Harley-Davidson's electric bike rolls into Calgary

There are only 28 of them in the world and 13 are in Calgary this weekend ready for a test ride.

Promo tour is making three stops in Canada to build excitement for prototype

Harley-Davidson's prototype electric motorcycle is on display in Calgary as part of a promotional tour. (Drew Anderson/CBC)

There are only 28 of them in the world and 13 are in Calgary this weekend ready for a test ride.

Harley-Davidson, long known for rumbling motorcycles and an air of machismo, is touring the world showing off its new electric prototype, a gas-free machine that sounds more like a jet than a traditional hog. 

"Definitely with Project Live Wire it's an urban bike. It is geared towards a younger generation," Karen Mayberry, marketing manager for Deely Harley-Davidson Canada, told CBC News. 

"The bike itself is very nimble and it's very quick and it's very responsive, so it's ideal for traffic situations in larger cities."

There is no timeline for when Live Wire will go from prototype to production, making it available for consumers, but the owner of Calgary Kane's Harley-Davidson is eager for the day.

Harley-Davidson's Project Live Wire

6 years ago
Harley Davidson's Project Live Wire was on display and available for a test drive in Calgary. 1:56

"With Calgary being a green city — and they promote bicyclists — I think it's going to be a natural in the future for certain Calgarians," said Mick Cawthorn.

As someone who rides "six-second, 200-mile-an-hour, nitro-burning monsters," Cawthorn was impressed with the acceleration of the electric cycle, which he first experienced at the massive annual Sturgis Motorcycle Rally in Sturgis, S.D., last year.

"Everybody that's ridden it, nobody's gotten off of this and said 'Wow, I hate it.' Everyone that's gotten has said 'Wow, I'm amazed," he said.

Those wanting to take the Live Wire for a test ride can head down to Kane's until Sunday at 5 p.m. Those with a motorcycle licence can ride on city streets. Those without a licence can try out one strapped to rollers, offering a chance to get a feel for the bike without hitting the roads.

Calgary is one of only three stops for the tour in Canada.


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