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Harley-Davidson unveils its first electric motorbike

Luke Johnson

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Harley Davidson Project LiveWire

Harley-Davidson is going green, with the iconic motorbike maker officially unveiling Project LiveWire, its first electric bike.

A forward-think machine which oozes futuristic styling, the Harley-Davidson LiveWire, which features a near silent electric engine, will boast 74 horsepower, a serious amount of torque (52 foot-pounds) and a 92mph top speed.

Project LiveWire is more like the first electric guitar – not an electric car,” Mark-Hans Richer, Senior Vice President of the Harley-Davidson Motor Company said in unveiling LiveWire.

He added: “Project LiveWire is a bold statement for us as a company and a brand. It’s an expression of individuality and iconic style that just happens to be electric.”

Sadly, the bike will not be going on sale just yet. Instead, the electric Harley will be taken on a Route 66 road trip. Select customers will be given a chance to ride the bike at 30 Harley-Davidson dealerships along the infamous America roadway.

Speaking with AP, LiveWire’s Lead Engineer Jeff Richlen stated: “Some people may get on it thinking, 'golf cart' [but] they get off thinking 'rocket ship.'"

Although boasting impressive recharge times of between 30 minutes and an hour, the LiveWire will have just a 130 mile range.

Harley-Davidson will also have to overcome the near none-existent electric motorbike market. The industry’s biggest player – Zero Motorcycles – expects to shift just 2,400 vehicles this year and recently pulled out of the UK due to a lack of interest.

Despite these hurdles, we can see LiveWire birthing a new breed of cool, electric vehicles. With Tesla pushing the car market along, it’s time to forget the Prius and look to the future.

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Pradeep

June 20, 2014, 5:00 am

When will it reach the market?

Patrick Robertson

October 12, 2014, 10:45 pm

zero doesn't advertise their motorcycles the way Harley-Davidson does. I think that people are going to buy them for many reasons. Putting their name on a motorcycle legitimizes an electric motorcycle into less than just a passing fad. People are always stressed about the range but in reality how many people drive 130 miles a day? Most motorcycles get only 150 miles to the tank. I drive a FatBoy and I know that I want to buy an electric harley as soon as it comes out. I already sold my wife on the idea of me getting one. I can get back and forth to work 2-3 times during the week without charging it up. They have tons of potential and Harley is going to make the market take off. Not just with Harley but with all manufacturers.

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