Harley-Davidson Motor Company announced it will be selling a new all-electric motorcycle on a 30-city cross-country tour this summer.
Code-named Project LiveWire will officially be revealed in New York on June 23. It’s styled to look more like a sleek, low-slung racer than the big highway motorcycles typically associated with the brand.
The electric motorcyle is not available for sale to the general public, the company will launch a beta test program, allowing select consumers around the country to ride and provide feedback on the bike.
“It’s how we like to explore product, through the eyes of our customers,” Mark-Hans Richer, the company’s senior vice president and chief marketing officer said in an interview. “We couldn’t imagine this sitting on a turntable at a show with models handing out brochures. It needed to be something real, something that customers could have a first-hand experience with.”
The 2014 U.S. tour kicks off with an iconic journey down Route 66, with stops at more than 30 Harley-Davidson dealerships. The Project LiveWire Experience will continue in 2015, eventually expanding into Canada and Europe.
“America at its best has always been about reinvention,” Harley-Davidson COO Matt Levatich said in a statement. “And, like America, Harley Davidson has reinvented itself many times in our history, which customers leading us every step of the way. Project LiveWire is another exciting, customer-led moment in our history.”
“Because electric vehicle technology is evolving rapidly, we are excited to learn more from riders through the Project LiveWire Experience,” said Mark-Hans Richer, the company’s senior vice president and chief marketing officer, adding that engaging with fans will help the company “to fully understand the definition of success in this market as the technology continues to evolve.”
If you think an electric Harley might lose it’s sound, you’re thinking wrong. “The sound is a distinct part of the thrill,” says Richer. “Think fighter jet on an aircraft carrier. Project LiveWire’s unique sound was designed to differentiate it from internal combustion and other electric motorcycles on the market.”
The one downside, as with any other electric types of vehicles, electric bikes suffer from a limited range per charge, which the Associated Press reports could be about 130 miles; at that, a full charge might be accomplished in as little as 30 minutes to an hour.
Electric Harley Davidson
Nissan to Install Quick Charging Stations to Over 100 LEAF-Certified Dealers
Chevy Spark EV: 82 mile Range, EPA 119 MPGe, Available Summer 2013 Under $25k
Honda Fit EV Release Date in July but Limited Availability