Harley-Davidson to sell its first electric motorcycle

RAPID CITY, S.D. (KEVN) - If all goes as planned, riders of a new Harley-Davidson motorcycle won’t hear the iconic potato-potato-potato. Rather, according to Harley, they will just hear their “hearts racing.”

Sometime in 2019 (and that is fast approaching) Harley-Davidson will begin selling its LiveWire electric motorcycle. The company will release the price of a LiveWire in January 2019.

With no gears to shift the bike’s magnet electric motor reportedly has incredible acceleration. The prototype was able to go from zero to 60 mph in about four seconds.

Al Reiman, Black Hills Harley-Davidson co-owner, says he was able to sit on a LiveWire clamped to a stand, affording him the opportunity to test its throttle. Although Reiman wasn’t able to take it on the open road, he says the bike can go from zero to 60 in the low three-second range. “You have 100 percent torque at any RMP; instant torque. Off it goes!” Reiman said.

The sound? On the LiveWire website Harley claims the tone increases in pitch and volume with speed, producing an “exciting aural response” to speed and acceleration. In other words, pleasing to the ear.

Harley hasn’t announced which dealerships will first get the bikes.

Reiman says Black Hills H-D might apply to be among the first dealers but at this time he doesn’t think this is the market for LiveWire because of the Black Hills geography and distances between points.

“The roll-out will be in markets most tuned to the model,” Reiman said. This includes markets that heavily focus on the environment. Still, with the Sturgis Rally, Reiman says it would be beneficial to be able to service LiveWires that bikers might bring to the annual event.

Range and recharge time for the motorcycle has not been released by Harley, although other companies’ electric bikes easily reach the 100-mile range. The prototype’s range was a little more than 62 miles, with a three-and-a-half hour charging time. Riders will be able to recharge using any standard household outlet and the dealerships selling LiveWire are supposed to have charging stations.