A prototype for what could become the first Harley-Davidson electric motorcycle is being launched next week to give the company consumer feedback, Harley said Thursday.
It’s a process that will take months, or even years, and there’s no guarantee Harley-Davidson will ever build an electric bike for mass production. Still, Project LiveWire is a big step forward for the company and the motorcycle industry that’s been tied to the internal combustion engine for more than a century.
While the bikes that will be introduced next week, starting in New York and Milwaukee, are not for sale, they will log thousands of hours of road time in demo rides across the country and overseas.
“Customers will tell us what they think it will take to make a great electric motorcycle. I am sure we will discover things that we cannot anticipate right now,” said Mark-Hans Richer, senior vice president and chief marketing officer of the world’s largest manufacturer of heavyweight motorcycles.
“It’s an opportunity to learn, and we will see where it goes,” Richer added.
Harley hasn’t said much about the technical specifications of its electric bike, but the prototype will be limited to a top speed of 92 mph. For the test rides, the standard being applied suggests an operating range of 53 miles between battery charges, according to the company.
The bikes definitely won’t have the syncopated “potato, potato, potato” rumble that resonates from the company’s V-Twin engines.