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Harley Davidson LiveWire turns its back on the combustion engine

No, you’re not dreaming. Say hello to an all-electric Harley for the eco-friendly bikers among us.

The distinctive engine note of a Harley Davidson was enough to tell you somebody dressed in black with an impressive beard was fast approaching. But not anymore. The company founded in 1903 has announced its first electric motorcycle – and with it comes eerily silent biking.

We Harley know ya
We Harley know ya

The Harley Davidson LiveWire has two wheels, handlebars and suspension like a normal motorbike, but the comparison ends there. A 75hp electric motor and lithium-ion battery combination with a custom developed engine note replaces the typical fossil fuel-burning noise-fest.

The LiveWire can hit 0 to 60mph in four seconds so it’s definitely no slouch and the top speed of 92mph is technically illegal, but the all-electric Voxan Wattman is quicker. A range of 100 miles does mean your cruises will be short and sweet, but at least you can recharge the batteries in three hours.

Some electric bikes lose the whole aggressive styling thing. The LiveWire, however, is most certainly angular and scary enough for our liking – a fact helped by the short wheelbase of the cast-aluminium exoskeleton that ensures you sit somewhat upright like you do on a ‘proper’ hog. Meanwhile LED indicators and rear lamps give the bike a futuristic vibe.

Harley Davidson marketing boss Mark-Hans Richer was keen to point out the traditional, often stereotyped Harley owners are not being forgotten. “We love old white guys. Our old white guys are great customers, we love them, and we never want to walk away from them,” he said.

Will it please your average biker? Perhaps not. But at least Harley is giving green motoring a damn good go and this is probably the most tame all-electric motorcycle we’ve seen so far.

A price of US$20,000 (£12,000) is expected. No word on a release date.

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