Harley-Davidson Halts Electric Motorcycle Production - Ex-500.com - The home of the Kawasaki EX500 / Ninja 500R
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post #1 of 12 (permalink) Old 10-15-2019, 12:30 AM Thread Starter
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Harley-Davidson Halts Electric Motorcycle Production

https://www.wsj.com/articles/harley-...on-11571073048


Looks like there was a charging problem discovered and now they're walking the roll out back a bit. More details in the link above but that's the gist of the article................sean


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post #2 of 12 (permalink) Old 10-15-2019, 2:07 AM
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A problem with General Davidson Motors charging Must be the Volt...age...

I finally figured out why I like Ducatis: With their exhaust note and dry clutch, they sound almost like a Guzzi!
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post #3 of 12 (permalink) Old 10-15-2019, 7:12 AM
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Article at site that doesnít require subscription.

https://www.jsonline.com/story/money...es/3976410002/
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post #4 of 12 (permalink) Old 10-15-2019, 8:13 PM
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Charging problem my ass!!! Sounds more to me like the LiveWire is an overpriced, low-distance, non-selling blunder by HD. It was a good idea...until it wasn't, yet HD kept investing in it.

$30,000 for a motorcycle that goes less than 100 miles before an 8-hour recharge?!?!
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post #5 of 12 (permalink) Old 10-15-2019, 8:25 PM
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$30,000 for a motorcycle that goes less than 100 miles before an 8-hour recharge?!?!
A $30,000 sales flop in the making.
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post #6 of 12 (permalink) Old 10-15-2019, 10:41 PM
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The whole concept had me scratching my head from the get-go. An e-Harley totally lacks the main thing Harley riders love...the v-twin look and sound. Who did they think would buy the damn things? Green-weenie environmentalists?

A classic example of what-were-they-thinking.
post #7 of 12 (permalink) Old 10-16-2019, 1:03 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by [email protected] View Post
The whole concept had me scratching my head from the get-go. An e-Harley totally lacks the main thing Harley riders love...the v-twin look and sound. Who did they think would buy the damn things? Green-weenie environmentalists?

A classic example of what-were-they-thinking.
The typical rider who bought H-D for their V-Twin look and sound are an ever aging and dwindling bunch. To continue to cater to that crowd is financial suicide. I believe H-D did the right thing in creating a bike of the future, and that the execution is likely the issue here. Overpriced....most likely. A good bike....I have friends who have ridden it and think it's great based on the strength of a single test ride. Time will tell.

Millennial's are the target audience here. They, for the most part, aren't interested in owing a car or driving much. Motorcycles don't stand a chance. A difficult bunch to understand.

All I know is that I've injected my passion for cars and bikes into all of my sons. I'll be damned if they freely choose an Uber/Lyft ride over driving themselves.
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post #8 of 12 (permalink) Old 10-16-2019, 1:26 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by [email protected] View Post
The whole concept had me scratching my head from the get-go. An e-Harley totally lacks the main thing Harley riders love...the v-twin look and sound. Who did they think would buy the damn things? Green-weenie environmentalists?

A classic example of what-were-they-thinking.
It's the curse of Erik Buell. Remember, they bought his soul because they thought he would pave the way to attracting younger buyers into H-D. Then, they kept him in the H-D box. The V-Rod engine began as a serious sport bike engine for Buell, so that he could build the bike he always wanted to build. (This was the main reason he signed a deal with H-D that was so one-sided that his lawyer made him sign an affadavit, stating that accepting the deal was against his advice.) So, Harley suddenly decided they wanted to use the engine themselves for the new V-Rod and decreed that it be so massive that it was no longer suitable for serious sport bike use, prompting Buell to go out of house and use Rotax engines.

When the recession hit and non-motorcycle people took charge of the company they tossed Erik into the gutter. Now, they're realizing that the old business model is about to fail because the traditional buyers are getting old, and they're throwing a bunch of stuff out there trying to attract a new generation. As far as I can see, they're missing the mark. worse, they're obviously gambling with a lot of development money.

I'm not as confident about their future as the investors seem to be. What goes around, comes around.
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post #9 of 12 (permalink) Old 10-16-2019, 2:06 AM Thread Starter
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Agree with all of that. HD isn't making an electric bike to do anything for the traditional HD buyer.



As was so eloquently pointed out, that customer base is aging and will likely no longer be riding in another 10-20 years at the higher end of the spectrum.



