Harley Davidson motorcycles have always been heard way before they made an appearance. Owing to the unmistakable thumping sound, these beasts never came; they arrived in style and panache, coupled with ruggedness.
Hence it was quite a surprise when Harley Davidson announced its first-of-its kind all-electric motorcycle. As reported by The Inquisitr, ‘Project LiveWire’ had been under development for quite some time, but the company successfully prevented any news or specifications of the bike from leaking out. Now that an Electric Harley has been unleashed, let’s try and understand the bike and the intention behind the rather poorly timed launch.
The all-electric LiveWire appears to have borrowed heavily from the company’s Sportster and V-Rod machines. The bike actually resembles a lot to Harley flat-tracker, a whole family of racing-inspired motorcycles that helped the brand create a right image even in this segment.
LiveWire doesn’t have the macho engine, gearbox, clutch and exhaust pipe. Hence it may feel minimalist when started, but rev up the engine and an high-pitched jet engine whine becomes more than audible, reminding the rider and passer-by that the LiveWire has an still-in-development electric engine that is directly connected to the rear wheel. In other words, there’s no getting up to the power band. It’s all power-band, from zero to 92mph, reported LA Times.
Essentially transfer of power takes place directly from the huge electric motor to the composite belt that drives the rear wheel. This offers pick-ups that would put any gas-engine to shame. Overall, the engine is said to produce 74 horsepower and 52 foot-pounds of torque, on a vehicle that weighs just 460 pounds. Hence the vehicle is built like a racer and performs like a dragster.
However, despite the appeal, Harley Davidson’s hardcore fans might be attracted to this new-generation design and the engine that doesn’t sound like a Harley bike at all. If that’s not all, Harley bikes have been traditionally built for the long haul and have had massive gas tanks. But the LiveWire has relatively puny mileage of just 53 miles and that too if the rider rides in the humiliating ‘Power Saving’ mode. If that’s not bad, the riders will have to take a huge 3 and ½ hour break till their bikes are ready to go again, reported OverDrive.
Though Harley has promised to remedy these glaring limitations, for enthusiastic and eco-conscious riders, there are more potent offerings already in existence and production. The question is, will Harley fans stay true to the company.
[Image Credit | Harley Davidson, Overdrive]