Harley-Davidson engineers its first electric motorbike

With petrol being bad for the environment, as well as costly, automobile manufacturers are embracing electricity all over the world, and the big sounding motorcycles of Harley-Davidson are about to get a boost of electric juice, too.

Announced this week, the initiative from Harley is called Project LiveWire, and will be partnered with the “Project LiveWire Experience” to give motorcyclists the opportunity to try the Harley interpretation of an electric motorbike.

“This builds on many recent reinvention successes for Harley-Davidson,” said Matt Levatich, President and Chief Operating Officer of the Harley-Davidson Motor Company.

“In just the last few years, we’ve broadened our reach to serve an increasingly diverse society, as well as reinvented our approach to product development and manufacturing. This has resulted in cutting-edge products like the recently launched Project Rushmore Touring bikes, Harley-Davidson Street 500 and 750 models and this reveal of Project LiveWire.”

LiveWire isn’t an official release just yet, with the project developed to help Harley hone in on what the right experience would be, providing them with what the market wants for a modern motorbike relying on electricity as its fuel.

Beyond the different technology powering the motorbike, Harley will offer that roaring sound from its bikes — though it says it’s a new sound — as well as instant acceleration.

“The sound is a distinct part of the thrill,” said Mark-Hans Richer, Senior Vice President and Chief Marketing Officer at Harley-Davidson.

“Think fighter jet on an aircraft carrier. Project LiveWire’s unique sound was designed to differentiate it from internal combustion and other electric motorcycles on the market.”

Because it’s a project that will gradually evolve, there is, unfortunately, no release date as of yet. Worse, Australians won’t even get to participate in the Project LiveWire experience this year, with a representative for Harley-Davidson telling us that other regions should see it in 2015, which could include Australia.

But Harley’s electric revolution is coming, and once the company has gathered more expectations from its riders, we’ll likely see them shaped into an actual release without the “project” before the LiveWire name.