and get a full charge overnight. For a faster charge, visit any public DC Fast Charge station for 80% charge in 40 minutes or 100% charge in an hour.

Harley-Davidson

Bradley had a bit to say about the charging let’s see what it was.

Harley-Davidson LiveWire

The battery, or renewable energy storage system in HD parlance, has an impressive 15.5kWh worth of lithium ions onboard. That battery is good for 146 miles in the city, 70 miles on the highway, and 95-ish mixed. You might be able to stretch those numbers if you’re aggressive on the regen.
Then again, if you are hard on acceleration you could suck it dry of electrons in far less. Frequent 0-100 launches? Yeah, that’ll run things down.

LiveWire owners will have their options open when it comes to charging. Harley says most owners will probably treat their bike like a smart phone, plugging it in every night to recharge before using it as an urban/suburban commuter ride. For the ones who want to ride farther and longer, the LiveWire joins Energica in offering DC Fast Charge. You can shove one of those bad boys into the top tank and it’ll fill from zero to 80 percent charge in 40 minutes, and up to 100 percent in one hour, according to Harley. 

Every one of the 150 “Phase One” Harley-Davidson dealerships to get the LiveWire had to install at least one DC Fast Charge station, send at least one of its master certified mechanics for LiveWire-specific maintenance training, and prep its salespeople to answer EV specific questions. As part of this package, LiveWire buyers will be entitled to free charges at all HD dealerships for the first two years.

In addition to the dealer network, Harley has tapped a partnership with Electrify America’s network of fast charge stations. Each LiveWire owner will get free charging up to 500 kilowatt-hours for the first two years of ownership. That equates to about 40 free charges from Electrify America. If you plan your trips right, you’re paying nothing to ride the thing for the first two years.

Bradley

Their last thoughts

What did they like and dislike about the bike?

Likes

Harley-Davidson LiveWire

I truly find this to be a stylish bike. I like the air-cooling fins on the battery, drawing a visual connection between Harleys of old and the company’s EV-inclusive future. The motor slung below the bike is another cool piece of the design, being the only piece in silver makes it an eye catching style point.

The 4.3-inch color TFT touch screen is quite nice to look at. The numbers are crisp and clear, the whole unit is legible and easy to read, and the touch activation works decently even with a gloved hand. Unlike some other bikes I’ve been on, the touch screen is only active when the bike is stationary, but the operation toggles on the right handlebar are perhaps even easier to operate than the touch screen anyway.

You can sync up your cell phone with your bike to control things like music and turn-by-turn directions. The latter of which can be displayed on the screen with a direction arrow, upcoming street name, and distance to turn. Live maps are not compatible with this screen, which is kind of a shame, but it might be too small a screen to accommodate something like that.

The different power delivery modes are fun to play with. If you want to maximize range, you can optimize the bike for maximum regeneration and light acceleration. If you get to a fun road, you can pump both up and hammer down. Figuring out which balance you like best can really help you get the most out of the bike. With built-in Sport Mode, Road Mode, Rain Mode, and Range Mode, you can let the factory figure it out for you, or you can configure three custom modes.

The advanced computers in the LiveWire are above and beyond what you’d expect from the Harley brand. Outside of the different modes, there’s a quite sophisticated traction control and anti-lock braking system with anti-wheelie as well as anti-stoppie. The ABS system has also been pumped up to include information about lean angle when taking brake forces into consideration to keep you upright. There is also a specific system to prevent the regenerative braking from locking up the wheel on wet roads. It’s all seamless, and makes for an engaging ride safer than average.

Bradly

In a word, the LiveWire rules. It’s a towering technological achievement on Harley’s part, a powerful, aggressive, sporty, comfortable, incredibly fast, and agile electric bike that showcases what can be done with essentially infinite money and a six-year development time. Despite the one little hedge-related hiccup, my time with the LiveWire was amazing. It did everything I asked of it. It attacked every corner eagerly and effortlessly, and the various electronic systems allowed me to push the bike right to the edge of my riding abilities—if not its own prodigious capabilities—without anxiety. I felt like I could count on the bike, like it was there for me. It let me wind it out and never punished me for it.

At speed, LiveWire is a goddamned freight train. It just pulls and pulls and never seems to run out of steam. Roll the throttle on at any speed and the Revelation spools up instantly to rocket you into or out of any situation. Acceleration is like a kick in the ass, and more than once I felt like I was just hanging on while the bike drove instead of actively piloting it myself.

The ergos are fantastic, too. The bike has an aggressive, slightly forward, naked bike seating position with mild rearsets and flat bars. The saddle was surprisingly comfortable for how small it looks, and with the low, low center of gravity, it was flickable at speed and nimble in tight confines. I would have liked the TFT better had it been mounted a little higher, but that’s just me. Also, since the bike doesn’t vibrate or generate tons of wasted heat, LiveWire is super comfortable for the long haul and doesn’t beat you up like other bikes. I was tired at the end of my ride, but a contented tired like from a hard workout. Not a deep, exhausted tired you’d get from, say, wrestling with a hot, loud, vibrating big-twin all day.

As for fit and finish? Well, that’s only mostly great. Everything not part of the handlebar is pretty great. The paint is deep and rich, the surfaces feel good to the touch, and everything fits together seemingly perfectly. The LiveWire wasn’t slapped together at 4:55pm on a Friday and it shows. My biggest gripe is with the switchgear, levers, and mirrors. The switches and binnacles are bog-standard Harley parts bin bits with add-on buttons for the new LiveWire-specific systems. Their layout sucks and is completely counter-intuitive. I eventually just stopped using everything but the turn signals (and even then I had to keep looking for them) because nothing was where it should have been. In addition to the parts bin switches, the mirrors and levers are standard H-D fare, too. Seriously, Harley? Seriously? You’re gonna put the same handlebar controls on your 30K, high-po, hot rod halo bike as the ones I can get on a Sportster? Or on a Street 500? That’s some seriously bad form right there.

Overall, I was deeply impressed with the LiveWire. I did a whole lot of whooping and demented cackling in my helmet as I thrashed it around the twisties outside of Portland. That’s about as good a recommendation as I’ll give any bike. LiveWire is fun. Fun and cool in a way that, in my opinion, many of the Motor Company’s products are not. Is that enough, though?

