Harley-Davidson has this week unveiled a five-year strategic plan, named the HardWire, which it hopes will turn its ailing fortunes around. And it contains good news for any adventure bikers hoping that a Long Way Up-styled electric adventure bike may appear in showrooms in the future.
Central to the plan remains heavy investment in its existing petrol-powered range. However, one of the most surprising moves is the formation of a brand-new electric division, which will be solely responsible for the continued development of electric motorcycles.
Is an electric Harley-Davidson adventure bike on the way?
It’s the clearest indication yet that Harley-Davidson’s flagship electric bike, the LiveWire, was only the beginning of what the manufacturer no doubt sees as a long-running and extensive electric range. And, after supporting Ewan McGregor and Charley Boorman on their heavily-promoted ride up through South America, we’re hoping that there’ll be room in that electric range for a similar bike to the modified LiveWires that the pair were riding.
So, will we see an ‘AdventureWire’ on showroom floors in the near future? Only time will tell, although if one does make an appearance, the American manufacturer will already have one customer right here…
Any bike’s an adventure bike, right?
I imagine that a few eyebrows may be raised at the inclusion of the bike above in Adventure Bike Rider. After all, for all intents and purposes, the Harley-Davidson LiveWire is a naked sports bike.
Of course, the answer lies with two chaps, Ewan McGregor and Charley Boorman, who decided to ride from the tip of South America to Los Angeles on the electric bikes.
Although the bikes in Long Way Up were slightly modified from those that are available in showrooms, the trip proved that it was possible to have an adventure on electric bikes, albeit with plenty of support. So, when the offer came in to ride a LiveWire for two weeks, we couldn’t say no.
And, seeing as Long Way Round was partly responsible for propelling adventure biking into the mainstream, we had to find out if electric touring was on the cusp of a similar boom.
You can read all about my time with the LiveWire in the Jan/Feb issue of ABR. If you have your issue to hand, simply flick to page 104 and enjoy.
If you don’t have a copy yet, physical issues are now sold out. However, you can read a digital version of the entire magazine, as well as every issue of Adventure Bike Rider magazine ever published, by signing up to the ABR Digital Library.