Harley creates buzz with electric bike, 'hog' fans snort

Tue Jun 24, 2014 4:26pm EDT
 
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By Sagarika Jaisinghani

(Reuters) - Howie Barokas had just ridden his Harley-Davidson Ultra Limited on Highway 50 across the searing Nevada desert when he heard about the company's new electric motorcycle.

He wasn't impressed.

Then again, Harley-Davidson Inc was looking beyond loyal baby boomers like 49-year-old Barokas when it unveiled its first electric prototype bike last Thursday.

More panther than hog, the all-black electric prototype is a far cry from the bulky cruising bikes the Milwaukee-based company has cranked out since 1903.

It is, of course, also missing an exhaust pipe that emits the Harley's distinctive "potato-potato-potato" rumble, but does have a high-pitched sound like a jet plane.

"The guys I'm riding with and I talked about it and none of us would want the bike," Barokas, who runs a Seattle PR firm, said a day after the unveiling of Harley's "Project LiveWire".

The prototype is part of Harley-Davidson's strategy to appeal to younger buyers as well as women.

Earlier this year, the company launched "Street", its most affordable small bike in decades. [ID:nL1N0MS0ZB]   Continued...

 
A motorcycle aficionado sits on an electric Harley Davidson motorcycle part of the company's "Project Livewire" in the companies' store in New York June 23, 2014.  REUTERS/Lucas Jackson