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Harley-Davidson Creates Separate Brand for Electric Motorcycles – LiveWire

The press release below discusses Harley-Davidson’s decision to create a separate brand for electric motorcycles. According to Harley, “with an initial focus on the urban market, LiveWire will pioneer the electric motorcycle space, and beyond.

Here is the Harley-Davidson press release:

MILWAUKEE (May 10, 2021) – Harley-Davidson, Inc. (“Harley-Davidson”) (NYSE: HOG) today announces the launch of LiveWire as an all-electric motorcycle brand.

LiveWire is more than a motorcycle. LiveWire plans to redefine electric, delivering the best experience for the urban rider, with personality and soul. LiveWire creates a unique connection between rider and vehicle. Today, the next chapter in the LiveWire journey begins.

Jochen Zeitz, chairman, president and CEO of Harley-Davidson: 

“One of the six pillars of The Hardwire Strategy is to lead in electric – by launching LiveWire as an all-electric brand, we are seizing the opportunity to lead and define the market in EV. With the mission to be the most desirable electric motorcycle brand in the world, LiveWire will pioneer the future of motorcycling, for the pursuit of urban adventure and beyond. LiveWire also plans to innovate and develop technology that will be applicable to Harley-Davidson electric motorcycles in the future.”

The first LiveWire branded motorcycle is scheduled to launch on July 8, 2021 and to premiere at the International Motorcycle Show on July 9, 2021. For more information and updates, register at livewire.com.

Unique lineage: LiveWire draws on its DNA as an agile disruptor from the lineage of Harley-Davidson, capitalizing on a decade of learnings in the EV sector and the heritage of the most desirable motorcycle brand in the world.  

Motorcycles + beyond:  with an initial focus on the urban market, LiveWire will pioneer the electric motorcycle space, and beyond.  

Virtual HQ: innovating by design and attracting industry-leading talent, LiveWire will be headquartered virtually, with initial hubs in Silicon Valley, CA (LiveWire Labs) and Milwaukee, WI.

Marketplace: from launch, LiveWire will work with participating dealers from the Harley-Davidson network as an independent brand. An innovative go-to-market model will blend digital and physical retail formats, tailoring the experience to the local market and allowing customers to discover LiveWire on their own terms.

Dedicated showroom: seizing the opportunity to lead in EV and innovating across the customer journey, LiveWire will operate dedicated EV showrooms in select locations, starting in California. Here customers will be able to experience the LiveWire brand in an immersive and innovative way.

Technology focus:  with a dedicated focus on EV, LiveWire plans to develop the technology of the future and to invest in the capabilities needed to lead the transformation of motorcycling. LiveWire expects to benefit from Harley-Davidson’s engineering expertise, manufacturing footprint, supply chain infrastructure, and global logistics capabilities. 

Technology sharing: Harley-Davidson and LiveWire intend to cooperate and share their technological advancements to ensure an industry leading application in their respective core segments.

About Harley-Davidson:  

Harley-Davidson, Inc. is the parent company of Harley-Davidson Motor Company and Harley-Davidson Financial Services. Our vision: Building our legend and leading our industry through innovation, evolution and emotion. Our mission: More than building machines, we stand for the timeless pursuit of adventure. Freedom for the soul. Since 1903, Harley-Davidson has defined motorcycle culture with an expanding range of leading-edge, distinctive and customizable motorcycles in addition to riding experiences and exceptional motorcycle accessories, riding gear and apparel. Harley-Davidson Financial Services provides financing, insurance and other programs to help get Harley-Davidson riders on the road. Learn more at www.harley-davidson.com.  

