Join Date: Aug 2008
Location: North Bay Area, CA
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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My garage: 2000.5 Aprilia Mille R, 2000 Ducati 996, 1994 EX500 basket case, 1993 Ducati 900 SS, 2004 Suzuki GSXR600, 1992 GSXR750 oil boiler, 1983 Suzuki XN-85 Turbo