Back in 2014, Harley-Davidson made a lot of noise about its silent electric Livewire motorcycle concept. But the company's been mum ever since about whether it ever planned to build it—until now.
At the EICMA motorcycle show in Milan, Italy, on Wednesday, the company finally announced official plans to build the Livewire, after years of competition from startup electric motorcycle makers such as Zero and Energica.
The new bike looks a lot like the concept bikes that Harley took on tour in 2014 but adds a minimal Street-style fairing to move away from the "naked" look.
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Harley released few specs with the reveal, but said the motor, mounted longitudinally at the bottom of the chassis, will form a structural component of the chassis along with the aluminum frame.
No battery capacity or range was listed, but pictures show a CCS Combo fast-charge port where the fuel tank filler would be on a gas-powered bike. The project Livewire prototype was listed as having a 53-mile range, though the competition today offers 70 to 130 miles of range, so it's likely that Harley would have to offer at least that much to be competitive.
Dealers authorized to sell the Livewire will offer fast-charging stations for riders who want to take longer tours on the bike.
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The company did release some mechanical performance specs, including the bike's 11.8-inch disc brakes and a Showa mono-link rear suspension.
Harley says a smooth ride is important to urban riders. Anti-lock brakes will come standard.
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Harley says riders can select from one of four pre-set riding modes or fine tune three of their own custom setups when it comes to power, range, and regenerative braking.
With no throaty, classic V-twin to bellow through chrome tailpipes, Harley still plans to give the Livewire a distinctive sound—an unmistakable electric whine.
The bike is expected to go on sale next year, and the company will announce pricing in January.