There’s a bit of an ongoing kerfuffle about whether electric motorcycles will continue to be part of Harley-Davidson’s product line. At least three different outlets are providing their own viewpoints about whether the MoCo will continue to sell the LiveWire.
As part of The Rewire, Harley-Davidson is no longer commenting on future products prior to their formal introduction. Harley-Davidson is committed to lead the electrification of motorcycles. As pioneers in the space, we are proud of the accomplishments of LiveWire to date, including achieving the #1 selling electric motorcycle in the U.S. and an extraordinary global response. We look forward to the bright future of electric motorcycles. We will be sharing more info along with our 5-year business strategy, The Hardwire, in early 2021. – Harley-Davidson to Motorcycle.com and Electrek
So now that Harley has officially commented, several outlets are taking different views on what this all means.
On the side of H-D eliminating the LiveWire and potentially all electric motorcycles from its product line is Motorcycle.com. They point to H-D’s future vehicles page. Motorcycle.com notes that the LiveWire, which previously resided in that section, has been removed.
They also point to a couple of screenshots showing electric vehicles previously shown on Harley’s Future Vehicles page. In particular, Harley’s electric flat-track inspired model no longer appears anywhere on HD’s website.
That said, Harley’s web pages still show its electric scooter concepts, electric balance bikes, and electric pedal-assist bikes. They are just on different web pages.
Ultimately, Motorcycle.com believes that Harley may be pivoting away from its original plans for electric motorcycles. They also point to their earlier discovery that filters on Harley’s website that showed 2021 and 2022 products, did not show the LiveWire beyond 2021.
This leads them to consider that the LiveWire may not be continued in 2021. In fact, Motorcycle.com now thinks that the discontinuation of the LiveWire is more likely because it may no longer be a top of the line halo model for other lower-tier Harley electric motorcycle models.
In conclusion, Motorcycle.com says that while they understand Harley’s comment about committing to electric motorcycles, they still wonder if the LiveWire will continue. They say:
“…an aspirational pricey halo bike like the LiveWire is only truly effective if it draws customers to more affordable and higher volume lower-tier products. At the moment, Harley-Davidson doesn’t have that second level of electric motorcycles, and the model that was supposed to fill that role might not any longer.”
Next to chime in is Visordown. Their viewpoint is in some ways similar to Motorcycle.com. From their perspective, the pulling of the ICE Bronx streetfighter and the missing smaller-scale electric motorcycles from Harley’s Future vehicles page is an indication that they too have seen the boot.
But they do note that the MoCo’s website still shows the smaller scale electrics like the scooters and electric-assist bicycles. This makes them think that Harley will not completely abandon electrically powered two-wheelers.
They also comment on Harley’s statement about their commitment to the electrification of motorcycles. From their vantage point, the LiveWire is the best electric motorcycle that you can buy. However, they do point out that it is expensive. They also say it is ok for a halo product like the LiveWire so long as riders have a cheaper option that they can turn to. And apparently, for now, there is not one.
Standing up for Harley’s continued presence in the electric motorcycle marketplace is Electrek. Electrek takes Harley’s statement at face value, believing that it does not support Harley is planning to leave the electric motorcycle market. They say that Harley’s statement that it is committed to lead the electrification of motorcycles is a definitive declaration that the MoCo will continue to produce electric motorcycles. But Electrek does admit that it’s unclear whether the flat-track inspired concept electric motorcycle is merely delayed or removed from their product line.
Electrek also admits that Harley’s financial situation is not the best. However, they caution that Harley is not standing with one foot in the grave.
And, they think that killing off the LiveWire would be a panic move. A move that Harley will be unlikely to take. Especially in light of the MoCo’s claim that it is the number one selling electric motorcycle in the U.S.
To determine whether the claim is true, Electrek reviewed certain data like available production numbers and recalls. Their ultimate conclusion? Harley’s claim may be correct. If this is the case, would it be smart for Harley to ax the Livewire?
What do you think?
So now that you have three points of view, what do you think? Will Harley ax, delay or continue the production and development of electric motorcycles? Let us know in the comments below.
All photo/image credit: Harley-Davidson