First Look: Harley-Davidson’s Electric Motorcycle

Cycle News Staff | June 19, 2014

Harley-Davidson took the wraps off its Project LiveWire today – the Motor Company’s first electric motorcycle.

The bike will be taken around the country with Harley selecting consumers to ride and provide feedback on the bike with visits to more than 30 dealerships scheduled now through the end of the year. In 2015, Harley will take its Project LilveWire to Canada and Europe for the same costumer interaction.

The bike is not yet for sale and Harley gives no specifics as to when or if that will happen.

 “America at its best has always been about reinvention,” said Matt Levatich, President and Chief Operating Officer, Harley-Davidson Motor Company. “And, like America, Harley-Davidson has reinvented itself many times in our history, with customers leading us every step of the way. Project LiveWire is another exciting, customer-led moment in our history.”

Those who don’t get the chance to ride the new bike can experience it through a simulator called Jumpstart.

“This builds on many recent reinvention successes for Harley-Davidson.” said Levatich. “In just the last few years, we’ve broadened our reach to serve an increasingly diverse society, as well as reinvented our approach to product development and manufacturing. This has resulted in cutting-edge products like the recently launched Project Rushmore touring bikes, Harley-Davidson Street 500 and 750 models and this reveal of Project LiveWire.”

Harley says the bike was designed to use the company’s styling heritage and says the bike has the look, sound and feel of a Harley.

“Project LiveWire is more like the first electric guitar – not an electric car,” said Mark-Hans Richer, Senior Vice President and Chief Marketing Officer, Harley-Davidson Motor Company. “It’s an expression of individuality and iconic style that just happens to be electric. Project LiveWire is a bold statement for us as a company and a brand.”

The bike offers up what Harley calls “tire-shredding acceleration and an unmistakable new sound.”

“The sound is a distinct part of the thrill,” said Richer. “Think fighter jet on an aircraft carrier. Project LiveWire’s unique sound was designed to differentiate it from internal combustion and other electric motorcycles on the market.”

Whether or not the bike goes to market will be influenced by feedback from riders in the Project Livewire Experience tour, according to Harley.

“We offer a no excuses riding experience in everything we do and we are led by what our customers tell us matters most,” said Richer. “Because electric vehicle technology is evolving rapidly, we are excited to learn more from riders through the Project LiveWire Experience to fully understand the definition of success in this market as the technology continues to evolve.”

“Preserving the riding environment is important to all of us,” said Levatich. “Project LiveWire is just one element in our efforts to preserve and renew the freedom to ride for generations to come. As a company that has seen success for 111 years, we think in generational terms about our great riding environments for the next 111 years.”

Fans can learn more about Project LiveWire, as well as specific dates and locations for Project LiveWire Experience stops at

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