NY Motorcycle Show: Sole Electric Is Harley-Davidson Livewire

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Harley-Davidson Livewire electric motorcycle concept at 2014 New York Internatoinal Motorcycle Show

Harley-Davidson Livewire electric motorcycle concept at 2014 New York Internatoinal Motorcycle Show

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Motorcycle shows are exciting displays of the latest technology and developments in two-wheeled transport.

But while the Progressive International Motorcycle Show in NYC has been a showcase for electric motorcycles over the past few years, there was but a single electric two-wheeler on the floor this year.

Last summer, Harley-Davidson made a huge splash by touring about 40 Livewire electric concept bikes around the country for test rides. At the show, the Harley display included samples of all of their conventional models around the Livewire as the centerpiece.  

DON'T MISS: Harley-Davidson Livewire Electric Motorcycle Concept: Test Ride

A steady stream of interested onlookers took turns ogling the bike; most had likely read about it in motorcycle magazines.

But the Livewire isn't for sale, and won't be in the near future; Harley has said that it's waiting for battery technology to improve before releasing a production electric motorcycle.

Harley Davidson LiveWire electric motorcycle concept

Harley Davidson LiveWire electric motorcycle concept

Enlarge Photo

A flurry of excitement had greeted recent news that Harley would price the Livewire at $50,000, which appeared in a December 3 article in the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel.

Then a correction appeared on the article a few days later, saying that no one at Harley had placed a hard number on a price for the concept bike.

The Livewire aside, that was it: There were no other electric motorcycles at New York's biggest motorcycle show.

While Zero Motorcycles has appeared for the past three years, the company chose instead to launch its new 2015 lineup from the AIMExpo in Orlando, Florida.

Harley-Davidson Livewire electric motorcycle concept at 2014 New York Internatoinal Motorcycle Show

Harley-Davidson Livewire electric motorcycle concept at 2014 New York Internatoinal Motorcycle Show

Enlarge Photo

The company's most significant changes this year were not to its bikes, but to its factory and a simplified manufacturing process for better quality.  

Brammo hasn't had a corporate presence at this show, but last year, a local motorcycle shop brought a couple of samples for attendees to look at. The company also hasn't come out with its 2015 models yet.

ALSO SEE: Brammo Electric Motorcycle Prices Cut By $5,000 To $7,000

Instead, the company has embarked on a fire sale, cutting the price of their motorcycles by $5-7,000.  

As a company, Brammo is currently working on various projects that include electric motorcycles, powertrains and battery technology.  It has said it will make an announcement within the next few weeks about its future directions.

While BMW has an electric maxi scooter called the C evolution in Europe, its representative at the New York show knew of it but said it wouldn't be available in the U.S. any time soon.

Harley-Davidson Livewire electric motorcycle concept at 2014 New York Internatoinal Motorcycle Show

Harley-Davidson Livewire electric motorcycle concept at 2014 New York Internatoinal Motorcycle Show

Enlarge Photo

KTM has offered a couple of electric versions of its Freeride offroad motorcycle in Europe, called the Freeride E.

The KTM representative at the show was under the impression that those bikes are not for sale at all European KTM shops, even as some KTM dealers in Europe list the Freeride E for sale.

Yamaha has worked on both an electric street motorcycle, the PES1 (passion, electric, street), and a dirt bike, the PED1 (passion, electric, dirt).

Both debuted in 2013, and Yamaha has said it will build them no sooner than 2016. Its representatives at the motorcycle show had no information about them.  

Energica brought its electric Italian sport bike to the United States this summer and gave test rides in several cities. It is currently focused on developing interest in Europe.

MORE: California, Washington Lead All Other States In Electric-Car Ownership Rates

This year's New York motorcycle show was small overall. While the biggest motorcycle manufacturers were there, and some local shops were on display too, this felt like a bit of an off year for the show in general.

In general the East Coast lags behind the West Coast by a significant amount when it comes to electric vehicle adoption and understanding. 

Only time will tell if we will see more manufacturers bring their electric motorcycles to the next New York show, whether from the West Coast or Europe.

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