The American motorcycle manufacturer Harley Davidson presented the production version of its electric motorcycle on Tuesday at the EICMA motorcycle show in Milan, Italy.
The new battery-powered bike is called LiveWire and is the first electric bike from the iconic 115-year-old brand based in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. LiveWire has been in development since 2014, and the public finally got to see what the final version might look like.
Few performance specs were revealed, but Harley said there would be no clutch or gearshift required to run the bike. Since the bike will have an electric motor without Harley’s unmistakable sound, the company designed the bike to produce a sound that increases in pitch and volume with speed.
The LiveWire can be charged from a standard household electrical outlet, with a power cord that tucks under the seat, according to Harley.
The company said that all Harley Davidson dealers who sell the motorcycle will offer a public charging station with a quick charge system.
The LiveWire includes a TFT or thin-film liquid crystal color touchscreen above the handlebars. The screen is tilt adjustable for the best viewing angle. The instruments screen also provides access to a navigation system, music and other features.
A small 12-volt lithium-ion battery powers the controls, instrument displays, lights and horn. The bike’s suspension offers seven distinct ride modes, including four factory presets and three that a rider can customize, such as different combinations of throttle response and traction control.
The electric bike will be fast. The LiveWire prototype has shown that it can go from zero to 60 mph in less than four seconds. And, earlier, Harley said he won’t bring an electric motorcycle to market until battery technology improves to allow for longer riding distances.
Harley Davidson turned to the power of social media to promote its first electric bike. In 2014, the first LiveWire prototype garnered hundreds of millions of social media impressions. The company offered ten-minute test rides to the audience and video interviewed to record their first impressions. After having their picture taken by a Harley photographer, the riders were given an access code to upload the picture and post it on Facebook or Twitter.
LiveWire comes as Milwaukee-based Harley-Davidson has announced plans to spend hundreds of millions of dollars to drive growth through new motorcycles over the next four years, including smaller motorcycles built through a alliance with an Asian manufacturer.
The company is looking to recover from declining sales and competition from other motorcycle manufacturers such as Ducati. Harley shares have lost about 45% of their value over the past four years.
In addition to the LiveWire, Harley is introducing new mid-size bikes, including the company’s first adventure touring model capable of off-road use.
Through its new plan, titled More Roads to Harley-Davidson, the company has announced that it expects to spend between $ 675 million and $ 825 million as it is expected to generate more than $ 1 billion in additional annual revenue by 2022.
Harley says he will fund his plans, which are expected to benefit the company for years to come, by cutting costs and reallocating previously planned investments.
Part of the cost savings will come from the closure of the company’s manufacturing facility in Kansas City, Missouri in mid-2019 and the relocation of work to the company’s facility in York, Missouri. Pennsylvania. The company is also opening an assembly plant in Thailand.
Harley Davidson says sales of the LiveWire will begin in 2019, with pre-orders starting in January.