Harley-Davidson may be the most traditional of motorcycle makers. But it's now taken a huge leap into a greener future with its LiveWire electric motorcycle concept.
Recently, our writer Ben Rich rode it--and reported on what it's like. This is Green Car Reports' video news for the week of July 28, 2014.
Ben tells us that Harley has been touring the LiveWire all over the country.
At the event he attended in New Jersey, he says the radical electric bike got a mostly positive reception.
Younger riders took to it more quickly, but older riders had to adjust to the lack of noise--and the absence of a clutch and a gearbox.
Harley Davidson LiveWire electric motorcycle prototypeEnlarge Photo
Still, it's a Harley. Ben noted that the company deliberately made the LiveWire louder than other electric motorcycles he's ridden--including his very own 2012 Zero S bike.
The LiveWire's 55-kilowatt electric motor--that's 74 horsepower--produces 52 lb-ft of torque.
By electric-car standards, that doesn't sound like much, but it's enough to rocket the electric bike to 60 miles per hour in about 4 seconds.
It felt faster than the Brammo Empulse R or the Zero S, Ben said, though he didn't feel it was faster than the Zero RS--which is closer to a superbike.
Top speed of the LiveWire is limited to 92 mph.
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Our video shows the bike's electronic display panel, and Ben sent us his helmet-cam footage, so you can experience the LiveWire with him first-hand.
Still, Harley said it doesn't intend to produce the LiveWire. It's a concept, not a prototype.
Ben liked the bike, though.
And the fact that Harley-Davidson of all companies has built 40 electric LiveWires to test rider reaction across the country indicates just how much of an impact electric motorcycles have had in a few short years.