Project LiveWire™ is the next major milestone in the history of The Motor Company – the first Harley-Davidson® motorcycle with an electric engine. We’re developing this motorcycle the Harley-Davidson® way by bringing this innovation to the street to gain feedback from customers. We’re inviting customers to ride the motorcycle and tell us what they think. Even those who don’t ride yet can take a ride on Jumpstart™ Demo, a simulated riding experience that doesn’t require any experience or a motorcycle license.
It starts with this: Project LiveWire™ is a Harley-Davidson® motorcycle, a pure expression of individuality and iconic style that just happens to be electric. Think electric guitar – not electric car. From the bold styling of its longitudinally mounted electric motor to its distinctive Harley-Davidson® look, sound and feel to its responsive acceleration and braking, it’s built to be a Harley-Davidson® Motorcycle, with dimensions that are right at home on any city street.
Project LiveWire™ motorcycles are not for sale. This is a journey we’re taking with our customers to discover how good we can make the ride. After a successful tour in the US in 2014, we are bringing the Project LiveWire™ motorcycle experience to Europe in 2015. We’ll gain feedback from real riders on what they are looking for in this type of vehicle from Harley-Davidson® Motor Company. Any final decisions about whether to bring an electric motorcycle to market – and when – will be made at a later date.
Make no mistake, we love the Harley-Davidson® V-Twin engine and believe there continues to be a strong future for our traditional projects. The Project LiveWire™ motorcycle is simply one of the ways we are exploring how we might further grow the diverse family of Harley® motorcycle riders. It’s also a great example of what our people and our powerful product development process can do – much like the great customer-led Project RUSHMORE and the Harley-Davidson Street™ 750 motorcycles we’ve introduced in the last year.
This is a customer-led, grassroots approach to product innovation that truly springs from the rebel roots of our company. We ride with our customers to develop the motorcycles that truly fulfil their dreams. Through our European tour, we’re inviting customers to ride the motorcycle and give us feedback. Each ride will have a maximum of 15 (fifteen) minutes duration, with an opportunity to learn more about Project Livewire™ through our interactive Exhibition. Even those who don’t ride yet can contribute by riding the bike on the Jumpstart™ Demo – a simulated riding experience.
At Harley-Davidson®, our design philosophy is this: Form follows function, but both report to emotion. This has been the basis for the iconic look of Harley-Davidson® motorcycles for decades. Project LiveWire™ Motorcycle is no exception. Racing was a key inspiration for its design. We wanted the machine to make an aggressive statement on the adrenalin-packed thrill of pure power. And, just as in our internal combustion bikes, the engine is the jewel of the motorcycle – the visual centrepiece. The Project LiveWire™ Motorcycle's longitudinal powertrain is inspired by the superchargers used on top fuel dragsters. It makes a muscular and powerful statement all by itself. Its overall proportions, including the aggressive rake angle and short tail section, evoke the classic Harley® racing design. And like all Harley-Davidson® motorcycles it’s styled to look good with a rider on it. The chassis design lets the rider hug the bike and become one with the machine. The lighting and instrumentation add a futuristic look. And as a premium Harley-Davidson® product it incorporates high-quality metal finishes and coatings. It’s another example of why Harley-Davidson® motorcycles are often described as rolling sculpture. It’s technology turned into art.
Riders require a valid full motorcycle license to take a test ride on Project Livewire™. Those who don’t ride yet can take a ride on Jumpstart™, a simulated riding experience, with no license required.