Harley-Davidson is an iconic brand as American as apple pie and baseball—maybe even more so. A favorite among some of the most infamous biker gangs, Harley has produced some of the best motorcycles—and even bicycles—for more than a hundred years, enduring some of America’s highest highs and lowest lows. The brand is synonymous with muscle, toughness. The kind of motorcycle your grandpa probably owned. But, in a surprise move, the company has introduced a new all-electric concept that’s coming to show rooms in 2016.
To be clear, Harley’s Project LiveWire isn’t going into mass production—yet. The concept is merely meant to gauge customer interest, and ultimately see if motorcycle fans would even be interested in owning an electric Harley. And that’s the question of the day. It’s hard to imagine existing Harley fans ditching their loud, strong bikes for something a little more… green. But Harley wants to ease people into it before jumping in head first.
There are already existing electric motorcycles out there, so this could be a good move for the company. One of the pioneers helping to lead the charge into the next era of auto technology. Though, to be fair, the range will need to be ramped up in order for motorcycle enthusiasts to even consider buying one. Right now, the electric range stands at 53 miles, with 74bhp and 52lb-ft of torque—that’s a top speed of about 92 mph, which quite frankly is plenty if all Harleys are intended for are to cruise around.
“Project LiveWire is just one element in our efforts to preserve and renew the freedom to ride for generations to come,” said Matt Levatich, Harley’s President and COO.
The auto industry has shown intense interest in electric technology, though it’s not exactly widespread in motorcycles. This latest move by Harley, which has for so long stuck to what it knows best, shows a company dabbling in new frontiers, and further validates the impending electric revolution.