Harley-Davidson Project LiveWire Concept is a High Voltage Hog [w/ Video]
Presently, there is no shortage of upstart firms building electric motorcycles. However, manufacturers of traditional gas-fueled motorcycles don’t seem to be in a massive hurry to enter the segment. Yeah, you’ll see the occasional concept or engineering prototype but, for the moment, you can’t go to your nearest Honda, Ducati or BMW Motorrad dealer and pick out a battery-powered bike (and no, scooters don’t count). That’s also true of Harley-Davidson…but maybe not for long.
Meet Project LiveWire. Stylistically, this concept bike doesn’t break much new ground: It’s a naked sportbike with a one-piece trellis frame. However, instead of one of Harley-Davidson’s rumbling V-twins residing within that frame, it’s filled mostly with batteries, while the electric motor itself – housed within a handsome machined and polished aluminum case – hangs beneath. H-D isn’t saying how much power it makes or what kind of range it serves up, but keep in mind that it is still a concept.
Then again, how many vehicle manufacturers – be they of cars or motorcycles – allow ordinary members of the public to sample their concepts? Somewhere between a few and zero, right? Well Harley-Davidson is bucking that trend with Project LiveWire: Starting next week, this eco-friendly Hog will embark on a cross-country journey along the path of Route 66, stopping at select Harley dealers along the way to give demo rides to a fortunate few. The plan is to visit 30 U.S. dealers by the end of the year, while 2015 will see the tour expand into Canada and Europe. All the while, the company will be gathering input and feedback from riders, which would then be applied to a production version which totally hasn’t already gotten the green light…