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Ride of the Week

JvB Moto Custom Harley-Davidson LiveWire

When Harley-Davidson announced its battery-powered LiveWire sport bike several years ago, the electric bike raised the eyebrows of pretty much everyone in the powersports industry. The Motor Company from Milwaukee has since received far better press on the bike than it has sales, which has also meant very few custom LiveWires have been built thus far.

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That is until JvB Moto announced its Silent Alarm – a custom LiveWire commissioned by Harley-Davidson that will be built as a limited-edition signature bike. Jens vom Brauck of JvB recently finished the first custom build, which features a sleek and coherent restyle. The changes to the bike are subtle, but impactful.

Based in Cologne, Germany, Jens is the man behind JvB Moto, one of the most acclaimed European custom shops. His style is clean and distinctive, and when Harley asked if he wanted to build a bike for them, he couldn’t (and didn’t) say no. In fact, after riding the LiveWire, he admits the bike was a ton of fun.

Unlike many custom bike builds, JvB’s Silent Alarm is not a piece of art – it’s meant to be ridden on the road and in everyday life. According to vom Brauck, there are a few really good designs for electric motorcycles out there, but most of what he has seen is different for the sake of being different. The bikes are not practical or even rideable in some cases.

Fortunately, Harley didn’t put Jens under any restrictions – they simply wanted a signature JvB-Moto design. Jens has focused mostly on new bodywork, including a new “fuel tank.” Unlike the other custom parts, this is fiberglass rather than carbon fiber due to the potential of high-voltage cables touching it.

The seat/tail unit, front fender and tiny ‘air scoops’ under the tank are new. The alloy wheels are toned down with carbon fiber covers for a stealthier vibe. The swoopy, mini-fairing fitted by the factory is gone, replaced by a simple enclosure and LED headlight.

Right behind that are new bars from LSL on custom risers that grip the complex stock dashboard. Jens has also added Performance Machine grips and upgraded the front stoppers with a Pro Brake lever. The headlight is supplemented by a pair of Blaze Laserlights, installed in custom housings on either side of the battery pack.

The dynamics of the LiveWire get a boost from a monoshock upgrade. The rear shock is made by Sport Evolution – a former Moto2 race team now starting their own high-end suspension line.

Despite the modern look of this custom, Jens worked more old-school, using mostly clay, foam and putty to create his design for Silent Alarm bit by bit. He’s planning a run of custom LiveWires rather than selling kits or individual parts. With secondhand machines becoming more affordable (just under $20,000 in the U.S.) these battery-powered bikes could reach an elevated status.

If you have a motorcycle, ATV, UTV, snowmobile or jet ski you’d like to feature in MPN’s Ride of the Week series, please email MPN Editorial Director Greg Jones at [email protected]

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