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Next month Harley-Davidson is expected to reveal a new electric motorcycle to join the LiveWire.

Electrek has a good article out about what the bike could be. Of the two I'm more likely to guess that it's going to be a smaller version of the LiveWire for people living in big cities. But who knows.


Harley-Davidson is planning to unveil a highly anticipated electric motorcycle next month, and we’ve gone through the clues to try and determine what it could be.

For those that haven’t heard, last month Harley-Davidson announced the launch of a new all-electric motorcycle brand, LiveWire.

Instead of continuing to develop electric motorcycles under the H-D badge as the company had done with the original Harley-Davidson LiveWire, new electric motorcycles will fall under this new electric-only LiveWire brand.

At the time, the company announced that “the first LiveWire branded motorcycle is scheduled to launch on July 8, 2021, and to premiere at the International Motorcycle Show on July 9, 2021.”

While we don’t know for sure what the folks in Milwaukee are planning, we can make a pretty good guess and narrow it down to five likely options. Over the last couple of years we’ve watched Harley-Davidson experiment with several electric models and prototypes of various stages of completion. Each could be a likely candidate.

It all started way back in 2018 when we were introduced to the More Roads to Harley-Davidson plan. The goal was to find a way into the hearts, minds, and pocketbooks of younger riders to help offset the large chunk of H-D’s demographic that was aging out.

Included in those plans was not just the LiveWire electric motorcycle (which was still in pre-production form at the time), but also a series of four sketches of other electric motorbikes. They included a smaller electric motorcycle with a flat tracker design mashed with urban cues, an electric trail/dirt bike, an electric scooter/moped and a full-suspension electric mountain bike. These four concepts (seen below in the original H-D artwork) could hold the best bet for the first LiveWire badged vehicle coming next month.

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Option 1: LiveWire urban electric motorcycle
The $30,000 LiveWire electric motorcycle may have sold enough units to become the No. 1 best-selling electric motorcycle model in North America, but it still priced out most of the market – especially critical younger riders.

Harley never intended for the LiveWire to become a big seller though. It was a halo product, whose very definition is serving as a model to demonstrate the technical prowess of the manufacturer.

And while the high price of the H-D LiveWire has often been bemoaned, the overwhelming consensus in the industry is that the LiveWire is a damn good motorcycle.

That’s why it makes sense for Harley to followup with a lighter, lower-cost electric motorcycle designed for the urban market. The company can take the experience it gained in building the LiveWire and apply it to a bike with lower power and less range, helping to reduce the cost for a younger and more urban demographic.

The LiveWire’s 146-mile city range and 0-60 mph time of three seconds are great, but they are also more than most urban riders need.

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This theoretical little brother to the H-D LiveWire could take the form of the flat tracker-ish bike seen in two different Harley-Davidson design sketches (above).

Despite the bike borrowing from the flat track racer world, we can see that it sports turn signals and a license plate holder. Those features would only be there if the bike was destined for street use, not just dirt track racing.

With more lightweight urban motorcycles like the 80 mph and 80-mile range SONDORS Metacycle coming soon, it would make sense for Harley to enter this market early and establish itself as a leader.

For comparison, the hugely popular SONDORS Metacycle, which is priced at just $5,000, has a 4 kWh battery and 14.5 kW (20 hp) motor. That’s roughly a quarter of the size of the Harley-Davidson LiveWire’s battery and just 18% of the LiveWire’s power.

The Metacycle has shown that for the right price, urban riders are willing to make power and range sacrifices for city-focused electric motorcycles.
 
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