Harley Davidson’s New Electric Motorcycle

Anyone that knows motorcycles has heard the name Harley Davidson. Founded in the early 1900s, Harley Davidson was one of the few motorcycle companies to survive the great depression and has overcome numerous challenges throughout the years to become the most recognized name in motorcycles in the United States today. Harley Davidson strives to keep up with emerging technologies, and has recently unveiled a new electric motorcycle.

Electric Motorcycle Events

The company will be introducing the new electric motorcycle to consumers through a series of events at select Harley Davidson dealerships across the country and into Canada. Called “Project LiveWire,” the events will give customers a chance to ride the new motorcycles and provide feedback. The company has not yet announced when or even if the motorcycles will be for sale, but expects to acquire information from the Project LiveWire events that will fuel future changes and innovations.

Electric Motorcycle Features

Although electric motorcycles are not a completely new concept, the idea is removed from the traditional idea of Harley Davidson’s loud, gasoline powered motorcycles. The new electric motorcycle is quiet, and has a unique sound that is very different from the drum beat that is ordinarily associated with Harley motorcycles. The “LiveWire” prototype runs on rechargeable batteries, which can save consumers money, but presents a few challenges.

LiveWire Challenges

The current LiveWire prototype can only go about 50 miles before requiring a charge. At this time, charging the electric motorcycle takes a few hours. Before the electric motorcycle can go to market, charging stations would have to be installed across the country to allow customers to fuel up as needed. This challenge has been the greatest drawback to the project so far.

Project Live Wire Feedback

Many customers of Harley Davidson enjoy long distance touring and have admitted that the bike would not be an attractive purchase unless it could drive much longer on a single charge, charge more quickly, and have convenient spots to charge when traveling. The company has announced the target market for the new electric motorcycle as younger, urban professionals that will not need to travel far during each excursion, but this may cost Harley Davidson sales to the existing customer base.

Customers are divided on the difference in sound from older models, with some preferring the new purr and others favoring the louder gasoline powered sound. The electric motorcycle has a faster initial pick-up, which is a quality that most consumers enjoy. Many are excited at the prospect of such a renowned company as Harley Davidson joining the foray into alternative fuel sources for motorcycles.