I’m sure most of you have heard the bombshell that Mother Harley has introduced their first electric powered motorcycle. What a shocker (pun intended)! Today, we are going to look at this new, interesting design and share what we have been able to glean from the information available. I’m fortunate enough to know someone who has intimate knowledge of this fascinating project from whom I can get real, accurate answers to my questions.
First things first, let’s establish that HD has not gone into production on this. They have produced a number of initial offerings to trek across the country to gauge customer interest. There will be no loaners and these initial offerings are never to be sold. Their sole purpose is to get input from customers. If they build an electric bike it will be designed based on feedback from this project. That said, they have an ambitious schedule to present these on both the East and West Coasts. They did Demo rides in New York over the weekend, the beginning of the east coast tour. The west coast tour starts at the HD Museum this Thursday afternoon, June 26.
Here are some of the details for this machine. There is no clutch or transmission on this bike. To operate it, you simply turn it on and select the mode (power or range). If the side stand is up when you press the start button for a second or so, it starts up. You can hear the pumps spinning at this point (oil and coolant) oil for the main reduction gear box, and coolant for the Motor controller and case. Then when you roll the throttle the bike goes. No gears to shift, just amazing torque and acceleration.
When you roll off the throttle, it has regenerative braking, so it slows down without brakes faster than conventional Internal Combustion Engined bikes. Of course it has great front and rear brakes. It is amazingly easy to ride and very, very, quick in Power Mode. It’s direct drive through a gear box and 2 belts. The motor and drive train are always engaged with each other.
I’d love to see the innards of this set up. Powered by a big Lithium Ion battery (like your cell phone only WAYYYYY bigger) and a small 12-Volt battery, recharge times according to my source are not outrageous.
I asked my friend a couple of specifically pointed questions, such as “what is the range of this bike? And what is the recharge time?” As of now, I don’t have his answer regarding range, and at 60% battery level, an hour of charging tops off the battery.
He adds that to drive the motorcycle ” it is about the instant torque you get from an electric motor, even with my large size it goes 0-60 in under 4 seconds. It has great low and high speed handling.”
Sounds very exciting to me! In my opinion, Harley has knocked it out of the park, and it will be very interesting to see how the public receives this.
How about it readers? Is there an Electric Motorcycle in our near future? We’d love your feedback. As we get more information, we will update regularly. Do you have any specific questions we can direct to Harley?