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Harley-Davidson Project LiveWire: Harley Wants You to Test Its First Electric Bike (with video)

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Photos of a Harley-Davidson electric motorcycle on a Hollywood movie set began circulating a few days ago. Harley wouldn’t comment at that time, but now we have an official press release describing Project LiveWire, Harley’s development electric motorcycle that it will invite consumers to test beginning next week.

According to Harley, their electric bike offers a “visceral riding experience with tire-shredding acceleration and an unmistakable new sound.” Here is the Harley-Davidson press release (followed by a video), with more information about the bike and the Project LiveWire Experience tour.

H-D Invites Consumers to Ride, React and Shape the Future of this New Bike

MILWAUKEE, June 19, 2014 /PRNewswire/ — Innovation, meet heritage. Today, Harley-Davidson (NYSE:HOG) reveals Project LiveWire – the first Harley-Davidson® electric motorcycle.

HARLEY-DAVIDSON REVEALS PROJECT LIVEWIRE™, THE FIRST ELECTRIC HARLEY-DAVIDSON MOTORCYCLE

In keeping with the company’s customer-led product development approach, starting next week 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 not for sale, Project LiveWire is specifically designed for the purpose of getting insight into rider expectations of an electric Harley-Davidson motorcycle.

“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.”

Spurred by this heritage, the Project LiveWire Experience invites customers to test ride, provide feedback and learn more about the story of the motorcycle. Even those who don’t yet ride will have the opportunity to feel the power of Project LiveWire through Jumpstart – a simulated riding experience.

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A 2014 U.S. tour – kicking off with a journey down Route 66 – will visit more than 30 Harley-Davidson dealerships now through the end of the year. In 2015, the Project LiveWire Experience will continue in the U.S. and expand into Canada and Europe.

“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.”

An Innovative Approach to Advance the Possibilities of Personal Freedom
This exciting new 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 is more like the first electric guitar – not an electric car,” said Mark-Hans Richer, Senior Vice President and Chief Marketing Officer, Harley-Davidson Motor Company. “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.”

The bike offers a visceral riding experience with tire-shredding acceleration and an unmistakable new sound.

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“The sound is a distinct part of the thrill,” said Richer. “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.”

Longer term plans for retail availability of Project LiveWire will be influenced by feedback from riders along the Project Livewire Experience tour.

“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.”

Helping Preserve and Renew the Freedom to Ride for Generations
As riding in the great outdoors is one of the best elements of motorcycling, sustainability remains a core strategic focus at Harley-Davidson.

“Preserving the riding environment is important to all of us,” said Levatich. “Project LiveWire is just one element in our efforts to preserve and renew the freedom to ride for generations to come. As a company that has seen success for 111 years, we think in generational terms about our great riding environments for the next 111 years.”

Fans can learn more about Project LiveWire, as well as specific dates and locations for Project LiveWire Experience stops at projectlivewire.com.  Harley-Davidson also invites anyone who is interested in the possibilities of the future to follow and engage with the company on its social media channels, including Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

Harley-Davidson Motor Company produces heavyweight custom, cruiser and touring motorcycles and offers a complete line of Harley-Davidson motorcycle parts, accessories, riding gear and apparel, and general merchandise. For more information, visit Harley-Davidson’s website at www.h-d.com.

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203 Comments

  1. joe b says:

    Will they be made in India?

  2. Scott says:

    Went over to the Broadway showroom yesterday to check out this bike. Nicely executed considering they’ve only produced thirty so far. Tough sell here in Manhattan since since charging would be nearly impossible for apartment/co-op/condo dwellers.

  3. Jeremy in TX says:

    The interesting thing now is that, depending on how seriously H-D is about their project, the other heavy hitters are going to have to reallocate some resources and answer this smack across the face. Times might get tough in the next few years for Zero and Brammo… as if they weren’t already.

    • Dave says:

      Things might get really good for Zero and Brammo if the bigger brands legitimize their movement. They are already producing and selling bikes. They are ahead of the big makes so if electric takes off, they’re poised to have developed products already in the market, or they could be acquired for big $$ by a bigger company looking to accelerate their own development.

      • Jeremy in TX says:

        That is certainly a possible scenario, but neither Zero or Brammo have anything cutting edge built into the bikes. Everyone could very cheaply replicate. Honda’s automotive line has plenty of electric tech much more cutting edge than anything used in the moto world. With the Big-4 and H-D dealer networks, it would be so hard for Zero and Brammo to stay in the game. I don’t see anyone buying one of these little guys, but it certainly could happen.

