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Harley introduces electric motorcycle

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Harley-Davidson's design for an electric motorcycle.
Harley-Davidson's design for an electric motorcycle. - (Photo / )

Harley-Davidson is asking select customers to give its first electric-powered motorcycle a test drive.

The Milwaukee-based maker of motorcycles, which has a plant in Springettsburgy Township, York County, has announced Project LiveWire and a tour across Route 66 to show the bike off.

The motorcycle isn’t yet for sale. It was created and put on tour to gather input from riders about the machine, according to a news release from Harley. Those who do not ride motorcycles will get to check out how the new bike rides through Jumpstart, a “simulated riding experience.”

“America at its best has always been about reinvention,” Matt Levatich, Harley’s president and COO, said in the release. “And, like America, Harley-Davidson has reinvented itself many times in our history, with customers leading us every step of the way. Project LiveWire is another exciting, customer-led moment in our history.”

The new bike “offers a visceral riding experience with tire-shredding acceleration and an unmistakable new sound,” according to the release.

The tour, which starts next week, will visit 30 Harley-Davidson dealerships before the end of the year. The tour will continue in the U.S., Canada and Europe in 2015.

The new motorcycle is a signal the company is looking to the future, as well as the environment, said Mark-Hans Richer, Harley’s senior vice president and chief marketing officer.

“Because electric vehicle technology is evolving rapidly, we are excited to learn more from riders through the Project LiveWire Experience to fully understand the definition of success in this market as the technology continues to evolve,” he said.

The company’s website detailing the new motorcycle crashed by 10 this morning. “Due to the overwhelming response, we are experiencing a slight technical delay,” the site read.

Harley-Davidson Motor Co. trades its shares on the New York Stock Exchange under the ticker symbol HOG.

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