On ars technica, Gavin Gear takes Harley-Davidson's new electric prototype motorcycle, called Project LiveWire, for a spin. The bike, which in its current demo version has a range of 50 miles, received a mixed reaction from Harley-Davidson fans.
Since the motor is mounted longitudinally, a set of bevel gears is needed to change the direction of rotation so that the final drive belt pulley can transmit power to the rear wheel. When the first prototype of this gearbox was tested, a distinct gear whine was observed. It wasn’t a problem, though—it actually sounded cool. This could align well with one of the key design criteria for Harley-Davidson: the sound. Lund's team tuned the design of the gearbox until the optimal turbine-like whine was achieved.
Project LiveWire is equipped with a Lithium Ion battery pack that’s a (much) larger version of what you’d find in your laptop or cell phone. Producing 300V, this power source can propel LiveWire close to 100 mph, and the rider can choose between an “economy” mode and a “power” mode. Lund indicated that battery technology is one of the biggest limitations in electric transportation today. I asked about range for LiveWire, but that information was not public at the time.
|Get Touched by the TSA, Get an iPod Touch|
|How to Walk the Ross Island Bridge and Not Die -- If You're Lucky (via @atul666)|
|the lonely planet twenty questions|
|Plane's Windows to Be Replaced With Monitors|
|“Bioinspired Polymeric Woods.”|
|How to Avoid Jury Duty|
|Japanese Robot Serves Ice Cream From Inside a Vending Machine|
|“The more employees are watched, the harder they try to avoid being watched.”|
|“When Life Gives You Lemons.”|
|The (Very Scary) People of Public Transit|
|CaptchaTweet: Write Tweets in Captcha Form|
|The Paper Airplane Database|
|Why, Typewriters Are Alive and Well, Thank you|
|“Long live the instant gratification economy—and the increasingly sophisticated technology that’s enabling it.”|
|“Companies like Google seem to have a dangerous disconnect from those of us in the world outside their confines.”|
|“Social robots will be uniquely personal.”|