        Do you have an e-bike? That isn’t a loaded question. I just notice you are a pretty staunch supporter of them and wonder how you might use yours, what you like, what you would change, etc.

        • Dave says:

          I don’t have an e-bike. Like many others, the cost of entry is still too high to justify for me. I commute ~20 miles each way to work and rarely ride over 60 miles at a time so in their current state, the range and re-charge situation would work for me. I have been watching transportation infrastructure demands change for the past 10 years (check out Manhattan’s bike lanes sometime) and can see that short-medium range electrics are near a tipping point.

          I think Brammo and Zero have more than what they appear to on the surface. They have years of testing and development in their products so they know where potential pitfalls are. that kind of knowledge is what would accelerate other company’s time to market. They also have alternative dealer networks. I could the an acquisition working much like a large tech company picking up a start-up with tech they want.

        • Norm G. says:

          re: ” it would be so hard for Zero and Brammo to stay in the game.”

          for them to stay IN the game, doesn’t there first have to BE a game…? I mean Vectrix went chapter 7 for a reason. who’s buying these things…? there’s even less take rate in this segment than there are for 250 ICE.

          • Jeremy in TX says:

            Indeed. I believe Zero produced approximately 1,500 bikes in 2013 for worldwide consumption. If the rest of their dealers are anything like my local dealership, then I’d guess most of those 2013’s are still sitting on the sales floor. I swear the sales manager of the local dealership chokes back a few sobs every time I ask him how the Zeros are selling. Zero clearly has a lot of private equity at its disposal to keep this up. Don’t know about Brammo.

          • mickey says:

            Jeremy..have you ridden one?

          • Jeremy in TX says:

            Mickey, I have ridden the 2013 FX and a 2011 DS.

  4. Norm G. says:

    if you wanna know where they got the idea for the sound of this bike watch the movie GATTACA. the electrified cars used in this story set in the “not too distant future” sound identical (hint, RWD cars have a differential). great flick btw, regardless of the tie-in.

    the very first thing that had me scratching my head when i saw this bike was what in the Tom T. Hall is that aluminium casing…? it seems to elude that the motor is positioned lengthwise like the crankshaft of a BMW or a Guzzi…? okay why in the hell would they do that, you’d have to turn the power path 90 degrees…?

    reading the cycleworld link below confirmed my suspicions and why i immediately recognized the sound.

  5. ledcat says:

    OK, so why can’t they put the V-rod motor in this thing, and actually give us a harley for the motorcyclist, not for the biker?

  6. JR says:

    Two items for sure that will kill production of this or any other electric motorcycle is price and range. So before anyone gets too excited about this “portable drill on wheels”.. Harley needs to spill the beans on it’s full specifications, and don’t say we don’t have that information because our hard drive crashed.

    • Dave says:

      Tesla is selling all the Model S cars they can make against both of those obstacles.

      • Jeremy in TX says:

        Since the Tesla’s are considered luxury goods, the economics behind them operate under a completely different governance than other forms of personal transportation. They are the latest Gucci handbag. I am not slamming them: that is exactly the game they need to play to sell this technology right now.

        Which might be exactly where H-D is going with their e-bike?

        Premium brand? Check
        Exclusive? Check
        Fashionable? Check
        Utility? Minimal requirements if above three boxes are checked

        • Norm G. says:

          re: “that is exactly the game they need to play to sell this technology right now.”

          YAAHHHTZEEE…!

  7. Tom Shields says:

    I have to give HD kudos for floating a product that is so far outside its normal comfort zone. Nothing on this electric bike looks anything like a Harley except for the name and insignia on the tank. And look – USD forks, an actual swingarm with modern suspension configuration, and footpegs that are not 3 feet in front of the rider.

    I won’t get into the relative merits / demerits of electric vehicles – we all know the challenges of charging time, range, and weight. However, I can’t help but wonder if HD isn’t using the electric drivetrain as a red herring to introduce a new design mentality.

    Whatever. I’m impressed and HD has not impressed me in… forever.

  8. Ed says:

    The patent infringement lawsuits will keep this product tied up for years!

  9. john says:

    Harley has an electric motorcycle not an electric Harley…

  10. Auphliam says:

    HaHA! Harley Haters always make me laugh.

    Always cocked and ready with the disparaging comments, the instant the opportunity arises.

