Proud Harley-Davidson owner Dan Bustindy, 65, has been riding this brand of motorcycle for over 20 years in the Bay Area. Bustindy says he just loves the way Harleys make you feel when you ride them.
"You get to feel all of your senses, not just your sight and your hearing," says Bustindy.
And if you've ever been around a Harley-Davidson, you know that one of its most distinctive qualities is the way it sounds. It's that unmistakable syncopated engine rumble that some lovingly call the "potato-potato-potato" sound. (Say it out loud, and you'll understand.)
But that distinctive rumble could soon be a thing of the past for Harley-Davidson as the company looks to go electric.
In March, Harley-Davidson invested in Alta Motors, a small electric motorcycle company tucked away in Brisbane. Why? Harley wants Alta's expertise to help them enter the electric motorcycle market and, more importantly, to attract new and younger riders.
"This is a really typical move in the Bay Area," says CityBike editor Surj Gish. "You acquire talent by buying a company or investing in a company."
Gish says Harley-Davidson, along with other major motorcycle manufacturers, is behind the curve when it comes to electric vehicle technology, so this is a smart move.
But Gish says there's just one problem that Harley has in particular.
"They've developed the hell out of their brand," says Gish.
That's usually a good thing, but Gish says their brand appeals to an older crowd. So some people might think of older gentlemen in leather chaps, or "Sons of Anarchy," the television show about the outlaw Harley motorcycle gang. But like most of the motorcycle industry, Harley riders are aging out.
"Harley has an opportunity that they have to take, which is they have to attract the attention of other purchasers, without losing the old-timers that just want big touring bikes and what-not," says Gish.
That means rebranding and moving away from what some might see as unwieldy and loud motorcycles to quiet and easy-to-ride motorcycles.
"Really anybody can throw a leg over one and safely operate it," says Alta Motors co-founder Marc Fenigstein of the company's dirt bike, called the Redshift.
Fenigstein says electric motorcycles are generally easy to master because they have no gears. It's just twist and go.
And Alta's bikes are high-powered. In 2016, one of its electric motorcycles beat out its gas-powered counterparts in a supercross race. It was a first in the electric motorcycle world.
But the question still lingers: What do Harley's tried-and-true base think about electric hogs?
"It would be great for commuters. It would be great for people who have never ridden a motorcycle before," says Bustindy. "But I don't think I would ever own one because I like to tour."
Motorcycle touring, or going on long rides, is not something electric motorcycles can do because they run out of charge quicker than traditional engines run out of gas. At least for now. Currently, Alta's motorcycles can go up to 50 miles on one charge, and the battery takes about 90 minutes to fully recharge.
"Our approach has been to give our customers enough charge to meet their daily needs so that the charge time is less important, and they can charge overnight or while they're at the office," says Alta's Fenigstein.
But this charge issue is not stopping Harley-Davidson. The company has announced it plans to launch a fleet of green electric motorcycles, separately from Alta, next year.