Okay, so far does American-V go when it comes to electric vehicles?
They are patently not V-twins or V4s or V-anythings, and they don’t have the rumble or the roar that defines a big-inch 4-stroke internal combustion engine and which has wormed its way into my soul.
So, do we cover them, just because they are from Harley-Davidson? For now, yes.
Full disclosure: I, personally, see these as part of the long term solution for motorcycling, and we need to embrace the technology because there are places where it will work exceptionally well. But, I think electric as a power source for transport is a short term political ‘fix’ that will ultimately prove to be the DVD of the transport system: new technologies will relegate it to a secondary power source within our lifetime.
But even then, electric will form part of a portfolio of fuels available to us because used correctly, it is an obvious solution, but it remains to be seen how long it will take for the next evolution to manifest itself.
My money is on hydrogen – once we’ve worked out a way of plucking it out of the air, transporting it and safely storing it – and until then, I’ll smoke around on my Shovelhead and Buell, which are celebrating their fortieth and twentieth birthdays respectively this year. And for that reason alone, I’m not in the least bit concerned that Harley-Davidson are making electric motorcycles. They are also making Milwaukee-Eight Softails, tourers and Sportsters, and are announcing a new internal combustion engine soon, too.
So, let’s not get our panties in a bunch: it doesn’t threaten the bikes we love, and it is very unlikely to do so in our lifetimes … not looking like this.
And if it’s as much fun as the prototype, it’ll be blast to ride. It’s certainly quick enough, but I can’t get excited about the sound – which despite assurances that it is unique, sounds inevitably like the drivetrain from a near-silent electric motor to a rear wheel to me – or the range … or the price, but it’s early days yet and I’m looking forward to riding one if the opportunity presents itself.
I’ll let Harley’s press office tell you the rest …
We’re bringing the thrill of riding into the future. Get ready for a lineup of electric motorcycles that will inspire new ways to ride.
MEET THE ALL‑NEW LIVEWIRE™
Thrilling performance. Muscular looks. Groundbreaking technology. Everything about the first Harley‑Davidson electric motorcycle delivers a level of excitement you haven’t felt before.
- Starting at: £28,995
- Coming: August 2019
0 TO 60 IN UNDER 3.5 SECONDS
Get instantaneous power the moment you twist the throttle. No clutch to release. No gears to run through. All you do is flick your wrist and take off.
ESTIMATED 110 MILE RANGE*
The LiveWire motorcycle features a high voltage battery that produces incredible acceleration. It means plenty of range and torque on tap for unlocking the city.
TWO EASY WAYS TO CHARGE
Use the onboard Level 1 charger and power cord to connect to any standard household outlet and get a full charge overnight. For a faster charge, visit any public Level 3 DC Fast Charge station.
Meet the world’s most connected motorcycle experience. With cellular telematics connectivity powered by Panasonic®, you can connect remotely through your smart phone using the latest version of the Harley‑Davidson™ App. Check bike vitals like battery charge status, see its location on a map, and get security alerts if it’s been bumped, tampered with or moved.
*Riding range estimates based on current SAE testing of LiveWire concept motorcycle. Actual riding range will vary based on several factors including weather and driving conditions.
**The H-D™ Connect Service will not be available in all markets. Market availability will be announced in August 2019.