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Harley Introduces LiveWire Electric Motorcycle

Posted on 19 Jun 2014 in Harley-Davidson, Motorcycle News | 0 comments

Yes you read that correctly and no it’s not some big elaborate joke.  Harley-Davidson’s “Project LiveWire” is the real deal as they throw their hat in the ring of electric motorcycles.

Project LiveWire motorcycle

This morning, Harley made possibly their biggest announcement to date with the introduction of their first electric motorcycle.  The LiveWire ditched the classic V-Twin that Harley riders have grown to love and replaced it with an AC Induction electric motor for their latest creation.

If you’re a spur of the moment buyer and just have to have this thing right now… well, you can’t.  At least not yet.  The LiveWire currently is not a production bike.  It seems as though Harley is testing the waters with the idea of an electric motorcycle being in their lineup.  Some other sources are rumoring that we could expect to see the LiveWire hit production in 2016.

It appears that Harley knows that this is a huge new direction for them to take and that is why they are “testing the water” with the introduction of the LiveWire as show piece only for now.  On the new site dedicated to the LiveWire, which you can visit HERE, they state, “Only available on the Project LiveWire Experience Tour.  We’re bringing innovation to the street and inviting everybody to ride and tell us what you think.”

It seems that Harley is in no hurry to push this bike onto the public.  This is a completely new direction for the company that is known for their classic internal combustion rumble.  By allowing the public to get used to the idea of an electric motorcycle from the guys in Milwaukee, it can make for a smoother transition for the die-hard Harley fans.

The Project LiveWire Experience Tour will visit 30 cities and starts June 24th in New York City.  Riders are invited to take the new electric motorcycle for a spin to see what it’s all about.  So far, Harley has scheduled dates release for only Boston and Philadelphia besides NYC.  More cities and dates will be released next week.

So what can this bike do?  Well, from the rumored specs, it doesn’t seem to be as impressive as its competitors in the electric motorcycle world like the offerings from Zero and Mission.  The LiveWire reportedly makes 74bhp and 52lb-ft of torque with a top speed of only 92 mph.  So it may not be the spunkiest bike, but that isn’t the most unimpressive performance aspect of the LiveWire.  That would be its reported range of only 53 miles per charge.

Don’t let the numbers get you down on the bike just yet, though.  It’s clear that the LiveWire is still a work-in-progress and if it doesn’t officially get released until 2016, Harley has plenty of time to bolster the performance of the bike to keep it competitive.

The LiveWire actually looks like it belongs in the Harley Family, taking cues from the V-Rod and Sportster models with its own unique, yet still Harley-esque styling.  Chrome is definitely at a minimum on the LiveWire and that could be deliberately for the push to get younger riders on Harleys.

It’s clear that Harley is looking to broaden their demographic of riders.  Their core fans will always be the cruiser and touring riders, but they need to reach out to compete with the other big manufacturers.  The introduction of the Street 750 and Street 500 earlier this year is a big part of that.  These bikes are perfect for new and smaller riders.  The Millennials are certainly on the mind of the marketers at Harley, especially by including the new LiveWire in the new Avengers movie that is being made now.  You can see the leaked pictures and story on Motorcycle.com.

The LiveWire is sure to get mixed reviews from the die hard Harley purists to the people who love all new motorcycle technology and everyone in between.  One thing is for sure.  It’s creating a ton of buzz.  The new Project LiveWire site was even down for awhile due to overwhelming traffic that it received.

So what do you think?  Is an electric Harley something you would ride?  Or should they just stick to what they are known for?

Ryan

Ryan is one of the lucky ones who gets to combine their passion with work. He has enjoyed powersports his whole life and now gets to write about it. Ryan has been around the industry since High School and continues to enjoy learning and sharing about powersports with others in his role at DK.

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