Harley-Davidson Unveils First Electric Motorcycle

Electric Harley-Davidson
Harley Davidson reimagines an eco-friendly electric motorcycle.

Ride Green And High Tech With The First Harley Electric Motorcycle

The iconic thunder of Harley-Davdison motorcycles gets a futuristic makeover with the unveiling of the Harley electric motorcycle. As a Harley rider and motorcycle owner, I admit some trepidation. Will electric translate into less power? How will it look?

No doubt about it – Harley riders are in for a new riding experience. Accelerate 0-60 in less than 4 seconds – without the clutch? Yep. And the sound of Harley’s electric motorcycle? Harley’s new electric bike offers a visceral riding experience with tire-shredding acceleration and an unmistakable new sound.

“The sound is a distinct part of the thrill,” said Mark-Hans Richer, Senior Vice President and Chief Marketing Officer, Harley-Davidson Motor Company. “Think fighter jet on an aircraft carrier. Project LiveWire’s unique sound was designed to differentiate it from internal combustion and other electric motorcycles on the market.”

Starting mid-June, select consumers across the country will be able to ride and provide feedback on the bike, helping to shape the future of Harley-Davidson’s first-ever electric motorcycle. While the bike is not yet for sale, the company’s customer-led product development approach is testing the roads for rider expectation and insight with the unveiling of “Project LiveWire,” its first electric motorcycle.

Electric Motorcycle

SBC web editor Diana and her BFF Vicki riding their Harley-Davidsons on Nebraska road trip

“America at its best has always been about reinvention,” said Matt Levatich, President and Chief Operating Officer, Harley-Davidson Motor Company.

“And, like America, Harley-Davidson has reinvented itself many times in our history, with customers leading us every step of the way. Project LiveWire is another exciting, customer-led moment in our history.”

The Green Ride

Harley’s exciting new “green” ride blends the company’s styling heritage with the latest technology to deliver a new expression of the signature Harley-Davidson look, sound and feel.

Project LiveWire Experience invites customers to test ride, provide feedback and learn more about the story of the motorcycle in a 2014 U.S. Tour. Harley’s electric motorcycle will starts its road trip down Route 66, considered a travel bucket list for many bikers. The tour will visit more than 30 Harley-Davidson dealerships through the end of the year. Then in 2015, the Project LiveWire experience continues in the U.S., expanding into Canada and Europe.

Even those who don’t yet ride will have the opportunity to feel the power of Project LiveWire through Jumpstart – a simulated riding experience.

“This builds on many recent reinvention successes for Harley-Davidson.” said Levatich. “In just the last few years, we’ve broadened our reach to serve an increasingly diverse society, as well as reinvented our approach to product development and manufacturing. This has resulted in cutting-edge products like the recently launched Project Rushmore touring bikes, Harley-Davidson Street 500 and 750 models and this reveal of Project LiveWire.”

Eco-Friendly Motorcycle, But Still Cool Harley

“Project LiveWire is more like the first electric guitar – not an electric car,” said Richer. “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.”

“We offer a no excuses riding experience in everything we do and we are led by what our customers tell us matters most,” said Richer. “Because electric vehicle technology is evolving rapidly, we are excited to learn more from riders through the Project LiveWire Experience to fully understand the definition of success in this market as the technology continues to evolve.”

The jury is out — but I’m looking forward to a (hopeful) Denver dealership stop of Harley-Davidson’s electric bike  on the Project LiveWire tour.

Diana Rowe is a Denver-based freelance writer, with more than 16 years experience and hundreds of articles published both... More about Diana Rowe