2014 Harley Davidson Project Livewire

This week’s post is on Harley first attempt at making an electric motorcycle. (Although I’m late again with the news)

Last week Harley Davidson released a rideable prototype electric motorcycle called Project Livewire.  To quote the press release: “While not for sale, Project LiveWire is specifically designed for the purpose of getting insight into rider expectations of an electric Harley-Davidson motorcycle.”

The Project Livewire electric motorcycle is different from the others I’ve seen in that it actually looks good in the sense that it is now overly big or has too many awkward lines. (Zero are you paying attention!?) However most of all it actually makes a pretty cool noise – like every Harley.  There are plenty of videos on Youtube you can check out and listen to.

While Project Livewire does not sound like the traditional and trademarked Harley Davidson sound this one sounds like the effects from any number of sci-fi movies you can recall!  It will be interesting how it progresses as the existing electric bikes are quite expensive. It is interesting to note how no other current manufacturer has equipped their electric vehicles with this type of noise!

Harley-Davidson Motor Company Side View

Harley-Davidson Motor Company Right View

Harley-Davidson Motor Company Left View

Indian Motorcycles

india_mapFollowing on from my recent article on the Indian Motorcycle brand I thought it was about time to look at actual Indian motorcycle manufacturers! That is, companies and brands that make the motorcycles in the country of India. It is a bit confusing that there is also a motorcycle brand called Indian and a country’s people called Indians, not forgetting that there are South American and North American Indians as well and others.

 There are quite a number of motorcycle manufacturers in India. The most popular Indian brands include Hero and Bajaj, TVS and recently Mahindra (see prior posts). The Japanese brands are there making them too, Honda and Kawasaki being the most popular. Combined the Indian automotive industry manufacture over 1.8 million motorcycles/scooters/car/trucks for domestic and export in September 2013. On a yearly basis Indian motorcycles contribute over 3 million units a year (Courtesy of SIAM). Virtually all the motorcycles produced are under 250cc in engine capacity

The most popular manufacturer and model in India is not certain to those outside of India.  Needless to say that non-Indian manufacturer in particular Honda due to its former joint venture with Hero are probably the most popular. Regardless of who is officially the most popular or numerous the motorcycle production numbers in India are incredible. The motorcycle is probably the most important transport vehicle in India – clearly.

A few things I’ve noticed in my own research, especially on Youtube are the required ability of a motorcycle to carry lots of things and strangely to be able to run through 30 centimeters? or so of water without stalling. I also understand that to be a successful model that bike must be able to run daily and without any servicing whatsoever for at least 12 months. Sports style motorcycles are in high demand too but sales tempered by the obvious factors of traffic and environment.

Of course most of the other manufacturer’s top range sports bikes, including the Hayabusa can be purchased as official imports and unofficially so makes the whole motorcycle scene fascinating.