U.S. brand Harley-Davidson has released more details of its first ever electric motorcycle – the “LiveWire”.
Due for release in 2019 and on display this week at the EICMA show in Milan as a production-ready bike, the new model is expected to form the foundation of what will eventually become a full portfolio of electric two-wheelers; Harley-Davidson says it intends to become “the world leader” in electric motorbikes by 2022.
In terms of design, the LiveWire’s form stays true to the prototype version unveiled back in 2014 and also follows a key Harley-Davidson styling dictum, namely, with the focus on the motor. Just as the v-twin engine is the most important element – “the crown jewel” as the company calls it – of every previous Harley-Davidson motorcycle, the electric motor is designed to be the first-look focus of the LiveWire.
As such, the permanent magnet electric motor, which is located low in the motorcycle to lower the centre of gravity, is housed in a mechanically-shaped, brightly-finished cast-aluminium case complete with functional cooling fins; it also produces “a tone that increases in pitch and volume with speed”.
Combining the powertrain as a stressed member within the aluminium frame to increase rigidity, the LiveWire further gets fully adjustable Showa suspension and Brembo Monoblock front brake calipers gripping dual 300 mm-diameter discs.
Tech features include ABS and traction control fitted as standard, while the rider also gets seven selectable riding modes – four of which are set as standard from the factory and a further three modes that can be defined by the user.
There’s also a tilt-adjustable colour touch screen TFT display, which is powered by a small 12-volt lithium-ion battery that at the same time powers the lights, controls, and horn.
In terms of charging, the bike can be recharged using an on-board Level 1 charger that plugs into a standard household socket with a power cord that stores below the seat; it can also recharge with Level 2, Level 3, and DC Fast Charge. Harley-Davidson further says its dealers who sell the LiveWire will offer a public charging station.
The all-new, all-electric bike is expected to go on sale next year, and specific details regarding performance and pricing will be released in January 2019.