Harley-Davidson announces Silicon Valley research and development facility

In recent years, several auto manufacturers and tech companies have started to explore the future of transportation. From electric vehicles to autonomous cars, the companies that are ahead of the curve developing these technologies stand to reap the benefits of their investments as these types of vehicles become mainstream – and motorcycle manufacturers are no exception.

Harley-Davidson recently announced plans to establish an advanced technology research and development facility in Northern California. Located in the heart of Silicon Valley, the move positions H-D to take advantage of the area’s top electrical, mechanical, and software engineering talent.

It is expected to open before the end of the year and will act as a satellite of the company’s Willie G. Davidson Product Development Facility in Wisconsin.

The facility demonstrates Harley-Davidson’s commitment to leading the “electrification of the sport” by supporting the development of its future product portfolio, including its first full line of electric vehicles.

Electric vehicle batteries, power electronics, and e-machine design, development, and advanced manufacturing will be the new team’s initial focus. In the long run, their focus may expand to include other specialized areas of technology developing in Silicon Valley.

Harley-Davidson plans to launch a “broad, no-clutch ‘twist and go’ portfolio of electric two-wheelers” starting with its first electric motorcycle, the LiveWire™, in 2019. In the following years, it will roll out additional models that are “lighter, smaller, and even more accessible” in an effort to attract the new generation of riders.

Overall, the company hopes to make motorcycles more accessible and attractive to a broader range of riders by offering models with a wide range of price points, power sources, and riding styles.

How do you think the motorcycle industry will evolve in the coming years? Tell us about the features or types of bikes you’re hoping to see in the future.

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