Time for an update on Harley Davidson’s adventures

Livewire electric bike will cost $40k in Canada, range of 89 kms

More details were released in January about Harley Davidson’s much-anticipated electric motorcycle. The Harley Davidson “Livewire” electric motorcycle is a new product that I, myself, have been greatly interested in, mostly because I’m convinced several of the recent moves HD are making are the wrong ones.

Harley Davidson confirmed the bike, which resembles a sport bike or “rice rocket,” not a traditional HD cruiser, is said to have a range of about 110 miles in urban settings; the Livewire prototype, however, had a range of 55 miles or about 89 kilometers. I’m not joking. That’s how far the prototype could travel on a full charge. You ‘d barely get to Edmonton from Wetaskiwin.

Obviously, if the Livewire is shaped like a sport bike, HD is not trying to market this to their traditional customer: the full-sleeve tattoo, ZZ Top beard-sporting fellow. Those guys aren’t going to be getting on a sport bike, let alone one that doesn’t have exhaust pipes.

The range factor isn’t going to work either. Motorcyclists, regardless of their interest, are known to be unpredictable. Lots of us like to jump on our bike on a warm July morning and just ride west, with no particular goal in mind. Well, with the Livewire and it 89 km range, you better have a map that shows where the recharge stations are.

The Hawg-maker also confirmed the Livewire will have a top speed of about 110 miles per hour, which is roughly 178 km/hr. I have a Honda CBR 500r that, according to the manufacturer, tops out at 200 km/hr, and a 500 cc engine is nothing special in the sport bike world, I can tell you. This Livewire isn’t going to win converts on the drag strip.

HD stated the Livewire is going to have “a new signature Harley-Davidson sound as it accelerates.” Part of this new sound may stem from the fact an electric bike doesn’t need a clutch and doesn’t require shifting; I can’t speak for anyone else, but when I’m riding, I love shifting gears. Fun, fun, fun.

One of the most shocking facts about this bike, though, is it’s sticker price. Harley Davidson confirmed in January the Livewire’s U.S. base price will be $29,799, which would roughly translate to $40,000 CAN for a base model. Holy doodle.

Anyone who’s interested in an electric motorcycle must be aware of a company called Zero, which manufactures such vehicles. According to Zero’s Canadian website I checked Mar. 7, their model Zero S, which appears similar to the HD Livewire, has a 359 km urban range and 180 km highway range with a base price of $14,395. So you could buy this Zero, which appears to have better specs, and keep about $25,000 in the bank.

There’s one final question that’s bothering me: What does Harley Davidson know about electric bikes? This is their initial foray into the industry, and past experience suggests that a manufacturer entering a new industry is going to endure a teething period. Is there going to be a trial and error period where bugs or problems get ironed out? Will the Livewire be reliable?

I guess we’re going to find out this summer.

Stu Salkeld is a motorcyclist who has ridden street bikes since 1989 and writes a regular column for the paper.

Just Posted

Communities in Bloom judges check out Stettler’s finest features

National and International results will be announced in Yarmouth, Nova Scotia in September

Alberta Prairie Railways marks 30 unforgettable in the biz

Tickets purchased this year go to a special ‘luxury’ train ride for 30 guests

Ethel Williams gifted a donation for the Community Recreation Track resurfacing

The running track in Stettler is a legacy from the 1991 Alberta Summer Games

Annual Gord Bamford Foundation Charity Golf Classic returns

To date, the Gord Bamford Foundation has raised over $3.6 million

Maskwacis RCMP investigate deaths of two children

The RCMP can confirm that these children were siblings

Fashion Fridays: 5 casual summer dress styles

Kim XO, helps to keep you looking good on Fashion Fridays on the Black Press Media Network

Sexual harassment complaints soaring amid ‘frat boy culture’ in Canada’s airline industry

‘It’s a #MeToo dumpster fire…and it’s exhausting for survivors’

How much do you know about the moon?

To mark the 50th anniversary of the first lunar landing, see how well you know space

Bashaw seed cleaning plant holds official opening

New facility operating well since January

Couple found dead along northern B.C. highway in double homicide

Woman from the U.S. and man from Australia found dead near Liard Hot Springs

Bank of Canada lowers qualifying rate used in mortgage stress tests

Home sales softened last year after the federal government introduced new stress test rules for uninsured mortgages

Wetaskiwin RCMP investigate indecent act at By The Lake Park

Complaint said man exposed himself in Wetaskiwin

$900M settlement reached in class action on sexual misconduct in Canadian military

After facing criticism, the government moved to begin settlement proceedings in early 2018

Chiefs honour Indigenous leader wrongfully hanged in B.C. 154 years ago today

Chief Joe Alphonse says they want his remains returned to his homeland in B.C.’s Cariboo region

Most Read