Harley Davidson Releases Spec on New Electric Bike at CES

Automology MAC wanted to take Harley’s latest offering on a spin, but…

Harley Davidson, a brand that is associated more with unshaven leather-clad macho men, has pulled the covers off its new electric bike offering as it tries to shed its bad-boy image and win a new greener audience. It is about as close to heresy as any company can go.

You may think that the new bike is an attempt for the 110-year-old US-based company to appeal to a younger generation and remain relevant to the market, but Harley is really trying to keep the faith by showing that going electric does not mean no muscle, which is so associated with the brand, or so the company would have us believe.

At the CES show in Vegas, Harley announced that the new LiveWire will be able to accelerate from 0 to 100kph in about 3.5 seconds. This is faster than any previous Harley. But then again, Harleys have never been known for their speed. But here is the thing: this one will not be known for speed either. To maintain battery life, the bike is limited to a top speed of less than 160kph. So, a sports bike that isn’t a sports bike then?


No, Harleys in my mind are more about going on long cruises along deserted country roads or through the wilderness. But on the LiveWire, this may be something that is not achievable. The new bike has a claimed battery range of just 110 miles before you have to recharge. So, a cruiser that cannot cruise then. So, the future renegade better be planning to rebel close to home then.

Charging time for the battery is about, well, the whole night if you use a home plug. But if you only have about an hour to spare, you can get a faster charge using a public commercially available Level 3 DC fast charge station, whatever that is, wherever that may be.

The press announcement talks about all sort of gadgetry and customisability and sports tyres and touch screen display. Using the new Harley Davidson app on your smartphone can connect you to the bike to check battery status and also where your bike is. One of the things that speak for itself, though, is the absolutely delectable lines of the bike and it truly is pretty.

The LiveWire control console. Sorry, looks a little bit like an afterthought to me.

But, the price. OMG! USD30,000. Are you serious? Up to that point, I was contemplating going for a test drive. But buying a cruiser that cannot go for a cruise for that price seems to be a little bit daft and I doubt that we will be seeing many of these sold in our neck of the woods.

The LiveWire first seen in the Avengers: Age of Ultron in 2015. Taken a long time to get it to market since then.

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