Zero Motorcycles’ SR/F Takes Aim at Harley’s LiveWire

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There’s a new American electric cruiser coming in February. Does it pose a threat to Harley-Davidson’s newest bike?

Harley-Davidson’s LiveWire brings the brand into new territory and hopes to attract new customers. However, that also means that the MoCo be facing competition from unusual sources.

Harley-Davidson has been competing with Victory/Indian for years, along with a nearly-endless string of Japanese cruisers. All of those bikes are heavily inspired by Harley-Davidson, so it’s relatively easy for H-D to stay ahead.

With the LiveWire, though, things are different. Harley-Davidson’s electric cruiser is set to make a splash, but the competition is much stiffer, and the stakes much higher.

Zero Motorcycles is a well-established contender in the arena of electric motorcycles, and according to this Fox News story, their newest model, set to debut on February 25, is aimed squarely at the LiveWire.

Dubbed the SR/F, this new Zero is poised to be another successful model from this American motorcycle veteran. Like the LiveWire, it’s a naked street bike, so the comparison is apt.

 

Zero makes decent bikes, but it lacks the name recognition, dealer network, and manufacturing capabilities of H-D, which has nothing to worry about with its LiveWire.

 

With that said, it’s doubtful that Harley-Davidson has much to worry about. There are a few key reasons why the Zero is unlikely to pose a threat.

While Zero makes decent motorcycles, the company lacks the name recognition, R&D money, dealer network, and manufacturing capabilities of Harley-Davidson. Looking at it from that point of view, Harley has nothing to worry about with its LiveWire.

While Zero may be more experienced at building electric bikes now, there’s a high likelihood that Harley-Davidson will catch up, and fast. It’d be foolish not to expect a few hiccups with the first-year LiveWire, but we expect them to be fixed quickly.

While price may be an issue, it’s clear that Harley-Davidson customers are willing to pay more for a premium product. With Harley’s reputation for high build quality, combined with the aforementioned advantage of a strong dealer network, the Zero should pose no real threat. Still, we’d like to have an opportunity to try both back to back — just to be sure.

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Longtime motorcyclist and automotive journalist Cam Vanderhorst is a regular contributor to Harley-Davidson Forums, Ford Truck Enthusiasts, Corvette Forum and MB World, among others.

When he's not busy working on his Harley-Davidson bike, the vastly experienced writer has covered an array of features, reviews, how-tos, op-eds and news stories for Internet Brands' Auto Group and is also a co-founder and co-host of the popular podcast Cammed & Tubbed.

Check him out on Instagram at: Camvanderhorst.

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