As you read this I am flying to Portland, Oregon, for a unique media launch of the Harley-Davidson LiveWire electric motorcycle.
There are many things that make this launch unique.
For a start, this is the first full-size electric road motorcycle from a traditional motorcycle manufacturer.
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.
Unique guest list
The usual motorcycle media will not be present.
Magazines that usually attend Harley product launches have not been invited.
Maybe because Harley has identified electric motorcycles as appealing to a different market.
In fact, it may not appeal to any current (‘scuse the pun) Harley owners and lovers.
Instead of the motorcycle mag crew, there are newspaper, TV journos, “influencers” and, of course, websites like ours.
Most global motorcycle model launches feature quite a long ride, sometimes even track time.
It is not unusual for rides to go over more than one day so journos get a good feel for a motorcycle.
In this case, the ride is a mere 60km through downtown Portland and out into a little bit of country.
This is not only unique but surprising, given one of the biggest hurdles to electric motorbikes is the lack of range.