Harley-Davidson made a big push today, showing a number of bikes and concepts that it plans to bring to market by 2022. All of them were a big surprise, but one of them we already knew about: the Harley-Davidson Livewire.
While not as big of a shock as the adventure-touring Pan America concept, or the Harley-Davidson Streetfighter or Custom models (to say the least about its upcoming electric lineup), Harley-Davidson has given us something to talk about with this electric power cruiser.
Namely, the Harley-Davidson Livewire looks ready in production and in form, even though its official debut is still a year away.
Since we first saw the Livewire concept (below), a number of things have changed for the production model. We can see here that the chassis has been completely re-engineered, though it keeps the general look and feel of the concept machine’s frame and swingarm.
It is the swingarm that gets the biggest change, losing the sleek design from the concept, for something more tradition. The frame on the production model too loses some of the attractive lines on the concept, but its shape is intact overall.
The battery pack housing structure has grown, and is more visible. We also see a number of changes made for the weight that extra battery pack brings, namely a dual-disc brake setup in the front.
The bodywork, headlight, and seat have changed as well. These draw a line between the Livewire and the Sportster lineup fairly well, rather than having the Livewire sit a bit outside of the current Harley-Davidson aesthetic.
We’re not sure if we care for the more classic cruiser lines on this modern power bike, but this revision will likely help the production version of the Livewire ease the tensions of the Bar & Shield masses, and make the electric motorcycle a shorter bridge to cross, mentally.
Performance isn’t being talked about, but we would imagine similar power figures to the concept bike that Harley-Davidson toured in 2014, though with considerably more weight and range.
The Livewire is the first step in Harley-Davidson’s electric future, and it is a big step forward for this otherwise conservative American brand.
With this model’s introduction, Harley-Davidson will move itself from a brand that has been stuck in a decade that long ago passed us by, and it will become a brand that is leading the motorcycle industry.
There has been a great deal of smoke around electric motorcycles in the industry thus far, but very few OEMs have made fire from it. Harley-Davidson will be one of the first to introduce an electric into its motorcycle range, and it will be the first brand to do so with a large street bike.
Expect to see the Harley-Davidson Livewire official debut this time next year, as an early 2020 model.