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Harley-Davidson poised to make history

Harley-Davidson poised for historic events history unique

Harley-Davidson is poised to make history with the launch next week of their LiveWire electric motorcycle while a little bit of Harley history will also go up for sale next month.

I the second instance, Elvis Presley’s last motorcycle, a 1972 1200cc FLH Electra Glide, will go up for sale on 31 August 2019 at Kruse GWS Auctions along with his ’73 Lincoln Continental and ’67 GMC pickup.

The “King” bought the FLH  in California, shipped it to Memphis and sold it 90 days before he died in 1977, aged just 42.

The Harley has been on display at the Pioneer Auto Museum in Murdo, South Dakota, since the late 1980s.Elvis Presley Harley-Davidson Electra Glide poised for historic events history

Electric history

Next week, Harley will make a significant shift from history to the future with the world media launch of their first electric motorcycle, the LiveWire.

We will be at the event in Portland, Oregon, to ride the bike through the city streets and out into the country.

Unfortunately, we will only be riding a disappointing 61km, which means we won’t even ride the bike’s full claimed city range of up to 235km (152km highway range).

Nor will we get the opportunity to see them charged up again. Harley claims their Fast Charge (DCFC) technology provides a 0-80% of battery charge in 40 minutes or 0-100% charge in 60 minutes.

At least it’s better than our 2014 ride around the block in LA on the LiveWire prototype.

Harley-Davidson greenies eight electric motorbike Alta sporty poised historic event
MBW riding the LiveWire prototype in LA in 2014

Click there for the LiveWire specs.

Harley-Davidson Livewire electric motorcycle specs strikes diverse
Harley-Davidson Livewire

Significant event

However, this is still a significant event, not just for Harley, but for motorcycling.

Harley will become the first traditional motorcycle manufacturer to bring their own full-size electric motorcycle to the market.

The now-axed Victory Motorcycles slapped their brand name on an electric Brammo in 2015, but it wasn’t their product. (When we tested it on a Colorado racetrack, at least we got to see it being recharged.)

Victory Empulse TT electric motorcycle dial poised historic events
MBW rides the Victory Empulse TT electric motorcycle

Honda and BMW have produced electric scooters, while Yamaha and KTM have a couple of small electric trail bikes.

Oliver van Bilsen living with an electric BMW C evolution scooter electric motorbike historic
BMW C evolution electric scooter

Other major motorcycle companies such as Triumph are feverishly working on electric motorcycles.

They will all be watching how this LiveWire is received by you, the motorcycle public.

At $US30,000 and more than $A40,000 when it is available here in Australia, there may not be too many buyers.

Stay tuned for our updates on the ride test next week.

Harley-Davidson LiveWire trech specs

Sporty Harley-Davidson electric LiveWire parade silicon standardise
Harley’s LiveWire electric motor
  • Price: $US29,799 (about $A42,500)
  • Available: Next month in North American and Europe, late next year Australia and New Zealand
  • Battery warranty: five-year, unlimited-km
  • Motor: H-D Revelation permanent-magnet, water-cooled electric motor
  • Power: 78kW (105hp)
  • Instant torque: 116Nm (86ft lbs)
  • Battery: Air-cooled 15.5kWh high-voltage lithium-ion battery (Rechargeable Energy Storage System)
  • Transmission: motor output shaft, 9.71:1 gear reduction, belt drive
  • Acceleration: 0 -100km/h 3 seconds; 100-130km/h 1.9 seconds
  • Top speed: 177km/h
  • Range: 235km (city), 152km (combined stop-and-go and highway range using MIC City and MIC Combined tests), 158km (World Motorcycle Test Cycle)
    Harley-Davidson electric LIveWire parade
    Charging points on the LIveWire are under the “fuel” cap.
  • Charging: 120/240-volt outlet 20km (13 miles) per hour of charging; DC Fast Charge (DCFC) 0-80% in 40 minutes or 100% in 60 minutes
  • Suspension (rear): fully adjustable Showa Balanced Free Rear Cushion-lite mono-shock
  • Suspension (front); Showa Separate Function Fork-Big Piston
  • Brakes: Dual Brembo Monoblock calipers, 300mm rotors
    Tyres: H-D/Michelin Scorcher (180mm rear and 120mm front)
  • Rider aids: Reflex Defensive Rider Systems (RDRS), Cornering Enhanced Anti-lock Braking System (C-ABS), Cornering Enhanced Traction Control System (C-TCS) and Drag-Torque Slip Control System (DSCS)
  • Technology: 4.3” colour TFT touchscreen, Daymaker LED headlamp, LED lighting, H-D Connect service connectivity and Harley- Davidson App
  • Riding modes: Seven selectable Ride Modes electronically control motor performance and level of RDRS intervention
  • Accessories: dual seat and tail, speed screen blade, decorative trim, hand and foot controls and cover with charging cord port
    Sporty Harley-Davidson electric LiveWire
    Touchscreen instruments