Harley-Davidson Electric Motorcycle, 100 New Models Confirmed

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Harley-Davidson Electric Motorcycle

Electrified Harley part of big overhaul that includes 100 new models.

Harley isn’t going to stand pat and watch the world (and the competition) blow past them. That’s the message we’ve received loud and clear from Bill Davidson, vice president of the Harley-Davidson Museum in Milwaukee. Davidson told Drive that a massive overhaul is in the works, one that includes the development of a Harley-Davidson electric motorcycle as well as plans for 100 new models.

Those new models will roll out over the course of the next decade. The fact that we’ll actually see a Harley-Davidson electric motorcycle isn’t really surprising in itself, however. When H-D rolled out the Livewire concept a couple of years ago, the company said it would build one eventually. Still, the idea is pretty radical for a company with a reputation for noise.

Harley-Davidson Electric Motorcycle

But Harley fans can rest easy, because Davidson also revealed that the new electric bike won’t be anything like those silent plug-in hybrids you see around town these days.

“I can tell you the philosophy we have applied to our V-twins is the same we are applying to the electric motorcycle in terms of sound, performance and feel, which are just as important with the electric bike as they are with our more traditional bikes,” Davidson tells Drive.

“And so we’ve actually created a unique sound through various technologies. We have studied our competitors and we understand what they are up to and we did not want a normal-sounding electric motorcycle. We wanted something that plays into that look and sound formula. It is something really cool. I often refer to it as sounding like a jet fighter.”

 

‘The philosophy we have applied to our V-twins is the same we are applying to
the electric motorcycle in terms of sound, performance and feel.’

 

What Davidson didn’t reveal, however, was when we can expect to see an electrified Harley. But he did say that the project is “progressing well”

Despite this huge step toward the future, don’t expect to see any self-driving Harleys moving forward. In fact, Davidson sees the move toward autonomous driving technology in cars as a boon for motorcycle manufacturers.

“Society has become driven by so many factors and we are all now in touch 24/7 as we’re surrounded by electronics, and I think riding a motorcycle lets you break free of that and enjoy nature and have fun.”

So even though Harley is clearly embracing the future, don’t expect them to completely forgot where they came from, either.

 

Brett Foote has been covering the automotive industry for over five years and is a longtime contributor to Internet Brands’ Auto Group sites, including Chevrolet Forum, Rennlist, and Ford Truck Enthusiasts, among other popular sites.

He has been an automotive enthusiast since the day he came into this world and rode home from the hospital in a first-gen Mustang, and he's been wrenching on them nearly as long.

In addition to his expertise writing about cars, trucks, motorcycles, and every other type of automobile, Brett had spent several years running parts for local auto dealerships.

You can follow along with his builds and various automotive shenanigans on Instagram: @bfoote.

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