Harley-Davidson has launched its first-ever electric motorcycle at CES 2019 in Las Vegas. And the new "twist-and-go" bike is no slouch, either. It can reach speeds of up to 120 MPH and do 0-60 is a cool 3.5 seconds. The electric bike, which goes by the name LiveWire, also has a range of up to 110 miles of mixed urban and highway driving.
According to the Daily Mail, the bikes will be available for delivery in the U.S. from fall of this year and you can pre-order one now for $29,799. LiveWire is also expected to be launched in Canada and Europe before the end of 2019.
Because LiveWire is a "twist-and-go" bike, it has done away with traditional shifters and has no transmission and no clutch. As a result, it is an extremely easy bike to ride. It also boasts a full suite of electronic lateral aids, too, with a huge number of different sensors and programmable touch controls.
It is also the first bike in North America to be equipped with cellular connectivity as well as GPS location-tracking installed as standard. This means that it can inform the owner automatically if it is either moved or tampered with.
The design of the new LiveWire is a long way from the traditional Harley-Davidson look, but Paul James, the company's director of motorcycle product planning, said that it has been well received so far.
"We've seen some [resistance], but at the same time, we did so many lab demos – you get a lot of positive feedback too," he explained to the Daily Mail.
"Many of them are like 'You know, it may not be the bike for me, but I get why Harley is doing it,'" he went on. "Others are saying, 'You know what, I'd love to have that in my garage too, alongside my traditional bike.' So, I think in the first years we're going to have first-time Harley owners that have never ridden a motorcycle before, and we're going to have a lot of current Harley riders as well."
One thing that will be missing from the new bike is the trademark Harley-Davidson noise. Instead, the LiveWire's electric powertrain will produce a "new signature Harley-Davidson sound," with minimal vibration, heat, and noise. This may be an unwelcome development to some Harley-Davidson enthusiasts, but their President and CEO, Matt Levatich, insists it is necessary.
"We're at a historic juncture in the evolution of mobility, and Harley-Davidson is at the forefront," he said. "This next chapter in our history is about creating products and opportunities for existing and aspiring riders of all ages and walks of life."