So, everyone knows Harley-Davidson is working on an electric bike prototype. Everybody, and we mean everybody – even CBC, the Wall Street Journal and the LA Times – had photos and details of the bike yesterday.
So when do we get to see it in person? Not until 2015, says the marketing boss at Deeley Harley-Davidson, the Canadian distributor. For the next few months, several prototype versions of the bike will be on the road in the US, making appearances at dealerships so customers can take test rides and offer feedback. That tour starts next week in New York, with other stops scheduled for Milwaukee, Boston and Philadelphia in coming weeks.
But, Canadians won’t get the chance to do that until 2015, says Janet Tinsley at Deeley, and she also couldn’t tell us if the machine would make any appearances on the show circuit. We’d be very surprised if we don’t see one at the Toronto, Montreal and Vancouver shows, though.
A couple more technical details: We understand the LiveWire prototypes are limited to 92 mph, and that there are two ride modes: one mode limits battery use to extend range, and the second mode gives you more power for hooliganism. The second mode only gives you a 30-mile range.
However – while naysayers have decried the LiveWire’s lack of battery capacity, it’s important to note this is only a prototype. This bike likely won’t enter production until 2016, and by then, even Zero, Brammo and other manufacturers with higher specs will have much more impressive abilities. Harley-Davidson will have access to improved battery tech as well, and the production-ready machine will likely be much improved.