Here’s a question for motorcycle fans: How much of your love of motorcycles depends on the combustion engine?
You know what I’m talking about — the big, raw, powerful, guttural sound of gasoline exploding in a cylinder, with fire and noise being ejected out the valve and directly into the ears of the neighbors?
Can the buzz of an electric motorcycle ever hold such romance for you?
Minneapolis-based Polaris is banking that the answer is “yes” and you’d be willing to drop almost $20,000 to affirm it.
Its Victory division has unveiled the Empulse TT, an electric motorcycle.
It’s hard to tell how much of the electric whine has been enhanced in that video. We may not know until they show up at the Sturgis rally next week.
In making the unveiling this week, Polaris/Victory tweaked its competition to the east — Harley Davidson.
“A Harley-Davidson electric motorcycle has to deliver on our customers’ expectations … not just meet a set of technical specifications,” Harley spokesman Tony Macrito tells the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel today.
It’s still unclear what the attraction will be. They might be great when gas prices go back up, but you can buy a lot of octane for $20,000. And it’s still unclear how far you can get on a single charge.
“I suppose a young sport bike rider might buy this,” a biker comments on the Journal Sentinel site, “but NO BIKER would be caught dead on it! The sound of a sewing machine just doesn’t do it for us! We want the sound of rumbling exhausts!”
“Why don’t we just find a way to put wheels on a smartphone?” sniffed another. Oh snap!
If you buy one, I want to be there when you stop at the biker bar.