Holy smokes, Harley-Davidson is going green! No, we're not talking about a Lime Green motorcycle or anything to do with paint jobs, but a brand new hog that runs on electricity instead of gasoline! To kick off the initiative, which HD is calling "Project LiveWire," the iconic motorcycle maker is taking 22 electric bikes on a tour across the U.S. next week to both promote the new rides and gauge the public's reaction.
Early indications are positive. A visit over to project.harley-davidson.com yields an error message that reads, "Due to the overwhelming response, we are experiencing a slight technical delay." Hardly surprising when you stop and think about the significance of this movement combined with the heavy social media push (HD is hitting Twitter pretty hard with its trending #ProjectLiveWire hashtag).
Once the attention rolls off of social media and into the streets where the hardcore bikers prefer to spend their time, it will be interesting to see what kind of reaction an electric hog elicits. These bikes lack an exhaust and the accompanying rumble that bikers love to hear. HD even tried (unsuccessfully) to trademark its bike's "Potato-Potato-Potato" sound.
On the flip side, HD could attract a whole new audience to the world of motorcycles, one that cares more about carbon footprints than a rumbling exhaust. Depending on the size of these bikes and how nimble they are, they could be a hit in city environments where zipping around town occurs more often than trekking across the country.
That's not to say you couldn't take one of these on a trip, though we're still waiting on more details to emerge. HD hasn't said how big of a battery pack these hogs are lugging, nor how far they'll go on a single charge. From the promotional video, however, it looks like there's enough power to speed down the highway at a decent clip.