Harley-Davidson has launched the US tour for its first electric motorcycle, introducing fans of the brand to the bike.
The US manufacturer is inviting Harley devotees to come along to local dealerships and see its “Project LiveWire” bikes for themselves and maybe even take a test ride. The aim is to see how the new machine appeals to customers, help fans become comfortable with the new technology and to gather feedback.
The project has undoubtedly generated interest. Fans of the brand love the distinctive rumbling sound made by its familiar V-twin engine, and many in the industry and beyond will be watching to see whether Harley can convince them that a quieter electric bike is just as appealing.
People who have ridden the new Harley, which is still in development, say that it makes far less noise than a standard Harley. Still, according to the Seattle Times, the bike makes a thrilling, jet-like sound when you flick the “on” switch and rev the throttle. There is almost no vibration and the motor produces no exhaust heat or fumes. In fact, the machine boasts zero emissions.
Harley says that its electric motorcycle reaches 60 miles per hour in about four seconds. However, at the moment, range is limited and the brand admits that battery technology is not quite capable of delivering the range and overall lifespan it wants, Bloomberg BusinessWeek reported. The prototype Project LiveWire bikes can only go around 60 miles before needing to be recharged when riding in “distance” mode – and half that in the higher-performance “power” mode.
The US Project LiveWire tour will continue until the end of 2014, visiting more than 30 dealerships along the way. Harley fans in Europe and Canada will get to share in the experience next year, the manufacturer said.