Harley-Davidson debuted their electric prototype in Canada and guests were allowed to test ride the motorcycle, which can hit 0-60mph (96.5km/h) in just four seconds.
The company has set out to cover the globe with their prototypes as part of Project LiveWire, aimed at gaining feedback about the motorcycle from Harley-Davidson enthusiasts and consumers. Guests in Canada were able to test ride the prototype, with non-licensed attendees given the chance to experience it through the Jumpstart™ demo – a simulated riding experience.
Harley-Davidson outlined in a Project LiveWire press release the company’s desire to stay to true to the wants and needs of their customers.
“The first phase of the Project Livewire Experience tour provided valuable feedback about the features and experience riders expect from an electric Harley-Davidson motorcycle.
“Project LiveWire has reset expectations about what a Harley-Davidson motorcycle can be,” said Mark-Hans Richer, Chief Marketing Officer for Harley Davidson.
The American motorcycle manufacturer is synonymous for producing heavyweight cruiser and touring motorcycles with classic styling and their distinct V-twin, 45-degree engines. The choppy sound of the high-torque V-twin’s uneven firing intervals has become a key selling point for Harley-Davidson.
The typical Harley Davidson styling and persona has been made eco-friendly with the LiveWire prototype, featuring a digital display and high-pitched whirr of the AC motor. Harley-Davidson claims the sound of their electric motorcycle is distinctly unique and has been developed not to be silent like many electric vehicles, but instead mimic a turbine.
“The sound that we’ve developed for this motorcycle is uniquely our own.
“It is not silent, it’s the farthest thing from it,” said Jeff Richlen, chief engineer for Harley Davidson’s LiveWire prototype, in a Cycle World interview.
The prototype’s 300-volt battery has a 90km range and a top speed of 145km/h to supplement the four second 0-60mph time. Torque is delivered instantly through a single gear, allowing the motorcycle to accelerate rapidly and deliver a visceral experience despite the absence of the trademark Harley-Davidson sound.
The Project LiveWire Experience visits Montreal next, as Harley-Davidson continues to search for the ideal mix of high-tech design and classic styling.