    Guess what? The company everyone loves to hate just surpassed 10 years of work that Zero and Brammo have done in one fell swoop…and the best part is, they’re not even selling it yet HAHAHA.

    They’re market testing a bike that’s already better built, better looking and more finely developed than the products that the other MoCos are already taking your money for.

    but, y’all just keep hatin’

    http://www.cycleworld.com/2014/06/19/harley-davidson-livewire-electric-motorcycle-first-ride-review-photos-video/

    • Gronde says:

      Most Harley haters have never even ridden a Harley. I see comments about how the still lleak oil, have poor quality or are technically behind. Their heads must have been hiding in a dark, smelly place for
      The last 30 years. Give me a break.

      • Auphliam says:

        Very true

      • EZ Mark says:

        Are you honestly contending that Harley’s quality is comparable to Honda’s?

        • Gronde says:

          Perhaps a bit better in some ways. No broken frames (gold wings), bad rectifiers (VFRs) plastic fenders/rocker boxes (Fury) and generally poorer fit and finish than any Harley. I’m actually a Suzuki fanboy but my Harley is no less reliable than ANY Japanese bike I’ve ever owned.

          • mickey says:

            Seriously? How about rattling top ends, faulty cam chain followers, no ride recalls for hydraulic clutches, radiators leaking, radios that don’t work right, throttles that go limp, bad regulators, rear cylinders seizing

            There is a reason they are ranked so low by consumer reports.

            I have had 6 Harleys. Never again.,

          • Gronde says:

            Mickey- it took you 6(!) bikes to find out you don’t like them? It only took me 2 Hondas to find out that they’re not perfect as some would lead you to believe. No bike is. Q: How CBR600’s did Honda sell last year?

          • EZ Mark says:

            Quoting Harley sales figures is like saying McDonalds makes the best food because they sell the most. It’s advertising that sells Harley’s, just like Big Macs.

          • mickey says:

            Gronde 6 bikes over a 29 year span. first one in 1965 last one in 1994. Kept thinking they had to have improved. They didn’t. 1 Italian rebadged, 2 Sportsters, 3 big twins. None of mine were unreliable so to speak, they just weren’t very good motorcycles. Heavy, slow, poor handling, poor braking, a lot of vibrations.

        • richard says:

          Seen mechasnical nightmares in all brands…been in the business for 30 years…A Harley is just as reliable as any other brand in todays market. Believe it or not the brand i saw the most issues with in my experience as a salesperson was Yamaha and pricey to fix.

          • mickey says:

            That’s funny since consumer reports finding on reliabilty and necessity of repairs from 2009 to 2012 found Yamaha to be the best,followed by Kawasaki, Honda, Harley and lastly BMW

          • richard says:

            guess consumer reports dont see everything that may go on in a motorcycle shop and is probably based on warranty claims which is a small percentage of actual mechanical work done in you average service department. I am basing it on customer complaints and heard plenty of that at Yamaha. Im not biased…had a few yamahas and were good bikes..same goes for the other brands.

  11. EZ Mark says:

    I, for one, am glad to see Harley building an electric bike.
    It’s good to see their experience with the latest technology combined with their proven record of reliability brought to this emerging new market.

  12. Hot Dog says:

    So, does it really work, or are they just sticking their thumb in the eye of the established motorcycle community? HD is the company that leads the way with “Our way or the Highway”. I like the machine, I think the design is flowing but I cynically doubt their conviction. Snooty pretenders/poseurs buy their products because they want to “be seen”, are these the Avant guard of the upwardly mobile? Oh, how chic(!), from bad biker to Mr. Electron. How encompassing, give me a break.

    • Hot Dog says:

      My comments always “await moderation” because I question lemming mentality. March along little drones….

      • mickey says:

        Well then, you should probably ride a Harley and have a nick name like Lone Wolf or something being all anti establishment and all lol

      • Jeremy in TX says:

        I get moderated often, and I rarely ever say anything bad about lemmings, the poor little bastards.

  13. LJ says:

    It looks like it weighs as much as all the other HD boat anchors they build! And if that’s the case as I’m sure it is it probably won’t have more than a 100 mile range before needing a recharge, how impractical! And if it stays consistent with everything else HD it’s probably overpriced as well! I say tie a rope to it and throw it overboard so it will be in its true element or at least build it a custom matched trailer so it can be towed everywhere like most HD bikes. This reminds me of something a friend who has always been loyal to the HD brand told me. He said that 90% of all HD bikes were still on the road today………….the other 10% made it home. Just an FYI I have also tried several HD bikes over the years starting in 78′ and all were a disappointment to say the least. I did my best to defend this American built machine and it’s heritage but just couldn’t do it any longer when there is so many more brands that offer reliability, performance, performance, performance, comfort and value.

