Jay Leno rides the Harley Davidson LiveWire (VIDEO)

jay leno livewire

 jay leno livewire

On Jay Leno’s Garage recently, Leno had Harley-Davidson come by with its LiveWire electric motorcycle.  Jay Leno doesn’t just love cars but motorcycles too and boasts quite a collection.  The former Tonight Show host has also featured other electric motorcycles on Jay Leno’s Garage in the past, including Brammo, Mission Motorcycles, and he even reviewed a Zero S once.

Ken Ostermann, head of Global Marketing for Harley-Davidson, came by to explain features of the LiveWire and how the company feels about it.  “Feedback from customers has been absolutely fantastic!” said Ostermann regarding the electric motorcycle and he pointed out that America is about reinvention and moving forward.  What I found interesting is Ostermann mentioned “Multicultural diversity” so does that mean the LiveWire is an attempt to appeal to minorities?   I guess and I assume executives feel like they need to expand their customer base to stay relevant.  (I probably wouldn’t buy a Harley-Davidson since I’ve heard horror stories about their reliability.)  He also expressly said, “Younger more urban customers” is what the company’s newest line is chiefly for.

The LiveWire’s frame only weighs 14 pounds since it is made out of cast aluminium.  The whole bike weighs 463 pounds, which is fairly light, and features Full LEDs lights all around.  It has traditional caliper brakes as well as regenerative brakes.  Top speed is about 92mph and the range is just under 60 miles which isn’t anything to brag about but this is a prototype.

“It allows you to feel more connected to the road.  That’s the feeling I have when I ride this.” said Ken Ostermann when talking with Jay Leno about what it’s like riding the LiveWire electric motorcycle.  Impressive coming from someone who probably rides a lot of motorcycles, especially loud V-Twin Harley-Davidsons.

“The absence of noise is really quite pleasant.” commented Leno on his LiveWire test ride. “It’s speed is really quite pleasant, it handles nicely, very light bike, doesn’t feel close to 500 pounds.  I would say it’s on par with 500cc gasoline engine… I think that’s a fair comparison…  Regen works quite well I think your brake pads would last forever… Throttle is wonderfully progressive, you just roll it on, and roll it off; no point does it lurch or jerk in any way… It’s pretty impressive,” he continued.

The video starts about explaining some of the history of electric motorcycles.  Then Jay Leno talks with Ken Ostermann about the Harley Davidson LiveWire and goes for a ride.  Jealous?  Aren’t we all but Jay Leno is a cool guy.

Jay Leno – Harley Davidson LiveWire

“I think this bike will open up a whole new market for Harley-Davidson… I like to see they are thinking ahead and being futurists to a certain extent.”  said Leno about the bike.

What do you think of the Harley Davidson LiveWire?  Good move for this traditional company or will it kill and destroy the core image?  Will this electric motorcycle draw new customers to the brand?

Adam Yamada-Hanff
Adam has always loved cars and anything with wheels. When he is not writing about interesting stories you might find him jamming on his saxophone, watching movies, creating art, or playing with his two dogs.