A Harley-Davidson Electric Motorcycle? Project LiveWire Unveiled

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Harley-Davidson Electric Motorcycle

Harley-Davidson has unveiled something totally unexpected – an electric motorcycle called Project LiveWire.

And as the title states, it’s just that – a project. The bike, which Harley says blends innovation and heritage, is not for sale, but will be on tour throughout America beginning next week.

The Motor Company is inviting select customers to ride the Harley-Davidson’s first-ever electric motorcycle, and offer feedback. Once the Project LiveWire Experience tour wraps up, Harley will take this feedback and decide if it should build the machine.

Harley says the bike 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.”

The tour begins on historic Route 66, and Project LiveWire will visit more than 30 dealerships through the end of the year. The bike will continue its tour in 2015, expanding into Canada and Europe.

For those who don’t demo the electric motorcycle, a simulated riding experience will be available through Jumpstart.

“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.”

“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.”

And what’s a Harley without noise? Harley says its “tire-shredding” Project LiveWire electric bike will feature an unmistakable sound.

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

Harley officials say LiveWire does not lack performance; the electric can reach speeds over 90 mph, and can reach 60 mph in under four seconds. As for distance, it’s not too long for now – 55 in economy mode, just over 30 in performance mode. And charging time is 3.5 hours.

As stated above, Harley’s electric motorcycle will only come to fruition based on customer feedback during the demo 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.”

Harley says the new concept bike also helps maintain one of its core-strategic focuses – preserving the riding environment.

“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.

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