    • Norm G. says:

      easy, again this is just a marketing exercise. we’ll be lucky if this bike ever sees the light of day. and if it does…? it’ll be limited production numbers, like maybe 1 or 2 per store tops. think “halo” model like the desmosedici or superleggera and of course with a “halo” price to match. something they can point to and say, “hey look at what we did”. sometimes that’s all you need.

      rest assured, nobody in Harley world or their dealer network is interested in this bike beyond that. in the remote area I was riding yesterday, couldn’t throw a rock without hitting something sporting the Bar and Shield. even if their WERE an electric infrastructure, this bike would struggle to make it even a 1/4 of the way there. riding really is FREEDOM for these guys.

  14. Lenz says:

    Lot of research $ going into capacitor based electric power storage. This means very fast charging times. Personally I see bulk energy generation through renewable energy sources with allied hydrogen production assisting with base load plus providing a transportable fuel source for vehicles. Further down the track perhaps but eminently doable.

  15. gaham mccullough says:

    my first comment about the bike was a bit abrupt. it is important for h-d to stay current with new technologies, for a new customer base.

  16. JR says:

    OK.. I give up.. what does it cost? What does it weigh? What is it’s rating in HP? What is it’s top speed and range? How long does it take to re-charge? What are it’s dimensions? Forget the surprise hype and get to the chase.

    • Auphliam says:

      There is no price yet, as it’s not in production yet. This is market research. They are doing a tour of the US, and eventually Canada, to let people ride it and give their impressions.

      By the way, the motor is rated at 74hp and 52 ft lbs…0-60 in under 4 secs

  17. took says:

    imo they’re f***ing with the brand. nothing wrong with harley as a business making e-bike. ideally top-of-the-line e-bikes. im just saying, have it branded as a SUBSIDIARY brand. call it American E-Wheels, call it TopBike, call it XYZ, call it whatever you wanna call it. to me the issue is NOT one of e-bikes vs gas bikes. to me the issue is BRAND NAME. i dont even ride a harley (YET), but when i WILL say “i ride a harley” i’ll want anyone and everyone to know what that means. NOT the electric virtual reality sound. the sound of the 2 f***ng cylinders, going thump thump thump. H-A-R-L-E-Y. thank you.

    • Jeremy in TX says:

      It is brand name that gives this particular e-bike some serious buzz and credibility.

  18. John Smith says:

    I predict Harley will do for electric motorcycles what they did for pin setters during the AMF years!

  19. Tuskerdu says:

    Best looking HD ever.

  20. Tommy D says:

    A guy I work with just picked up a new Tesla yesterday. Everyone at work including his boss and bosses boss were jealous. I mention this because public perception of e-vehicles is changing from green powered eco-boxes to lust filled works of art. There is no denying the Tesla is drop dead sexy even if it were powered by a traditional motor. The more the manufactures invest into this alternative power the better it will be for consumers. Did you watch the IOMTT? See the electric bikes do their lap? Listen to McGuiness talk about how much fun it was to ride his 117.336 lap?

    I would LOVE an e-bike but I want it to be as good as the Tesla. Sexy with performance and give me range. This bike along with Mission R hit the mark on style. No need to make electric powered transportation only appeal to a Prius owner.

    • MGNorge says:

      The other side of e-anything is charging time. Along with high capacity to go longer distances, having to stop for a mandatory hours long recharge is a negative. We have a number of Teslas running around the Seattle area and they do catch the eye and for what they go for not too far out of reach of many up and comers who might want to break from the norm. We just bought a new Honda Accord Hybrid which was just introduced last year. Unlike the Prius but more like a Chevy Volt, it’s a series hybrid in that the gas engine serves as the power to generate juice for the main traction motor most of the time and only hooks up mechanically through a clutch beyond 45 mph or so. There isn’t a transmission as such as the electric motor provides the motive power. In practice it’s uncannily smooth and quiet and reportedly easy to achieve real-world combined EPA numbers of 50 in town and 45 hwy. We’ve only had it a week and we see 42 mpg. Combined power is 196hp and torque of 226 lb-ft. Much more roomy inside than a Prius, except for cargo, and drives and behaves much like a standard Accord. I like that it doesn’t scream HYBRID as the Prius family does. I like saving resources but I don’t need to shout it to the world.

