Harley-Davidson Confirms Electric Motorcycles/LiveWire Part Of Company’s Future

2 weeks ago by Mark Kane 35

Harley-Davidson Project LiveWire

Harley-Davidson intends to launch 100 new motorcycle models over the next decade…which normally we would not care too much about; but the latest word is that electrified motorcycles will be part of the equation.  Now we are interested!

Harley-Davidson Project LiveWire

Unfortunately, details are scarce to non-existent on what those model might be.

However, Project LiveWire (which was unveiled few years ago in conjunction with an Avengers movie appearance), was received extremely well, and that electric bike project has now moved into the R&D stage – to eventually be put into production.

Date?  TBD.

One important development area from the company perspective is to apparently develop the right sound for electric bikes.  For our money (and running against conventional ‘bike wisdom’), less is more…unless you are talking range!

“Speaking to Drive while in Sydney to celebrate the brand’s 100th birthday in Australia, Bill Davidson, the vice president of the Harley-Davidson Museum in Milwaukee and great grandson of company founder William A Davidson, confirmed the company’s electric bike project is part of the plan.

“We’re excited about our future,” he said.

“We actually showed a prototype of the electric Livewire [a few years ago] and that project is alive and well. We don’t know yet when we’re going to introduce it but it is progressing well and we will eventually introduce it.””

“While it is logical that Harley would develop a range of electric motorcycles rather than just one, Davidson said “that’s information I can’t really talk about at this stage”.”

Separate not is that Harley-Davidson isn’t interested in autonomous driving of motorcycles as it would be opposite to what consumers will expect:

“Society has become driven by so many factors and we are all now in touch 24/7 as we’re surrounded by electronics, and I think riding a motorcycle lets you break free of that and enjoy nature and have fun.”

One of the earlier video reports about the Harley-Davidson Project LiveWire:

source: drive.com.au

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36 responses to "Harley-Davidson Confirms Electric Motorcycles/LiveWire Part Of Company’s Future"

  1. Mark C says:

    The reigning king of Cruiser style bikes and they’ll make a crotch rocket electric bike.

    What a shame. Though they are probably more aerodynamic, that and scooters are what everyone does. I suppose they don’t want to intrude too much on their core product lines and offer an electric HOG.

    1. Lawrence says:

      Harley riders like to be obnoxiously loud so there may not be a market for an electric Hog.

      1. John says:

        Observational bias much?
        Perhaps the only Harley’s you notice are the loud ones…which goes to reinforce the theory that “loud pipes save lives.”

        1. Stimpy says:

          Why should the rest of us be forced to put up with this obnoxious noise pollution while sitting inside our private homes?

          1. Daniel says:

            Because people are too busy in their private cars updating their Facebook status and checking Snapchat to pay attention to a quiet bike

      2. Steven says:

        And how many Harley Davidson riders do you know?

        That many, huh?

        1. John says:

          Hundreds.
          Enough to know that most of us don’t just go for what’s obnoxious. Yeah there are those that do….just like there are EV drivers who do 45 on the highway.

        2. Angus says:

          HD is selling out by making this atrocity.

          1. Steven says:

            Nothing says the production bike will be exactly what was previewed. Chances are that it may be no more visually disruptive that the VROD was when it was brought out.

            By example, compare the “Project Nova” to the first year VROD.

      3. Jerry says:

        Your an idiot

        1. John says:

          *you’re

          When insulting someone, proper grammar is critical. Otherwise, people think you’re an ass AND stupid.

      4. Cheryl says:

        So true that would be a big change in the nature of the bikes style and social standard reputation

    2. Ken says:

      I rode the Livewire. It is far from a sportbike. It was typical HD. Bulky 1″ handlebars and controls, very heavy, and it was noisy. Yes, they used a bevel drive for the electric motor so that even the electric Harley would also be noisy. It had no onboard charger and was way behind a Zero or Brammo motorcycle. The drivetrain was designed by Mission Motors and the chassis seemed like a mix of leftover Sportster and Buell parts.

      1. Steven says:

        I disagree.
        The parts seemed more similar to the Street 550 and 750 than the Sportster and defunct Buell lines.

