In what may be one of the most initially confusing news items you’ll read today, Harley-Davidson is partnering with the Envision Virgin Racing Formula E team. A motorcycle brand sponsoring electric open-wheel racing? Yes, you’re reading that right.
It’s perplexing, but might make more sense than you initially think. Later this year, Harley is releasing its first-ever electric motorcycle, the LiveWire, and is said to be focusing more on electric and mobility products as it struggles to find a way into the future after doubling down on selling huge cruisers to Baby Boomers.
Since Formula E is currently the most prominent form of EV racing, it makes sense for Harley-Davidson to partner with them in a bid to promote its newest product. This three-year deal comes into effect this weekend during the Paris ePrix.
It’s unclear how much money Harley is funneling into FE, but it sounds like this is an effort on their part to draw some international attention and to rebrand themselves as a more eco-friendly manufacturer with its hands in a lot more than just loud rumble buggies for the big beef boys in leather parkas.
The really interesting part is Harley couldn’t have picked a better team. Envision Virgin Racing is currently holding a steady second place in the constructor’s championship, and it has established itself as a top-contending team since the very first FE race in 2014.
If there’s any team for Harley to bet on, it would be Virgin Racing.