Harley-Davidson has a special place in the hearts of motor-bike enthusiasts around the world.
The United States-founded company has been creating bikes for well over 100 years and its latest refocus on innovative technology has pushed the company to create an impressive series of bikes.
Harley-Davidsons has unveiled its first ever electric motorcycles and an electric bicycle, in what is being seen as the most radical shakeup of the struggling company in its 115-year-history.
Matt Levatich, CEO of the Milwaukee-based company, said the new products were designed in response to changing times.
The electric motorcycle range will include several of what Mr Levatich called “lightweight, urban” transportation products that are designed specifically to appeal to “young adults, globally, living in dense urban spaces.”
In 2014 the company signalled its interest in electric motorbikes with the LiveWire electric prototype, which will go on sale next summer. Earlier this year the company announced an investment in electric motorcycle company Alta Motors.
On Monday they presented as many as five more electric models – including lightweight, urban bikes – which will be on sale by 2022.
They also unveiled their electric bicycle.
The company revealed plans to promote its motorbikes in emerging markets, with a small motorcycle model introduced in India in the next two years; a series of middleweight bikes in 2020 in Europe; and an expansion of ranges and distribution in China.
At the same time, the company will attempt to retain market dominance with the classic Harleys – full-size touring and cruiser motorcycles – that are the backbone of its international sales.
The all-electric bike is supposed to boast an approximate range of 110 miles or 177 km of mixed city/highway riding. Relatively quick in its electric bike class, the LiveWire has an acceleration of 0-60 mph with a time of 3.5 seconds.
Another major take away from the LiveWire unveiling centers around the bike’s connectivity. Harley-Davidson created a suite of connected services enabled by an LTE-connected Telematics Control Unit hidden under the bike’s seat.
This allows riders to stay fully connected to their bike and surrounding area to provide a better riding experience.
Harley-Davidson also showed off their dirt bike and moped prototypes to the CES audience. Though there is very little known about the new electric bikes these bikes embody a radical a new beginning for the company; embracing a new design language and tech for the company.
Jennifer Hoyer from Harley-Davidson’s Media relations described the products stating, “Both electric concepts provide enhanced attainability for customers around the world. These premium entry-level concepts widen accessibility both for new audiences, and the traditional Harley-Davidson customer.”
“Our goal for these concepts is to not require a motorcycle license to operate and feature clutch-free operation, lowering the learning curve and increasing access to attract new riders in the process.”