Harley-Davidson CEO serious about releasing an Electric Motorcycle in 18 Months

Discussion in 'Electric Motorcycles' started by voltsxamps, Feb 11, 2018.

  1. voltsxamps

    voltsxamps Advolturer

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    "A couple of weeks ago, Harley-Davidson CEO Matt Levatich came right out and said that the brand would be releasing a new electric motorcycle in the next 18 months. This was a bit of a shocker (pun intended) considering the release timeframes we had heard previously for a production electric Harley were 2021 and “eventually.”

    http://www.thedrive.com/news/18388/...releasing-an-electric-motorcycle-in-18-months


    It stands to reason that other major manufacturers could follow suit in a similar timeframe. I've never had a personal interest in owning a Harley but that could change with an electric model.
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  2. sjc1340

    sjc1340 Adventurer

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    Guess they are trying to do something to help turn around sales.
    Hope it's not a dud for em but I wouldn't hold my breath.
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  3. RCmoto

    RCmoto Long timer

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    Sooner the better, hope they deliver on that time-line.
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  4. Rudy

    Rudy Learnin' Administrator

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  5. RCmoto

    RCmoto Long timer

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  6. Andrew

    Andrew Optimus Primer Super Moderator Super Supporter

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    A perfectly serious question about an electric hog - how does HD address the inherent need of their base to hear a full-throated exhaust sound? Will Screaming Eagle sell an aftermarket potato-potato annunciator?
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  7. Rudy

    Rudy Learnin' Administrator

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    Do millennials care about that? if this bike isn't really intended to appeal to their base..?
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  8. Andrew

    Andrew Optimus Primer Super Moderator Super Supporter

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    Fair point! Since it won't have a clutch, it's an entirely new ride... and I guess targeted at a wholly separate market segment. So I ask myself, if I were a new rider millennial, what's the appeal of a big heavy electric from a company with all that historical branding baggage? Still, maybe the buyers are out there - and kudos to HD for thinking ahead.
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  9. MeinMotorrad

    MeinMotorrad Long timer

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    I've been thinking along the same lines: What happens to the customers who buy the retro bikes like HD and Triumph twins in a post ICE future.
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  10. Tarmac Kid

    Tarmac Kid Doesn't Like Stuff

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    I feel that Harley needs a properly managed sub brand that is allowed to operate outside the framework outside of the traditional HD dealership.

    No Harley, no Davidson, no bar and shield, no black and orange and allow it to be sold in independent dealers. I don't think HD customers and prospective customers will allow the brand to dabble in high performance and retro bikes under the same moniker the way Triumph does.

    Different brand and dealers might allow something outside the HD norm to succeed in the marketplace.
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  11. SRTie4k

    SRTie4k Northeast Explorer

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    With the Livewire concept, IIRC they basically "piped in" a soundtrack to make it sound like a jet fighter. I'd imagine they can make it sound like whatever you want it to.
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  12. SRTie4k

    SRTie4k Northeast Explorer

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    FWIW if that's what the production unit looks like, I gotta say that, as a 33 year old, it's the first ever Harley I've seen that looks fantastic.
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  13. Rudy

    Rudy Learnin' Administrator

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    Is there any precedent for other manufacturers who've been able to execute creating a sub-brand?
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  14. JeepDawg

    JeepDawg Long timer

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    So properly managed means not the way Buell was handled correct? Cause it seemed like Buell was their high perf sub-brand. At least until it wasn't.
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  15. Tarmac Kid

    Tarmac Kid Doesn't Like Stuff

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    Lexus and Acura. FYI, I don't mean sub as in lesser quality, just a different line. Maybe I should find a different word.

    Correct, as a Buell owner I can attest to the mismanagement of Buell customers.
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  16. ctromley

    ctromley Long timer

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    No, but what you suggest would have been easier, cheaper and smarter. Anyone who understands that silence is one of the biggest advantages of electric power could simply turn off the sound. But that approach would have made the pandering too obvious, like selling Screamin' Eagle playing cards you can clip to the fork legs to flap in the wheel spokes.

    What Harley did was to put a gear pair in there, the sole purpose of which was to make noise (even though a silent gear train is easy to make). And while they were at it, they oriented the motor armature longitudinally, making an additional and otherwise unnecessary 90° gear pair necessary, which reduces efficiency. It's actually kind of offensive from an engineering perspective when you think about it.

    Perhaps Harley believes any real motorcycle needs to make noise. Hopefully they're smarter than that, and they just did it on the Livewire to attract ICE-oriented riders who don't get it yet. I wonder how many of them will wish they could lose the swooshy/zoomy gear whine once they do get it. Swooshy/zoomy can easily turn into annoying once you come to understand what electric power is all about.

    It's kind of the same mistake Brammo made by putting a six speed gearbox in a motorcycle that only needs a single speed, i.e. direct drive. Who wants to mess with a gearbox at all if it has no real purpose? What initially was warmly familiar becomes unnecessary effort. It's all about making riders who only know ICE comfortable with electric. But it ultimately pollutes the experience.
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  17. MeinMotorrad

    MeinMotorrad Long timer

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    I think Husqvarna sort of falls into that since it was bought by the boss of KTM.
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  18. JeepDawg

    JeepDawg Long timer

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    I think there is a difference where both Husky and Buell were acquisitions as opposed to Lexus being created by Toyota simply for the purpose of marketing to a different market. The added benefit for Husky and Buell was that they both seemed near death before the acquisitions.

    I think Husky was a good move, #1 there are prob people who are just allergic to Orange branded bikes for whatever reason, but more importantly, in my town the Orange dealer is a multi-line massive dealer selling snowmobiles, SxS's, etc., where the Husky dealer is a BMW dealer offering a much more boutique experience.

    The prob for H-D is that they have allot of money invested in really large showrooms, so if the traditional Cruiser sales falter, they really need another brand to bring in the millennials and keep the revenue flowing. Spinning the Livewire into another brand sold and serviced outside of the H-D dealer leaves them with allot of expensive showrooms and not much action in them.
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  19. MarylandStrom

    MarylandStrom Long timer

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    Sounds great on paper, but as others have alluded to, Harley dealerships as a whole looked at the Buell brand with disdain. They had to stock them, but they certainly didn't go out of their way to promote them.

    I do like the idea of allowing it to be sold in a non Harley dealership. I believe it would be promoted a lot better. That would mean it would have to carry a different name.

    Of course, if the Harley dealerships can no longer move their traditional ICE models, they may be desperate enough to promote the electric model.
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  20. JRMAL

    JRMAL Long timer

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    GM kind of did it with Saturn. Saturn seemed like a good vehicle but it was cut along with Pontiac and Oldsmobile during downsizing.
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