Harley-Davidson Motorcycle Company has been a legacy for 111 years, but they do not want to stay behind of technology, its latest invention, an electric motorcycle. According to TIME, Harley-Davidson motorcycles usually attract an older audience of white men. The motorcycle’s fame started in the 50s and 60s but it got stuck in the older decades. Now Harley-Davidson is trying to attract younger audiences, people of different ethnicity and women, with their its products.
Even though Harley is a big name in the motorcycles’ world, its sales started plunging in 2010. Its market share fell to a 43 percent in the U.S. in 2008, but it is estimated that this year Harley’s sales should got up to almost 10 percent as it introduces its new invention, the electric motorcycle.
The name of the new invention is called “Project LiveWire.” The new motorcycle has a cast-aluminum outer-skeleton, 18-inch tires which sit a little higher than the regular Harley, and has LED lights for its turn signals and lamps. The electric Harley-Davidson motorcycle has 75 horsepower and it goes to 60 mph is just four seconds, with a max speed of 92 mph, and 53 miles of range. It also comes with a touchscreen for its rider and its battery is fully charged in only three hours. Since it is an electric motorcycle, there is no need to change gears, with a simple twist of the throttle the LiveWire is ready to go.
However, this electric bike does not sound like a regular Harley. On a YouTube video posted by the company on Thursday, it shows the LiveWire flying by to an incredible speed that is caught by the camera lens. The sound of this new motorcycle is more high-pitched, as if a fighter jet was flying by, not a Harley. According to ABC News in an interview with Jeff Richlen, chief engineer of Harley-Davidson’s new inventions; he stated that the company did not want to get rid of the noise that a regular Harley makes, so this new invention still has it, but in a different way. Even though the motor on the bike is quiet; the high-pitched sound is made by the meshing of gears on the motorcycle. The company stated that this new sound was made to differentiate this e-Harley from other electric motorcycles.
The LiveWire motorcycle is not for sale just yet. Harley is giving it a test run this year, and a few lucky customers will be able to try it out with the Project LiveWire Experience. This test-run will take a tour to 30 different Harley dealerships across the country to gain feedback from customers and sellers. The tour will start in New York, down Route 66. The project will continue on in 2015 in Canada and Europe. In their press release, Harley-Davidson stated that they want customers to help shape the future of this new design, and even for those who do not ride, the company will have a simulator that will let non-riders feel the power of the LiveWire.
Harley-Davidson has been making some changes to appeal to different audiences with motorcycles just like this new electric invention. This year it released the Harley 500 and 750, bikes made for the street with a price of less than$8,000 that would also appeal to customers outside of the U.S. The motorcycle company encourages fans and riders to engage in the LiveWire Experience tour by following its Facebook, Twitter and Instagram accounts to check out the tour’s next stops.
By Marcia Villavicencio