That second word is perhaps the most crucial element to the new project, as few vehicle manufacturers enjoy the icon status that Harley-Davidson does.
Harley-Davidson stresses that its new creation- called Project LiveWire - is just a concept for now, and that public reaction will dictate if the project or a similar bike will ever wear the Harley logo.
The bike-builder’s PR research will be thorough, as a travelling tour kicks off in the US this week visiting more than 30 dealerships before the end of the year and taking in another American icon; Route 66.
From early 2015, the road-show will also visit Canada and Europe, and there’s little doubt that the entire motorcycle industry will be watching on with interest.
While an electric bike cannot hope to replicate Harley-Davidson’s signature exhaust note, the “fighter jet on an aircraft carrier” sound produced by the LiveWire may just become a signature sound of its own (see video, top of page).
“Project LiveWire is more like the first electric guitar; not an electric car,” Harley-Davidson’s Mark-Hans Richer said.
“It’s an expression of individuality and iconic style that just happens to be electric. Project LiveWire is a bold statement for us as a company and a brand.”
Along with the new sound, Harley also promises tyre-shredding performance and a visceral riding experience.
Harley-Davidson is yet to reveal potential pricing for a production version of Project LiveWire, or if we’ll ever see the concept in Australia.