By / March 26, 2024

Harley-Davidson Embraces Cannabis in Motorcycle Production

The motorcycle industry is undergoing a revolution that bridges the past with the future, blending tradition with innovation. An emblem of American freedom on two wheels, Harley-Davidson, long associated with roaring combustion engines and iconic design, is now introducing new, sustainable solutions in its electric vehicle division, LiveWire. The latest electric cruiser, the S2 Mulholland, is not only about high performance and style but also about the pioneering use of cannabis in manufacturing key components.

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Harley-Davidson Takes a Step Toward Sustainable Development

On March 20th, LiveWire, the electric division of Harley-Davidson, which became an independent company in 2022, announced the launch of the S2 Mulholland model. This electric cruiser’s components are made from hemp biocomposites, marking a unique step towards more sustainable development for the company. In addition to parts made from cannabis, the model also includes elements made from materials sourced from abandoned fishing nets, which otherwise pose a threat to marine life.

According to a report by Plastic News, the latest LiveWire motorcycle features mudguards reinforced with cannabis and other parts made from recycled plastics. The Mulholland’s front and rear fenders are made from a hemp biocomposite. Its radiator covers and cable guides are made from used nylon sourced from abandoned fishing nets.

“S2 Mulholland continues to push the boundaries of design through LiveWire’s first use of sustainable and environmentally friendly materials at key points of contact with the motorcycle, including body parts, seating, and secondary plastic components,” the press release stated.

Technical and Aesthetic Details

The Harley-Davidson motorcycle’s elements are designed to highlight its parts made from cannabis. “In the end, the motorcycle will be available in a more eco-friendly, unpainted Lunar White finish that highlights the CAP Hemp material while also minimizing the use of traditional plastics and paints – efforts unseen in this category before the launch of Mulholland. Liquid Black will be the only available paint option.”

While the Harley-Davidson Mulholland S2 is not designed for long rides, it is perfect for urban riding and other applications.

The Harley-Davidson motorcycle weighs 195 kilograms, and the Mulholland can accelerate from zero to 100 km/h in 3.3 seconds thanks to its 84 horsepower. The 10.5 kWh pack provides a range of 195 km in city traffic and 118 km on the highway at speeds of about 88 km/h. The motorcycle uses the same charging technology as the Del Mar, equipped as standard with both Level 1 and Level 2 chargers. The Mulholland’s wheels, 19 inches at the front and 17 inches at the rear, are fitted with Dunlop Sportmax Roadsmart IV tires, utilizing the motorcycle’s lean angles of 55°/50° to the left and right.

Cannabis in the Automotive Industry Beyond Harley-Davidson

In recent years, cannabis has gained significance not only in the medical and textile industries but also in the automotive sector. Thanks to its unique properties, such as durability, lightness, and biodegradability, cannabis is becoming a valuable resource in car manufacturing. What was once considered an alternative solution is now transforming into a key element of sustainable development in the automotive industry.

Cannabis, grown as an industrial plant, has a range of benefits that make it an attractive material for engineers and designers in the automotive industry. It is renewable, requires relatively small amounts of water to cultivate, and has the ability to absorb CO2, making it environmentally friendly. Moreover, cannabis can be used to produce biocomposites that are lighter than traditional materials, such as steel or aluminum, contributing to increased fuel efficiency of vehicles.

One of the most significant examples of cannabis use in the automotive industry is the development of hemp biocomposites for vehicle body parts and interiors. These materials, besides being light and strong, also have good insulation properties and the ability to dampen sound, which can significantly improve driving comfort.

Companies like BMW, Audi, and Mercedes-Benz are already experimenting with the use of cannabis in producing their cars. Cannabis is being used in the production of door panels, mirror housings, and dashboard elements, demonstrating a growing interest in eco-friendly alternatives among leading car manufacturers.

Despite its many advantages, the mainstream introduction of cannabis into automotive production faces certain challenges, including the need for standardization of production processes, regulatory hurdles, and convincing consumers to embrace new, “green” technologies. Nonetheless, increasing environmental awareness and CO2 emission regulations are putting pressure on the automotive industry to seek sustainable solutions.

(Featured image by Livewire)

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