(FOX) - The Livewire is the cleanest hog you’ve ever seen. It’s Harley-Davidson’s first electric motorcycle and one of the first battery-powered bikes offered in the U.S. by a major manufacturer.
The century-old brand is hoping the modern machine will help it connect with a young, affluent audience that might not be interested in its traditional models.
More than five years in the making, the Livewire looks like nothing else Harley-Davidson builds. Far from a classic cruiser, it’s a sport bike that promises high performance in a premium, easy-to-ride package.
There is no clutch and you don’t have to change the gears. You just twist the grip, and go. The battery’s mounted where the engine normally is and the motor is underneath it.
Unlike other Harley’s, it doesn’t have loud pipes, but it does make noise. It makes a mechanical whirring noise that is generated by the driveline.
The electric motor is good for 105 horsepower, 86 pound-feet of instant torque, and a 0-to-60 time of just three seconds.
Despite weighing 549 pounds, the Livewire has a low center of gravity, handles well, and feels just like a normal motorcycle.
As with most electric vehicles, range is an issue. The Livewire can go 146 miles per charge, but fewer than 100 on the highway. It can be recharged in an hour at the same public DC charging stations car use, but takes nine hours plugged in at home.
The Livewire is high tech, but it is also high-priced. It starts at $30,000, which is more than some other electric bikes, but less than some conventional Harley’s.