Cautionary Note Regarding Forward-Looking Statements

The company intends that certain matters discussed in this press release are “forward-looking statements” intended to qualify for the safe harbor from liability established by the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. These forward-looking statements can generally be identified as such by reference to this footnote or because the context of the statement will include words such as the company “believes,” “anticipates,” “expects,” “plans,” “may,” “will,” “estimates” or words of similar meaning. Similarly, statements that describe or refer to future expectations, future plans, strategies, objectives, outlooks, targets, guidance, commitments or goals are also forward-looking statements. Such forward-looking statements are subject to certain risks and uncertainties that could cause actual results to differ materially, unfavorably or favorably, from those anticipated as of the date of this release. The risks and uncertainties that could cause actual results to materially differ from these statements include, among others, the COVID-19 pandemic, including the length and severity of the pandemic across the globe and the pace of recovery following the pandemic and the company’s ability to realize expectations concerning market demand for electric models, which will depend in part on the building of necessary infrastructure, as well as matters noted by the company in its filings with the SEC including but not limited to those described under “Item 1A. Risk Factors” in the company’s Annual Report on Form 10-K for the year ended December 31, 2020 filed with the SEC on February 23, 2021 and in Part II, Item 1A of the subsequently filed Quarterly Reports on Form 10-Q. Shareholders, potential investors, and other readers are urged to consider these factors in evaluating the forward-looking statements and are cautioned not to place undue reliance on such forward-looking statements. The forward-looking statements included in this press release are only made as of the date of this press release, and the company disclaims any obligation to publicly update such forward-looking statements to reflect subsequent events or circumstances.

90 Comments

  1. Balrog says:

    The Livewire is an awesome bike. Very high quality performance, and my ride on it convinced me that the LiveWire is better in any way than my Zero SR. I still have a Yamaha FJR1300 for the very few long trips I actually do on a bike (sorry but I much prefer a long journey in a Tesla Model S than on a motorbike). So 90%++ of my motorcycle is done on my Zero SR. Why did I not buy the LiveWire? I am still very happy with my Zero, and I think the LiveWire is priced 20-25% too high for most of potential buyers.

    I do not recommend trying an electric motorcycle. I did and I simply just had to have the Zero although I already owned a BMW sport tuorer and a Harley Softail and did not have a budget for it. Nothing drives like an electric motorcycle. So simple to drive, so fun. Its more like flying than riding. The ultimate feeling of freedom and invincibility.

    I just sold my Softail Rocker C, and I have decided to not buying anymore petrol fueled motorcycles after my Yamaha slowly dies. No more oil changes. No more expensive gas. No more expensive service at the dealerships. I really would like to see more than just electric street fighters available from LiveWire. If they launch a fully faired sport tourer (or adv. tourer) equipped with fast charging I order one instantly.

    But like some people have commented already, I really hope this does not end up like the Buell inside the Harley dealerships. I fear the 65+ aged Harley riders will do whatever they can (like the most Trumpish comments here) to delete the LiveWire from the Harley-Davidson universe.

  2. Anonymous says:

    Until we start building lots of nuclear power plants none of this electric vehicle stuff makes much sense. Used corn oil & wind will not power much.

  3. The more examples of Harley’s “rescue plan” that I see, the more I wonder how long it will be before Harley goes the way of Pontiac and Mercury. Obama gave Chrysler to Fiat; I wonder who will get Harley? Volkswagen? Ural?

    • Reginald Van Blunt says:

      B. Obama did not give Chrysler to Fiat.
      L. Iacocca left a wimp in charge of Chrysler who sold out instead of correcting a culture of crude and rude design lasting decades, and ignoring the industry technological changes at the time toward better reliability and quality assurance. Fiat wanted to reenter the American market and paid dearly for that.

  4. Tank says:

    I think electric motorcycles will take off when someone figures out solid state batteries. A company named Quantumscape is working on it, but might take a few years.

  5. falcodoug says:

    O.K. real question. Are any of you actually going to buy one?

    • Reginald Van Blunt says:

      Nope.

    • mickey says:

      lol Nope.

    • Grover says:

      Nope

    • tuskerdu says:

      no.

    • GT08 says:

      This bike look like the pirate is stuck on sand bank !

    • Dave says:

      Not *this* one, but I expect they’ll be making more models of different types and at more reasonable prices.

    • Brian says:

      I would buy one in a heart beat if the price was cut in half. I think they need to get them out there in the world to start the conversation. My two cents worth.

    • EZMark says:

      If I wanted an EV, which I don’t, I could get a Zero for half the price.