There are a few younger guys I know who ride them and succumbed to the whole "life style" propaganda.



The long game in this instance is creating a motorcycle that will appeal to a younger and far different customer base than the traditional one.



That, and an electric bike is a sure way to attract a growing segment of the population. It has a range of 180 miles BTW, on an 8 hour charge...or, a 1 hour charge at the dealer.



You'd think, that with the success of Tesla in major metropolitan areas, that they (HD) would take advantage of the system Tesla uses and make their electric bikes able to charge on the same one. Tesla already has the infrastructure in place, why build a whole other parallel one?




With an aging customer base the Motor Company is realizing the business model they've pursued for the last 40 years is about to become obsolete.



They have legitimate data showing a decline in sales quarter on quarter for the last 10 years at least. Hence their attempt to move into new markets like India.



I don't hold any of that against them. They've seen it, probably a decade or more before decline became a reality. They just threw away the initial attempt to head that decline off with Buell.



On a purely financial basis, I can't fathom a $30K electric bike. Too expensive for most. I can see the top engineer types in Silicone Valley buying something like that just because they can. However, I think they'd more likely spend their money on a Ducati V4R for the same price.



It may get their foot in the electric bike door, and establish themselves as an alternative to Zero and some of the other electric bikes. They just gotta get the price down to be competitive.



It makes more sense in a crowded urban/metro area than it does for say, someone living in the middle of Nebraska or Iowa. The decision to focus marketing and delivery to major urban areas is sound.



I wish them luck. I still can't justify buying one of any flavor new off the dealer floor. I can't even justify buying a used one. Not for a bike that I'd only ride in certain circumstances. Circumstances that I'd only find myself in once in a while.....sean


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post #10 of 12 (permalink) Old 10-16-2019, 3:13 AM
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Originally Posted by ducatiman View Post
A $30,000 sales flop in the making.
I foresee a plea for government assistance and a tariff on all other electrical vehicles. Remember the 700cc tariffs in the 80s?

I finally figured out why I like Ducatis: With their exhaust note and dry clutch, they sound almost like a Guzzi!
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post #11 of 12 (permalink) Old 10-16-2019, 1:24 PM
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Originally Posted by Davenay67 View Post
The typical rider who bought H-D for their V-Twin look and sound are an ever aging and dwindling bunch. To continue to cater to that crowd is financial suicide. I believe H-D did the right thing in creating a bike of the future, and that the execution is likely the issue here. Overpriced....most likely. A good bike....I have friends who have ridden it and think it's great based on the strength of a single test ride. Time will tell.
Yup, you nailed it. The company has had a remarkable 70+ year ride starting after WWII selling to returning GIs, but now they know its just about over. They bought themselves some time by moving into overseas markets but even that is starting to fade. Trouble is, once they abandon the V-Twin noise and chrome schtick, they are just another motorcycle company and one that is late to the mainstream motorcycle party, to boot. The competition is fierce out there. Can you imagine Harley building a better e-motorcycle than say, Yamaha? I can't. If and when e-motorcycles take off, the Japanese will be the ones leading the pack and those millennials couldn't care less about the H-D brand and certainly won't be willing to pay a premium price for it.

(P.S. I know Yamaha is already involved in electric because I just bought myself an e-MTB with a Yamaha motor at the heart of it. Its an amazing piece of technology and it all works flawlessly.)
post #12 of 12 (permalink) Old 10-17-2019, 3:00 PM
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Lots of good points made here already, I just wanna say that I for one was excited about the LiveWire. I agree that they are overpriced and underwhelming specs-wise, but for an initial offering, I thought well cool, at least it's a step in the right direction. The technology for electric mobility is improving all the time, and I do think there will come a day when the range and charge time are brought to a point where they rival combustion engines. But I think there's another element here where HD dropped the ball. See, in Japan the big four motorcycle manufacturers have been developing a battery-swap technology, where all makes of bike can share the same battery packs that can be swapped out in about as much time as it takes to fill a regular gas tank. HD could have done this with the LiveWire, using their existing HD dealers. Granted they're too few and far apart for a lot of rides, but for those instances you have the Tesla charging stations, or a regular power outlet to charge in the bike itself.

Ok yes, there's a lot more to it than that, but I think HD was in a unique position to lead the way on this concept, and they just left it on the table.

Paul

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