Jason

Dislikes

Friends, I have some seriously mixed feelings about the LiveWire. It’s not the bike itself that’s the problem, though. Like I said earlier, it’s a fantastic achievement and everyone involved with the project should be proud. It’s just… I don’t know. Who the hell is this bike for? During the pre-ride presentation, the presenters told us a whole lot about the marketing and target audience without actually saying anything. Harley claims the LiveWire’s target demographic is “Youngish, wealthy, urban early-adopters who enjoy being on the cutting edge with a highly developed personal style and a desire to be associated with luxury and/or premium brands”. That’s a paraphrase, but you get the gist of it.
I’m going to write a longer opinion piece soon about this whole target demographic situation, but suffice to say that now I’m not sure LiveWire has an audience and I’m not sure it’ll find one. I want the LiveWire to succeed because it deserves it and so does its development team. Will Harley let it succeed is my question. Will the company give the bike the support it needs (and will it give the select dealers who will carry LiveWire the training that they will need to sell it), or will this be a Buell and/or VROD situation all over again? Time will tell, I guess. Until then, let’s wish Harley and LiveWire all the luck in the world, because both are going to need it.

Jason

Outside of the price (more on that later), there is very little to dislike about this EV rider. I really had to grasp at straws to find this short list.
The rear view mirrors are useless for practical purposes. I’m what some would call a big guy, with my suit jackets measured at 54″ at the shoulder, so it’s likely that this has a lot to do with my rearward visibility. Luckily, this can be changed pretty easily with a set of aftermarket mirrors. I’d go for a stylish set of bar-end mirrors and never worry about it again.

While common with sport bikes, it’s worth noting that there is nary a storage space to be found on this bike. You can lift up the seat to reveal a fitted space for your wall charger to slot in, so if you choose not to carry the charger, you can probably fit a few small items in there. It’s not much.

And this problem is exacerbated by the fact that the colored cover on top of the bike, where a fuel tank would be, is made of molded plastic. In the past when I’ve needed to go on a ride while carrying anything, I’ll throw a magnetic tank bag in that space. This is minor from a convenience standpoint, as you can always throw on a backpack, and Harley says it offers plenty of aftermarket storage options that will fit the LiveWire. From a quality standpoint, however, this is the only part of the bike that feels cheaper than it would on a comparable ICE motorcycle.

And the final point I found annoying was an ergonomic issue. While the bike is quite comfortable in riding position, there is a boss around the bolt that holds the battery unit to the frame right about where my legs want to be while stopped at a light or in traffic. It doesn’t seem like it would be a big deal, but after a couple hours of riding, I developed a light bruise on the inside of my thigh just above the knee. Again, I’m bigger than the average rider, but I’m also 6’2″ with a 32″ inseam and think that this would be worse for people any shorter than me.
Value
There is a life cycle for adoption of a new technology which includes a large chasm between early adopters and the majority. The LiveWire feels like it has the potential to bridge that gap and introduce the technology to the mainstream. As electric charging becomes more ubiquitous consumers will adapt to the idea.

The near-$30,000 price tag is going to turn a lot of buyers off. That’s a fact. But there are some who will value the bike as a novelty, a conversation piece, and a historically significant technological touchpoint. In the same way that driving an interesting car has value, so does this bike. Most riders buy a bike because it makes a statement about who they are, it’s an emotional purchase usually devoid of logic.

In that way, if the LiveWire says you’re interesting, environmentally conscious, and maybe a smidge more counterculture than a Tesla owner, maybe you find it valuable.
Beyond just being a thing that people would be interested in seeing at a cars and coffee or at your local bike night, it functions quite well as a motorcycle. This is a quick, fun to ride, competent two wheeler with enough tech baked in to help keep you rubber side down.

And then there are the perks. When you include the unlimited mileage warranty, connectivity package, and years of free charging, it starts to approach feasible. And when you consider most buyers are going to finance or lease something like this anyway, the monthly nut looks easier to crack.

Harley says all current financing offers apply on the LiveWire, so their current 4.49 percent APR for 60 months and $0 down option would get you riding for about $500 a month.
I’m not suggesting this is the right method for you, but I could definitely see the Tesla-buying doctor, lawyer, dentist getting one of these to ship to Daytona, Sturgis, or Reno for a once-a-year two-wheel tryst.

Are supercars overpriced? Are MacBooks overpriced? In the case of the LiveWire, I’d argue that you’re paying for a brand name with at least some prestige, a bike that is packed with quality engineering, and style that will snap necks.
Is it for everyone? Not a chance. But maybe that’s why it’s good.

Bradley

So what do we know and think?

Both bloggers are a bit mixed on the Harley-Davidson LiveWire but it is ultimately going to be the public that decides the fate of the motorcycle itself. It sounds like the Harley-Davidson LiveWire is going to be a fun motorcycle to take a test ride of to me. I do agree with that price 30k is a bit much for a bike. Well, now you know a bit more about the Harley-Davidson LiveWire. What do you think about the Harley-Davidson LiveWire and would you buy it just on this information alone?

If you were to buy one though whats safety gear would you wear with it? Have you thought if you need new gear lately?

~And as always…

~Live Free Ride Hard~

Mistakes

~AMERiders

and

Let AMERiders keep you up to date with information on the Harley-Davidson LiveWire.

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Fantastic Custom Bikes Built by These Lego Geniuses Are Too Cool.

LEGO is more than just some little colored plastic bricks, as evidenced by these five rad motorcycles built using only LEGO, some inspiration, and a load of talent. On Wednesday, July 10th we showed you that with our post on Lego and Harley’s Team up for the Super Cool Harley Fat Boy Creator Set. Now, we at AMERiders are going to show you can build everything really awesome Lego by showing you these LEGO-based, scale model Fantastic Custom Bikes Built by Lego Geniuses, and might we add they are TOO COOL!!

For those of you who aren’t huge damn nerds may be unaware, building ultra-realistic models with LEGO bricks is really big right now. The internet is awash in AFOLs—real-life Master Builders who call themselves Adult Fans of LEGO—building cars, aircraft, buildings, just about anything they can out of the ubiquitous little plastic bricks. LEGO has come a long way since the days of the castle, the police station, and the space transport. Lines like LEGO Technic and the various licensed lines like Star Wars and Harry Potter, a general modernization of LEGO bricks in general, and a robust aftermarket that provides things like chromed or gold-plated parts have made it possible for a builder to find or buy nearly any part their imagination (and their project) desires. It’s pretty awesome.

So, why are we talking about LEGO bricks on a Motorcycle Blog? If it looks like a Motorcycle and has to do with motorcycle we try to write about it … annnnnd these look like Motorcycles and not only that they are killer scale-model LEGO bikes that we thought you guys would be interested in. While there are officially licensed LEGO motorcycle kits—there’s a killer Technic kit of BMW’s R 1200 GS Adventure for example—the examples I’m talking about today were made simply by the builders dipping their hands into their collection of bricks and clicking pieces together until a motorcycle appeared. Like a sculptor knocking off bits of stone until the naked woman inside is revealed. Let’s check ’em out, shall we?

