An eco-friendly Harley Davidson – worst idea ever?

Within a year, an eco-friendly, electronic version of the famous motorcycle will be on sale – without the va-va-vroom which gives us such a thrill.

The idea of an electronic version of the Harley Davidson is the worst idea in commercial history – after Cherry Coke and the autobiography of Michaela Biancofiore, the Italian politician. The Harley Davidson is akin to a garish bimbo - and yet the whole essence of such a bimbo is her very appearance.

To deprive the Harley Davidson of its infamous noisome rumble, and to replace it with an electric alternative, is not only an awful idea, it’s just weird. It’s like taking away the chug-chug sound from an espresso machine, or the school bell from playtime, or the fanfare of a military parade. These are unrivalled sounds, and the vulgar, bombastic noise of a Harley is also historic, it being the only motor sound to be protected by copyright.

That’s not all. Women say that a Harley’s roar is the last bastion of true virility, a hallmark of authentic masculinity. You feel and even know that a heterosexual male is driving one. Even if it’s a bit boorish, the bike is still masculine.

My fear now with this metrosexual version of the Harley is that your typical biker will soon adapt himself to it. Before you know it, we’ll be finding hordes of these one-time ex-centurions of the road dressed in dyed skinny-jeans and moccasins.

You can’t ride a Harley that makes no noise. You can’t ask for a ride in a contraption that makes the same sound as a golf cart or a child’s toy. Be gone with your puny, eco-Harley Davidson, I implore you. Perhaps the planet won’t be grateful to us for saying as much, but women will be. And how!

Selvaggia Lucarelli is an Italian journalist and writer. This article was translated from Italian by Patrick West.

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