By James “Hollywood” Macecari
If anyone wants to know why Harley Davidson closed the Kansas City plant and put 800 people out of work; look no further than their decision to invest in Alta. Harley Davidson has gone off it’s rocker in my humble opinion. Instead of pursuing a better line of bikes and cutting costs.; Harley Davidson goes out and spends millions (Though they will not release just how much was invested) to buy into Alta. Why? Because Alta is investing heavily in the electric motorcycle market.
Harley Davidson is betting on the electric motorcycle to lure the younger generation into buying motorcycles. Harley Davidson will be introducing it’s “Livewire” line due out next year. The motorcycle only has a maximum range of 60 miles; the company is banking on urban younger riders to make the line a success. Personally, take away whatever those executives over at Harley Davidson are smoking. Those so-called ass-monkey executives are killing the company. With all the press on “Why Harley Davidson is in trouble” , all the outcry from it’s base trying to give their feedback. You would actually think these idiots would pay attention and get a clue on what’s wrong and why the company is having such a hard time.
Any normal person can see just by visiting social media; All the comments from people who own Harley Davidson, the bitches and gripes people have about the company. Most of the bitches people are having is two main things. Price of the product and lack of uniqueness of the models being put out there. It’s not rocket science. These two bitches are at the very heart of Harley Davidson’s issues. Will they listen? Hell no! Instead the wizards at corporate go and invest in a company making a electric dirtbikes! What kind of ass-nine crap is that?
Listen, I know the importance of keeping up with technology. I know eventually we all will be riding bikes that will resemble “Tron Bikes”. Right now though that isn’t the case. Technology like that is probably 15 years away. Harley Davidson needs to think of the present situation and invest the money they do have into fixing the problems of today. The problems are this
- The baby boomers that fueled it’s spike in the 1990s are now aging out. Getting rid of motorcycles and trading them in for fishing boats lol.
- Everyone continues to bitch about the high prices of a new bike. The company isn’t paying attention to it’s customers. Thus the reason way the market for Used Harleys is outpacing New Sales
- The product line is boring. Harley Davidson needs to mix things up. Try going back to some cool retro designs like the Panhead or Shovelhead.
- Stop putting all your hopes into people buying into the “You have to have a Harley Davidson to be a biker”. That kind of brand loyalty sailed off along time ago.
- Get some executives that actually know what the hell they are doing. Get off the golf course and get out there and listen to the customer base. Hold dealership chats. Get out there and talk to customers
Personally, after owning dozen of Harleys over the years. My 01 Fatboy will be the last. I’m seriously considering looking into an Indian. Indian motorcycles have a sleek look to them and the price is right. Something that Harley Davidson cannot wrap it’s head around. It’s because of that lack of foresight from the executives at Harley, 800 people are now out of a job. Sad to say, if they don’t get their heads out of their asses over there in Milwaukee, the AMF days will soon be at their doorstep again.
Harley-Davidson invests in EV bike company Alta Motors, wheelies ensue
A motorcycle company famous for resisting the tide of tech buys into the hottest electric motorcycle maker in the US, seeking stability for the future.
Everyone’s favorite dad-brand, Harley-Davidson, is getting serious about electric motorcycle technology and that’s why it just bought a chunk of Alta, maker of probably the coolest electric motorcycles on the market.
Let’s jump in the Wayback Machine for a minute and go back a few years to when. That bike was pretty great for 2014, but it’s heavy and underpowered by today’s standards. Harley kept at it though, and now it is on the verge of launching its first production electric motorcycle, which is cool.
Alta meanwhile has been building cutting-edge lightweight, high-powered electric dirt bikes, enduros and supermotos in Brisbane, California. In fact, it just released its, which not only has a lower cost but more power and torque and reduced charge times over its previous iterations. Alta, as a company, is trending up.
Harley’s investment in Alta is a clear attempt to access younger riders, who in recent years have begun to eschew the heavy and expensive cruisers for which Harley is known. The motorcycle industry, in general, has been having problems attracting new riders, and the push toward electric bike development is seen as a way of bringing in new, tech-savvy people (with money, usually) to motorcycling.
The US is an odd market for motorcycles in general, despite being a huge one. In most of the world, motorcycles are widely thought of as being cheap transportation first, and exciting machines second. In the US they are mostly thought of as toys, with only the hard-core using them for daily commutes.
This means that cheap bikes don’t sell as well here, for the most part, while demand for expensive, powerful bikes is waning due to the aging baby-boomer population reaching the point where they are physically not able to ride. Electric bikes are being looked at as a solution to this, owing to their lack of clutches and shifters.
Harley-Davidson has stated that it plans on investing $25-50 million in electric motorcycle development over the next few years, though it’s unclear how much of that has gone into its Alta investment as both companies are being tight-lipped when it comes to hard numbers.
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