Harley-Davidson Cali-Style Lowrider

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Looks ready to ride away

This vision in green was built by a Dutchman who goes by the handle Bricksonwheels. Apparently a huge gearhead, their interests include semi-trucks, trains, and motorcycles. Based on a late-model  Harley-Davidson Road King, this model is a massive 1:10 scale and is made from standard bricks and some custom chromed parts. The attention to detail here is stunning. No word on how long it took Bricksonwheels to build this thing, but I assume—much like Rome—it wasn’t built in a day.

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The running gear looks fantastic with all the chromed and gold-plated parts.

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To give you an idea of the size of this thing, those pushrod towers are about 1.5 inches long.

BMW R60

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LEGO fit for a Beemer rider

The work of a Taiwanese kid named Maxime Cheng, this classic BMW is a fantastic piece of modeling. Despite apparently being 12 years old, Cheng has definitely captured the essence of a bike that was probably built before his grandfather was born. From the stout boxer engine to the plunger rear suspension to the bar-end turn signals, juicy Beemer-specific details abound here. He even built a sidecar for it! There are more pictures in Cheng’s R60 album you should definitely check out.

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This Nearly foot tall first order Storm Trooper gives you the size of Chengs R60
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Close up of the rear suspension
The sidecar really completes the look
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it even comes with a tool kit

Junak M10

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Just a handful of old bricks and a good imagination can get you this

SFM Junak made the only four-stroke bikes produced in Poland between World War II and the Revolutions of 1989. Despite being in production only a scant nine years—1956 to 1965—the company made scads of bikes powered by a rugged, unit constructed, 350cc, 19 horsepower single mated to a four-speed transmission. This simple LEGO version of the M10 proves that you don’t have to have thousands of bricks to make a cool bike model. Only about four inches long, the tiny mighty M10 was made by a modeler called Jerrec. It’s pretty much all basic LEGO bricks, and even has some pretty clever solutions to problems caused by a lack of specialist parts. For example, the fenders are made from 1×1 tiles held together by black stickers. See? Even you can make a rad little bike model with what you have laying around.

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That sidecar looks especially roomy, doesn’t it?
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And here it is without the sidecar, check out the great little details that the engine and the drivetrain have.

1957 Harley-Davidson Sportster

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Spirit of the OG Sportster captured in LEGO

Another Maxime Cheng joint, this LEGO Sportster is fantastic. A faithful reproduction of the first generation Harley-Davidson Sportster, this model has it all. Cheng’s attention to detail really shines through in the red and black tank, the corrugated header pipes, the kickstarter, the sprung seat, and even the big horn under the air cleaner. Unfortunately, the wheels kind of ruin the rest of the bike’s 50s aesthetic, but since there aren’t any LEGO wire wheels, Cheng did the best he could. Check out the rest of the build here.

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A clearer look at the LEGO Sporty. the headlight and wheels are a bit modern, but the rest is on point.
Everywhere you look on this model are great period-correct details.
That is a wheel and rubber tire doing duty as a fuel tank cap
Cheng definitely did his research on this one.

Kaneda’s Motorcycle

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Last but not least is this amazing remote-controlled model of the iconic bike from Akira. Built by ace LEGO builder Sariel, it’s equipped with electric motors and controllers from the LEGO Technic collection. The Technic motors allow the model to drive and steer on solid surfaces. While it looks a little stubby and out of scale in the images, it’s still a really cool piece of engineering. You can read about the build at Sariel’s site.

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a look at the model’s guts showing the technic motors
the decals were custom made for this project
here it is nearly complete

So there you have it. It’s interesting to see how geeks in other hobbies interpret what we do in ours. Now, if you’ll excuse us, we here at AMERiders are going to have some playtime and dig out our LEGO bricks and see what we can come up with.

~And as always…

~Live Free Ride Hard~

~AMERiders

and

Let AMERiders keep you up to date with Fantastic Custom Bikes Built by These Lego Geniuses Are Too Cool.

And as always don’t forget to send us your stories, pictures, and events for posting to GALLERY.AMERIDERS @ GMAIL.COM  and we will post them for you. The more people that know about your event the better and we are offering free advertising. We would also love to hear about your rides and love to see those bikes so send those stories and pictures.

Like what you just read? Share it on social media ( Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Google+, and Instagram) with others and let them get the information and benefit from it as well.

Photos courtesy of their respective model builders

Who Wouldn’t Want a 2019 Harley-Davidson Fat Boy Made out of Legos? I do.

Do you want your very own 2019 Harley-Davidson Fat Boy well you can for the great price of $99.99? Before you jump for joy at that low price, let me tell you that you’re not going to be able to ride it. Yeah, I know your heart just sank into the floor, but let me raise your spirits back up. You can get one for that price brand new, and it’s perfect as long as you don’t mind it being made of tiny plastic blocks from Denmark.

That’s right, everyone’s favorite Danish interlocking brick system has teamed up with Harley-Davidson to bring an officially licensed Fat Boy to all the AFOL nerds LEGO lovers out there. Part of the LEGO Creator Expert line, the LEGO Fat Boy is about 12 inches long and made up of 1,023 pieces. While the model is packed with a ton of awesome little details—working steering, brake and shifter levers, replica tank-top speedometer, etc.—that show off both Harley’s distinct design language and LEGO’s versatility, the real story here is the model’s engine.

Packed into the plastic frame is a tiny Milwaukee Eight with moving internals that is connected via chain and sprocket to the rear wheel. When you roll the model along, on its tiny trademark Fat Boy dish wheels, the action actually moves the pistons inside the engine. It is, in a word, rad.

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Now that is fantastic attention to detail

By all accounts, the brains at LEGO HQ were pretty excited to work with The Motor Company on this project.

“Bringing this Harley-Davidson motorcycle to life in brick form is incredibly exciting,” said LEGO Design Master (how’s that for a job title?) Mike Psiaki. “The model truly captures the iconic design, advanced engineering and attention to detail of this iconic motorcycle, offering an immersive building experience and a unique collector’s item for Harley-Davidson enthusiasts and LEGO fans of all ages.”

Sounds like Harley was pretty stoked to be working with LEGO, too.

“It’s been exceptionally exciting for Harley-Davidson to collaborate with the LEGO Group—another
brand that champions creativity and expression,” said Harley’s Chief Marketing Officer Heather Malenshek. “Not only do we want customers to be inspired by the end result, we want them to enjoy the building process.”

