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.

Future Human

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