    • todd says:

      I would totally consider one if it was ~220 lbs lighter, had a more visceral single cylinder – maybe a twin, and better styling for $7500. That’s currently what it took me to buy my current bike.

    • Fuzzyson1 says:

      Uh – NO. A MOTORcycle is called a motorcycle for a reason. The operative word here is MOTOR. Like when you crank the throttle, feel the power and HEAR the MOTOR. If I ever want to hear the whizz of a Frappuccino machine I’ll crank up my kid’s Power Wheels Jeep!

      • Foster says:

        Actually, these electric machines ARE powered by motors. Look up the words “engine” and “motor”. They are NOT one and the same thing. Our preferred gasoline powered bikes have engines. There is a difference and the use of “motor”cycle in referring to the ICE machine is quite incorrect, but everyone has been using the term since the days of Henry Ford. Just a little play on semantics that history has gotten wrong.

  6. Tom R says:

    Has anyone ever seen “legitimate” retail sales numbers for the Livewire, or met anyone who has actually purchased one?

    • mickey says:

      I don’t know anyone who bought one, and have never seen one on the road, but I read somewhere that Harley sold approx 1500 of them compared to Zero selling 4,000 units last year.

      Then again, I’m pretty sure I read it on the internet, so ……..

    • Dave says:

      I personally know one fewer Livewire owners than I do Ferrari owners. That is to say, zero, but highlighting how rare some of the brands we think of as more common, really are.

    • Jeremy says:

      No and no, but I have seen one on the road in Colorado Springs. Could have been a demo I suppose, but it was far enough from the HD dealership that someone probably owned it.

  7. Paul says:

    I think the electric motorcycle industry will lose a lot of potential customers to the electric bicycle industry. Young and old alike are already adopting the e-bike in droves. The electric bicycle is all a millennial needs in an urban situation. They are fun, affordable and of course practical.

  8. Bob says:

    Does the motor shake just like a gas-powered Harley?

    • Mick says:

      I heard somewhere that they apparently did something along that line by adding an improperly balanced part.

      Nothing surprises me anymore. Ever since they made the stereos on some cars make vroom vroom noises. We definitely live in a post sanity world.

      Just move along now, and remember that the craziest ones are probably armed to the teeth.

      • Jeremy says:

        I don’t know about any improperly balanced parts, but I do know they added a gear drive so that it would make noise as opposed to being mostly silent.

    • Balrog says:

      No. The motor is like any electric motor, smooth. Add lots of power and torque and love the traction control.

  9. Miss Sissy says:

    HD Execs: We need to attract a younger audience to the Harley brand. So let’s make $30,000 electric motorcycles. That’s cutting edge stuff that the under-50 youngsters like. It will make them associate the Harley Davidson name with cool bikes.

    Fast forward a few years with the same HD execs: Let’s not call the electric bikes Harley Davidsons any more. Let’s give them a new brand name of “Livewire.” We can have our Harley salespeople, most of whom are openly hostile to anything not named “Harley Davidson,” sell them in Harley dealerships. It worked so well with Buell when we did that. Gentlemen, we are marketing and branding geniuses!

    • todd says:

      Except they went with the sort of ‘57 Chevy meets Buck Rogers styling that appeals more to old people…

  10. ATBScott says:

    I have heard a few folks mention that they thought the bike rode and handled well. If the range is decent compared to other competing models, and the price is set to match, that is great. For me, the Steampunk/Cruiser styling is a deal-breaker. If I am going to drop any significant $$ on a new bike, ‘e’ or not, I don’t want it to look like a prop from 12 Monkeys.

  11. mechanicus says:

    I’ll reserve judgement until I see several quarterly sales numbers. Eviscerating your company by alienating your core customer, then marketing a avant garde product to another customer base that has outright disdain for your brand, always seemed like a strange pathway to long-term growth to me. Maybe lancing the boil with this spinoff can reverse the “New Coke” mistake.

  12. Neal says:

    There are a number of affectations engineered into the Livewire to make it a Harley, the most ridiculous being a weight inside the motor that spins to give a Harley pulsing feels. If they drop that and the Harley-inspired fairing and “tank” they can probably drop the price a bit too, while becoming more appealing to the techie/engineer-minded folks that are interested in being Ebike early adopters.

