It's been four years waiting since Harley-Davidson first showed off the concept of an electric motorcycle. Now, ready-to-use production bikes – called Harley-Davidson LiveWire – are finally here. Almost.
Milwaukee, the Wisconsin-based company launched an electric motorbike ready for production on Tuesday at the EICMA motorcycle show in Italy. That won't be available, though, until next year.
Harley placed a big bet on electrification in the hope that it would revive the brand, which has struggled in recent years. LiveWire should be the first in what will become a portfolio of Harley-Davidson electric motors that will be available in 2022.
To encourage switching to electricity, Harley will install a Level 2 general charger at the location of the dealer that sells electric bicycles.
Harley does not release price information or range and performance on LiveWire. There are some new details (and of course some details) about the specifications of the bike.
This motor will be powered by a permanent magnet electric motor located low on a motorbike to lower the center of gravity and improve handling at different speeds and make it easier to control when stopped, the company said. The LiveWire will have two batteries: the main battery, consisting of lithium-ion cells surrounded by finned housing, aluminum cast, and a small 12-volt lithium-ion battery that drives lights, controls, horns and instrument displays.
Bicycles can be filled with Level 1 chargers connected to a standard household outlet with an electric cable that saves under a motorcycle seat. For faster charging, it can also be filled through Level 2 and Level 3, or DC Fast Charging (DCFC), through SAE J1772 connectors in the US, or CCS2 – IEC type 2 charging connectors on the international market.
LiveWire will have seven driving modes, three of which are defined by the driver. The mode will be tuned with a high specification adjustable Showa suspension. This motorbike will also have an adjustable color touchscreen display that is located on the handlebars. The screen gives driver access to the interface for Bluetooth connectivity, navigation, music and other features.
The motor will not have a trademark gas-powered sound, so Harley has given him a tone that will increase pitch and volume quickly. The company said the new sound "represents the smooth, electric power of the LiveWire motorcycle."
This motorbike is equipped with the Brembo Monoblock front-brake caliper which grips discs with a diameter of 300 mm. It also has an anti-lock braking system and a traction control system, which will become standard.
The company said it would reveal more product information at LiveWire, as well as details about the pre-order process, in January 2019.