Harley-Davidson LiveWire Video

Kevin Duke
by Kevin Duke

Riding H-D's electric motorcycle on the streets of New York

Videos by Sean Matic and Kevin Duke

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.

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 ProjectLiveWire.com. 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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3 of 6 comments
  • Stibbs11 Stibbs11 on Jul 19, 2014

    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 Kevin Duke on Jul 20, 2014

      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.

  • TW200 TW200 on Jul 20, 2014

    @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.

    How the fcuk is showing off a prototype and letting hundreds of riders check it out with test rides a "poor state of affairs"? What an unbelievably idiotic thing to say.