      So, advancements are here, they’ll improve and for those looking toward the day they can have a Tesla, or other e-machine in their garage, that day won’t be too far away. (I saw where Tesla is working on a smaller, less costly design) :)

      • richard says:

        yes a Tesla is $100,00. No gas..save $$$…2 moving parts in the motor…less maintenance $$…brakes and tires…only maintenace…the batteries probably cost a mint though . Someone told me the other day that Tesla have released theyre patents for the world to see…is that true ?

  21. JR says:

    Well.. I will say a couple of things. In order to sell anything you need to get it out to the public so they can see, touch and maybe even test it for themselves, and Harley has the dealer network to do this. Second.. in the absence of any spec’s, from the picture it does appear to have a fixed rear axle with belt drive, like the XB Buell which will eliminate any need for rear belt adjustments.

  22. Skif says:

    On this bike the Harley bar and shield logo appears ghostlike. There but not there. It fades into the dark as a deminishing memory of a long ago dream.

  23. david says:

    Looks more like a marketing ploy. H-D has nothing to lose to make noise on this bike. Getting people’s attention to get into the HD dealership and end up buying their other money maker machines. With the way HD prices their motorcycles (up high vs others), if this electric bike can make into the real world market, its pricing is probably in $50-60k. Who buys it? Hollywood does. It might be the reason it advertises in the Hollywood in the first place. No anger or complaints from current HD customers. It’s nothing to do with them.

  24. bikerrandy says:

    with an electric motor you can have any sound you want. In Holland Domino Pizza delivery scooters have a sound system that says Dominos over and over so when they are surrounded by bicyclists they don’t collide with any. It sounds pretty cool. How about the General Lee horn or whatever blasting out of your bike? 8 ^ 0

  25. sam says:

    the first thing that came to mind is how cool the Vrod woulda been if they stuck that engine in this package!

  26. Michael H says:

    Not oil, electrons.

  27. Michael H says:

    That’s a very cool looking bike. A parallel twin could fit in that frame, don’t you think?

    Congratulations to HD for giving its engineering talent a challenge like this to work on. If the range was triple what HD says it is, it would have some possibilities as an around-town bike. An expensive around-town bike, no doubt.

    The first IC engines were probably expensive buggers to build, and the cost of refining petroleum into gasoline was also no doubt expensive when the concept was new. Electric bikes are in their infancy; it’s reasonable to expect costs to come down as the technology improves.

  28. MrD says:

    I have to say it’s a really nice machine, the styling is impressive, but it probably should have been a cruiser. With that said, if I went out to buy an electric Harley, I’d want something looking like a Dyna or FLH, not a Brammo. It should have chrome everywhere and at least one fat fender. Electric bikes are here and I doubt they will go away. All we need now is a better battery, and a manufacturer that will put it in our favourite style ride. For those whom would miss the ICE sound, (God knows I would) you can tune the noise of that bubble gum card by moving it closer or further from the centre of the wheel. Barely a placebo I know….

  29. skybullet says:

    Like the electric car bandwagon this is not ready for the real world. The limits of recharging availability, then time on the charger and severely limited range due to battery life will keep all electric vehicles from being practical…. Unless you are a flaming greenie without buyers remorse.

    • Dave says:

      They are practical now. It is very small minority of drivers/riders who require or use current I.C.E. vehicle’s range today.

      • falcodoug says:

        I am one of those minority types :)

        • mickey says:

          Yea me too. Just returned from a ride from Ohio to Monteray California and back. 5424 miles in 11 days. There were times when gas stations were pretty rare. Never saw a charging station and they’d have to be what, every 60 miles or so when traveling 80 mph on an electric bike? Heck, my average ride around home is over 100 miles.

          I WOULD ride an automatic electric cycle if it were practical. I am not hung up on the ICE as a means of transportation per se. But electrics are just not there yet, and at 64 years old, I don’t expect them to be in the years I have left to ride.

          Maybe my son who is 35 will have a truly practical E bike to ride some day.

          • Dave says:

            Sure, an electric bike is not capable of a cross country trip. But again, of all of the two-wheeled motor vehicles on the road, how many are used in that application even once, let alone regularly.

            There are fantastic ICE bikes for this but these applications (touring and basic transportation) couldn’t be much more different if we were comparing airplanes and row boats. It’s the reason lots of motorcycle owners have more than one.

