Harley-Davidson has unveiled a new electric motorcycle. The company has been selling motorcycles for over a century and has a very active and brand-loyal community of owners. Though it does offer the more-modern VSRC and Street model lines, the company essentially lives on its rich heritage, offering updated versions of classic designs that date back as far the 1940’s with bad-boy names like Road King, Super Glide, and, of course, Bad Boy.

To its credit the Milwaukee-based company is hedging its bets that its core customers – men age 35 and older – will not live forever. To that end it just announced it would be sending a dramatic new all-electric motorcycle on a 30-city cross-country tour this summer to gauge market interest, especially among younger enthusiasts.

Code-named Project LiveWire, the hand-built prototype – which will officially be revealed in New York on June 23 – is styled like no other Harley on the road, looking more like a sleek and low-slung racer than the big highway cruisers typically associated with the brand.

Now there’s nothing particularly new about the notion of an electric motorcycle – Wikipedia says a patent for the first can be traced back to 1895 – but makers began to take the genre seriously in recent years, both with lower-end around town scooters, and upscale high-performance plug-in models from makers Mission  and Zero Motorcycles.

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