Kawasaki, Along with Eddie Lawson in the early 1980s had successfully teamed up together to win a superbike championship onboard their coveted kz1000r. Little did Kawasaki or Eddie know, this partnership and victory would lead to a nearly four-decade-long mass following, For more reasons than just a victory, the general motorcycle public had fallen in love with the Kz1000r and Eddie’s great success. Fast forward to 1997, Kawasaki decides to pursue a modern legacy fitting of Eddie Lawson’s timeless career and the motorcycle with which the public came to associate him with, the zrx1100 would be enlisted to fill the shoes of its predecessor, the Kz1000r. The Zrx had taken off similarly to the long-standing career of which made it so popular, to begin with, recognizing the already substantial following Kawasaki had generated for this bike they saw it fit to update and modernize the bike even further with greater refinement, larger displacement and overall better street manors.
Welcome to the Zrx1200, arguably Kawasaki’s most well-balanced street bike ever produced. The Zrx is what some will recognize as a sport touring, some may recognize it like a sportbike, but to all who know the bike they will recognize it as a fitting tribute to “steady Eddie”. With a proven powertrain loosely based off of their highly successful zx11, Kawasaki had a head start out of the gate. The Zrx was understated in more ways than one, a bike that would not over stimulate your senses no matter how hard you looked at it yet somehow you are unable to stop looking at it. Performance to which novice and experienced riders alike will be enthusiastically surprised by and handling that no street riding will leave you wanting for more.
Something that makes the Zrx so special is its ability’s to be molded into so many different shapes and forms. Riders need not worry, though this stallion may be out of production and out of date to some modern-day standards, it does not let down in the mods department. It has a following unlike any other with loyal groups in hoards and aftermarket parts for days, with colorful imagination this bike has been stretched and molded into just about every single motorcycle genre in existence. from extreme track day bikes to all-day touring machines and anything in between, in some cases even crossover bikes, but we won’t go there. But above all else the thing that makes this particular model so incredible are the people to which it attracts without them this would just be another ordinary motorcycle doing ordinary motorcycle things.
The Harley-Davidson Livewire brings about a revolutionary transition in the manufacturer’s history, up until Livewire’s release Harley-Davidson was not known for being the most innovative motorcycle manufacturer on the block. But that has all changed with their first introduction into the electric motorcycle offerings. Knowing full well the expectations of their customers and new customers alike Harley took on the task of creating a motorcycle that would be well-rounded, technologically advanced, and suited to the masses. Something one could argue Harley-Davidson has failed to do in the past. We are here to tell you, enthusiastically, that Harley-Davidson has gone above and beyond any of the industry’s expectations of them. This bike is an entirely different realm for the company and they knocked it out of the park.
The Livewire’s performance figures are staggering, with 0-60mph times of 3.5 seconds or less and a top speed of over 110 mph, it’s safe to say this may be one of the fastest Harley’s to date. Not only does the bike perform more closely to a sportbike than a Harley it also has better efficiency, which for all you millennial riders this will really tickle your fancy. Harley-Davidson claims a full charge will get you over 110 miles. Considering the competition at the moment these figures put Harley and their Livewire at the top of the segment.
Harley-Davidson did not stop there, they have a fully capable onboard electronic system with the ability to monitor the bike’s and your performance. Along with security monitoring and the ability to send notifications to the owner’s mobile device, this system will have you stepping away from your motorcycle with a level of comfort that few manufacturers are currently able to offer.
Despite Harley-Davidson pricing the Livewire at a sizzling MSRP of $30,000 we at Hardtail believe innovation often comes at a cost especially in the beginning. Very similar to how we saw Tesla first introduce their cars at what some would consider an inconceivable price point. Fast forward 10 years after this innovation has become mainstream, now the end consumer is lucky enough to enjoy competitive pricing and all the features of the electric segment. Despite the hefty price tag now, one can only assume as time moves forward we will see drastic price drops in the electric motorcycle sector, and equally as impressive performance improvements. Electric manufacturers have merely chipped the tip of the ice burg with battery and motor technologies. Large manufacturers like Harley-Davidson are exactly what the electric motorcycle sector needs to push forwards, and gain the traction and momentum it so desperately needs.
Harley-Davidson and their Livewire team did not stop there, under the 2020 “rewire” restructuring plan they have outlined plans to grow their electrification support alongside the growth of the Livewire brand. With plans to introduce installation across America, it is only a matter of time before we see this segment become as readily available as the current electric car industry.
With the looming electrification of just about everything under the sun, we see Livewire as being one of Harley-Davidson’s smartest moves in the companies recent history. For too long the company has held onto the coattails of a passing generation expecting them to be carried into the future despite their customer base dropping like flies. If Livewire is a sign of what is to come for Harley-Davidson and the Livewire team then the future can not come fast enough.
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