We get our first hands-on experience of the all-new, all-electric LiveWire in Portland. Here’s what the future of the iconic Bar and Shield looks like
Story: Harket Suchde
Travelling to the USA to ride the latest product from the biggest bikemaker in these parts, Harley-Davidson, typically means getting ready to go out on wide open roads with a big, burly, chromed-out V-twin with a bad attitude, and an even badder exhaust note. It’s the modern iteration of the Wild, Wild West and there’s a new sheriff in town. But this new bike is a Harley like no other you’ve seen before. There are no floorboards, no ape hangers, no clutch, no gear lever, and no iconic, thumping V-twin either.
Nope, this is a brand-new chapter in Bar and Shield history. This isn’t an old Western, this is epic sci-fi adventure set in the far future. This is the LiveWire. An all-new, all-electric behemoth that’s going on sale across the western world in the coming months. Is it all that all-new, though? After all, we did take a short spin astride it a couple of years back and even Scar Jo, or at least her stunt double, rode it as OG Avenger Black Widow way back in Avengers: Age of Ultron. That was a prototype, though. This, this is the real production-spec deal.
And, visually, the LiveWire is such a huge departure from the usual fare from this house of cruisers that you wouldn’t believe it’s a Harley until you spot the badge. Those razor-sharp lines are absolutely scintillating and that whole street-naked vibe is absolutely bang on the money. It looks like a modern streetfighter, and everything from the cowl surrounding the headlamp to the floating tail-lamp unit and full-colour TFT screen lends the LiveWire a fresh, contemporary vibe. This is uncharted territory for H-D and, boy, have they pulled one out of the bag!
Seen from the rear, the LiveWire may look a tad undercooked, but from every other angle, she’s a beaut and one that looks a whole lot better in metal than in pictures. The only problem I had with the whole visual approach was the extremely familiar mirrors, which have been seen on so many other models and tend to detract from the uniqueness of this model’s design.