As if building a cool LEGO Harley model for all the LEGO fanatics out there, LEGO Master Builders (yes, it’s A Thing) put together a life-sized Fat Boy made entirely of bricks to celebrate the model’s launch. This massive sculpture is made from nearly 70,000 bricks—6,000 of which were custom-designed for the project—and took 865 hours to build. It has special silver-plated parts to mimic the Fat Boy’s roughly nine miles of chrome, WI-FI animation control (whatever that is), and a suite of sound and light effects that give the illusion of a real working, riding motorcycle. LEGO plans to ship the life-sized LEGO Fat Boy around the country to various LEGO stores and Harley events to show it off. ( I really want to see it close up and personal.)

The LEGO Creator Expert Fat Boy model will run you a cool $99.99 in Yankee Dollars and goes on sale August 1, 2019 (July 17, 2019, for VIP members). The model will be available at LEGO’s retail website, at Harley-Davidson.com, and at Harley dealers across the country. 

Ok, I don’t know about you but I want one of those Super Cool little suckers. Heck, who am I kidding I am gonna have to have two because I don’t want to have to share my playing with it with my husband. LoL, am I right people? Heck, I really wanna work at Lego too.

~And as always…

~Live Free Ride Hard~

Mistakes

~AMERiders

and

Let AMERiders keep you up to date with information on the 2019 Harley-Davidson Fat Boy Made out of Legos.

And as always don’t forget to send us your stories, pictures, and events for posting to GALLERY.AMERIDERS @ GMAIL.COM  and we will post them for you. The more people that know about your event the better and we are offering free advertising. We would also love to hear about your rides and love to see those bikes so send those stories and pictures.

Like what you just read? Share it on social media ( Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Google+, and Instagram) with others and let them get the information and benefit from it as well.

Trucker Involved in Seven Rider Death Shouldn’t Have Been Driving!

We have been following the grizzly story of the trucker colliding with motorcyclists and killing 7 and injuring more. As the story has unfolded and progressed it has gotten a bit more grizzly. AMERiders has scoured around look into what the rest of it is.

As many journalists dig deeper into alleged killer trucker Volodymyr Zhukovskyy’s short past on the road, more and more disturbing details become clear. Last week, the 23-year-old was arrested and charged with seven counts of negligent homicide in the deaths of seven members of the Jarhead Motorcycle Club. Now, additional puzzle pieces are emerging that create a picture of a driver who clearly should not have been behind the wheel of any vehicle, commercial or otherwise.

Below are the names of the former Marines that were riding with the Jarheads Motorcycle Club.

Michael Ferrazzi, 62, of Contoocook, NH;
Albert Mazza, 49, of Lee, NH;
Daniel Pereira, 58, of Riverside, RI,
Joanne & Edward Corr, both 58, of Lakeville, Mass.,
Desma Oakes, 42, of Concord, NH
Aaron Perry, 45, of Farmington, NH.

While Zhukovskyy has had a driver’s license in Massachusetts since 2013, he has only had a commercial driver’s license since 2018, reported the Boston Globe. States do currently communicate with each other about commercial truck drivers and traffic violations. Out of the 35 states the Globe contacted, 5 additional states besides New Hampshire have past arrest records for trucker Zhukovskyy. These include Connecticut, Iowa, Massachusetts, Ohio, and Texas. Also, there’s at least one major incident that did not result in charges, but that is undeniably alarming when taken in context with the rest of his record. Here’s a timeline of what we know so far:

  • In June 2013, Zhukovskyy was charged with a DUI in Westfield, MA and had his license suspended as “an immediate threat,” per WCVB. That’s also the same terminology used for how his license was suspended after this deadly motorcycle accident. 
  • In 2014, Zhukovskyy pleaded guilty to driving with a suspended license, speeding, providing false information, and possession of drug paraphernalia in Ohio. His Massachusetts license was suspended at the time, per the Boston Globe. Officials there made a note to notify Massachusetts officials about his citations in their state, but it doesn’t appear that this communication occurred. His MA record does mention a 2016 Ohio incident but gives no details about it.
  • Zhukovskyy sought help for alcohol, cocaine, and heroin problems about two years ago via a faith-based residential rehabilitation facility in Bristol, PA. He stayed there for three months, according to the Globe
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7 motorcyclists killed in gruesome collision, driver charged (Photo: AP)Source: USA Today
  • On February 11, 2019, Baytown, Texas officers—the same town where the rollover in June later occurred—arrested Zhukovskyy at a Denny’s around 2am after reports came in about an intoxicated person. Police found him acting extremely intoxicated, and with a crack pipe in his possession for which he was arrested. At the time, he received a deferment with probation that would allow him to not have a conviction on his record as long as he behaved. That probationary period lasted until June 14, just one week before the deadly New Hampshire crash that killed seven motorcyclists. Zhukovskyy paid just $297 in court costs, WCVB reported, Full video from the arrest has been made public.
    On February 18, 2019, trucker Zhukovskyy was arrested in Iowa for improper lane usage and failure to comply with safety regulations. He paid a fine and drove away. 
    On May 11, 2019, Zhukovskyy was arrested in East Windsor, CT for a DUI. He posted bail, was released, and scheduled for arraignment on June 26 according to WCVB.
    On May 29, 2019, Connecticut notified Massachusetts about the May 11 arrest. 
    It’s worth noting here that Massachusetts—the state where trucker Zhukovskyy’s license was issued—and Connecticut blame each other for Zhukovskyy’s license not being suspended after his May 2019 arrest, reported the Boston Globe. Massachusetts claimed that Connecticut “failed to provide sufficient information” regarding his arrest there, while Connecticut claimed that it did what it was supposed to do. Massachusetts took responsibility for not manually reviewing and then suspending his license, which led to Massachusetts Registrar of Motor Vehicles Erin Deveney resigning her post last week.
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The head of Massachusetts’s motor-vehicle agency has resigned in the face of criticism that she should have previously revoked the license of a driver now charged in the death of seven motorcyclists. (Miranda Thompson/AP)
  • On June 3, Zhukovskyy had a rollover crash in Texas while driving red Mack truck car hauler with Massachusetts registration. He flipped that truck on Interstate 10, after which he claimed that a car had swerved in front of him. Police couldn’t locate that car, but also found no signs of intoxication and issued no citations, according to Boston news station WCVB.
  • At the time of the Texas incidents—both in Baytown and flipping that truck on I-10— Zhukovskyy drove for a trucking company called FBI Express, Inc. That company fired him after the truck flipping incident and told WCVB that it was not aware of the February intoxication arrest. 
  • Also, at the time of Zhukovskyy’s arrest Monday for the fatal New Hampshire motorcycle accident, police found “wax packets containing a residue suspected of being heroin” inside his home. Further tests are being conducted, and Zhukovskyy will face additional charges if those suspicions turn out to be based in facts, according to WCVB.
  • In light of all of these facts, later today, Massachusetts Governor Charlie Baker, Lt. Gov. Karyn Polito, and Transportation Secretary Stephanie Pollack plan to outline the RMV’s plans for improvement.

