Hell’s Angels on E-Bikes?


These pages are normally about bikes as inbicycles, rather than bikes as in motor-bikes, but a press release came across my desk that drew my attention to a somewhat different sort of “e-bike”.

Harley-Davidson have a huge reputation for their powerful motorcycles with their distinctive engine noise. So it came as something of a surprise to me that they have just spent 3 days exhibiting their first ever electric motorcycle to their aficionados in Montreal, which they say is in keeping with their customer-led product development approach.

I hadn’t realised, but this is not the first location that they have been to, having started their “Project Livewire” in 2014 with a journey down Route 66 in the USA. After more than 30 stops to date, they have now gone over the border into Canada and will be visiting locations in Europe before the end of 2015.

Harley-Davidson has reinvented itself many times in our history, with riders leading us every step of the way,” said Anoop Prakash, Managing Director, Harley-Davidson Canada. “Preserving the environment is important for all of us” he went on to add, “LiveWire is just one element in our efforts to preserve and renew the freedom to ride for generations to come. As a company that has seen success for 112 years, we think in generational terms about our great riding environments for the next 112 years.

Corporate hype aside, it is interesting that yet another international brand name is working on a transition away from combustion engines – having mentioned BMW urging us to get out of our cars – and particularly as the press release goes on to say “Harley-Davidson Motor Company produces heavyweight custom, cruiser and touring motorcycles and offers a complete line of Harley-Davidson motorcycle parts, accessories, riding gear and apparel, and general merchandise.”

This Harley is not a “bike” as cyclists would view it, but it is a form of e-bike, and the possible convergence is intriguing. Can you picture a group of Hells Angels on e-bikes?


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