The Harley-Davidson LiveWire is an electric motorcycle prototype that was displayed to the media in June, 2014. Prototypes were made available for public test rides at United States Harley dealerships in 2014, then Europe and Canada in 2015.
At the time, Harley-Davidson CEO Keith Wandell said the model was part of an effort to reach a more diverse group of riders including "18 to 35-year-olds, women, African-Americans and Hispanic riders.
When will Harley-Davidson Livewire Hit Production
Harley-Davidson built an exciting and a fully functioning, refined electric motorcycle. Current CEO Mark Levatich promised that H-D would be producing an e-bike by 2020, but no sooner.
The disconnect is range and price. Consumers were talking about a $10,000 2nd motorcycle and it is speculated that Harley was looking at the $30,000 range.
Harley CEO Matt Levatich told The Wall Street Journal that the company is working to increase the bike's current range between battery recharges from its current point of 50 miles to a minimum of 100 miles.
Back in 2016, in a chat with the Milwaukee Business Journal, the bike maker's Sean Cummings said that there will be an electric Harley within the next 5 years.
What’s the bike like:
Jiri Marousek of Fitchburg, Wis., says he loves the acceleration of LiveWire. "It just has so much more instant power than almost any other motorcycle I've owned," he says, "which is smile-inducing — or grin-inducing, actually."
The design triumvirate:
There are three touchstones to the Harley-Davidson design: look, sound, and feel. As Willie G. Davidson famously put it, “Form follows function, but both report to emotion.”
Sound is part of the feedback riders get when riding. The gears used to send power to a single-speed transmission are intentionally designed to make a distinctive sound—kind of a jet-engine whir. Enthusiasts that have ridden the bike have said that it sounds like a turbine when you are on the bike and that from the side, as it goes past, it sounds like a jet.
Current Technical Specifications
According to Wired magazine, Mission Motors provided technical assistance on the motor controller.
Technical specifications include:
- Cast aluminum frame and swingarm
- LED headlight
- TFT dashboard
- Longitudinal three-phase AC motor/bevel gear/belt drive
- 74 horsepower and 52 pound-feet
- Electronically limited to 95 mph
- Single disc, 2-piston front brake
- 460 lbs
- 7 kWh battery (estimated)
- Trellis frame
- direct drive powertrain
- 0-60 mph in under 4 seconds
The silent operation of electric motorcycles is an attraction to many customers, but in this respect, as in so many other areas, Harley-Davidson has gone its own way. The electric motor, which can be seen as a machined-aluminum cylinder under the bike, is positioned fore-and-aft. The final drive to the wheel is by a belt, typical of gasoline Harleys.
The Livewire will need it to be competitive. Harley-Davidson rival Victory Motorcycles put its electric Empulse TT on sale late last year with a range of over 130 miles per charge for $19,999.