The driver of a pickup truck that collided with a group of motorcyclists, killing seven people and injuring three others, has returned to New Hampshire to face negligent homicide charges.

Volodymyr Zhukovskyy, 23, of West Springfield, Massachusetts, faced a judge July 1st, 2019 in Massachusetts and waived his extradition to New Hampshire. He is scheduled to be arraigned Tuesday in Coos County Superior Court in Lancaster, New Hampshire.

~And as always…

~Live Free Ride Hard~

~AMERiders

and

trucker

Let AMERiders keep you up to date with information on the Trucker Involved in Seven Rider Death Shouldn’t Have Been Driving!

And as always don’t forget to send us your stories, pictures, and events for posting to GALLERY.AMERIDERS @ GMAIL.COM  and we will post them for you. The more people that know about your event the better and we are offering free advertising. We would also love to hear about your rides and love to see those bikes so send those stories and pictures.

Like what you just read? Share it on social media ( Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Google+, and Instagram) with others and let them get the information and benefit from it as well.

Sources: WCVBThe Boston GlobeBoston Herald

Keeping Your Skin Attached to Your Body What Jacket Is the Safest?

Whether you’re on a Vespa or a Harley, an essential piece of any riding gear is solidly-made, safe motorcycle jacket. So when your thinking about hopping on your scoot and taking a ride, think about what is the safest jacket you could be putting on your body to help keep your skin attached as well. At AMERiders we sure do.

I don’t know about you, but I cringe every time I see someone cruising along the freeway – whether on a Sportster, Trike or a Cruiser – in shorts and a t-shirt. When worn with a helmet and gloves, the safest piece of motorcycle gear can you can afford is your jacket. It should like American Express never want to ride your bike without. A riding jacket should be the number one priority.

As it is with most products these days, whether we’re talking cellphones, motorcycles themselves or, hell, even trendy hipster craft beers, we’re living in an era in which we’re spoilt for choice. Long gone are the days when the one’s options regarding the safest motorcycle jackets available consisted of “anything you want – as long as it’s black and made of leather”.

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We now have jackets tailor-made for every sort of riding one can imagine, from your basic cruiser type jackets to jackets for adventure riders wanting to brave a trans-African trip, or jackets tailor-made for superbike-riding speed demons.

They all come in lots of bright colors too, with or without armor, and are made of many space-age synthetic materials, which offer just as much abrasion resistance as leather, without the weight, smell and heat-trapping properties of that substance.

So how does one go about choosing a jacket when confronted with such a spectrum of choice, such a vast range of items which all, in the most basic sense of the word, perform essentially the same function?

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Purpose and Style

Well, as with many things when it comes to motorcycling, purpose, and style are bound to be two of the main factors when it comes to choosing a motorcycle jacket. First, purpose: what kind of riding are you going to be doing? What sorts of speeds do you regularly do on the street? What sort of motorcycle do you ride? This last question ties into the question of style as well. A black leather jacket accessorized with chrome “flair” and bling, with shaggy sleeves flapping with tassles, is going to look a little incongruent on a person riding a sleek Japanese superbike, as would a garishly-colored, heavily-armored synthetic jacket on someone cruising around on a Harley.

Thankfully for us consumers, jacket manufacturers generally categorize their jackets into various styles, which are easy enough to pair with the type of motorcycle you ride: “sports” or “racing” style jackets are obviously aimed at superbike riders, “street” and “stunt” is usually for riders of naked, sporty machines, “adventure” or “enduro” is aimed at those who ride big adventure bikes on long, often off-road or semi-off-road trips, while “touring” jackets are similar, but usually aimed at more road-biased riding, and the eponymous “cruiser” style jackets are for, well, cruisers.

But which one is right for me?

So now that you’ve narrowed down your options by figuring out what style suits your riding. How do you then select a good safe jacket out of what’s available in your section of jackets? Well, to help you out there, we’ve taken a look at some of the most popular and safest types of jackets for protection while riding.

Let’s face it: for most of us on two wheels, price is often a major factor that comes into play when purchasing motorcycle equipment. If you don’t ride a 1000cc superbike, you might feel like a thousand dollar armored leather racing suit is a bit overkill for you – but that doesn’t mean you want to skimp on safety.

Textile jackets have come a long way in the last two decades in terms of impact and abrasion protection. Not to mention the approved armor in the elbows and shoulders, along with a removable (and upgradeable) back protector. And in terms of practicality, there are some that are fully waterproof and have excellent ventilation for those hot summer days. Not to mention some have excellent prices as well.

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WOMEN’S TEXTILE RACER JACKET WITH MULTI POCKETS

Over the last decade or two, adventure-style motorcycle touring has exploded in popularity and this type of riding calls for rather specific gear. You need a jacket that offers not only abrasion and impact protection but also protection from extreme weather, as well as the need for a lot of pockets and compartments for your touring goodies.

The best safest motorcycle jacket

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For bikers who ride cruisers, cafe racers or retro-style muscle bikes, style is a huge part of their approach to motorcycling. Part of the statement one makes when riding such a machine, of course, is the riding gear one wears.

~And as always…

~Live Free Ride Hard~

~AMERiders

and

safest

Let AMERiders keep you up to date with information Keeping Your Skin Attached to Your Body What Jacket Is the Safest?

And as always don’t forget to send us your stories, pictures, and events for posting to GALLERY.AMERIDERS @ GMAIL.COM  and we will post them for you. The more people that know about your event the better and we are offering free advertising. We would also love to hear about your rides and love to see those bikes so send those stories and pictures.

Like what you just read? Share it on social media ( Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Google+, and Instagram) with others and let them get the information and benefit from it as well.


Beginning Riding How Much Does It Really Cost for Motorcycle Riders?

It takes money to ride, but it doesn’t have to be much. Like anything in life, it takes money to ride a motorcycle. It doesn’t have to take tens of thousands of dollars, though. Actual costs will vary, depending on where you live, but here’s an idea of what it will take to get started, both properly kitted out as well as on the cheap. What AMERiders will help answer is: Beginning Riding How Much Does It Really Cost for Motorcycle Riders?

The absolute cheapest way to start riding is off-road. You don’t need a license or insurance, and beater dirt bikes are cheap. For our purposes, however, we’re going to assume you want to ride on the street. We’ll circle back to dirt later.

