'An electric Harley-Davidson?' you may wonder. The first time we heard of it, we couldn't believe it either.
Well, it is true - what you see in the images before you is the LiveWire, Harley-Davidson’s first attempt at making a two-wheeler powered by purely by electricity. The LiveWire is a fully-functional electric bike, although it is only in its concept stages. Harley-Davidson is taking it on a trip across USA starting 23rd June 2014 in New York, to give test rides to the general public. The company will use this exercise, dubbed 'Project LiveWire' to gauge response and receive inputs from those who ride it. The final production version will incorporate improvements and changes based on the feedback received.
At first glance, you’ll notice that the LiveWire looks nothing like the typical Harley cruiser. Instead, it seems like a futuristic take on the company’s erstwhile XR1200X sport bike, and looks nothing short of stunning.
The LiveWire is powered by a three-phase induction motor, which outputs around 74 bhp and 70 Nm of torque, allowing the bike to accelerate from standstill to 100kmph in under 4 seconds, up to an electronically limited to a top speed of 148 kmph (92 mph).
The most important figure with respect to pure electric vehicles is range, and the “e-Harley” is said to deliver 80 kms on a single charge. With a charging time of 3.5 hrs, it is clear that the LiveWire will be best suited for urban commuting.
The company hasn't specified a time period for when the LiveWire will go on production. When it does, it’ll make Harley-Davidson only the second main-stream two-wheeler manufacturer, after BMW Motorrad, to have a pure-electric vehicle in their line-up. It will only be a matter of time before others join the bandwagon.