Harley-Davidson is poised to make history with the launch next week of their LiveWire electric motorcycle while a little bit of Harley history will also go up for sale next month.
I the second instance, Elvis Presley’s last motorcycle, a 1972 1200cc FLH Electra Glide, will go up for sale on 31 August 2019 at Kruse GWS Auctions along with his ’73 Lincoln Continental and ’67 GMC pickup.
The “King” bought the FLHin California, shipped it to Memphis and sold it 90 days before he died in 1977, aged just 42.
The Harley has been on display at the Pioneer Auto Museum in Murdo, South Dakota, since the late 1980s.
Next week, Harley will make a significant shift from history to the future with the world media launch of their first electric motorcycle, the LiveWire.
We will be at the event in Portland, Oregon, to ride the bike through the city streets and out into the country.
Unfortunately, we will only be riding a disappointing 61km, which means we won’t even ride the bike’s full claimed city range of up to 235km (152km highway range).
Nor will we get the opportunity to see them charged up again. Harley claims their Fast Charge (DCFC) technology provides a 0-80% of battery charge in 40 minutes or 0-100% charge in 60 minutes.
However, this is still a significant event, not just for Harley, but for motorcycling.
Harley will become the first traditional motorcycle manufacturerto bring their own full-size electric motorcycle to the market.
The now-axed Victory Motorcycles slapped their brand name on an electric Brammo in 2015, but it wasn’t their product. (When we tested it on a Colorado racetrack, at least we got to see it being recharged.)
Honda and BMW have produced electric scooters, while Yamaha and KTM have a couple of small electric trail bikes.
Other major motorcycle companies such as Triumph are feverishly working on electric motorcycles.
They will all be watching how this LiveWire is received by you, the motorcycle public.
At $US30,000 and more than $A40,000 when it is available here in Australia, there may not be too many buyers.
Stay tuned for our updates on the ride test next week.
Harley-Davidson LiveWire trech specs
Price: $US29,799 (about $A42,500)
Available: Next month in North American and Europe, late next year Australia and New Zealand
Battery warranty: five-year, unlimited-km
Motor: H-D Revelation permanent-magnet, water-cooled electric motor
Power: 78kW (105hp)
Instant torque: 116Nm (86ft lbs)
Battery: Air-cooled 15.5kWh high-voltage lithium-ion battery (Rechargeable Energy Storage System)
Transmission: motor output shaft, 9.71:1 gear reduction, belt drive