Harley-Davidson Will Build The Livewire

Rennie Scaysbrook | May 12, 2017

Just don’t expect the Harley-Davidson Livewire to come next year

Harley-Davidson Livewire
Harley-Davidson’s original Project Livewire of 2013 was a bombshell in the motorcycle industry back in 2013. It seems we still have a long wait ahead of us.

Harley-Davidson has announced it will build the Livewire electric motorcycle that set tongues wagging way back in 2013—but we have no idea when we’ll see them rolling on U.S. roads.

The confirmation of the Livewire came from current Harley-Davidson Vice President Bill Davidson in an interview with The Drive, yet he was especially vague about the production schedule, saying, “We don’t know yet when we’re going to introduce it (the Livewire) but it is progressing well and we will eventually introduce it.”

Davidson also noted one of the major project goals for the Livewire is to have the correct sound from a vehicle that emits next to none. The electric vehicle’s sound is an important point for Harley-Davidson, which has traded off the iconic rumble of its pushrod V-twins for well over a century and is an integral part of the H-D brand.

“We’ve created a unique sound through various technologies,” Davidson said. “We have studied our competitors and we understand what they are up to and we did not want a normal-sounding electric motorcycle. We wanted something that plays into that look and sound formula. It is something really cool. I often refer to it as sounding like a jet fighter.”

The original Harley-Davidson Project Livewire prototype of 2013 used a 7kWhr battery powering an electric motor. The end result was 74hp and 56-lb of torque, with a range of about 50 miles. Expect that to change dramatically by the time the Livewire is “eventually” released to the public as motorcycle battery technology has made impressive gains even since 2013, so if we don’t see the Livewire before this decade is out—a real possibility—then H-D’s sparky bike should come with some pretty impressive specs.



Rennie Scaysbrook | Road Test Editor Our newest member of staff is our Road Test Editor Rennie Scaysbrook. A lifetime rider, the Aussie made the trek across the Pacific to live the dream in the U.S. of A.