          • mickey says:

            Dave, many many many motorcycles are used for touring. Apparently you don’t read magazines such as Rider, or Road Runner. As a matter of fact I can’t imagine how few motorcycles are purchased to be ridden less than 65 miles on nearly every ride. That would be 32 miles out and back home. Maybe people who live in a city like New York, San Francisco, or LA, but in the rest of the country we have to ride to get anywhere. My wife and I rode out to dinner and back last night round trip it was 74 miles. Any PRACTICAL motorcycle should be able to do more than that IMO… A LOT MORE!

          • Dave says:

            ” As a matter of fact I can’t imagine how few motorcycles are purchased to be ridden less than 65 miles on nearly every ride.”

            According to the US census, 80.7% of Americans live in urban areas so the “rest of the country” is 19.3%. If you look up the statistics, you will find that the average trip for motor vehicles is far shorter than that, car or motorcycle.

            Yours is a very unique use case. There is much protest of bikes with shorter range/smaller tanks on enthusiast sites, but very little reaction from the motorcycle industry offerings. If it were such a common requirement, wouldn’t they react to their customer’s demands?

          • Jeremy in TX says:

            “Urban” as defined by the Census Bureau can be a pretty small town. Even if one lives in a large metro, the short range of electrics may not be sufficient. That is certainly the case where I live.

            For me, the utility of being able to go as far as I want for as long as I want far outweighs any long-term cost/benefit from an electric bike with current tech. You refer to this as fringe requirements, but after 20 years of riding and living in lots of different places, I couldn’t disagree more. The fringe is the rider who buys a bike because he she will never ride it more than 60 miles per day.

            I believe I could – and probably will in the next few years – replace my dirt bike with an e-bike, but I personally couldn’t justify the cost of an e-bike as a commuter-only tool while ICE bikes are just as competent in that regard, cheaper and more capable. Apparently the current market agrees.

        • Jeremy in TX says:

          Nearly all riders I know are one of those minority types. That has held true everywhere I’ve lived – LA, TX, SC, MS, IL, CT and CO – except for Europe where many riders could indeed use an electric motorcycle for practically all of their riding.

      • MGNorge says:

        Yes, can be practical in specific uses but look how much squawking goes on over ICE bikes with smaller fuel tanks. Complaints galore about how that’ll never do because it forces too many stops. An e-bike would require that plus charge time.

        • Norm G. says:

          gotta be honest, the limiting factor when I’m riding isn’t how much liquid’s in my tank, but how much liquid’s in my BLADDER.

          so if I’m going to stop, may as well make it a gas station with a restroom like a civil human being. the fact that I can take on gas and grab a snickers is really a bonus, but it’s not necessarily what brought me in.

          • mickey says:

            Norm, if you were on an e bike you could take your time, potty, eat a meal, take a nap while it’s charging….a much more relaxed way to travel.

          • MGNorge says:

            I have a pretty large tank on my Norge and would likewise need a potty stop generally before a refueling. But depending on where I am I might just top off (both) tanks before pressing forward! :)

            I think we’ll see some improvements in batteries, or super-capacitors, in time but a bike has rather limited extra space to place it all. Maybe a solar array and wind generator attached to one’s helmet would help? :)

    • motowarrior says:

      See Tesla…

  30. Provologna says:

    I presume the older the H-D fan, the more likely is strong negative reaction to this bike. But the older the H-D fan the less likely are they the target demographic for this bike. So H-D risks little to nothing by alienating these fans.

    IMO the best example of the target demographic for this bike is gender neutral, high 20s to early 40s, highly skilled professional such as might be found working for Google in Silicon Valley.

    Good arguments exist to support the belief in peak oil as past event. The USA is a strange country that does not exist without oil, yet the insane war mongers who run it seem hell bent on insuring oil rises constantly in price by our military excursions abroad. In addition, fifty years after the first ME oil embargo, we still are not energy independent. So as each day passes we grow only closer to e-bikes being the norm, not the exception.

    H-D seems only interested in making sure they are ready and prepared to exist when that day arrives. This bike will only help to insure that is the case. Whether this bike ever makes the show room floor or not, I perceive it as one of the most important milestones in motorcycle history (worth what you paid for that opinion).

