Making a pitstop in Milwaukee this weekend I was excited to see that Harley Davidson would be offering a peak at their new LiveWire electric motorcycle prototype at their iconic museum here.
As it turned out, demand was so high for test rides the best I could get was a look at the bike and chance to rev one held in a stationary position (see video below). Nonetheless, it was more than enough to be impressed.
Harley’s new ride (more info on the company website here) is merely an experiment at the moment. Although they’ve produced more than a dozen fully functional prototypes, the bike is currently just a test to see who’s interested in a mainstream electric motorcycle and to garner feedback on the model. The test will also determine whether such people represent a new market for the company or if the grizzled, sonic-boom inducing core of Harley enthusiasts would ever go for a quiet, carbon free alternative.Although there are a number of high end electric bikes on the market already, Harley’s foray into the space represents a serious mainstreaming of the concept. Nonetheless, deviating from Harley’s trademarked rumble (it literally is trademarked) is risky and bold. I don’t expect Harley to spend a lot of time touting any “green” claims surrounding LiveWire. Although the company has solid green cred, I’d expect that their marketing will continue to focus on independence, speed and, in this case, modernity. All of that is fine with me if it means moving electric bikes into the mainstream.