Saturday, January 12, 2019


Interesting news in the world of motorcycling this week.

A riderless motorcycle:
At CES this week, BMW provided demonstrations of its self-riding motorcycle. First unveiled back in September, the motorcycle can start, slow down, turn, and stop by itself. All of this is accomplished via a suite of proprietary software housed in some hard pack cases mounted on the back of the bike — an otherwise stock-looking R 1200 GS, save for the inclusion of a tall radio antenna on the rear.
Ooooooh kaaaaaaay ....

In other news of the WTF, Harley unveils an electric motorcycle:
Let’s just get it out of the way first. The bike’s MSRP comes to $29,799. That is an expensive bike no matter which way you look at it. Do the specs justify the price? Read on to decide. 
The all-electric LiveWire will apparently hit 60 from a stop in 3.5 seconds. There is no clutch and no gear shifting, which will definitely make riding an extremely different experience. And riders will be able to slow down using the power regeneration mode in addition to the brakes.
So it's fast as hell off the start line, Harley expensive, and doesn't have a transmission.  Here's the kicker:
Then we get to the range. Harley estimates 110 miles of urban roads on a single charge, which... isn’t great. And you can expect that mileage only to drop on the highway, as motorcycles aren’t the most aerodynamic. 
One of the advantages of motorcycle ownership is their superior mileage over cars. You’re supposed to be able to fill up less frequently and go further. This bike is less than a Honda Rebel, which gets an estimated 200 miles between fill-ups.
It takes forever to charge - 13 minutes of range per hour of charging - unless you get a Harley expensive special charging station.  This means that you can ride it 50 miles before turning around to go home.  Not exactly going to replace a Road Glide.

Am I the only one who looks at all this "technology" and asks WTF?

UPDATE: Jalopnik finds some Harley electric concept things that it likes on display.  But even this ends with a pessimistic note:
Knowing Harley, however, they’ll be too expensive, too slow, and not offer enough range to compete with existing electric two-wheeled products.
Yeah, probably.


Old NFO said...

Interesting... Now a quad can ride a bike, apparently...

Ratus said...

BP I assume it will still leak oil somehow.

Unknown said...

Have the same harley I bought when I was 22 yrs old. No leaks as of yet. I'm now 62 yrs old and have multiple leaks. Lmfao....

Aesop said...

Just those darned Germans, removing the most dangerous thing on the motorcycle. ;)

Removing the rider also cuts fatalities drastically when they get hit by motorists who "didn't see them".

Of course, the globull warmists are going even further: remove the bikes and the car drivers from the road entirely, and tell everyone to ride a bicycle or walk.

I'm 98% certain the warmists all live in Key West, San Diego, Galveston, and Honolulu.

Buffalo and Minneapolis, not so much.

Borepatch said...

Ratus, LOL.

Unknown, that's cool. My bike is 12 years old, so I'll be doing pretty good if I have it 40 years. I do take pride on being able to change the oil without getting leaks on the garage floor, tho.

Aesop, I've been in Minneapolis in January (not to mention central Maine at all times of winter) and I think you're right. They don't even think about this because the subway is decently warm all times of year.

Stephen Gustav said...

Regarding the self-driving bike, in Daniel Suarez' Daemon book - and sequel - there was a fairly frightening idea of what could be done with that sort of technology. Rigged with laser and radar sensors, and katanas... sounds lame when you describe it that simply but in the book it was as creepy as the first time you watched one of those Boston Robotics dogs getting kicked and regaining its balance. You were just waiting for it to start chasing. Happily, they haven't yet.

Tom Lindsay said...

Somebody's software has a glitch. Surely this was set up to post April 1.