Tags: harley davidson | electric | bike

Harley-Davidson Electric Bike Prototype to Tour Country on Test Run

By    |   Friday, 20 Jun 2014 10:40 AM

Harley-Davidson is testing a new electric bike prototype, taking it on a test-drive tour across the country to gather feedback from its loyal customer base.

The company announced Project LiveWire on Thursday with the release of a new promotional video featuring the all-electric motorcycle and a dedicated website. For now, the LiveWire features a lithium-ion battery with a range of 53 miles, 74 horsepower, 52 foot-pounds of torque, and a top speed of 92 mph, according to Wired magazine.

"Customers will tell us what they think it will take to make a great electric motorcycle. I am sure we will discover things that we cannot anticipate right now," said Mark-Hans Richer, SVP and chief marketing officer, The Milwaukee Wisconsin Journal Sentinel reported.

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"It's an opportunity to learn, and we will see where it goes," he said.

The world's largest manufacturer of heavyweight motorcycles has long been an icon of combustion engines, specifically the V-Twin, which is known for its noisy, thunderous rumbling.

With that in mind, Harley-Davidson has focused on getting the sound of the electric motor, which is by nature much quieter, just right.

"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," said Richer. "When it comes to emotion evoked from sound, it can be distinctive, cool, and fun. And we think we got that in the LiveWire."

The first four dates of the tour have been announced, with all 30 planned stops set for announcement next week. Come 2015, the tour will expand to Canada and Europe.

Company executives emphasized their openness to feedback, and said that not even the current specs are set in stone. It could decide to never release an electric bike, as well. Ahead of the tour, they acknowledged that because of its range and charge time — 3.5 hours at 220 volts — it's currently not a great candidate for long-range trips.

"If we get a lot of feedback from customers who said the only way they would like one of these bikes is if they could ride to Sturgis on a single charge, that would be a little hard to pull off," Richer said.

"The beauty of this is it's something we have never done before, and the challenge of this is it's something we have never done before."




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Harley-Davidson is testing a new electric bike prototype, taking it on a test-drive tour across the country to gather feedback from its loyal customer base.
harley davidson, electric, bike
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2014-40-20
Friday, 20 Jun 2014 10:40 AM
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