License

Although many states don’t require a motorcycle endorsement for mopeds or bikes under 50 cc, you’re probably going to want to ride bigger bikes, and for that, you’ll need a license. While it’s possible to learn on your own and just take the test at the DMV, we strongly recommend spending the extra money on the MSF Basic Rider Course, no matter what your budget. This course will actually teach you how to ride, from basic clutch control to emergency maneuvers. These skills will save your hide on the street and are worth many times more the cost of the course as you are Beginning Riding.

Beginning Riding

Some states run it through private organizations, while others run it directly through the state government. In many states, passing the course will automatically earn you your license, avoiding the trip to the DMV altogether. This, alone, is another great incentive to do it this way.

The cost depends on where you are but figure $200-300 or for this. Going straight to the DMV is cheaper, but don’t skimp on this part.

Bike

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We’ve covered beginner bikes in great detail. If you have some money to spend, buy someone else’s lightly used bike that they started on. People are always looking to upgrade, and with a used bike you won’t fret about putting the first scratch in the paint. Go as new and nice as you can afford, but nothing too crazy. While I know people who started with a $20,000 Harley as their first bike, you’re better off on an affordable small or mid-size bike. One without a lot of luggage or bodywork is worth considering, too, since these will break if/when you drop the bike. Figure on $2,000 to $4,000 for this as you are Beginning Riding.

If you don’t have much to spend, and especially if you’re handy with a wrench, you can get a bike for really cheap. My first bike, a 1982 Suzuki GS650L, was free. It had sat at my friend’s house for three years and had issues, but the price was right. Old UJMs that need work are quite common to find for under $1,000. It’s also a great way to learn your way around maintaining your own bike.

There’s also the cost of registration, as well as inspection if required where you live, but these are fixed costs that are always going to exist. You can look them up and add them in.

Gear

Beginning Riding

This can be a contentious subject, particularly in places where helmets aren’t required. Of course, we recommend wearing gear, whether the law tells you to or not. You can fudge some things, but you need a good helmet. The saying “If you have a $10 head, buy a $10 helmet” applies, but you don’t have to spend more than $200 to protect your noggin. More expensive helmets have more features, better comfort, and can be worth it if you have the money to spend.

The MSF course requires a helmet (loaners are often available), a jacket, long pants, over-the-ankle footwear, and gloves. Basically, all of your skin should be covered. You can fake much of this, but motorcycle-specific clothing is designed to protect the parts of you that can be hurt the most in a spill. It can also have ventilation to keep you cool, or extra insulation to keep you warm on cool days, and sometimes both. Spend as much as you can afford when you are Beginning Riding. The good news is that you don’t have to splurge for all the best gear all at once, though you’ll want to upgrade when you can.

Insurance

Some states don’t require insurance, but basic liability insurance is always a good idea. You don’t want to be paying for the fence or shrubbery you took out instead of fixing or replacing your bike if you crash. If you spent a lot on your bike, or it has extensive bodywork or luggage, you might consider comprehensive insurance to cover the cost of repair.

The cost of insurance varies widely depending on where you live, the type of bike you get, and its engine displacement. You can often get a payment plan so you don’t have to pay the entire policy up front, though you can save some money in the long run by paying it all up front.

Total

We’ve been pretty vague with exact dollar amounts because there are so many variables involved. If you buy a lightly used beginner bike and good gear, you can get on a good reliable bike for $5,000 to $7,000, all-in. If you cut some corners, get an older project bike, buy some affordable gear and promise to upgrade later, you could get on two wheels for $1,000 to $2,000. This is just a starting cost, though. You’ll need to keep putting money into the old project, and you’ll want to save and invest in better riding gear for yourself.

What About Dirt?

Beginning Riding

As we said, you can avoid the license and insurance costs by getting a dedicated off-road motorcycle. Used dirt bikes are often cheaper than road bikes. You’ll still want decent off-road riding gear. Especially starting out, you’re likely to crash more often than on the street, though at slower speeds with fewer consequences. Even top racers crash a lot, so it’s nothing to be ashamed about. You’re just going to want protection for when that happens.

The downside is that unlike a dual-sport, you can’t ride to the trails or the track, so you’ll need a way to get your bike there. If you already have a pickup truck or trailer, you’re all set. Otherwise, you may need to invest in one. The cost of that could be more than simply getting licensed for the street so you can have the best of both worlds.

~And as always…

~Live Free Ride Hard~

~AMERiders

and

Mistakes

Let AMERiders keep you up to date with information on Beginning Riding How Much Does It Really Cost for Motorcycle Riders?

And as always don’t forget to send us your stories, pictures, and events for posting to GALLERY.AMERIDERS @ GMAIL.COM  and we will post them for you. The more people that know about your event the better and we are offering free advertising. We would also love to hear about your rides and love to see those bikes so send those stories and pictures.

Like what you just read? Share it on social media ( Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Google+, and Instagram) with others and let them get the information and benefit from it as well.

Harley-Davidson Rolls Its 5 Millionth Motorcycle off Its York Assembly Line

5 Million Now That’s… a Lot of Bikes. What happens in Wisconsin may or may not stay in Wisconsin — especially since the 5 Millionth Motorcycle rolled off the line at Harley-Davidson’s York, Pennsylvania facility. In any case, it definitely made a proud return home to the land where alphabetic county roads and abundant corners full of unexpected gravel criss-cross the landscape.

Proud owner Walter Bartlett purchased his new Heritage Classic in Wausau, Wisconsin on June 3, 2019. Just as H-D were careful to note when this special bike was being built, the company dutifully recorded as it officially transferred into Bartlett’s ownership with this tweet: (the tweet has recently been removed cause we couldn’t find it)

Congratulations to Walter Bartlett who purchased the 5 millionth bike, a Heritage Classic, from Bull Falls #HarleyDavidson in Wausau, Wisconsin! pic.twitter.com/taof6U4pYc— Harley-Davidson (@harleydavidson) June 4, 2019

This brief moment in modern history was over 100 years in the making, but not many motorcycle companies even manage to make it that far. The bike in question rolled off the line on May 8, 2019 — slightly under one month before it found its new owner and went home with him several states away from its birthplace.

It’s worth noting that Harley’s sales in the first quarter of 2019 are slightly below its sales for the same time period in 2018—both in the US and elsewhere. For the first quarter of 2019, H-D sold 28,091 bikes in the US, compared to 29,309 in Q1 2018. Worldwide, H-D’s Q1 figures were 49,151 for 2019 and 51,086 for the same time frame in 2018.

