Harley-Davidson Electric Motorcycle to Hit Market Next Year
Lane Long posted on December 17, 2018 |
The Livewire, which has been prototyped since 2014, will finally become available to the public in 2...
The Livewire, set to hit the market next year. (Image courtesy of Harley-Davidson.)
The Livewire, set to hit the market next year. (Image courtesy of Harley-Davidson.)

Electric vehicles are a hot topic in 2018, and motorcycles are one of the hottest corners of that market. Harley-Davidson is the latest motor-vehicle manufacturer to announce ambitious plans to bring electric offerings to the market over the coming years. At the 2018 Milan Motorcycle Shows (EICMA), the company unveiled LiveWire, a completed version of a concept that’s been in testing for years. While specs are—for now—being held close to the vest, prospective buyers are expected to have detailed information to work with sometime in January. The prototype, however, can still provide a useful frame of reference.

Setting Expectations

The original LiveWire prototype made its first appearance in 2014. While rider feedback was mostly positive, the production version will surely have to step it up in key performance areas. The bike initially topped out at 92 miles per hour and made it from 0to60 in under 4 seconds, but range was an issue. The debut version could only take riders 55 miles in its economy setting and 33 miles in its power setting. It charged fully in roughly 3.5 hours.

That likely won’t cut it for full-time users, so a better reference point might be contemporary offerings from dedicated electric motorcycle companies. Zero Motorcycles, for instance, features a model in its lineup that gets up to 223 miles on a single charge. That full charge can be obtained in just under 4 hours with all charging accessories. Whether the LiveWire will meet or exceed those marks remains undetermined, but it’s encouraging that the precedent exists.

What We Do Know

Harley may not have made several important performance specs available, but the company’s site did offer some guidance as to the look and feel potential riders can expect. Most notably, a color TFT touch screen display will be placed above the handlebar to allow riders easy access to important information like speed and range. It will also function as a hub to control music, navigation and communication via Bluetooth. There’s also a full complement of imagery and video to get the juices stirring for those who may be interested. See the video below for a closer look at what to expect aesthetically.

Specs aside, motorcycle enthusiasts have reason to be excited about the Livewire.

For more on some of the ways electric motorcycles are already being put to use nationwide, check out this article on how California police officers are turning to Zero Motorcycles to meet their transport requirements.

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