Wednesday, August 27, 2014
FAIRFIELD-SUISUN, CALIFORNIA
99 CENTS

Harley helps put electric motorcycles in spotlight

Harley-Davidson Project Livewire in New York

In this photo provided by Harley-Davidson, riders introduce Project LiveWire—the first electric Harley-Davidson motorcycle—as they cross the Manhattan Bridge in New York, Monday, June 23, 2014. While not for sale, starting today, select consumers across the United States will be able to ride and provide feedback on the new motorcycle during a series of events scheduled through the remainder of the year. Harley said it will likely be several years before its LiveWire goes on sale. (AP Photo/Harley-Davidson, Ray Stubblebine)

By
From page A5 | June 30, 2014 |

PRINCETOWN, N.Y. — When Maggie McNally-Bradshaw and husband Curt hop on their electric motorcycles and twist the throttles, they get a rush like no other.

Or maybe a WHOOSH!

“There is that sense of being at the beginning of something new, and part of our future as far as ecology,” said McNally-Bradshaw, chairwoman of the American Motorcyclist Association. “People think it’s novel. Then they realize it’s powerful stuff. The technology is improving by leaps and bounds. It’s coming.”

While startups like Zero, Brammo and Mission are producing state-of-the-art electric motorcycles on the West Coast, Harley-Davidson has decided to jump into the fray. The Milwaukee-based manufacturer announced its LiveWire this month and plans to offer demo rides to gauge interest nationwide before going into production.

“We don’t see it at all replacing internal combustion,” Harley President Matt Levatich said. “I mean, maybe in 100 or 50 years, I don’t know. We’ll be open to what people want.”

Still, while Harley’s announcement may not sit well with its core riders, who relish the distinctive rumble of the V-twin engine’s exhaust, it might provide the impetus needed for the electric market to take off.

“We had our biggest single day of Internet traffic in the history of the company the day Harley made its announcement,” said Scot Harden, vice president of global marketing for Zero Motorcycles, which began in a Santa Cruz, California, garage in 2006 and now is the top seller of full-size, high-powered electric bikes. “It just validates what we’ve been saying and how it’s going to play out in the years ahead.”

A recent study by Navigant Research suggests the industry is at the start of a trend. The research company anticipates sales of electric motorcycles worldwide will grow to 1.2 million this year.

No surprise that Yamaha, Honda and KTM also have electric bikes in the pipeline.

“It seems that electric motorcycles are going to be a pretty important mainstay,” said Jerry Phibbs Jr., a longtime motorcycle dealer in Albany who sold all four of the Zero bikes on the showroom floor this year. “All of the industry standards say by 2018 it will consist of more than 50 percent of the market. I don’t know if I believe that, but it’s certainly going to be a major part of it.”

Zero expects to sell 2,400 electric motorcycles this year, a fraction of the more than 260,000 conventional motorcycles sold last year alone by Harley. But what has happened to the technology since former NASA engineer Neal Saiki began tinkering in that Santa Cruz garage is impressive.

“When we started, we were hoping to get to the performance of the 125cc race bike,” said Craig Bramscher, chairman of Oregon-based Brammo Inc. “Now, we went around Daytona (International Speedway) at 175 mph. We see the path. There’s technology there where it starts to exceed the capabilities of the bike to hold the road. We can see that we can pass gasoline in terms of its capability.”

Mission’s high-end superbike represents the cream of the crop in performance and cost, with a price tag around $29,000. It looks like any gas-powered model, but that’s where the similarities end. Cited by Time Magazine as one of the 25 best inventions of 2013, it zooms from zero to 60 in under 3 seconds, has a top speed in excess of 150 mph with a range of 140 miles on the highway and 230 in the city, and has a computer for a dashboard.

“We’re as good or better than any gas bike, but we’re still expensive,” said Mission president Mark Seeger, whose goal is to produce a bike with a 600-mile range so charging time becomes a moot point. “Can we produce a vehicle that is better than anything that came before it and has the same price or cheaper? It’s going to happen.”

