The Harley Davidson Livewire electric bike thread

Discussion in 'Electric Motorcycles' started by Kawazacky, Jun 18, 2014.

  1. liberpolly

    liberpolly Nu, shoyn, nudnick!

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    Errr, no. Ducati bikes are usually slightly better and a lot more expensive. So one can say it's overpriced for what it is - I still own a Ducati because to me it's worth it - but I cannot think of a single Ducati bike that was more expensive and inferior than the competition. That's Harley way, and that's not going to fly anymore. So back to the subject of the thread, if Livewire was even slightly better than Zero SR/F, it could justify it. But it is slightly worse, and third over the price. Ducati needs to make the best damn e-bike on the market, and then they can charge whatever they want for it.
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  2. liberpolly

    liberpolly Nu, shoyn, nudnick!

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    Hyundai and Kia didn't introduce new technology.
  3. cybrdyke

    cybrdyke In the Dark

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    Why would you think Zero will survive? It's been 13 years and they've yet to make a dime. The CEO has said that his constant struggle is to get more money from investors so that the can buy material to build bikes to fill orders.
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  4. KiLeR650

    KiLeR650 tjoseph is unethical.

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    If you haven't taken a look at Hyundai and Kia lately, it's worth a few minutes to browse their websites. They're not only about the bottom feeding shitdoxes anymore, they make some nice stuff now.
  5. Monkeyshines

    Monkeyshines Long timer

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    Yeah my niece just bought the little suv. Just a thing she has to have to get around. Many people will upgrade if they can and if they are passionate about vehicles. I see way more f150's and the like than I do Hyundai. Its likely a mirror image in china, their domestic brands favored and a slice of drivers that want something foreign, in their case not for economics but a desire for something foriegn-exotic, unique, I had heard buicks were popular in china for some odd reason.
  6. Traxx

    Traxx Long timer

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    Did a quick google search and didn’t find anything about it. Can you state your source?
  7. chainslap

    chainslap BlessedarethesicK Super Supporter

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    Not much info out there is right.

    No idea how legit this site is:

    https://motorcyclesdata.com/2019/06/16/zero-motorcycles/

    " The company refuses to release figures on their results in the market place and this is surprising while they would probably need to further raise funding to be profitable. While they distribute in many countries, the sales are concentrated in US with an estimate of less than 1.500 units in 2018. Sales in Europe are growing reaching a record on 894 units in the 2018, up 34.8% from the previous year, 54% of which are in France, Germany and Netherlands.

    The opening of new shops in the UK could support growth in 2019, but the volume actually is too low to allow profitability to any reseller."
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  8. Traxx

    Traxx Long timer

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    Thanks, but I really hate to hear they are having troubles. I can only hope that they pull it off.
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  9. liberpolly

    liberpolly Nu, shoyn, nudnick!

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    Because this is the best problem a startup could be facing.
  10. ctromley

    ctromley Been here awhile

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    They were making great stuff 30 years ago. I had a Ford Festiva then that was really a Kia. An absolute hoot to toss around, and it was damn near bulletproof.
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  11. ctromley

    ctromley Been here awhile

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    That's a steaming pile of BS. You make a profit by scaling your operation to the size of your market. If you have VC you can cut it closer, even run in the red assuming they don't get uncomfortable. But it's rare to find VC that will sit back waiting for profits for what, 13 years?

    This scaling-to-market approach does make it harder to grow quickly, because growth is extremely cash-hungry. But you don't try growing unless you see demand, and if you have demand VC is more willing to provide cash.

    I see no reason to assume Zero is in any trouble. The quote referenced above is wildly irresponsible speculation. (Or perhaps just a stunning degree of ignorance.) It is possible for it to be true regarding Zero, just as it is possible that such speculation was offered for reasons other than claimed. But I, unlike them, am not making unfounded assumptions.

    Just as a point of reference, the Morgan Motor Company makes less than half as many cars per year as Zero makes EMs. They've been doing it for over a century. I rather doubt they aren't making a nice profit at it. The concept that you can't make a profit below some minimum number of sales is beyond idiotic.

