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Harley-Davidson has officially unveiled the production version of their first all-electric motorcycle — the LiveWire. Showcased as a concept a few years back, the Harley-Davidson Livewire is an example of the iconic American brand's vision towards the future. Though it is dubbed as the production-ready version of the Livewire concept, Harley-Davidson claims it to be "nothing like what you've seen before".
As per reports, only one per cent of parts has been borrowed from the concept version. This fact is evident from the official images – the motorcycle looks almost entirely different from the concept.
The satin orange finish pops out really well against the all-black theme of the motorcycle. Adding more to the character of the motorcycle is the exposed body frame.
Though an EV, the Harley-Davidson LiveWire does come with a fake fuel tank-like design element; without which any motorcycle would just look odd. The battery unit is hidden under it and this particular part of the overall design resembles that of the XR1200.
The battery unit is enclosed in a new aluminium casing which offers faster and efficient cooling; something which was absent in the concept. The range offered is claimed to be better than that of the concept which stood at 65 kilometres (Yes, the concept version was actually rideable unlike other mainstream vehicle concepts).
The next thing which will instantly catch the eye is the electric powerhouse. Harley-Davidson has given utmost attention to detail while designing the electric powertrain. It is quite large and certainly heavy but looks apart from the conventional V-Twins.
The seating position is a bit upright yet sporty and is somewhat similar to that of the Harley-Davidson Street Rod. The pillion seat is seemingly stiff and raised (the rear foot pegs are high up too). While suspension duties are done by top-notch adjustable Showa units, braking duties are done by Brembo.
At the moment, there isn't much idea about the specifications of the LiveWire. But the folks at Harley-Davidson has assured the press that it is "very fast". An interesting news we've heard is that it will come with a manual transmission. This feature could make the Harley-Davidson Livewire, one of the first electric vehicles to come with a manual gearbox in the entire automotive industry; four-wheelers included.
This is what Harley-Davidson had to say about the Livewire, "We know some of the first buyers will be existing Harley owners but in order for us to be successful, it will need to reach a broad spectrum of people. We expect some of the first adopters will be electric vehicle enthusiasts who might not be motorcycle riders right now. They're the sort of people who want to be first, they want to innovate and they don't mind paying for what will be a premium product."
Thoughts On The Production-Ready Harley-Davidson LiveWire
Harley-Davidson, an automotive company which has always tried to keep themselves within the traditional sphere, is now readying themselves to the inevitable advent of electric mobility, in the future. Through the Livewire project, the brand doesn't expect huge sales figures but rather sees it as a research platform. Just like any product, the Livewire will also be made better and more suitable for the wider market in the years to come.
But does the introduction of such alternative energy vehicles hintat the possible demise of fun, sweet-sounding and ‘proper' internal combustion cars and motorcycles?