Harley's green machine stops at Mother Road
Electric motorcycle screams like a jet engine - but only for about 50 miles
KINGMAN - It screams like a jet engine rather than producing the thundering pop that typically distinguishes the sound of a Harley-Davidson motorcycle.
It rockets from 0 to 60 mph in four seconds.
Project LiveWire, the first electric motorcycle from Harley-Davidson, was rolled off a company tractor trailer for display Wednesday at Kingman's Mother Road Harley-Davidson dealership, part of a Route 66 West Coast tour for the Milwaukee, Wis.-based manufacturer.
The motorcycle is still in its research and development stage and not for sale at any price, said Jason Fosnaught, tour manager for the company.
Availability of Project LiveWire for retail sale in the future will be determined by feedback from riders on the tour.
"My first impression is I'd have to relearn or refine certain elements of riding like braking, not having to shift gears. It's a sensitive throttle," said Rick Patton, who rode the motorcycle on a stationary platform at the dealership. "Acceleration is faster than my ElectraGlide."
A couple of things the manufacturer needs to work on is extending the motorcycle's range beyond 50 miles and shortening charge time from three hours, he said.
"If I ride to Laughlin, I've got to wait three hours to come back," Patton noted.
Project LiveWire is a bold statement for the Harley-Davidson brand, chief marketing officer Mark-Hans Richer said. It's more like the first electric guitar, not the first electric car.
"It's an expression of individuality and iconic style that just happens to be electric," Richer said.
"It's impressive," Kingman's Steve Smith said as he took a close-up look at the bike. "I just think they're really cool. This is a bike that will appeal to the unusual Harley rider because it's a combination of high tech and tradition."