Which some might term as ‘blasphemy’, Harley Davidson has marked its entrance in the realm of electric motoring with its Project LiveWire. Amidst all the skepticism and applause, the iconic motorcycle brand has made it clear that the Project LiveWire is an experiment which might enter showrooms only after a careful study of the feedback (customer feedback as they claim) and its market-potential. Project LiveWire, for some is an innovative and efficient move aimed at an eco-friendly tomorrow but for the veteran loyalists of the brand, it is downright impious. And rightly so, since for the people who see Harley Davidson as a road-tearing heart thumping machine, an electric drive would be a compromise on sound and performance. Having said that, Harley Davidson has emphasized its motive of reinventing the brand as done previously with its models like Street 750, 500 and the iconic cruisers which was the result of “Project Rushmore”.
The brand in a press release has compared its rich history and heritage with America’s, and have stressed upon the need for reinventing themselves as done by the nation, time and again. The CEO and President, Matt Levatich has compared the Bike with an Electric Guitar instead of an Electric Car. While nobody can quite make sense as to why would a motorcycle be compared to an Electric Guitar or a car for that matter, the brand famous for its exhaust systems tuned for heart thumping acoustics have promised a never-heard-before sound in this all Electric bike. You would be surprised to know that the roaring sound which a typical Harley Davidson bike produces is so peculiar and unique to the brand that it attempted to trademark it back in the 1990s. Well to experience this new all-electric sound and the bike, you will have to attend one of the road shows that Harley Davidson are putting on throughout the US. The Project LiveWire Experience Tour begins a 30-city tour across America which already took off on June 24th in New York City, where riders were invited to take a historic test ride and give their feedback. The full 2014 US tour schedule will be announced in the next week on their website.
Project LiveWire Experience & Test Rides:
- Tuesday, June 24 – Wednesday, June 25, 2014 – New York Dealership
- Thursday, June 26 – Sunday, June 29, 2014 – Harley Davidson Museum, Milwaukee, WI
- Friday, June 27 – Sunday, June 29, 2014 – Boston Harley Davidson, MA
- Thursday, July 17 – Saturday, July 9, 2014 – Brian’s Harley Davidson, Philadelphia, PA, US
The Experience Tour will make its way to Europe and Canada in 2015 and if all goes well we might see the bike into production in 2016.
The styling of LiveWire if not distinctly Harley, is definitely eye-catching. A Bobber, Cafe Racer or Street Fighter, call it whatever you want but the LiveWire borrows design cues from many different genres and is a very unique, technologically advanced superbike. It’s a single-seater motorcycle and is highly compact in order to keep the center of gravity as low as possible. Though the official specifications are not out yet but agencies have managed to get some numbers and even a first ride. The LiveWire offers 74 BHP and 70.5 Nm of torque with a top speed of 92mph (148kmph) and can clock 0-100 kph in 4 seconds. The bike uses a lithium-ion battery with a range of 53 miles and takes about 3.5-hours to charge fully at 220v.
Other technical specifications include:
- Cast Aluminum frame and swingarm
- LED headlight
- TFT dashboard
- Longitudinal three-phase AC motor/bevel gear/belt drive
- Single disc, 2-piston front brake
- 460 lbs
- 7 kWh battery (estimated)
- 17-inch rear wheel, 18-inch front
- Trellis frame
- direct drive powertrain
Harley hasn’t priced its rocket yet, but as with electric automobiles, consumers will typically pay a 10% to 20% premium for electric bikes, which suggests something more than $20,000. We will keep you posted with further developments, until then do let us know what you think of the Harley Davidson Project LiveWire!