    3. SparkEV says:

      Harleys may be the reigning king of geriatric bikes (aka, cruisers), but they weren’t always that way. They had somewhat decent dirt slider until 80’s before turning completely senior citizen. Maybe this is their way to get back to their youth.

  2. Theo says:

    The should build a electric Chopper! All the others build Streetbikes…

  3. Torvath McGettigan says:

    There will be a market for this bike…. the “hipster” crowd will think they are badass bikers for a red hot minute!

  4. Donald Piatko says:

    My only question is how long will it go for does it recharge it self

  5. James says:

    They should park one of these on president Trump’s front yard, like they did their gas bikes earlier this year. Trump digs Harleys.

    The Avengers movie exposure was good too. Now I propose a big action movie with a super macho, tough dude star – Possibly the Rock? Or Vin Diesel. This main character has to ride the LiveWire throughout the movie and many shots of it sliding and emphasizing that turbine sound.

    Harley needs be “cool” for a new generation.

    I like the LiveWire concept. Now they need fine tuning and lower cost batteries direct from Panasonic/Tesla in Nevada.

    1. Steven says:

      If you notice, in the MCU, all of the “good guys” bikes were Harley Davidson’s.

  6. blimy says:

    Interesting that the PR guys defend the noise right out of the box; Wonder how many people buy the ICE versions just for the noise? And why?…big noise, small balls?

  7. Tina garner says:

    I don’t like it. The vision of the founders wasn’t this

    1. Steven says:

      True, but the founders didn’t have to worry about smog regulations.

      My Harley Davidson doesn’t have the same emissions controls that a bike sold in California has.

      In a few years, they all will have them.

  8. Jake Brake says:

    I met the CTO working on this project at a conference once, he seemed old and douchy. Didnt know a whole lot about EVs. I hope they make something awesome but i wouldnt bet on it.

  9. Peter says:

    BMW i8 artificial engine nose would be great here.

  10. Martin T. says:

    Excellent performance, reliability – must be the best Harley Davidson ever.
    Guess the Bikie gang members and drug dealers will need to put cards with cloth pegs to make some noise or add sound effects LOL.
    At least this Harley EV if bought by a normal motor bike rider will have less of chance being stolen and disassembled by the crime gangs. Insurance companies you give this model a discount.

  11. Ted Dillard says:

    Sorry guys, but in the source story the guy made what amounts to an offhand comment confirming their intentions to release an electric motorcycle. Originally, if memory serves, they said something like a 5-year plan after the Livewire, so this is nothing more than reiterating what was said a few years ago. It’s not “confirming” anything new.

    And for the record, the Livewire was about half the bike that the Zero SR was in 2014. Half the speed, half the range, and about double the speculated price.

    1. Foob says:

      Would be nice to see you return to writing articles for InsideEVs now that your book’s out 🙂

      1. Ted Dillard says:

        Thanks! I’m kind of enjoying *not* writing for a while, but I’ve considered it…

        😉

  12. Marshal G says:

    But how will fat bald middle aged white guys let the whole neighborhood know how big they think their junk is if they can’t annoy people in a 5 block radius?

  13. Tinman says:

    Hahahahahahaha…..I’m on my eighth H-D since 1979. I will never ride an electric bike, ever. F that noise. Or lack thereof, lol. Middle finger to the motor company.

  14. Doug says:

    “If it’s to LOUD, YOUR to OLD”

    “LOUD pipes save lives”

  15. G.CAT says:

    Your is the second person possessive adjective, used to describe something as belonging to you. Your is always followed by a noun or gerund.

    You’re is the contraction of “you are” and is often followed by the present participle (verb form ending in -ing).

    Electric motorcycles are neato.

    1. CLIVE says:

      Well there you have it.

      Spell checking people the new rage.

  16. Whizkid says:

    Electric is the future? Probably, but Harley would make more young new friends if they brought out a quality two stroke line. Start with an affordable, entry level, classic moped, then expand into the leisure dirt and water toy market. The Livewire shows no inspiration nor innovation. Does Harley even know their demographics? They should scrap it.
    My open pipe, vintage Whizzer is the loudest vehicle in my neighborhood. Not one cager or neighbor has NOT noticed it. Even Harley riders are impressed. My Yamaha VMax…not so much.

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