Well, Harley is set for the release of it’s “Livewire” models. The bad news is the range in the Demo version will be only around 58 miles. So by the looks of it, they will be targeting the urban market with this bike. Because let’s be honest, where else would you be able to use it with a range that is basically useless outside of a big city?
I know that electric vehicles will be the wave of the future, personally, the manufacturers of electric motorcycles, electric cars are going to have to be the pioneers of the electric charging stations. You will never get the oil companies to put up any money that will eventually put them out of business.
The revolution that has to take place over the next few years in order for these types of bikes to be viable will be enormous. But the future is indeed upon us. If Harley Davidson can get their heads out of their ass and get ahead of the curve, you can bet they will be one of the leaders in the industry.
Like they did with Harley Finance, allowing the restrictions to come down more to get a loan to buy a bike, if Harley starts getting involved in the charging station program, then it will have a chance to corner the market. My bet? Harley will leave it up to Tesla to do that, which will leave Harley missing out on a huge amount of money and market share in that sector.
The reviews I’ve seen so far on the “Livewire” has been for the most part positive. I’ve not ridden one for myself, but for those who have, say it’s a smooth clean ride. Watching the video with Jay Leno above the “Livewire” sounds like a jet engine, but it does have good pick up. This bike also would help bring in younger people as well as women. The “Livewire” is clutchless and looks like anyone could ride it.
Like it or not, the future is electric. Give it another 10 years and fully electric cars and bikes will be the norm. I know the older guys and my generation are starting to have a heart attack. But you have to face reality. Harley Davidson needs to evolve with the market. As much as we all hate to admit it, this is the direction that everything is going in.
Harley-Davidson’s fourth-quarter earnings report was a good news, bad news situation. The bad news, according to the Milwaukee Business Journal, is that 2017 sales were down 6.7 percent worldwide, and 8.5 percent in the U.S., which has typically been H-D’s stronghold. The motorcycle company will also be closing its Kansas City, Missouri plant and rolling operations into its York, Pennsylvania plant. Sales drops and layoffs have sadly become a trend for H-D.
But there is a silver, or rather an electric lining to the story. Harley-Davidson also announced that it is just 18 months away from releasing its first production electric motorcycle. This is much sooner than the 2021 and “eventually” release dates previously announced.
“The EV motorcycle market is in its infancy today, but we believe premium Harley-Davidson electric motorcycles will help drive excitement and participation in the sport globally,” Matt Levatich, Harley-Davidson’s president and CEO told the Milwaukee Business Journal. “As we expand our EV capabilities and commitment, we get even more excited about the role electric motorcycles will play in growing our business.”
Harley-Davidson first revealed its interest in electric motorcycles in 2014 with the LiveWire concept, a cool looking bike that made around 74-horsepower and 56 pound-feet of torque, a zero to 60 time around 4 seconds, and a range of 50 miles. Certainly, more range would be required in a production version. The Energica Ego we tested runs between 90 and 120 miles depending on how aggressively you ride it. But battery technology has advanced since then, making similar numbers fairly easy to hit.
It may seem strange for H-D, a brand that practically invented the “loud pipes save lives” crowd, to be looking at a quiet electric future, but in many ways it makes sense. Harley-Davidson’s sales are declining because its traditional customers are aging out of riding, and younger riders aren’t as interested in riding eternal, shiny and chrome. Amid criticism that H-D is stuck in the past, it may be bypassing the present entirely to focus on the future of motorcycles. Companies like Energica and Zero have made good progress on electric bikes, but are tiny compared to the H-D juggernaut, which can put both its huge manufacturing and marketing departments behind making an electric Harley the motorcycle of choice for a new generation of riders.
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