Harley Davidson is know for big, powerful, and loud motorcycles. Generally hardcore owners of Harley-Davidson motorcycles would scoff at small motorcycles, scooters, and anything foreign. The idea of an electric motorcycle probably isn’t something they would even consider. That’s why the announcement of the Harley-Davidson LiveWire, the company’s first electric motorcycle, has made us say, “WTF?”
Harley Davison Project LiveWire
For lovers of HD don’t get your panties in a bind yet. The LiveWire is not going to be a production motorcycle… yet. 🙂 The company is touting it as a innovative step forward, which we would agree with, and is promoting what is being called the “Project LiveWire Experience Tour.” They clearly want to test the waters to see how the public and it’s current fans will react to the Harley-Davidson LiveWire. This tour will take LiveWire’s around the country giving people a chance to take look at and see what they think of a Harley-Davidson electric motorcycle.
From what we can tell the stats and the bike looks good. It goes from 0-60 mph in 4 seconds and is equipped with a 74 horsepower/52 foot-pounds of torque electric motor. The top speed is a 92 mph and will come with a lithium-ion battery that has a range of 53 miles. It can charge in 3.5 hours at 220 volts. There isn’t much info about the drivetrain setup but it look like it is chain driven from the pictures.
While these specs are not all that impressive, the American motorcycle company is trying to emphasis the is LiveWire 1.0 and they next iteration should be better. That means means a further range and a higher top speed. This is a prototype although they brought in outside help for the LiveWire in the way of Mission Motors, an electric motorcycle company, for the motor controller.
Harley Davidson LiveWire
While Harley-Davidson’s past forays into different motorcycle market segments have failed miserably (anyone remember Buell?) this shows that executives are not stupid and have been keeping an eye on the success of smaller start-up companies like Zero, Lightning, and Brammo. Zero specifically has had success marketing electric motorcycles to police departments showing that they are more ideal in terms of cost and maintenance savings. This is a market that Harley-Davidson has had locked up for quite awhile and they surely don’t want to be left in dust 5-10 years from now. In addition Yamaha has the PES1 and PED1 electric motorcycles which seem like they are heading to production. Since Yamaha is a big name in the motorcycle industry, and a competitor to Harley-Davidson, we don’t find this move surprising. Additionally the company is starting to make move to appeal to women and younger riders with two new models coming out this year. While some hardcore enthusiasts will be kicking and screaming about this electric motorcycle news the bottom line is it does make business sense for the company to at least consider it.
Have a thought about this Harley-Davidson electric motorcycle? Besides saying, “Wtf?” Would you buy a LiveWire? Let us know below.