Harley-Davidson Plans To Open R&D Facility In The Silicon Valley

The Harley-Davidson Motor Company joins Apple, Google in the tech capital of the world

Harley-Davidson’s future eBike
A rendering of Harley-Davidson’s future eBike concepts to possibly come in the future.Courtesy of Harley-Davidson

Google, Apple, Facebook, and other tech giants will soon be welcoming a new neighbor to the Silicon Valley hood, Harley-Davidson.

The 115-year-old Harley-Davidson Motor Company announced plans to open a research and development facility in Northern California, as a satellite center of the Willie G. Davidson Product Development Facility in Wauwatosa, Wisconsin, which is expected to start operations in the fourth quarter of 2018.

“Recently we shared with the world our accelerated plans to build the next generation of Harley-Davidson riders globally,” said Matt Levatich, president and CEO of Harley-Davidson Inc. “This new R&D facility in the heart of Silicon Valley will help us deliver on those plans and demonstrate our commitment to lead the electrification of the sport.”

Harley-Davidson is heading full force into developing new products for the eBike category with the announcement of the production LiveWire for 2019, the first in a broad, no-clutch “twist and go” portfolio of electric two-wheelers designed by the company with subsequent eBike models through 2022 to broaden its longstanding heavy cruiser portfolio with lighter, smaller, and even more accessible offerings to try and meet its 2017 goal announcement of two million new riders in 10 years.

The new R&D facility will initially focus on electric vehicle research and development, including battery, power electronics, and e-machine design, development, and advanced manufacturing. However, the company may consider expanding the center’s focus to an increased range of advanced technologies that uniquely leverage the rich talent in the Silicon Valley to support Harley-Davidson motorcycles across a broad spectrum of price points, power sources, and riding styles.

If you’re a tech aficionado within the Silicon Valley and are looking for a gig in the EV motorcycle market, you better act fast because Harley-Davidson has begun its recruiting process for top talent in electrical, mechanical, and software engineering, with experience in developing and delivering a wide variety of EV systems across the board. And there are only about 25 spots to fill the first go-round.

“This is an exciting time in Harley-Davidson’s incredible history, and it’s also an exciting time to join our company and help shape our future,” Levatich said.

For a variety of career opportunities at Harley-Davidson, including roles at the new research facility, click here.