A long time ago I saw a documentary about Carl-Benz and his invention; the automobile. This is not about who invented a car with a combustion engine first, but rather the challenges and misconceptions he faced when he tried to convince the people of his creation. Long story short: it sucked! In general people don’t like change. Moreover, we often ridicule or patronize those that embrace change, the so-called creators. “How can a machine replace my trusty steed?” and “It will explode when you ride it” were common phrases that were used back then. Still, if it wasn’t for the likes of Carl-Benz, we probably wouldn’t be writing articles about custom built motorcycles, instead, we would probably hand-write about custom build chariots…
The number of electric motorcycle manufacturers is increasing fast, and the portfolio of new models is booming. We have seen Zero Motorcycles, Energica, Cake, and many more, creating some very good looking machines. There is something about having maximum torque available from the get-go. Honestly, go ahead and try one out, we dare you! You would be surprised at how much fun it can be. Yes, they sound different, and yes, they feel a bit different too. But, at the end of the day, they have two wheels, and with the pull you feel when you twist the throttle, you will smile guaranteed.
It is safe to say that typically, electric motorcycles are designed and built by non-motorcycle building companies. Let me explain: Tesla never built a petrol or diesel car before. As a matter of fact, for a car manufacturer they are still very young compared to, let’s say, Ford or Volkswagen. Still, Tesla is now considered as one of the world’s leading electric car manufacturers.
When we think of Harley-Davidson, we think of one of the world’s oldest motorcycle manufacturers. They have a reputation of being the opposite of innovators*. And quite frankly, they didn’t have to be innovators for a long time. Their customers wanted air-cooled, push rod, big v-twins for years. However, decreasing sales numbers as well environmental restrictions are making it harder and harder to continue to build the same type of bikes with the same type of engines as they used to.
That is, until we heard of Project LiveWire. A radically different Harley-Davidson. Not only was it a naked bike (totally different segment), it was also going to be 100% electric! Clearly this bike was meant to attract a new audience. Charley Boorman and Ewan McGregor took two of these machines from Ushuaia to Los Angeles, with some support of course, to show just how capable Harley-Davidson had build this motorcycles; an impressive feat! It definitely got our attention.
When we saw that one of the Netherlands finest builders, Moto Adonis, had gotten their hands on a Harley-Davidson LiveWire, we lost our shit. Really, we literally jumped up in excitement! So, we hit Arthur Renkema up, one of the 3 founding members and co-owner of Moto Adonis, together with Job Leussing, to ask if we could see the bike for ourselves. The answer was: YES! But we had to be quick, because the owner of the bike, who wishes to remain anonymous, was. going to pick up his bike in 2 days time. The results of that visit can be seen on our YouTube channel. It is mind boggling when you realize that this entire build was created in just 4 months time!
If you haven’t heard of Moto Adonis before, they have been building custom motorcycles for years. We have featured a great number of articles about their builds in the past 5 years, make sure to check those out! This is the first time we have seen a HD LiveWire build like this. Since the bike is all electric, they left the internals of the motorcycle untouched and focused primarily on the esthetics. And they did an incredible job at that! A quick look at the spec sheet shows: 105hp, 116 Nm, 251kg, 160km range and a top speed of 185 km/h. Not bad at all!
We can’t wait to see more builds like this. In the meantime, enjoy these beautiful shots of the Harley-Davidson LiveWire
Photo Credits: Mark Meisner