This isn’t a huge surprise, though. As we recently noted, the only place in the world where sales of new motorcycles seem to truly be surging is in Europe. The rest of the world is still riding bikes—but that doesn’t mean it’s necessarily purchasing new ones fresh off of showroom floors, from Harley or any other manufacturers.

Harley likes to show us where we’ve been—and with the Livewire, also hopes to shed some light on where we’re going. 5ive million bikes sold is certainly no small feat—no matter what the future holds.    

~And as always…

~Live Free Ride Hard~

~AMERiders

and

5 Millionth Motorcycle

Let AMERiders keep you up to date with information about Harley-Davidson Rolling Its 5 Millionth Motorcycle off Its York Assembly Line.

And as always don’t forget to send us your stories, pictures, and events for posting to GALLERY.AMERIDERS @ GMAIL.COM  and we will post them for you. The more people that know about your event the better and we are offering free advertising. We would also love to hear about your rides and love to see those bikes so send those stories and pictures.

Like what you just read? Share it on social media ( Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Google+, and Instagram) with others and let them get the information and benefit from it as well.

Source: Harley-Davidson


Motorcycle Helmet Construction What Is the Process?

Helmets are the most important piece of gear any rider can own. Beyond a simple shell meant to protect our head, there is a lot of thought and work put in developing this piece of high-tech headgear. It has to be light, comfortable, but also sturdy and capable of withstanding high-speed impacts. How do they do it? If you’re like us, you’ve probably always wondered about motorcycle helmet construction well, AMERiders takes a look into their construction as we go behind the scenes of AGV construction in Movena.

motorcycle helmet construction

At Movena, Italy where the team at AGV has a factory, where the AGV Corsa R and Pista GP R models are assembled. Is where we are going to get our look at goes into motorcycle helmet construction.

motorcycle helmet construction

It All Starts With A Shell…

Motorcycle Helmet Construction all starts with carbon fiber shells. For AGV, the shells are outsourced, molded by a third party before being brought in the Movena plant for assembly. 

This is what a helmet looks like devoid of all its components. A literal empty shell.

The Good Old Tape Trick

Even future helmet need some taping before a paint job. The carbon fiber lids are sanded down by hand before masks and tape are applied to cover certain areas of the shell that will receive a different treatment. 

For instance, in the case of the Valentino Rossi 2019 Winter Test design, the chin of the lid needs to remain black, while the rest is painted bright yellow. 

motorcycle helmet construction

It’s Morphin’ Time!

The naked shells are lined up on polls mounted to a specialized conveyor belt that runs them through a chamber equipped with automated spray paint nozzles. The shells will go through this process a number of times as the same machine handles the base, the different coats of paint, as well as the top layer of varnish, applied later on in the process.

motorcycle helmet construction

Six Layers Later

These 2019 Winter Test shells have gone through the spray paint cycle six times and have received two layers of opaque paint, followed by one coat of white paint, two of yellow, and finally a coat of stabilizer.

The masks and tape are then removed and the seems between the painted and unpainted areas are gently sanded down to avoid an uneven transition between the two areas. 

The shells also go through the first round of quality control—any flaws are marked. The flawed lids then cycle back through the first steps.

The Purpose Of Water

After the shells are given an additional sanding, they are cleaned up and sent over to a technician in charge of applying the graphics by hand.

The process is similar to temporary tattoos: the graphics are printed on specialized paper. The sheets are dunked in water, then applied to the shell, transferring the graphic to the prepped surface.

motorcycle helmet construction

Sleeking Things Down

The graphics don’t come in a single piece; the designs are broken down into pieces to makes them easier to apply to the helmet’s round surface. Once a portion of the motif has been applied to the helmet, the technician places the lid on a poll.

Armed with a scraper, she then gradually smooths out the graphics on the lid, removing any air bubbles or folds and ensuring the design is aligned with the markers. 

Each section of the design takes 15 minutes to dry before another section is applied. The technician also has to make sure the designs overlap correctly and evenly. They are able to complete 25 shells per day on average using this technique.

Bake In The Oven For 40 Minutes

Once all the sections of the motif have been applied, the shells spend 40 minutes in an oven to set the graphics.

After cooling down, the protective film on top of the graphics is peeled by hand before the lids are given a thorough wash.

Motorcycle Helmet Construction

The Protective Layer

The shells are gently sanded once more to prep them for their last run in the spray chamber where they receive their protective coat.

A worker then controls each shell for quality before receiving its holographic homologation tag.

Motorcycle Helmet Construction

Assembly Begins.

The prepped shells are now ready to begin their trip on the assembly line. The first step is the addition of the rubber components. Ribbons of rubber are applied and glued to the seams around the visor and the neck of the helmet.

Motorcycle Helmet Construction

Belts And Whistles

The shell is then sent over to a technician that adds the belts used to attach the helmet under the neck, as well as the air vents plastic inserts on the chin and on top of the head. 

Time For The Protectors To Go In

The next step involves inserting each section of the EPS foam shells into the lid and gluing them into place by hand. Each piece of high-density foam protector has its own homologation tag to ensure its quality.

Clamps are used to ensure the Styrofoam is solidly attached to the shell.

A Puzzle Made Of EPS

The high-density styrofoam protectors are assembled by hand by a technician before being handed over to the work in charge of installing them inside the helmets.

Motorcycle Helmet Construction

It’s All Coming Together!

The inner fabric layer surrounding the head as well as the chin and cheek pads are snapped into place inside the helmet. The visor is then attached to the shell and secured into place.

This specific model also receives a spoiler, attached to the back of the head.

Motorcycle Helmet Construction

More Quality Control

The fully assembled helmet goes through a final round of quality control. The technician tests all the mechanisms to make sure all the parts are in place and in working order.

Motorcycle Helmet Construction

All The Tags!

This is also the step at which the helmet receives all its stickers and tags, once it passes QC of course.

Motorcycle Helmet Construction

Ready To Hit The Shelves

Each helmet is identified with a barcode which allows workers to follow its progress through the assembly process. At this point, the quality control technician scans the helmet one last time and puts it on the scale to ensure it meets the standards for weight. 

The helmets are then placed in their pouch and packed in boxes, ready to be shipped out to future customers.

This special edition AGV Pista GP R 2019 Winter Test edition retails for about €1,500 ($1,700).

~And as always…

~Live Free Ride Hard~

~AMERiders

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Motorcycle Helmet Construction

Let AMERiders keep you up to date on the process of Motorcycle Helmet Construction.

And as always don’t forget to send us your stories, pictures, and events for posting to GALLERY.AMERIDERS @ GMAIL.COM  and we will post them for you. The more people that know about your event the better and we are offering free advertising. We would also love to hear about your rides and love to see those bikes so send those stories and pictures.

