Harley-Davidson reveals its first electric motorcycle

20 Jun 2014

Harley-Davidson's electric motorcyle Project Livewire

Legendary motorbike manufacturer Harley-Davidson has revealed its first electric motorcycle and is calling on the public to test the vehicle.

The company revealed this bike will only be a test model for potential future bikes, according to the BBC.

More known for its classic fuel-guzzling motorcycles, the electric bike known as Project Livewire will be driven down the Route 66 in the US (or what is left of it), and will visit 30 Harley-Davidson dealerships in the space of a year, where members of the public will get to try out Project Livewire.

In terms of what the bike can achieve, its specifications list that it will be able to achieve a top speed of 148km/h and will need a recharge every 209 kilometres, which doesn’t sound too encouraging to a driver who will be looking to drive across an entire country at a reasonable speed.

Mark-Hans Richer, senior-vice president at Harley-Davidson, said Project LiveWire is more like the first electric guitar – not an electric car. “It’s an expression of individuality and iconic style that just happens to be electric. Project LiveWire is a bold statement for us as a company and a brand.”

However, with its dedicated followers being more inclined to think bigger is better and no sound is as good as the puttering of a V-twin engine, a silent slimmed-down bike is seemingly outside of its target market.

In Britain at least, the country’s Harley-Davidson club seems more worried about the dangers of a silent bike. “For an electric bike it has a good look, but I can’t help think a silent bike is a recipe for disaster on our ever-increasingly busy roads,” said ‘Dazzlin’, one of the club members.

Colm Gorey was a senior journalist with Silicon Republic