Harley-Davidson dropped a bombshell last week on a motorcycle world that's associated the name with bikes that rumble and roar for generations. It announced a quiet but quick electric motorcycle concept dubbed "Project LiveWire" and promised that it would offer regular riders the chance to try one soon.
Over the weekend, the company announced more details about the Project LiveWire tour, which kicks off Tuesday in New York.
There's not much in the way of details right now, except that test rides are going to be offered starting at the Harley-Davidson of New York dealership Tuesday and Wednesday, followed by a four-day event at the Harley museum in Milwaukee, as well as in Boston Friday through Sunday. There's also an event scheduled for Philadelphia in July that's already been announced and the company promises that a full list of dates and cities is coming this week.
An earlier press release announcing Project LiveWire disclosed that the tour would include a trip down Route 66, the iconic old set of highways from Chicago to Los Angeles via the southwest US,, and visit at least 30 dealerships in 2014.
While Harley-Davidson wants you to try its new electric bike, it doesn't want to sell you one anytime soon. According to the Project LiveWire FAQ:
"We're taking the Project LiveWire motorcycle experience around the country this year, and continue in the US, Canada and Europe in 2015. We'll gain feedback from real riders on what they are looking for in this type of vehicle... Any final decisions about whether to bring an electric motorcycle to market - and when - will be made at a later date."
That's great, but the more impactful decision on the future of Harley-Davidson's image will be whether to install charging stations at the Sturgis, S.D., site of one of the largest annual motorcycle rallies in the world. Hard to imagine a new generation of riders armed with extension cords, unless maybe they're leather cords.