Harley-Davidson’s LiveWire is being shown at the 115th Anniversary celebration in Milwaukee for the first time.
What you’re looking at is a design validation vehicle, or DV in industry speak, which means it’s as close to a production model as there is of LiveWire. This one, however, didn’t roll off an assembly line. A lot of the finishing touches were done by hand and because of this, it also means we don’t get to ride it. Just yet.
Unless you’ve been under a rock for the past four years, you’ve been teased a-plenty with Harley-Davidson’s foray into building an electric motorcycle. It was 2014 when we got our first glimpse at what the Motor Company was then calling Project LiveWire. The bike sitting in front of us in Milwaukee today, is a significant evolution from what that early look machine was.
That orange color is great, and we like the little fairing around the headlight.
LiveWire, as it sits today, is just one model, but as Harley-Davidson confirmed that it will be the launchpad for a new line of Harley electric bikes. Additional models which are slated to arrive in 2022. Harley is calling this their new “twist and go” portfolio of product designed to attract new riders with new ways to ride while establishing the company as a force to be reckoned with in the electric motorcycle industry.
During a media panel, when questioned as to why the MoCo would build an electric bike, or if doing so dilutes the brand, Vice President of the Harley Davidson Museum and great-grandson of found William A. Davison, Bill Davidson responded explaining that LiveWire carries with it the company’s DNA where look, sound, and feel are central to any new product; “just wait till you ride it, it’s every bit a Harley-Davidson” he promised.
Company executives even showed enthusiasm for the app-based shareable electric scooter trend that’s taking many cities by storm lately. “We love the idea of shared economy e-scooters; it introduces people to the idea of freedom. Harley-Davidson represents the premium end of the product,” was Vice President and Managing Director International Sales Markets, Marc McAllister’s quick take on the topic.
LiveWire is an interesting, and exciting, departure for The Motor Company.
The new all-electric LiveWire will be built in York, Pennsylvania, and comes to market in 2019. It will be available in three color variations for the US market: a gloss black, a matte yellow, and the Fused Orange seen in the photos here.
Photography by Kanishka Sonnadara