Electric motorcycles are well-balanced and easy to ride because most have direct drive (gears and clutches are optional). There are no tailpipe emissions, no clunking pistons, no crankshaft, no oil leaks, no vibration and virtually no maintenance save new tires and brakes. The average range is well over 100 miles in city driving. (Four years ago, it was about 25 miles.) They plug into regular household outlets for charging that costs under $2. And Zero says its batteries will last over 300,000 miles.

The global marketplace is a target as consumers outside the United States seek relief from high gasoline prices. Zero’s SR model gets the equivalent of 462 miles per gallon around town.

“The total cost of ownership will be cheaper soon, very soon, and the upfront cost will be lower as well,” Bramscher said. “People will ride them, and then they’ll go, ‘Oh, my gosh! This is so much fun!’”

 

The Associated Press

The Associated Press

LEAVE A COMMENT

Discussion | No comments

The Daily Republic does not necessarily condone the comments here, nor does it review every post. Read our full policy

.

Solano News

Walnut Grove shows a bit of historic Japan

By Susan Winlow | From Page: A1 | Gallery

 
Walnut Grove: Fun facts, things to see

By Susan Winlow | From Page: A1, 1 Comment

Ryde Hotel: A speakeasy from the past

By Susan Winlow | From Page: A1, 2 Comments | Gallery

 
Solano County supervisors get raise

By Barry Eberling | From Page: A2, 10 Comments

Solano helps after Napa quake

By Barry Eberling | From Page: A3 | Gallery

 
Weather for Aug. 27, 2014

By Daily Republic | From Page: B3

Solano supervisors declare quake state of emergency

By Barry Eberling | From Page: A3

 
 
Solano promotes hand washing

By Barry Eberling | From Page: A5, 2 Comments

 
Solano College to host college transfer fair

By Susan Winlow | From Page: A6

 
Golf tournament to benefit college sport’s teams

By Susan Winlow | From Page: A6

Man steals car from Fairfield resident

By Barry Eberling | From Page: A6, 6 Comments

 
Learn about local travel opportunities

By Amy Maginnis-Honey | From Page: A6

 
Pierce Brosnan thriller kicks off week’s new films

By Amy Maginnis-Honey | From Page: A7

 
 
Museum guild schedules trip to historic San Francisco home

By Amy Maginnis-Honey | From Page: A8

 
3 die in I-680 crash; 2 from Vacaville

By Ian Thompson | From Page: A9, 9 Comments

 
Suisun City police log: Aug. 25, 2014

By Glen Faison | From Page: A12

 
Fairfield police log: Aug. 24, 2014

By Glen Faison | From Page: A12

Fairfield police log: Aug. 23, 2014

By Glen Faison | From Page: A12

 
Suisun City police log: Aug. 24, 2014

By Glen Faison | From Page: A12

Suisun City police log: Aug. 23, 2014

By Glen Faison | From Page: A12

 
Fairfield police log: Aug. 25, 2014

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A12

.

US / World

Obama defends handling of veterans affairs issues

By The Associated Press | From Page: B8, 10 Comments

 
American woman held hostage in Syria

By The Associated Press | From Page: B8

Arab strikes in Libya show impatience with US

By The Associated Press | From Page: B8, 1 Comment

 
AP sources: US surveillance planes fly over Syria

By The Associated Press | From Page: B8, 2 Comments

Napa quake stirs clamor for warning system

By The Associated Press | From Page: B8

 
Putin and Poroshenko meet for bilateral talks

By The Associated Press | From Page: B8, 1 Comment

Group files petition to idle coastal nuke plant

By The Associated Press | From Page: B8

 
Israel, Hamas agree to open-ended Gaza cease-fire

By The Associated Press | From Page: B8, 1 Comment

Los Angeles schools halt iPad deal amid criticism

By The Associated Press | From Page: B8

 
Report finds 1,400 children exploited in UK town

By The Associated Press | From Page: B8, 1 Comment

Police: Slain woman ID’d ex-deputy as her attacker

By The Associated Press | From Page: B8

 
Officials: Instructor accidentally killed by girl

By The Associated Press | From Page: B8, 11 Comments

Judges blast Indiana, Wisconsin gay marriage bans

By The Associated Press | From Page: B8

 
UN panel: Global warming human-caused, dangerous

By The Associated Press | From Page: B8, 1 Comment

.