  13. Anonymous says:

    I’ve ridden a Livewire at a Harley demo event. It’s the first Harley I would consider owning. But….it’s far overpriced by at least $15k. Harley needs to spend less on their Marketing department, as evidenced by this pathetic press release, and instead make their products far more price competitive.

  14. Sam Toothaker says:

    Potentially a very good move. Over its’ 118 year history, HD has made more than its share of bad business decisions, but this really has possibilities. If Livewire offers an entire range of EV’s, they may be on to something. The Livewire bike itself is much more formidable in person than in pictures,and with the proper stablemates, it could easily Flagship an entirely new brand. Like it or not, this is the future. Best of luck to Livewire!

  15. todd says:

    It’s like when Dodge spun off the “RAM” brand for their trucks. The idea is that it would be easier to sell off if it wasn’t associated with other less desirable vehicles in their range. If a Chinese or Indian investor wants to buy into a significant chunk of the brand, they will be reassured they will own a larger, controlling portion and H-D would have an easier time convincing the board to accept the transaction.

  16. OldBiker says:

    Not sure about this whole “urban biker” model. Does that market really exist? I live in a smaller college town but occasionally get to Chicago and I don’t recall seeing many motorcycles in the city. Plenty of Harleys in the suburbs but those riders are generally more of the weekend ride in the country types. They are not going to be satisfied with the short range limitations. I’m going out for a ride in the country today, probably a couple of hours and about 100 miles. Too far for a Livewire. I’m not against electric motorcycles but I just don’t see this significant urban market and the range is not there for those of us who go longer distances.

    • todd says:

      You’ll see hundreds of bikes if you run across San Francisco. Lots and lots of variety, big heavy cruisers being not too common. Livewire is probably trying to get into these lucrative/dense markets where it’s becoming more common to see Zeros and Energicas among all the FZ-9s, SV650s, Ducatis, Aprilias, Groms, Syms, etc.

      • mickey says:

        Cities like New York City, Boston, San Francisco, Los Angeles, St Louis, Chicago etc are outliers when compared to the rest of the country that surrounds them. Things are just different in those big cities.

        • Dave says:

          I think the moto makers view the electric bike as an inroad to those markets. That’s where the population and disposable income is.

      • OldBiker says:

        Well maybe the “Urban Biker” does exist! Haven’t personally seen evidence of him when I visit Chicago but I can see how San Francisco with a more year round riding climate would have more city bikers. Where I live in a college town surrounded by rural farmland the limited range of electric bikes is a deal breaker. I couldn’t even get to the next nearest town and back…

      • yellowhammer says:

        Oh well all righty then! If San Francisco is doing it then it must be legit (tongue poking cheek)!

  17. Reginald Van Blunt says:

    Excluding the ‘what are the monthly payments yuppies’ what percentage of motorcyclists would buy ANY bike for more than a new Ford Ranger. I can see a passion purchase of a mechanical work of art ( Italian probably ), but not this. Value – both economic and functional will usually be the critical factor in deciding to buy.

    • Mick says:

      I’m one of the first batch of guys to buy a 916 Ducati in 1994. So maybe I’ve sort of been there.

      But now days I would pay more for what I can’t buy. I’m hopping that electric shakes things up. I’m eager to see what solid state batteries do for motorcycles. Hopefully it will kill the 400 pounds is light bone that the industry has in its head.

    • Dave says:

      This bike is a halo product. I expect HD is working on a line of electric bikes that are more practical and affordable. They’ll be decidedly “not HD” so breaking off the Livewire brand makes sense for brand separation as well as the opportunity to go outside of the HD dealer network.

      • Grover says:

        Practical and affordable? You realize we’re talk’in Harley-Davidson here, yes?

        • Dave says:

          According to this article, we’re not talking about HD anymore, we’re talking about “Livewire”. We should expect them to do things differently from their parent company. We can probably also take some liberty with the terms “practical” and “affordable” from the featured product’s starting point.

