Touring and electric motorcycles don’t necessarily go together. Range is limited, charging takes precious time, and charging stations aren’t on every corner like gas stations. This didn’t stop EV enthusiast Diego Cardenas from riding a Harley-Davidson LiveWire from Mexico to Canada through the western states of California, Oregon, and Washington.

“What started as a dream became a reality. I wanted to do something memorable for my 50th with my bike and my family! We made a 1400 all EV trip from the Mexican border to the Canadian border. And it all ended the day of my birthday!” posted Cardenas on Instagram.

Before setting out on his electric journey last month, Cardenas meticulously mapped out a route connecting Charge Point and Electrify America charging stations. Both public EV public charging stations have a partnership with Harley-Davidson and currently provide free DC Fast Charging to LiveWire owners. As is apt to happen, once in motion Cardenas made changes to his plans because some of the charging stations were closed because of the pandemic, which made the Plugshare (EV charging station map) app he uses even more useful. He was also escorted by his family in a Ford C-Max Energi with a built-in 110v outlet in case of emergencies.

In a post-ride Facebook video, Cardenas provided valuable insight into riding cross-country on an electric motorcycle. During his 1,400-mile road trip he discovered tricks to optimize range using the LiveWire’s riding modes, changing modes frequently depending on terrain. Going downhill, Cardenas said he’d switch to the mode which created the most re-generative power to the battery. On flat plains, he’d use “Road” mode which doesn’t have full power and mutes full acceleration so he could coast more and conserve energy. He added that big trucks were not his friend and he got buffeted around pretty good in their wash.

Stopping every 80 or 90 miles to recharge the motorcycle’s battery also seemed to take its toll.

“In the beginning, you want to hit the road hard, you’re anxious and hyped up and want to put in the miles, so it’s easy for maybe one or two days,” said Cardenas in the video.

“After the third day and a good handful of stops, fatigue starts kicking in. No matter if you slept overnight or barely slept at all because during charge stops, you’re either doing social media or you’re looking at your next charge station, so you're constantly working.”

By the third and fourth days, at the end of each 80 or 90 mile stretches Cardenas said his hips were killing him, his thighs were in pain, and his legs were sore.

“Obviously the LiveWire isn’t designed for this type of stuff,” Cardenas stated, reflecting on the riding position. But by about the end of the fourth day, his muscles hurt less as they began to adapt to the LiveWire’s ergonomics. As he got closer to the finish line, his fatigue disappeared, replaced by the desire to make that final push. Admittedly though, with one eye on the prize, he got sloppy, lost the keys and had to have a spare set FedEx’ed to him, costing him a day-and-a-half.

Cardenas reiterated his trip took plenty of pre-planning in order to comfortably connect public EV charging stations based on the range of the LiveWire. The adventurous electric vehicle fan chronicled his travels on Harley LiveWire Rider’s Facebook page if you’d like to learn more about his cross-country electric motorcycle journey.