It’s hard to imagine a Harley-Davidson motorcycle that’s all electric.
But the iconic big, noisy, American motorcycle maker next week is to come out with its first electric bike. The Detroit Free Press reports that the company will take several dozen riders on a 30-city tour to test-drive the motorcycles and get feedback.
Millions of electric scooters and low-powered electric bikes are sold each year and appeal to Chinese commuters. Harley-Davidson, known for its big touring motorcycles is entering the market, hoping to appeal to people who are environmentally conscious.
Harley-Davidson motorcycles for years have been the bike of choice for now aging baby boomers. They make any rider look cool especially decked out in Harley-Davidson leather and other accessories sold in Harley-Davidson stores.
The classic and appealing potato-potato-potato signature noise that Harleys make, however, won’t be part of the new electric bikes.
The engine is silent, and riders won’t have to shift gears on the sporty bikes that go from zero to 60 mph in about 4 seconds. But the meshing of gears puts out a hum like a jet taking off.
It would be hard for a Harley rider outfitted in Harley gear perched on an electric bike to be intimidating at a stoplight or when passing cars on the road when the thunderous Harley noise has been tamped down to only a hum.
It would be super fantastic, however, if the new bike is manufactured at Harley-Davidson’s Kansas City plant.