This article, written by Paul Glader, appears on Forbes.
Italian E-Motorcycle Maker Energica Challenges Harley Davidson
In the U.S., motorcycles conjure images of loud, reverberating, menacing engines on stout, chrome-heavy frames adorned in black leather. We’re talking Harley Davidson rallies in Sturgis and Daytona, the cinematic scenes of Dennis Hopper and Peter Fonda in Easy Rider, the disgruntled war veterans, immigrants and roughnecks riding in gangs like Hells Angels, the Bandidos and the Outlaws.
Americans don’t picture motorcycling as a sport for aesthetes who sip espresso and listen to classical music after a brisk ride. So will electric motorcycles — bikes that quietly run on batteries — ever threaten to replace the earth-rumbling, eardrum numbing, fossil-fuel-burning machine? Will we see a Tesla of the motorcycle industry?
An Italian motorcycle brand called Energica aims to be just that. The company, owned by the manufacturing firm CRP Group, used the latest 3D-printing technology to design what could be the fastest and most expensive machines on the market, rolling onto sales floors this Summer. The company has dealers in Switzerland, the Netherlands, Portugal, Germany and in California at a dealer called Holywood Electrics.
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