The announcement of Harley-Davidson’s LiveWire electric motorcycle sent shockwaves through the moto industry and even made headline news in the general media. Harley’s products, perhaps more than any other vehicle manufacturer, are steeped in tradition, so building an e-bike just seemed so unlikely for the hidebound company.

And yet, there was a row of LiveWires ready to ride in NYC last week, looking sharp and production-ready even if they are actually technology demonstrators and aren’t yet available for sale. The LiveWire is a huge departure from H-D’s traditional market, but the bike’s stance and appearance give it a strong visual presence.

Harley-Davidson LiveWire First Ride

You can read more about the LiveWire in the link above. This week we’re giving you a LiveWire experience on video, including on-board riding footage and interviews with the key personnel behind this unexpected project.

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We weren’t able to test the LiveWire’s claimed 95-mph top speed during our short ride in Manhattan, but the experience was nonetheless exciting. The instant torque of an electric motor provides incredible lunge that vaults the LiveWire to extra-legal speeds almost instantly. Even more impressive is the intuitive way the LiveWire delivers its power, allowing smooth “throttle” transitions that feel entirely natural and controllable.

“It’s a peek into our future,” says Kirk Rasmussen, Lead Styling Manager of the LiveWire.

If you’d like a first-hand peek into Harley’s future, be sure to check out the Project LiveWire Experience at Held at H-D dealerships around the country, you can sign up to sample a LiveWire for yourself. The demos will continue in Canada and Europe in 2015. Harley’s intention is to take customer feedback and incorporate it into a production version of the LiveWire, likely within two years.

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  • Razedbywolvs

    It looks more Buell than Harley.

    • Jay F.

      Harley still owns the Buell name and branding, so it is not far fetched to still see those influences in their overall design. Look at the V-Rod, with its fuel tank under the seat, if nothing else at least Harley learned a few tricks from Eric Buell before they kicked him and his team to the curb.

    • LS650

      And that’s a good thing.

  • Stibbs11

    A poor state of affairs at Harley Davidson these days, I now see why Willie G retired, best to do it before the stupid s#it comes out so he can say I had nothing to do with that.
    RIP HD.

    • Kevin Duke

      It’ll take a lot more than the unveiling of a proof-of-concept, non-production e-bike to alter H-D’s absolute dominance in sales of large-displacement motorcycles in America.

  • LS650

    @Stibbs11 I do not get your hate. For decades, riders have been bitching that Harley needs to step up its game and be more innovative. Finally, they show a prototype that could be a “real game changer” (sorry for the cliche, but it applies here) and some people still whine.