    Side bar: NPR talked today about this bike’s “sound.” It’s funny, because no known independent person has ever actually “heard” this bike (nor any microphone recorded it). The “sound” quality attached to the bike in the moving image could be and IMO most likely is 100% synthesized (I am ex-pro synthesizer programmer). IOW, talking about the “sound” of this bike is like qualifying the “look” of a vehicle based on viewing a 100% synthetic computer “rendering.” I could justify such qualification, but only if/when qualifying the qualification with full disclosure that we’re reporting on something that does not exist in 3-D space.

    • richard says:

      ah…lets get away from the Road Pirate biker mentality….Harley just released the first motorcycle with a touch screen..the new Rushmore bikes…now stepping forward to the future with electric power…i would say Harley are fore runners into the technological age……remember all the haters when the V-Rod was released in 2003…what a great bike. Seems Harley want to build bikes to please everyone..all ages…thats true passion in my opinion.

      • Jeremy in TX says:

        “We at H-D make motorcycles to please everyone – so long as everyone is pleased by cruisers.”

        • richard says:

          do you think the Livewire looks like a cruiser ?

          • Jeremy in TX says:

            Not in the least. It is a beautiful bike. But H-D has certainly never demonstrated a product line that would imply that they want to build bikes that please everyone. The LiveWire is a shock to me – both in concept and design.

  31. Josh John says:

    A lot of you think that HD did the wrong thing by doing this. You think that they’re going to piss off the HD masses that has been loyal fans of HDs since the good ol’ days! Well, guess what. To get to this point, HD do what every other companies do before putting out new products. They do detail, intense, research using FOCUS GROUPS to see who wants it, likes it, and what they’re going to buy if HD makes it. So by you saying that they’re screwing up the brand is LUDICROUS. HD has spoke to many many people to find out who’s out there and what’s the interest in a bike like this. To get here, there’s a lot of people that has interest. Do you think HD can survive on the same old customers over and over again? Most of them probably be dead and a whole new generation don’t want to buy big clunkers like the old HDs that’s out there. Oh, you’ll still get the same people that buy it because of the legend that HD created, but there’s not enough of them to keep HD profitable. Hell, I’m surprise that HD hasn’t made a bunch of cool sport bikes that go head to head with the Japanese big 4 and the Europeans exotic sports bikes. Look at BMW, creating the S1000! What a great bike! HD should’ve have done that! Now Buell is out on their own, away from the archaic thinking of HD and has created an AWESOME sportsbike! So yes, I think HD is doing the right thing, listening to the focus group, and creating this electric bike. They look very close of creating their own sportsbike too! I can’t wait to see where they go! HURRAY FOR HD!

    • richard says:

      HD know theyre Niche…cruisers…build what you know and know what you build.
      I can repect that. The s1000 is an awesome bike…havnt seen that many on the road…BMW are known for comfortable touring bikes…thats what they sell most of.

  32. Sean says:

    Cool bike wrong brand to build it. This will only piss off the customer base as this bike stands for everything that harley is not. Besides pissing off the current customers its going to dilute and confuse the brand, Harley had an image and sold bikes based 99% on that image alone now they are messing with that in a major way I don’t think that’s smart. Harley def needed to progress but an electric bike? That’s just way out there. They shouldn’t have put the harley name on it rather created a new line with a different name and sold them out of harley dealers. Similar to what bmw does with the mini and Mercedes does with the smart car. The def don’t put bmw and Benz badges on those!

    • motowarrior says:

      Maybe Harley could also hook up with Buell and sell that brand at it’s dealerships…oh, wait…

      • Sean says:

        Yeah like that but hopeful the product is better, the Buell’s were…Is garbage to harsh?? But electric Harley’s? lol makes me laugh everytime I say that.

    • Norm G. says:

      re: “Harley def needed to progress but an electric bike? That’s just way out there.”

      hey, nobody said it wasn’t a gamble. what you say IS a real possibility, but i think they’re hoping (nay banking $$) the long-term publicity (which is how i really see this) will ultimately cancel out any negatives.

      with the gen-Y/millenials movie tie-in and positive initial reactions, they’re off to a good start. they DO need to attract a younger demographic. they’re no different than the other manufacturers engaged in the niche business of motorcycling.

      the Livewire’s job is to get ‘em through the doors, it’s the salesman’s job to “put them on ICE”. see what i did there…?

