The Project LiveWire Concept
In 2014, Harley-Davidson® released prototype images to the media of its first-ever electric motorcycle, known as Project LiveWire. A very limited number of prototypes were available for test drives at dealerships. Although feedback was mostly positive, Project LiveWire was seen as a radical departure from Harley’s traditional motorcycles, considering its goal of attracting a more diverse group of riders to the company. But time passed and the vehicle never entered full-scale production. Plans for the project were seemingly shelved—until now. Last January, the company announced that the first Project LiveWire motorcycles would be arriving in showrooms in 2019. Plans for additional models are expected to be released through 2022.
Technical Aspects and Specifications
Electric motorcycles are nothing new, but few of them have motors mounted longitudinally (under the frame). The LiveWire bikes do. This means power is sent to the rear wheel—similar to an automobile—using a three-phase AC motor/bevel gear/belt drive system. That belt is what turns the rear wheel and gives the bikes a whirring sound that’s been described as similar to an oversized vacuum or a jet turbine.
The motorcycle consists of a cast aluminum frame and a swingarm capable of carrying up to 460 pounds. With a direct drive powertrain and 74 horsepower engine, the LiveWire can handle speeds of up to 95 miles per hour using electric power. It’s expected to be able to go from zero to 60 miles per hour in about four seconds. The battery’s range isn’t clear; the original concept was limited to roughly 50 miles, so riders definitely hope to see improvement there.
Paving the Way for New Riders
With the launch of its first electric bike in 2019, Harley-Davidson® hopes to draw in a new crowd of riders who might not be attracted to the model’s traditional loud and heavy motorcycles. But old school riders will appreciate the throwback style reminiscent of the Buell Motorcycles bikes produced by a Harley subsidiary until 2009. For new riders and old, the 2019 Harley-Davidson® LiveWire motorcycles promise comfort, style, and performance from a global leader in the motorcycle game.
If you’re interested in scheduling a test ride on a Project LiveWire bike, stay tuned to Tecumseh Harley-Davidson® for more information on a release date. We are your go-to source for brand new and pre-owned Harley-Davidsons® in Tecumseh. Call us at 517.423-3333 or stop by our showroom today.