This is the year. This is the year that Harley-Davidson steps beyond decades of being stuck in the past, and instead takes a chance on leading the future.
I am of course referring to the Bar & Shield brand’s move to debut electric motorcycles – starting first with the Livewire electric cruiser.
The Harley-Davidson Livewire doesn’t exist in a vacuum, however. This is because the American motorcycle company has plans for a whole host of electric two-wheelers, which ranges from an electric bicycle, all the way up to full-sized models.
Today, we get a glimpse at the first of these additional models (along with more details on the Livewire electric cruiser), with Harley-Davidson showing us the physical forms of its electric scooter and and electric moped concepts.
The two motorcycles look very similar to the concept sketches that we saw last year, which is a good thing to our eye, as both machines look fit for the part.
Harley-Davidson’s electric scooter looks to be taking a page from the Honda Ruckus, and looks very utilitarian. It actual invokes a lot of the same lines that we saw in Brammo’s attempt at a similar machine, though that concept never came to fruition.
With running boards and a long seat, the Harley-Davidson scooter could easily fit two people, and the space between the seat and the battery pack looks prime for storage opportunities.
While the American market will be probably the first to see this model in action, one doesn’t have to use their imagination too hard to see this model taking off in developing countries, where memes of overladen motorcycles are rife, as citizens tackle their daily lives on two wheels.
At this stage, Harley-Davidson is being very hush-hush on any sort of technical parameters, but just from judging the scooter by its looks, we imagine that there is an ample amount of battery onboard this bike, with enough juice to last a day’s worth of hauling the beans.
The ultimate pit bike, the perfect people-mover, the pickup truck of scooters….yes, we like where this is headed.
Harley-Davidson’s moped model is an intriguing design. We have seen a couple players in this space, but the segment is definitely not as proven as the others Harley-Davidson is pursuing.
Somewhere between an e-bike and a motorcycle, these so-called electric mopeds offer sub-50mph speeds and form factors, with hopefully affordable prices.
Electric mopeds are more robust than the pedal-assist models that are taking the cycling market by storm, and they have the potential to serve as the gateway drug from bicycle rider to motorcyclist.
As such, Harley-Davidson’s concept fits the part, and even the styling is meant to evoke the lines of a motorcycle (note the flat track inspired tail section).
We would wager there is 2-3kWh of battery pack on board, which should be enough for a few hours worth of riding. This should also mean that charging times will be pretty quick, since there just aren’t that many electrons in play here.
The design shown by Harley-Davidson looks more like a mountain bike than a street bike, which could open some possibilities for Harley-Davidson to get its tires dirty.
This will be perhaps the model that Harley-Davidson has the most difficult time pitching to the two-wheeled market, so it will be interesting to see how it develops. As we are fond of saying, time will tell.