Two years ago, there was a concept electric motorcycle LiveWire which the legendary American manufacturer Harley-Davidson tested how do motorcyclists breathe when it comes to electric drive.
The latest confirmation that Harley-Davidson will go electric after all comes two years after Harley-Davidson unveiled the LiveWire project, a demonstration model of an electric motorcycle built in collaboration with Mission Motors. The LiveWire was sent out on a tour of the US to judge people’s reaction to an electric Harley-Davidson. Many loved it, but purists will be hard to please.
The Harley-Davidson V-Rod, a completely modern rendition of the V Twin architecture features an overhead cam shaft and an 8-valve engine. The V-Rod has been acclaimed by most testers and reviewers alike, but the model doesn’t sell, primarily because it moves away from the traditional Harley-Davidson sound and character.
The announcement comes at a time when cruiser motorcycle rival, Polaris-owned Victory Motorcycles has made rapid strides with its Victory Empulse TT electric street bike and racing programs at the Isle of Man TT and Pikes Peak International Hill Climb.
Getting the technology and expertise to build an electric motorcycle will be the least of Harley-Davidson’s worries. What remains to be seen is how the brand’s followers will react to a production Harley-Davidson which will have almost zero sound. Will the electric Harley-Davidson attract as many buyers? That will be interesting to see.