The winds of change are finally gusting in Milwaukee. The iconic thundering of America’s V-twin will now be joined by the buzzing of electric motors. Project Livewire has been teased by Harley since 2014, but this week at the 2019 CES the public will finally have a chance to put in their pre-orders on the company's first ever electric ride.
The Livewire has certainly been a long time coming. We got our first glimpse of this electric beast back when the Avengers were fighting Ultron in 2015! Hopefully the old adage of good things coming to those that wait holds true, because while pre-orders have just opened up at a scant $29,799, you’ll still have to wait till August 2019 to have your time in a lithium saddle.
The good news is that details are emerging about the one thing that’s most important… stats. The 0-60mph is 3.5 seconds and the range is about 110 miles. These are inevitably the two details most people will be drawn to, but they aren’t the best details. Taking the crown for awesomeness on the new Livewire will be the regenerative braking, the IMU, and Harleys H-D Connect.
Let’s be honest, Harley has never really been into the “efficiency” game, so it would stand to reason that their first foray into the electric world would be more about power than range. By including regenerative braking to extend range, Harley is showing that their lengthy developmental period was put to good use. They understand that a consumer who buys an electric motorcycle is most likely not a consumer who buys a Sportster, and they’ve catered it accordingly.
They’ve included an IMU (inertial measurement unit), which allows for cornering ABS and traction control, while also throwing in H-D Connect. H-D Connect is a system that allows you to pair your phone to the bike to get information like where the nearest charging station is, tampering info when it’s parked and service reminders. These are modern technologies for a brand who has historically been staunchly against staying up-to-date.
But wait there’s more! Harley also decided to bring some images to light of some other projects in the works that have gone to full fledged concepts. They’ve got an E-bike-esque machine and a scooter if you can believe it. Details on these particular items are scarce, but the fact that they exist says a whole lot about the massive shifts that are going on at HOG headquarters.
Harley’s shift toward becoming more aware of how the world is changing around them, and how they need to change with it, shows forward-thinking promise. Yes, there will some bumps in the road, but hopefully this new outlook will keep the bar and shield alive for generations to come.
This post originated on Essential Moto
Photos provided by Harley-Davidson