  18. MGNorge says:

    I actually think this might be a good move on their part. It may avoid the likely watering down of the Harley brand while enabling the introduction of electric vehicles. Time will certainly tell. Look how recently most all auto manufacturers have stated the end of their ICE powered vehicles in the coming years.

  19. Michael F Cusick says:

    Akin to renaming one of the life boats on the Titanic.

  20. Mick says:

    They mentioned the word “urban” a couple of times. Expect to see some, likely outsourced, smaller and cheaper bikes with limited range.

    Currently electric vehicles are only cradle to grave green if they have relatively small batteries and don’t charge in places like West Virginia where it’s all coal power. Motorcycles work. Small cars with short ranges work. Teslas don’t. Their batteries are too big. Weird market. Hopefully greener batteries are coming.

    What I’m watching is the Storm Bee. That’s more my form factor.

    • Dave says:

      “Currently electric vehicles are only cradle to grave green if they have relatively small batteries and don’t charge in places like West Virginia where it’s all coal power. ”

      That’s a misconception. The harmful mining of minerals in batteries has happened all along, with or without batteries. Cobalt comes out of copper and nickel mining. Lithium is mined from a saltwater evaporation process. Petroleum mining and refinement isn’t exactly “green” either.

      Even if you charge batteries with coal fired electricity, it’s still much cleaner than burning fuel in the vehicle. A Chevy Bolt’s battery holds the same amount of energy as 1.8gal. of gasoline and coal fired electricity is much more thermally efficient than an ICE. Never mind that an ICE’s fuel must mined, refined, and trucked all over the place before it ever reaches a car’s gas tank.

      You’re right about the range anxiety thing. The vast majority of Americans buy vehicles far in excess of their needs. On average we drive less than 50 miles/day. Why do we turn our noses up at a vehicle with less than 300mi. range/charge? We simply don’t need that.

      • fred says:

        Why spend $30k on a vehicle that won’t meet your regularly occurring edge cases? You are correct that most of us do not need a 200-300 mile range just for commuting. OTOH, lots of us regularly have 200+ mile days. Maybe only 20-30 per year, but it gets real inconvenient not to have the range when you need it.

        It’s great if EV’s make sense for you, but for many of us, they simple don’t work.

  21. Nick says:

    Well, if breathtaking conceit on behalf of HD’s CEO assures sales, this should do well! Stating that HD is the most desirable brand in the moto world is, I guess, no different from the World Series in sport that doesn’t include any other nationality. What do they feed these people?

  22. Stan Gale says:

    As usual, Harley’s attempts to build and market competitive motorcycles remains eternally dismal.
    What is the demographic of this long and heavy e-bike with an astronomical price? Who would buy it?
    I’ve ridden the ZeroSR and was quite impressed with its performance and handling.
    I would love to buy a USA built bike – dirt or street. But it has to be competitive in the marketplace.

    (I personally wouldn’t ever want anyone seeing me on this “look at me” posemobile.)
    It doesn’t matter what Harley wants to call it or how they think they can sell them.
    Heavy and long is not what anyone that I know wants.

  23. fred says:

    This “could” make sense. The Harley faithful will still consider it a Harley, if they have any interest in eBikes. Those who see the H-D image as less attractive may now find the Livewire acceptable as a separate brand.

    Since it’s not exactly a Harley anymore, the only dealers who carry it will be those that want to sell it. It also may open up opportunities for those who are not currently in the H-D network.

    All of that, plus the possibility of adding eScooters, eBicycles, etc, may turn out to be profitable. IMHO, the Livewire cannot survive as the entire product line, but could be a great halo product. Personally, I have my doubts, but it’s not my nickle.

    • Miss Sissy says:

      The primary motivation behind the Livewire project was to attract new, younger customers to the Harley brand — customers who were not already part of “the Harley faithful.”

      They’ve gone back to the same, dumb idea that they had with Buell: Sell a completely different brand and style of motorcycle, likely tucked away in a back corner of most Harley dealerships, and assume that buyers looking for something other than Harleys will flock to Harley dealerships, buy the non-Harley brand bikes, and, for some unexplained reason, come to self-identify as loyal Harley riders.

