Harley-Davidson is looking toward the future as they roll out a prototype for their first electric motorcycle. The new addition – named Project LiveWire – is part of an effort to reinvent America’s favorite motorcycle manufacturer and prove that they are still a big part of motorcycle culture.
Project LiveWire has been described as “sleek and futuristic,” accelerating from 0-60 in less than four seconds. The electric engine is actually silent, so the machine’s sound comes from the meshing of gears. As a result, Project LiveWire has its own unique sound, which many compare to a jet plane taking off.
The electric motor is placed at the bottom of the bike, to help riders turn faster and improve handling. The motor also provides rapid acceleration, and eliminates the need for drivers to switch gears.
Zero Motorcycles, currently the top seller of full-size electric bikes, is excited for Harley-Davidson to enter the market. “[Harley-Davidson] is certainly going to draw more people’s attention to electric motorcycles. [Their] marketing horsepower… is going to be able to do things for us that we can’t do on our own,” said the company’s vice president of global marketing.
San Jose State University purchased two Zero motorcycles with the help of their police captain, who reported that the officers were “super happy” with the quiet, environmentally friendly bikes.
The biggest issue confronting both bike brands is the limited range of the new technology. Batteries must be recharged after 130 miles, and recharging can take 30 minutes to an hour. Without more places for drivers to “plug in” rather than fill up, riders could be forced to keep their shiny new bikes close to home.
Currently, there is almost no market for full-size electric motorcycles. Electric scooters and smaller low-powered bikes are a more popular option, and even then they sell best overseas.
Harley-Davidson says they are more interested in long-term potential than immediate demand. Experts believe that the manufacturer has the marketing power to create demand, and their efforts to lower costs and improve technology could benefit everyone.
The bike is still in prototype stages, but it will be available for test rides at select locations this summer.
I Need a Lawyer Who Handles Motorcycle Accidents in Colorado
Innovations in motorcycle technology can present new challenges for riders, and new dangers. Make sure you are well informed about any bike before you take it on the road, or you could risk serious injury.
If you have been injured in a motorcycle accident and need legal representation, call Metier Law Firm today. Your first consultation is free, and our knowledge of Colorado motorcycle law could make a big difference in your case.
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