Continuing the electric bike news is an update on Harley-Davidson's LiveWire. The MoCo has now announced their electric streetbike will be released in 2019 and has released more photos.
I like the look of it, but there's very little that signifies it at as a Harley, except the dummy tank profile, and I don't see that as a bad thing. What does surprise me is that Harley seem to be the only premier division manufacturer to be openly working on an electric streetbike. Why aren't the Japanese and Europeans showing their hands? What do they know thatwe, and Harley, seemingly do not?
KTM has been selling a road legal trail bike, the Freeride, for a few years now, but no one seems to be jumping in with both feet on the electric motorcycle market, instead leaving it to smaller start-ups.
Is this model what Harley needs to stop their slide? As a company on the US stock exchange, so much of their value and confidence is based on their share price, and is developing an electric bike what the stock market wants to see?
Earlier this year Ford, a similar US legacy brand, announced they would stop making most of their range of US market cars, reducing the offering to two models, while concentrating on pick-ups, SUVs and commercial vehicles (vans), while developing what the current CEO calls a 'transportation operating system' that encompasses autonomous vehicles.
Are electric motorcycles part of the answer to the world's many ills, or simply a gimmick for a large, arguably outdated company to gain more relevance away from its core buyer? If it's the latter, only time will tell if it'll work. If electric motorcycles are required, Harley at least have a decent looking one with a dealer network to back it up.
H-D says the new model will have 'Seven different riding modes [that] let you dial in your ride. Music and GPS are controlled by a state-of-the-art touchscreen infotainment system that’s Bluetooth enabled. The EV powertrain means there is little service required.'
There's no mention of top speed or range.
H-D's website also says the bike will be manufactured in York, PA and pricing will be announced in January.