Like what you just read? Share it on social media ( Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Google+, and Instagram) with others and let them get the information and benefit from it as well.

How Safe Is Your Dot Helmet? Probably Not as Safe as You Might Think.

Some of us here at AMERiders already knew some of the information FortNine gives us in this video. Regardless it is still great information to have about DOT helmets, and FortNine strikes another one out of the park with it.

Forewarned is forearmed, as they say, so read through this and watch the video, get curious, and before the next time you go helmet shopping, you should know all about the safety certifications on helmets. It’s good to know not just what they mean but where the numbers and testing methods come from and how the regulatory agencies came to settle on those numbers and testing methods (or lack thereof).

Specifically, what do DOT ratings on our helmets mean? This video goes into all of the numbers. Just like an “LD50” rating on a potentially toxic substance, many studies found a 50 percent possibility of a skull fracture at 290G’s of peak acceleration. Trouble is, though, that the studies the DOT base their ratings on are between twenty and forty years old, and they have left a helmet’s failure criteria at 400G’s of peak acceleration.

A Snell helmet certification means the helmet fails if it allows the “head” to experience 300G’s of peak acceleration. Further, however, the Snell foundation tests a rotational load on helmets to see if, when properly secured, the helmet is able to roll off the head form. The foundation also tests the retention system (straps) for failure, and also the chin bar to be sure it does not collapse into a rider’s face. The shell of the helmet and the shield (or visor) are both tested for penetration, and the entire helmet is also exposed to a flame resistance test.

DOT

I could tell you all about how these tests differ from DOT testing, if DOT tested helmets. That’s the rub, folks: DOT does not do any testing. The Department leaves it up to the manufacturers to do their own testing and certify to the DOT that they have tested up to certain standards and that their helmets pass.

The fox insists the hen house is secure, everyone: he’s tested it.

The real lesson here is, buyer beware. Protect your noggin with a decent helmet made by a respected manufacturer. A cheap helmet, even with a DOT rating, could have a dangerously shatter-prone visor, or weak spots, or a chin bar that will collapse on impact with anything. Yikes.

We hope this gave you a bit of insight into helmets and to look carefully into your next helmet.

~And as always…

~Live Free Ride Hard~

~AMERiders

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DOT

Let AMERiders keep you up to date with information on How Safe Is Your Dot Helmet? Probably Not as Safe as You Might Think.

And as always don’t forget to send us your stories, pictures, and events for posting to GALLERY.AMERIDERS @ GMAIL.COM  and we will post them for you. The more people that know about your event the better and we are offering free advertising. We would also love to hear about your rides and love to see those bikes so send those stories and pictures.

Like what you just read? Share it on social media ( Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Google+, and Instagram) with others and let them get the information and benefit from it as well.

Source: YouTubeSnell FoundationNHTSA

What Is More Dangerous Than Riding a Motorcycle? These Things Are.

Want a statistic to use to sound smart or for an answer in a game we got you covered here. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s 2017 statistics, “the number of motorcyclists killed in crashes dropped by 3% to 5,172. That still might sound like a lot of deaths per year, but compared to some activities that others take part in every day, riding on two suddenly seems like a better plan. So we here at AMERiders decided to dig around and find out what could possibly be more dangerous than riding a motorcycle and found a few that made our list.

more dangerous

1) Tobacco Still Taking First Place

Still, think it looks cool to smoke? Think again. The number of deaths caused by smoking is still climbing – 480,000 total. Plus, of those who survive, count on having 10 fewer years to do any of the things you love, including hugging your grandkids. And yet you will find that a lot of bikers do smoke. So if you know a biker that smokes or you are a biker, know this your smoking is more dangerous than riding your motorcycle go figure.

more dangerorus

2) Our Daily Drink

Coming in a solid second place is alcohol. Excess drinking leads to over 88,000 deaths in the US. Might as well go for a soda.

more dangerous

3) The Flu

80,000 people died of the flu in 2017. Seems even more preventable than bad driving and yet here it is. 

more dangerous

4) Drug Overdose

Sad but true, but the number of Americans dying of drug overdoses has continued to climb, reaching 70,200 in 2017.

more dangerous

5) Second-Hand Smoke

To date, being friends with someone who rides hasn’t proven fatal, but hanging out with a smoker could kill you. Second-hand smoke caused 41,000 deaths in the US alone. It also made our list of things that are more dangerous than riding a motorcycle.

more dangerous

6) Owning A Gun

So much for safety; owning a gun is more likely to kill you than save you. In 2017 there were 39,773 gun deaths in the US, two-thirds of which were suicides.

more dangerous

7) Distracted Driving

Eating a sandwich, shaving, finishing up a PowerPoint, even watching a movie-these are things people do when they drive, but texting is still the winner, claiming the lives of 9 people per day!

8) Having Sex

Not only are the rates of STIs on the rise, but there are still, on average, 23,000 people dying from sexually transmitted infections every year in the US – and we thought it was all fun and games.

9) Falling Down The Stairs

Before you go bumping up your steps count on your FitBit, you might want to reconsider. Falling down stairs results in the deaths of approximately 12,000 Americans yearly.

10) Falling Out Of Bed

Keep one eye open: Worse than taking the stairs is sleeping too soundly. Apparently, a “fall involving a bed” has killed 10,386 snoozing Americans.

11) Household Hazards

The thing with poison is that it could be just about anything. Seems a lot riskier to be in your house among all those potentially hazardous substances than out for a ride, to the tune of about 33,000 deaths yearly.

12) Driving A Car

Commuting to work isn’t just dead boring, there’s also a 1:103 chance it’ll kill you, as opposed to that motorcyclist who just passed you who has a lesser likelihood of 1:858. They’re also having more fun!

13) Going For A Walk

It’s good for your health to walk, or is it? Based on 2018 projections from all fifty states and the District of Columbia, the Governors Highway Safety Association Executive Director Jonathan Adkins stated that “While we have made progress reducing fatalities among many other road users in the past decade, pedestrian deaths have risen 35 percent.” That’s again higher than riding with a 1 in 556 chance that it won’t be the best idea you had that day.

~And as always…

~Live Free Ride Hard~

~AMERiders

and

Mistakes

Let AMERiders keep you up to date with What Is More Dangerous Than Riding a Motorcycle.

And as always don’t forget to send us your stories, pictures, and events for posting to GALLERY.AMERIDERS @ GMAIL.COM  and we will post them for you. The more people that know about your event the better and we are offering free advertising. We would also love to hear about your rides and love to see those bikes so send those stories and pictures.

Like what you just read? Share it on social media ( Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Google+, and Instagram) with others and let them get the information and benefit from it as well.