Particularly for that kind of money.
The iconic motorcycle brand Harley-Davidson hasn't been doing so well since around 2007. Largely, its problem has been relevance as the number of people in the US that ride motorcycles are dropping steadily. Reading between the lines, Harley Davidson needs to reach younger buyers if it is to reverse the downward trend. Given the level of environmental consciousness younger generations are displaying, going electric is a logical step. It's also a key to delivering a motorbike that can be a true modern streetfighter of a sportbike. A low center of gravity and an instant and smooth delivery of torque is a fantastic recipe for a bike, whether the tattoo and leather vest-wearing baby-boomers like it or not.
Harley-Davidson opened orders of its stylish and fast LiveWire bike in January, and it's starting to land at dealers now. However, according to a report from Reuters, it's quickly showing itself to be a flop. Reuters polled Harley-Davidson dealers across the country to find out how things are going, and it doesn't look good. According to Reuter's, most of the orders are coming from Harley's core demographic of older riders.
According to interviews with 40 of the 150 dealerships covered, several younger people have made enquiries of the LiveWire. However, dealers are reluctant to order the bike as it would require training staff while also investing in a Level 3 charging station.
For those dealers committing to the LiveWire, the problem they have is converting those inquiries from younger people into sales. The problem simply boils down to the price. The entry-level cost to get on a new Harley-Davidson bikes is usually just under $7,000, but the LiveWire starts at $29,799. While we expect electric vehicles to be more expensive than their gas-powered counterparts for a while still, the Nissan Leaf starts at $29,990. There's also already an electric motorcycle on the market in the form of the Zero SR/F that costs just $18,995.
Optimistically speaking, the LiveWire is a flagship product for Harley-Davidson and set to lead the way for less expensive electric bikes later. If Harley-Davidson wants to remain relevant and given the interest that dealers are reporting from younger people, the Milwaukee-based company needs to get those to market quickly.