So, someone in Harley-Davidson HQ decided that Harley should make an electric bike. They came up with the attractive looking LiveWire, and I'm sure that many environmentalists will welcome this development that perhaps will ultimately replace the loud petrol-guzzling 1600 cc engines that are standard on most Harley-Davidson motorcycles today.
Harley-Davidson the company has not being doing well over the past 10 years - they have laid off staff and cut back on production to save on costs. With many automobile manufacturers switching to electric vehicles, it was only a matter of time before motorcycles followed suit. However, according to CarBuzz.com, since being introduced this year, the LiveWire is: "quickly showing itself to be a flop". The main problem is price - the LiveWire retails at $29,799 in the US, which would make it well over €35,000 here. Another problem is that Harley-Davidson's demographic is getting older - Baby Boomers (like me) are now in their 60s and 70s. They are less likely to change theirs HOGs for a battery on wheels. Also, we don't change our bikes very often - I am on only my second one since 2003. Harley need to attract younger buyers - but I feel that an expensive LiveWire (the same price as a Nissan Leaf car!) may not work well.
|Image source: Harley-Davidson.com.
However, I also feel that this is a trend that is unstoppable. It's hard to justify a 1600 cc petrol powered bike, when car manufacturers are making better and cheaper cars. Harley are surely looking to the longer term with this bike - but their image of big bikes, with big loud engines, riding off into the sunset is still strong, and will take a hell of a lot of marketing to get us Baby Boomers to switch.
Or they could just wait until we all die!