In 2015, Harley-Davidson shocked the motorcycle world by showcasing its all-electric Project LiveWire prototype. While this bike wasn’t supposed to go into production, it garnered a lot of interest. Bill Davidson, great-grandson of the company’s founder William Davidson, and VP of the Harley-Davidson museum, stated that the company’s electric motorcycle project was progressing and that electric bikes would be launched eventually. He didn’t confirm a timeline though. The company plans to launch 100 new models over the next 10 years. So, it’s safe to assume that an electric bike, or series of bikes, would be part of this upcoming line-up.
Davidson also lamented the fact that the switch to electric would mean no more typical “potato-potato” engine note from its push-rod-operated V-twin motors. But, Harley-Davidson engineers are apparently working hard to ensure a distinct note from the electric motorcycle as well. And with the LiveWire, what they’ve been able to achieve is what they describe as a “jet fighter noise”.
Harley has stated that even its electric bikes will carry a personality and design that would make it immediately recognisable as a Harley-Davidson. The Project LiveWire bike was meant to demonstrate how far the company could push its tech. The LiveWire bike packed a liquid-cooled electric motor that was good for about 75hp of peak power and 70Nm of torque. The 7kWh battery was good for a range of about 85km and could be charged in a couple of hours.