When you think of a Harley Davidson you think either of Hell’s Angels, drugs, and crime sprees on the long roads of America, or you have a more modern vision of weekend warriors and their very shiny bikes — Harley, historically, would prefer you think of the second one. With maybe a hint of the first. But one thing both concepts have in common is noise. That blatting, burbling, rumbling noise that some riders go out of their way to augment. Now that seems to be going out of the window, for at least one model Harley — say hi to the LiveWire.
The all-electric Harley Davidson LiveWire has been around for a long time, more or less. Prototypes have been available as far back as 2014 but it’s only in 2019 that Harley fans will be able to own one. That’s when the motorcycle brand is releasing the LiveWire to the public, assuming the public is comfortable with a nearly silent Harley Davidson.
The silence is something that the company is promoting for the bike, probably because it’s such a departure from the norm. As with all electric vehicles (that don’t have artificial noise-makers installed), the most you get from the LiveWire is an electric motor whine. And the terrified yells of a rider who isn’t expecting all that instant torque when the throttle is twisted. But that’s not something that you’ll get from the promotional video for this two-wheeled EV.
What you are going to get is a whole lot of silent speed rather than the sedate but in-your-face ride that a conventional Harley provides. The electrical motor should offer superbike-scaring acceleration and, based on the prototype, at least 100km of range. Hopefully a fair bit more, as there’s no point in doing a breakfast run if you’ve got to turn around before you’re 50km out of town. Harley hasn’t detailed much of what the LiveWire’s stats look like, yet.
At present the LiveWire’s 2019 launch is only confirmed for the States and parts of Europe, while pricing is set to be announced in January 2019. Given how charging infrastructure is slowly but surely showing up in South Africa, we’re hopeful that we’ll get to take this one for a spin for ourselves at some point.