Harley-Davidson is known for chrome, and big V-twin engines — but soon, it’ll also be known for something very different, as they start the process of developing the first production HD Electric Motorcycle.
In an interview with the Milwaukee Business Journal, Harley senior VP Sean Cummings says that HD will put an all-electric motorcycle on the road within five years. The Wisconsin-based company built a very limited number of LiveWire electric prototypes back in 2014. They allowed both the media and customers go for test rides, but those bikes were never sold to the public and were never intended for a production run.
LiveWire’s very existence suggested Harley was pretty serious about exploring the notion of a HD electric motorcycle — and according to Harley, the customer response has been extremely positive.
The LiveWire was a pretty impressive electric bike for its day, capable of 0-60mph in under 4 seconds, and had a top speed of 100mph! Unfortunately the 55 mile range (33 in a high-performance mode) along with the 3.5 hour charging time let it down, making it much less practical than petrol powered motorcycles available. It’s safe to assume that Harley will use the next few years to engineer a newer, better powertrain that offers more range and quicker charging.
The final look and specs for the production HD electric motorcycle aren’t yet known — and probably won’t be for some time — but it’s safe to say that the company is looking to attract a whole new generation of customers: as of 2013, the average Harley buyer was born in 1965.