Harley Davidson has a problem. Sales of its iconic motorcycles in the US are sagging. 50 years after Easy Rider made “the hog” from Milwaukee the ultimate protest symbol, the Wild Bunch has turned into the Mild Bunch. They assemble on weekends to rumble along America’s highways and byways slightly below the posted speed limit in a procession that is more a tribute to flatulence than freedom of expression. Credit: Harley Davidson Will an electric motorcycle make Harley Davidson great again? Five years in the making, its LiveWire electric bike will begin production soon, and you can reserve one online today. Prices start at $29,799. For that, a buyer gets a bike that screams to 60 mph in 3 seconds, powered by an electric motor with torque that never quits. Stated range is 146 miles in the city. The laws of aerodynamics being what they are — wind resistance increases by a factor of 4 when speed doubles — the combined city/highway range is more like 95 miles. At steady highway cruising speeds, it will be even less.
The first thing alert readers will notice about the LiveWire is that is looks nothing like the traditional bikes the company has been producing for generations. More sport bike than cruiser, it clearly isn’t meant to appeal to regular Harley riders. It will appeal to canyon racers with an affection for modern technology, however. Using the Harley App, owners can monitor the status of their machines from afar and get an alert […]