    • richard says:

      The Harley ” Biker” image is fading quickly….think its cool that Harley are leaping forward with electric technology…they are masters at marketing…thats why they are so successfull…there is a huge buzz with Livewire…thats exactly what they intended and you have to admit..judging by the other choices in electric bikes..like Brammo… as far as appearance goes the Livewire is way cool…there are a lot of enthusuasts including bad ass Harley types who want to get theyre hands on one right now…alas but cant have one yet…Harley are testing the waters with demo rides before they become available…to see the feedback before they fully commit to mass production…these days with sales lower in all luxury products is smart thinking….cant wait to try one !

      BMW are playing the same games with theyre new Cafe racer style model..the local BMW dealer here has deposits for 35 units…the dealership had to beg BMW for 7 units…..even the Japanese hold back on certain models…for example a few years ago when the Honda Fury was released you could only buy one from a “Powerhouse” store..so the smaller dealers got shut out completely unless they invested millions of dollars to upgrade theyre store to a Powerhouse store ….all manufacturers are playing the same game….want to buy a Ducati Panagale…good luck getting your hands on one…unless you are the first lucky few to put a deposit on one before you have seen it or ridden it. I personally dont buy anything unless i can touch it and test ride it…i think most of us are the same.

  33. gaham mccullough says:

    I don’t want to: see it, read about it, test ride it, nothing. I hope it never sees the showroom floor. I am amazed h-d would put their name on it.

    • Jeremy in TX says:

      I know right? Who would have thought H-D was even capable of looking beyond 1960? It is the best looking H-D product ever made in my opinion. Good on them.

    • Daytona James says:

      Interested to know gaham… why not? One of the coolest looks I think they’ve ever dared to produce. Nice to see some new thinking coming out of Milwaukee for a change. Is it the electric thing? Are you one of the staunch HD traditionalists we have to drag kicking and screaming into the future? All things change… nothing stays the same. Things that try – die.

  34. Ed says:

    This is easily the best looking electric motorcycle I’ve seen.Probably doesn’t have the range to make my daily commute and with the Harley Davidson name tag will likely be the most expensive electric motorcycle there is.

  35. Norm G. says:

    re: “Photos of a Harley-Davidson electric motorcycle on a Hollywood movie set began circulating a few days ago.”

    avengers 2. should post those pics. i wondered why these pics look strange…? these pics look like they’re of a toy model or something made by a 3D printer.

  36. Gentleman Rook says:

    Loud batteries save lives.

  37. GP says:

    Personally, I am much more interested in KTM’s FreeRide E, or the Zero FX. Why on earth would HD deliberately try to make an E bike noisy? The HD motor/drive system does not appear to be as torquey as other E-Bikes. Other E-Bikes have moderate HP ratings, and monstrous torque.

  38. Al T says:

    Put the new 750 engine in that frame and we would have something.

    • richard says:

      Just buy a 750 and save your money..you obviously dont get the point !

      • Jeremy in TX says:

        That guy will never buy a 750 Street. But he might by an ergonomically correct, cleanly designed 750 “NotSoLiveWire”.

        If Harley had been producing bikes that look like this one with real engines in them, I would have probably owned a few Harleys in my time as would many others who don’t now.

        The LiveWire is a stunning bike, which just makes many of us wonder why H-D held out producing appealing (to the rest of us) bikes like this all along.

        • Dave says:

          Re; “If Harley had been producing bikes that look like this one with real engines in them,”

          They called those “Buell”. I rented one for a long day ride once, it was interesting but pretty strange too.

          • Jeremy in TX says:

            H-D tried with Buell but failed to really understand their market. Buells were quirky, and not particularly pleasing to the eye with a few exceptions. And until the 1125s came out (terribly ugly bikes), Buells lacked a decent engine.

            The LiveWire is designed for an entirely different kind of customer. I think they nailed it.

  39. denny says:

    and where is the…. (unbalanced) rumble? It cant’ be H-D.

  40. clasqm says:

    Get rid of the DumboEars(tm) integrated mirrors and turnsignals. Then talk to me about (1) sticker price and (2) effective range. And keep those handlebars and footpegs where they are!

    But congrats, HD, on beating all the other major manufacturers (with the sole exception of Yamaha) in at least showing an interest.

  41. TimZ says:

    Dang my hide! The great conservative two-wheel HD dinosaur has seen the future, bless them. Giant torque, low maintenance, home-charging ‘sickles for everyday use with reliability that defies high-component machines, all the fuss and feathers of internal combustibility finally relegated … migod, even the idea of battery development as promised over the next five years makes this a winner for gentleriders – who maybe do all their running and profiling just around town.

    Applause for HD designers, engineers and directors for this giant step for ‘sicklekind.