While there is nothing revolutionary about electric vehicles, new technology and greater concern for the burning of fossil fuels has seen a new wave of electric motorcycles from several brands ready for market.
But the biggest news in the motorcycle industry is coming from Milwaukee, home of Harley-Davidson. When the giant Harley-Davidson Motor Company develops a brutish electric motorcycle, you know something is afoot.
H-D’s new LiveWire project is all the indication you need to know electric motorcycles are about to go mainstream. Customers in North America will be taking delivery of their pre-ordered machines any time from now, while Aussies and Kiwis will have to wait until 2020 for theirs.
The electric Harley-Davidson has been in development for nearly ten years and is a big gamble for The Motor Company who has built a reputation for big, burly loud bikes. The LiveWire is totally clean-sheet, with a new platform, frame, motor, battery, wheels, tires – everything.
Early reports from independent experts indicate there is more than plenty of performance packed into the hi-tech chassis, all linked to an ultra-smart electronics package that includes current ABS, traction control and GPS technology as well as new developments such as cellular connectivity that, amongst other things, will keep you informed of your nearest charging station. Lean angle of 45 degrees ensures you can corner quickly without scraping pipes - what pipes?
“Electric motorcycles are a blast to ride, and LiveWire delivers a premium riding experience,” wrote Jason Fogelson for US publication, Forbes.
LiveWire is clearly aimed at riders who like big, powerful machines. Top speed is cited as almost 180kmh and - hang on! - you can get to legal highway speed in about three seconds. H-D intend to build a network of charging stations throughout the dealerships to cater to the expected 200km range. Charging can be completed in about an hour, so there's plenty of time for a coffee and window-shop while waiting.
You’ll be reading lots more about LiveWire here, so make sure you are subscribed to the H-H blog.