Silicon Valley is home to some of the world’s top technological corporations and thousands of startups.It’s the hubbub of everything tech-forward, including the giants like Alphabet (formerly Google Inc.), Apple, eBay, Facebook, Intel, Netflix, Salesforce.com and Tesla, just to name a few.
And now another huge American business name will join Silicon Valley, but not one typically associated with high technology – Harley-Davidson.As The Motor Company plunges deeper into high-tech, it has established a new R&D facility in Northern California’s Silicon Valley. The new facility will allow Harley to fully support its first complete line of electric vehicles.Harley, which launches its first electric motorcycle in 2019 – the LiveWire – is expected to begin operations in the Silicon Valley R&D facility during the fourth quarter of 2018.“Recently we shared with the world our accelerated plans to build the next generation of Harley-Davidson riders globally,” said Matt Levatich, President and CEO of Harley-Davidson, Inc.“This new R&D facility in the heart of Silicon Valley will help us deliver on those plans and demonstrate our commitment to lead the electrification of the sport.”The news follows the July release of the company’s “More Roads to Harley-Davidson” growth initiative, which will expand the H-D community through “new products, broader access and stronger dealers.”The motorcycle releases discussed in this plan are Harley’s first Adventure bike, a Custom Streetfighter, and of course the LiveWire electric motorcycles.Harley says the LiveWire will be followed by additional EV (electric vehicle) models through 2022 to “broaden the portfolio with lighter, smaller and even more accessible product options to inspire new riders with new ways to ride.”About the Harley-Davidson Silicon Valley R&D FacilityThe new facility in California, which will serve as a satellite of the Willie G. Davidson Product Development Facility in Wauwatosa, Wis., is expected to open in the fourth quarter of 2018.It will initially focus on electric vehicle research and development, including battery, power electronics and e-machine design, development and advanced manufacturing. Long term, the company may consider expanding the center’s focus to an increased range of advanced technologies that uniquely leverage the rich talent in the Silicon Valley and support its most comprehensive and competitive lineup of motorcycles across a broad spectrum of price points, power sources and riding styles.The company has already begun recruiting top talent in electrical, mechanical and software engineering, with experience in developing and delivering a wide variety of EV systems from design through production.The facility will initially employ a staff of approximately 25, most of which the company intends to hire from within the Silicon Valley area.“This is an exciting time in Harley-Davidson’s incredible history, and it’s also an exciting time to join our company and help shape our future,” said Levatich.For more, visit Harley-Davidson.
Associate Editor Teejay Adams recently attended the Yamaha Champions Riding School in Las Vegas, and she took with her the Yamaha XSR900 that she’s been riding for a while. This is the retro-style version of the MT-09, and Teejay gives us her impressions of the bike, including her thoughts versus the XSR700 that she rode previously.
The guest segment of Motos and Friends is brought to you by the faster and most technologically advanced, 2023 Suzuki Hayabusa—one of the most iconic sportbikes ever. Check it out in person at your local Suzuki dealer now, or visit suzukicycles.com to learn more.
In our second segment, Teejay chats with Cait Maher, a contributing journalist at motorcycle.com and owner of a Yamaha TW200. The two ladies met at the recent launch of Kawasaki’s dual sport KLX230s. Teejay is a total novice off-road. Cait however, although quite experienced in the dirt including her recent venture on the District 37 Barstow to Las Vegas dual-sport ride, still doesn’t consider herself an expert. Both of these girls have a positive, upbeat attitude, and their fun, energetic outlook shines through. Cait is definitely a give-it-a-go type of personality. Her take on the various challenges, experiences and adventures that she’s had make for fun listening.