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American Icon Harley-Davidson Debuts Electric Motorcycle

What's the Latest?

New York, Boston, and Philadelphia will be the first cities to see Harley-Davidson's bold new motorbike which is entirely battery-run. The company begins a tour of the Northeast next week to test its model before its die-hard fans as well as prospective customers. Called the Live Wire, the bike can reach 60 mph in four seconds, offers 74 horsepower, 52 foot-pounds of torque and a (governed) top speed of 92 mph. "[T]he bike uses a lithium-ion battery with a range of 53 miles. It charges in 3.5 hours at 220 volts. Assuming the bike has a 3.3 kw charging system like other electric motorcycles, some back-of-the-envelope math suggests the LiveWire uses a 10 kilowatt-hour pack."

What's the Big Idea?

The famous Harley-Davidson sound is described as "a fighter jet landing on an aircraft carrier" by company brass (probably, too, by diners who had been enjoying their outdoor seating). And while the Live Wire has no engine because it's electric, the bike lives up to Harley’s "look, sound, and feel" mantra said COO Matt Levatich. "The high-pitched whir of the...three-phase AC induction motor reverberates through the chassis, amplifying the sound. It starts off quietly, then builds in pitch and volume as the bike gains speed. It’s louder than you’d think...it’ll definitely make you smile."

Read more at Wired

Photo credit: Harley-Davidson

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