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Interview: Harley give new electric bike top-spec suspension and brakes

Published: 13 December 2018

Harley-Davidson have announced more specs for their upcoming LiveWire machine.

It’ll have top-of-the range suspension and brakes as they say consumers don’t want to compromise on ride quality just to get an electric bike.

“When we were looking at Project LiveWire, the feedback we received was clear: customers wanted a true motorcycle,” says Marc McAllister, Vice President of Product Planning and Portfolio at Harley-Davidson. “They weren’t willing to compromise the ride for an electric vehicle. We had to look at it as a motorcycle first. To deliver the kind of performance LiveWire allows, we chose Showa suspension, Brembo brakes and so on, to deliver the kind of ride people expect.”

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Harley have been working with both Brembo and Showa on their conventional range for some time with their touring bikes fitted with Dual Bending Valve forks and Reflex ABS units.

The LiveWire will take that relationship further, coming with a Showa Balanced Free Rear Cushion-lite monoshock rear and Separate Function Big Piston forks, paired with Brembo monobloc brakes.

In a bold move for the American brand, the suspension will be fully–adjustable.

“Because of the type of performance LiveWire delivers, customers that understand high performance motorcycles today will expect this level of adjustability,” adds McAllister. “To be in that class of motorcycle, we needed to have that sort of quality.

“As well as adjustable suspension, users will be able to adjust the power delivery of the bike, with four modes as standard from the factory, plus three user-adjustable ones.

“Users can also adjust the levels of traction control, regenerative braking and how the power is delivered to their own liking. The dealers will be prepared to help riders set it up to their riding style, so if someone wants all that power available all the time, we can do that.

“What Harley-Davidson is going to bring next year, is over 250 qualified electric dealers so that you can have the confidence that wherever you are there is someone who can support that product for you.”

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