Monday, April 2, 2012



I was catching up on some reading today on the haps in the industry and I ran across this article…


Say It Ain’t True! The Motor Company Goes Electric?



April 1, 2012 | By: Patrick Garvin

It’s finally arrived — the day old school bikers and the HD faithful have feared for decades. The Motor Company has gone electric! Somebody check hell for snow.

That’s right folks, due to a tightening noose strung up by the EPA, along with overall pressure to foist a “greener” company onto the public, The Motor Company is rolling out its first-ever electric bike. And to add insult to injury, they’re debuting this debacle at Sturgis — the mother of all motorcycle rallies.

Most of the rumblings and ruminations over the past few years have been rumors of a liquid-cooled Touring bike, but it’s looking like the research and development staff in Milwaukee has waltzed right past that notion and gone full-bore tree hugger on us with the XL-E.

Details remain sketchy, but here’s what we do know at this stage of the game: The XL-E will be powered by a Hitachi electric motor said to be capable of 100 miles per hour. The battery technology is somewhat of a closely guarded secret with boastings of longer run times than any other electric bike on the market. Currently the maximum range on most electric bike is about 100 miles, Reported claims on the XL-E cite a range in the neighborhood of 250 miles between charges.

A company rep said a major concern is that the V-twin faithful might be turned off by the lack of the patented motor noise and lack of exhaust pipes. Really? You think?

The Motor Company says it has addressed these concerns by adding a hidden subwoofer system that is tucked away in a decorative faux exhaust system that will be linked to the throttle. That way, when you roll into the throttle on the XL-E you will experience the same rumble you get from a gas-powered hog. A full accessory line is expected to follow, including luggage, windshields and interchangeable “exhaust” systems and upgradable engine noise.

Is this the future of bikes coming out of Milwaukee? One insider raised the specter of the entire lineup becoming electric or water-cooled as early as 2018. I can’t wait to throw a leg over this electric beast to see what it has to offer. Stay tuned for a full report from me after the Sturgis launch in August.

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