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CNET News Video: Riding Harley-Davidson's all-electric Project LiveWire in the streets of NYC

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CNET News Video: Riding Harley-Davidson's all-electric Project LiveWire in the streets of NYC

3:03 /

Harley's latest bike is radically different than anything the company has made before, and its engineers think it's uniquely suited for city streets. Join us as we find out.

[MUSIC] This is Harley Davidson's project Livewire, a very different bike for the company, it's got a very different power train. All electric, it's got an electric motor mounted down in the bottom of the frame which is actually mounted transversely pointed toward. The rear tire, which is very different from other electric motorcycles that we've seen before, puts down about 74 horsepower. Which doesn't sound like a lot, but they say it's good enough to go 0 to 60 in less than four seconds. Is it quick? We're about to find out. [MUSIC]. [NOISE] That's unlike any other Harley I've ever ridden before. Probably unlike any Harley you may have ridden before too. Smooth and quiet, it's very different from a traditional bike, but actually a lot louder than your average EV too. Your average electric motorcycle is very quiet, but Harley actually went out of their way to add noise to this coming from the drive train. [NOISE]. It is all natural noise we confirm. There is all the noise coming from the differential and the electric motor itself, there's nothing going through speakers or anything like that. The riding position is very upright, very comfortable, very suited for this sort of conditions, you sit straight upright, you can see where traffic is very easily and there's no transmission here, there's no shifting, there's no clutch. Which also makes it very easy to ride in busy city streets, like we've got here. Of course, we'd rather take it onto the country roads, but Harley's thinking this might be a commuter for a lot of people. And we can certainly see it doing pretty well in that regard. Now we did talk to some members of Harley autos group. They think that you know, loud bikes save lives. So therefore they're concerned about the quietness of this bike. But otherwise, they actually thought it was pretty cool. Now I ride a Triumph which has a lot of torque, but it doesn't quite have the throttle response of an E like this. Really, you twist the grip and it goes at any RPM. Maximum RPM of this, by the way, is 50. [UNKNOWN] thousand would choose, you know, as good as a [UNKNOWN] sport bike. It gets up and goes much more quickly than a six hundred cee cee sport bike. Another big change from a traditional bike, is this color touch screen here. You can actually go through and toggle between range. You can see your throttle response. You can see the temperature of the motorcycle. All very high tech. Maybe a little bit distracting for riding, but again, this is just a prototype at this point. And there are two very important missing pieces of information about Project Livewire. Price, and availability. Holly won't give us any indication on either of those things which is a little bit unfortunate. But the way they are launching Livewire is pretty cool. They're actually taking these bikes around to major dealerships around the country and to major Harley shows as well to let the normal people out there to ride them. If you want to try out this bike Holly will love to let you sit in the saddle. You take it for a spin, and that's a great way, when you've got a traditional company like Harley Davidson, watching something very untraditional, like Project Livewire.

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