    Scaling your operation to your market is the smartest thing any startup can do. That applies if you're a manufacturer, dealer, service provider, whatever. It's just wrong to get unfairly punished for it.
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  12. cybrdyke

    cybrdyke In the Dark

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    There's a big difference between a startup that has more orders than they can handle and a 13 year company having to ask for handouts to buy material.
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  13. ctromley

    ctromley Been here awhile

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    It's actually quite common for businesses to take out short-term loans. If you have VC you bypass the banks and get your money direct from them. Especially if you're growing, which as I mentioned before, requires lots of cash. If Zero is 'asking for handouts' to fund growth (like materials for more bikes than they made last year, more production capacity, etc.), how could that possibly be a bad thing?
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  14. ragtoplvr

    ragtoplvr Long timer

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    scaling to fit the size of the market is key. If this means that you do not make all the sales you can, so be it. Better to be steady and profitable that growing wildly. I know the college police love their zeros. They can sneak up, toss it down and deal with someone , and the pick it right up and GO.

    Rod
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  15. liberpolly

    liberpolly Nu, shoyn, nudnick!

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    In a startup, you are not scaling to the market as it is today, but to the market as you estimate will be there when you meet your development goals. Most fail, some succeed spectacularly. Those who are being cautious, all fail.
  16. Monkeyshines

    Monkeyshines Long timer

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    Maybe Harley will wind up buying zero.
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  17. ctromley

    ctromley Been here awhile

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    I think the inevitable comparison test between a Livewire and an SR/F will offer some insight as to whether that would be good in the short term for EM riders.

    Long term, HD does not have a good track record with other brands. Hell, they don't even have a good track record with anything other than big cruisers - the V-Rod and the Streets didn't/aren't exactly flying out the doors. You have to wonder how they will do with the Streetfighter after their Buell experience, and the Pan America is arguably their largest departure yet from their core demographic. (Unless they admit and embrace the fact that it's just a tourer in a safari costume, but that's a delicate line to walk.)

    But let's assume HD knows they must change. Zero is probably somewhere around a $25M(?) company. HD has a new R&D center in Silicon Valley focused on growing their global EV line, which probably employs almost as many people as Zero does for all functions. HD will consider Zero to be small potatoes, which they are, but Zero is also the world leader in EMs. HD has shown they prefer to go their own way, and have already invested heavily to do that.

    (BTW, has anyone heard anything at all about progress on any of those other, smaller electric offerings coming from HD? You'd think they'd want to capitalize on the Livewire buzz....)

    So from where I sit, the only reason HD would want to buy Zero is to eliminate their strongest competitor. They might see that as a good business move, but it would be a big loss for EM riders worldwide. Besides, why would Zero sell now, when the EM market is just getting some serious traction? This is what they've been waiting 13 years for.

    Another distinct possibility if HD did buy Zero to eliminate them is that it could backfire in a big way, driving sales to other competitors and encouraging even more new startups. The 'HD vs. everyone else' mentality that they've encouraged and nurtured for decades, unwittingly or not, will not disappear overnight. (And if you don't believe such a divide really exists, you need to explain why Harley bashing is such a popular sport here on ADV and elsewhere, something that just doesn't happen with other brands. It's a deep, cultural divide that HD needs to eliminate in order to survive, not sharpen further.)

    Besides, Zero is not HD's biggest threat. The Japanese big four are. When they dive into the market, everything will change.
  18. ragtoplvr

    ragtoplvr Long timer

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    I was at Bikes bliues and BBQ this weekend and rode a Livewire. Wow. Just wow. No other demo bike made me smile like that. It has a sport bike riding position, with rear pegs, lean over almost on the tank, and rotate your head back, It hurt my old knees, and my old neck. Wow it was fun, and I really liked it. A more upright position would of course cost range, but I would have to have that to own one. But wow, the acceleration. I hit amost 90 on the demo ride, we were escorted a very brisk manner. Leaning abs, leaning traction control. Wow. Not 30K wow but wow. I loved it and want to ride it again. No cruiser face here.

    Rod
  19. liberpolly

    liberpolly Nu, shoyn, nudnick!

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    HD did buy an electric bike company with an intent to nourish it rather than strangle:

    https://www.cnn.com/2019/03/05/tech/harley-davidson-stacyc-electric-bikes-kids/index.html
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  20. alienbogey

    alienbogey Been here awhile

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    I rode a LiveWire today. It's a no-excuses, I-don't-care-whose-name-is-on-the-tank, fun fun fun well done bike.

    Having said that, double the range and cut the price by a third or, better yet, half, and I'll put one in my garage.

    Electric is, my friends, the future.
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