Opinion

How to reduce taxes without busting the budget

By Ramesh Ponnuru | From Page: A11

 
Abandoned carts are everyone’s responsibility

By Letter to the Editor | From Page: A11, 12 Comments

Editorial cartoons for Aug. 27, 2014

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A11

 
Question of the week: Is US policy on hostages correct?

By Daily Republic | From Page: A11

Obama risks alienating Latinos from Dems

By Thomas Elias | From Page: A11, 1 Comment

 
.

Living

Today in History: Aug. 27, 2014

By The Associated Press | From Page: A2

 
Community Calendar: Aug. 27, 2014

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A2

We were good parents. Why won’t our adult children help us out?

By Kathy Mitchell and Marcy Sugar | From Page: B6

 
Horoscopes: Aug. 27, 2014

By Holiday Mathis | From Page: B6

Choosing chutney

By Mcclatchy-Tribune News Service | From Page: B7

 
Banishing the blues with healthy blueberry muffins

By Sara Moulton | From Page: B7

.

Entertainment

TVGrid

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A7

 
Women talk about sports on CBS Sports Network

By The Associated Press | From Page: A7

Miley Cyrus’ date wanted by Oregon police

By The Associated Press | From Page: A7

 
NBC’s Emmycast logs robust 15.6 million viewership

By The Associated Press | From Page: A7

.

Sports

49ers prepare for possible Aldon Smith suspension

By The Associated Press | From Page: B1

 
Serena Williams beats American teen at US Open

By The Associated Press | From Page: B1

 
Carter’s HR in 8th leads Astros over A’s 4-2

By The Associated Press | From Page: B1 | Gallery

US teen Bellis, 15, stuns Cibulkova at US Open

By The Associated Press | From Page: B1

 
Raiders CB DJ Hayden to start season on PUP list

By The Associated Press | From Page: B1

Latest Astrodome proposal: massive indoor park

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
Bumgarner flirts with perfection, finishes with 1-hitter in Giants win

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2 | Gallery

No reason to feel sorry for Jim Furyk

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
TMS 2015 schedule springs back to night race

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

Love struck: Kevin Love pledges commitment to Cavs

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
Sarkisian: USC looking into Shaw’s heroic story

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

Davis, US men beat Slovenia in basketball exhibition

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
.

Business

UN health agency urges crackdown on e-cigarettes

By The Associated Press | From Page: B8, 1 Comment

 
Survey: US consumer confidence near a 7-year high

By The Associated Press | From Page: B8, 1 Comment

Burger King buys, plans expansion of Tim Hortons

By The Associated Press | From Page: B8, 1 Comment

 
.

Obituaries

Florentino”Paul” Castaneda Bersola

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A4

 
Nadine L Wetherell

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A4

Lyle Cullum

By Nancy Green | From Page: A4, 1 Comment

 
.

Comics

Garfield

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B5

 
Dilbert

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B5

For Better or Worse

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B5

 
Pickles

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B5

Get Fuzzy

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B5

 
Baldo

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B5

Blondie

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B5

 
Beetle Bailey

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B5

Peanuts

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B5

 
Baby Blues

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B5

Frank and Ernest

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B5

 
Zits

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B5

Rose is Rose

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B5

 
B.C.

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B5

Wizard of Id

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B5

 
Sally Forth

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B5

Sudoku

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B6

 
Crossword

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B6

Word Sleuth

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B6

 
Cryptoquote

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B6

Bridge

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B6