      Volkswagen owns Lamborghini, but you don’t see VW demanding that Lamborghinis be sold only in VW dealerships, with the expectation that Lamborghini buyers would come to think of themselves as part of the “Volkswagen faithful.”

  24. Grover says:

    At the price they’re selling these things it’s not going to take long for “Livewire” to short circuit. They will need to offer a whole line of COMPETITIVE electric motorcycles if “Livewire” expects to succeed in today’s market. People like choice and a one bike show ain’t gonna be enough.

  25. Lawrence says:

    The movie “Electra Glide in Blue” was a good movie with little popularity. It was kind of an artsy MC film, but the artsy crowd didn’t see it thinking it was another Biker movie and the Biker crowd didn’t “get it” because it was artsy.

    Younger electric-friendly types won’t buy this (too much $$) and the Harley faithful with have no interest.

    Wouldn’t buy stock in it…would you?

  26. My2cents says:

    I had a test ride on one about a year ago and was quite impressed. Excellent handling and acceleration with pleasing visual appearance. The only short coming evident was harsh rear suspension. The range and recharge time always consumes the most dialogue but it really shouldn’t. The dealer I borrowed it from had three units in stock and would have eagerly struck a deal, unlikely they’ll order more for 21. You have to give Harley-Davidson credit for trying to create new markets, but as mentioned elsewhere this is a gentle doom for the LiveWire.

  27. ABQ says:

    I am not one to be motivated by media hype for electric vehicles. They are NOT green.
    The amount of destruction that it takes to make them and to later salvage them is not efficient or clean. The same goes for solar and wind. Use it to store energy just in case the power goes out, but there are far better options for that too.

    • tuskerdu says:

      agreed.

    • huls says:

      First sensible comment in this thread.
      Electric vehicles is about the dumbest idea ever, except for 1 or 2 niche cases like wheelchairs.
      This has been proven by the 150 years history of trying to get electric vehicles to go mainstream and the total failure of it.
      The childish notion that running on an energy carrier is somehow better than running on a energy source is utter stupidity. The laws of nature do net adhere to silly politics.

      • Jeremy says:

        Perhaps it took 150 years, but electric cars are going mainstream right now.

        Electric cars will never be the right solution for everyone, perhaps not even for most people, but a significant enough slice of the population are finding some value there. In the next few years or so, I wouldn’t be a bit surprised if electric car sales eclipse total motorcycle sales in this country.

        • huls says:

          Nope, their not. Niche applications only, 1 or 2 percent of total The idea is simply stupid. It is never gonna happen no matter how hard green fascists want this.

          • Jeremy says:

            The auto industry is big, so 1 – 2 percent is significant (2.3% in the US for 2020.) I’m confident that number will grow. In some countries, electric cars make up a well over 10%. In Norway, it’s almost 75%. That is the result of policy engineering by the Norwegian government to make EVs a favorable purchase. Which just goes to show you may wrong about the efforts of the “green fascists” being in vain.

  28. TimC says:

    “Don’t touch me I’m a real live wire…”

  29. mickey says:

    The new Livewire will not say Harley Davidson on the gas tank like the one does at the top of this page. It will say Livewire across the tank.

    From what I read young people are not interested in an electric motorcycle with a price tag that’s close to the price of a new Tesla. They’d rather have the Tesla.

    The name brand Harley Davidson doesnt mean much to millennials, hence the branding to Livewire, to build their own high end branding reputation, away from the name and reputation of Harley Davidson.

    • Spoone says:

      This right here.
      I see no point in buying an EV motorcycle, if I can get a proper EV car for only a few thousand more…and take the wife and daughter with me.

  30. Reginald Van Blunt says:

    This announcement from HD must have taken at least 120 pasty faced scribes, to produce such earth shattering, mankind saving, religious Bee Sss about an overpriced product with limited usefulness. Geeze Louise & Hoo Chi Momma !

  31. Peter D Jensen says:

    This is what companies do when they think there is a high likelihood they will need to divest.

