Harley-Davidson Project LiveWire
Remember this iconic motorcycle? It was used by Scarlett Johansson aka The Black Widow in an engaging chase sequence in the 2015 movie, ‘Avengers: The age of Ultron’. Bike lovers were particularly awed by the jet-turbine like sound from the bike as Black Widow skillfully maneuvered it through approximately ten cars at high speed, chasing Ultron’s mercenaries at its best speed.
It is the Harley-Davidson LiveWire, an electric motorcycle prototype and Harley-Davidson’s first electric vehicle. It was displayed to the media back in 2014 and the prototypes were made available for public test rides at US in 2014, then Europe and Canada in 2015. The target group for this bike, according to Harley CEO Matthew Levatich included 18-35 year olds, women, African-Americans and Hispanic riders.
The technical specifications of this bike are even more intriguing. It weighs 210 kg i.e.460 lbs. The 55Kw, oil-cooled, three phase induction electric motor is mounted longitudinally, under the frame, perhaps unique for an electric bike. It develops a 74 hp and 70 nm of torque and has a belt-driven transmission. It has single disc brake at the front, no ABS. The mirrors with integrated indicators are an added attraction. There is no clutch obviously as there is no gear box. There is no exhaust too, again because of obvious reasons. It accelerates from 0 to 60 mph in 4 seconds. The top speed is electronically limited to 95 mph (150 kmph). A full recharge takes approximately 3.5 hours.
Harley says that this bike has two driving modes: Range and Power.
It has a 53 mile (85 km) range with the Range mode and a 40 mile (65 km) range with the Power mode. It’s not enough but Harley maintains that the bike is still in development. According to reports, Harley confirmed that the bike is very much a part of the company’s plan for the future. Project LiveWire is part of Harley-Davidson’s plan to introduce 100 new motorcycles by the end of next decade.
For the first time, a major bike-maker is on the verge of producing a powerful electric bike, allowing it to compete side by side with the electric vehicles by Tesla motors, General Motors etc. and will directly rival the Victory motorcycles electric bike, the Victory Impulse TT. At a time when the menace of Global Warming due to exhaust from the vehicles is so grave and protection of environment is no more a luxury we could afford, a bike with zero exhaust from one of the world’s most loved bike-maker is definitely a welcome sign. Who else is waiting?