Harley-Davidson reveals radical new range
LEGENDARY bike maker Harley-Davidson has unveiled plans to launch an electric motorcycle next year along with a host of radical new models.
Best known for its Easy Rider-style cruiser bikes, made famous by motorcycle gangs like the Hell’s Angels, Harley-Davidson says it will introduce an adventure bike, sports naked models and a range of urban mobility e-bikes.
In what Motorcycle News has described as ‘the biggest shake-up in recent memory’ for the brand, Harley-Davidson’s new range will change the face of the manufacturer.
The first electric bike, dubbed the ‘Livewire concept’, will arrive in 2019 and is a performance-focused electric bike that is likely to come with a premium price tag. Harley has not revealed range or power figures yet.
Following soon after the Livewire model will be two middleweight electric bikes – smaller, lighter and lower powered commuter-style machines, that will arrive during 2021 and 2022. No prices have been revealed for these either.
Michelle Kumbier, COO at Harley-Davidson, said: ‘We’re going big into electric with a family of products. They’re going to be easy to ride, “twist and go” and be less intimidating for new customers.’
The electric bike announcement comes amid news that Harley-Davidson will launch a further 16-strong range of new bikes that will move the brand even further away from its core Hell’s Angel look, opening it up to even more buyers.
One of those new bikes is the Pan America – an adventure-style touring bike set to rival BMW’s popular GS. It will come with a new 1250cc v-twin engine, traction control and ride-by-wire technology. No prices have been revealed, but it will be in dealers by 2020.
Writing online, Motorcycle News journalist Jordan Gibbons said: ‘Aimed squarely at attracting a new, younger audience both to the brand and to motorcycling in general, this new range of middleweights and electric bikes will take the company into totally new territories.
‘At the same time, Harley-Davidson are also modernising and improving their core Tourer and Cruiser offering with brand new electronics and improved connectivity, changing the way their dealers operate and even exploring direct-to-consumer online sales. Strap in folks, this is going to be a wild ride.’