  32. joe b says:

    I can only think, this is to ensure the dealers who do sell them, are in line. Not only with wanting to sell them, but having the people to back them up, in sales service. I was fascinated with the electric cars, motorcycles, for a while now, and it seems Harley wants to start with a top shelf item. when reality, what is needed is short hop, scooter like, and small to mid size machines. I dont know if Harley will ever go this route. The whole mindset is different than the big V-Twin they traditionally sell. How the PA fits in, know one knows, who can tell at this time?

  33. dt-175 says:

    “dedicated showrooms”. inside the same building? dedicated parts/service/sales too?

    • huls says:

      what parts? what service?
      Do you have any idea what an electric motorcycle is?
      Haha service!! You mean a download at night?
      An upgrade during lunch? That’s the NOW world pops!!

      Oh wait tyres of course! Oh at every corner shop in 15 minutes, well OK then.

      • Jeremy says:

        So you’ve never had a problem with a computer? Your cell phone? A software application? A microwave? Your car’s or motorcycle’s electrical system? A hard part on a bike or car? A manufacturing defect? The reciprocating engine is the most reliable part on a car or bike and rarely has issues. Most engine related “issues” are actually electrical system failures.

        Certainly, one has less maintenance with an electric vehicle, but it is naive to presume there would be fewer problems. That certainly hasn’t proven to be the case with Tesla, Zero, or the now defunct Alta.

  34. MacSpoone says:

    Buell all over again.

    • cw says:

      Buell plus direct sales via the inteRweb.

      At least this time they seem to realize they are going to have to put people in different shirts in those stores. E-Bikes for older folks seems like it might work as a market, so maybe it will work having it in the same building….or maybe this is part of a generally rebranding of H-D into a “family” format. It will be like going to Outdoor World.

  35. motorhead says:

    Creating an entirely new Livewire brand makes sense if the old Harley band comes with excess baggage. Livewire may resonate with younger buyers, those who are electric-curious, and even older buyers who don’t care for the Harley reputation. On the other hand, implanting the word “Livewire” in the brains of bikers takes a tremendous amount of advertising, movie placements, and viral videos on social media. It can be done, and I wish them well.

  36. Trent says:

    So it’s technically not a Harley anymore? If Harley dealers are not interested in selling LiveWire bikes, I could see why they’re doing this. On the other hand, it’s kinda like cutting off your nose to spite your face. It seems like it would make much more sense to try and educate dealers/personnel on why they should include the LiveWire in their showrooms, and what the advantages would be. But maybe that’s too much to ask.

    • Stuki Moi says:

      EMotos make more sense, the denser the environment. Exactly the opposite of traditional Harleys (and 1200+cc adv bikes…). These could be sold out of a small space on Union Square.

      There may be existing Harley dealers in markets with a good amount of overlap, in which case I’m sure Harley won’t try to prevent them from selling the LiveWires.

    • Jeremy says:

      I suspect they are going to cut the price significantly on the Livewire, a move they probably feel would diminish the HD brand, so they move it to a standalone brand. They may also be planning other things that don’t fit their image like much smaller electric bikes, scooters, etc. Plus if the anecdotal opinion of the younger riders around here resonate elsewhere, the Harley brand is becoming the Buick/Oldsmobile of the motorcycle market. Best keep your new tech aimed at such riders squeaky clean of that badge if true.

      I doubt it has anything to do with the dealers from a cultural standpoint, but I’m sure there is huge resistance to the ridiculous investment requirements in charging infrastructure Harley puts on them to sell a bike that is overpriced by nearly $12,000.

      • Tim says:

        Jeremy, your argument is the first I’ve seen that makes sense. My neighbor is an analyst for a large mutual fund company and Harley is one of the brands he’s responsible for researching. He said Harley wants to be the premium bike brand that people aspire to. The Livewire is obviously overpriced currently, so this would allow them to reduce the price and go down-market and potentially introduce even less expensive electrics, without (in their minds) losing the premium brand image.

        Other than your explanation, I can’t think of any other reason that would make sense. If people are going to pay $30,000 for an electric motorcycle, I think they would be more likely to spend it if it said Harley Davidson on the tank rather than Livewire.

  37. bad Chad says:

    Bad move, first Buell, now Livewire. Failure is within their grasp.