Forum Members React to the Lastest LiveWire Report
Daily Slideshow: We head to the Harley-Davidson forums to find out if real riders plan on buying the first all-electric Harley - the LiveWire.
Breaking New Ground
It's no secret that Harley-Davidson has been reeling financially in recent years. To pull themselves out of that rut, the legendary MoCo has derived a plan to greatly expand their offerings - to go far beyond the typical product they've relied on for over a century. The most shocking (literally and figuratively) is the LiveWire™ - Harley's first all-electric bike.
Now that we know all the details on this groundbreaking machine, we've been listening to what our Harley-Davidson Forums experts have to say about it. And, as always, they've got some interesting and informative opinions to share on this controversial new ride.
Issue of Cost
As you might imagine, there were plenty of folks looking forward to the LiveWire, including donk_316. But the bike's rather high starting price of $29,799 seems to be a big sticking point. "I really wanted one," the OP said in this thread. "Honestly just for running around town or the gym or whatever instead of firing up the FXSE just for a 10-minute ride across town. The range is OK, overnight charging is OK, but the price? Yeah, I can’t justify $30k USD/$40k CAN just for a run around town vehicle with no trunk. I can buy another truck for that price. Electricity or fuel, it still costs something somewhere."
Two or Four Wheels?
And he isn't alone. This price tag puts the LiveWire firmly up there with some all-electric cars, which makes it a tough sell for folks like VAFish. "I'm intrigued by electric cars and motorcycles," he said in this thread. "Have been looking at them for several years. My problem is that for $29,000, I can buy a Nissan Leaf with similar range that I can drive in any weather. Or a Zero DSR for $18,000, and they will use the Level II charging station at my office. The LiveWire will plug into the Level II station, but charges at Level I speeds."
"The LW will not be a huge successful mass-produced bike, but it is not as expensive as it is being made out to be. The 'Zero' being $18-20k is less expensive. But that is like a Honda CB300 in size compared to this thing. If that is OK, then why are the CB300s not being picked up like hotcakes by the forum posters on here when they are $5k instead of the $20-25k bikes that we purchase? My guess is that if the LW came out at $20k, there would be some other reason to hate it. It is a 2-wheeled acceleration monster... what's not to like?"
Consider the Customer
FatBob2018 agrees, and makes a valid point about existing EV customers in this thread. "A Tesla costs $90,000, and Tesla owners seem to love their Teslas. Instead of writing it off unseen, I plan on paying attention to early owner reports. It's possible they have something here, or it's possible that they've totally missed the mark. No way to know at this point."
VAFish also makes a solid point about those who might have range anxiety. It looks, at least for now, that the LiveWire won't require any sacrifices over some existing, gas-powered bikes. "The Level III charger will give you 197 miles per hour of charging. If the bike has a 110-mile range, then half an hour on the quick charger will get you another 100 miles. If you could plan your ride around Level III charging stations, it would be about like riding a Sportster with the 2.5 gal tank."
Missing the Target
The OP also notes that the target market for the LiveWire isn't what most pegged it to be. "The LiveWire is clearly not aimed at millennials or young riders. It's clearly aimed at the guy who already has a CVO in his garage. If someone spends $45,000 on a CVO, will they really be that taken aback by the LiveWire's price?
There will be other electric bikes for millennials and new riders. That's not the LiveWire's mission. LiveWire is an elite product offered only at elite dealerships, at an elite price point. The sales figures will reveal whether this is a successful plan or not."
And perhaps that's the point we've all been missing all along. Harley has already announced plans to build simple, inexpensive bikes for new and/or young riders. The LiveWire, as FatBob2018 points out, is a premium ride. And premium rides seem to sell no matter what's going on with the economy.
"Even in a tight economy, premium brands seem to still do fine. Bugatti, Porsche, McLaren, etc. are all still in demand. Tesla just grabbed the title of best selling premium vehicle in America."
It all depends on what the buyers think of the LiveWire. If they love it, then it will be a hit, even if comparatively very few of us ever buy one. Again, like the CVO. Sure you could buy a Street Glide, a Sportster, and a Street 750 combined for about the same money as a CVO. But that's not what a CVO buyer wants, is it?
I expect the LiveWire buyer to value it for the riding experience, the elite status, and the uniqueness of it. I don't think any LiveWire buyers are going to be concerned about the cost of a gallon of gas or their carbon emissions."
Money No Object
And sure enough, it looks like at least a handful of members are on board to purchase one, despite the LiveWire's perceived issues. "I will get one since I’m a new tech junky," JohnTz said in this thread. "I just hope the first version is reliable and has no scary battery issues like some of the other earlier electric bikes from the other manufacturers. I even like the way it looks. Looking forward to getting the weight and other specs."
Electric for the People
At the end of the day, the LiveWire is an expensive, premium product. Which is what most Harley-Davidson models are. But it's also just the beginning of what promises to be a full lineup of all-electric motorcycles that cater to every kind of buyer. And that's the sort of valuable insight that we can always count on from our members. If you want to be part of this fascinating conversation and aren't already a Harley-Davidson Forums member, head over here and sign up. It's quick, easy, and most importantly, free!
Coming August 2019. Pre-Order Your LiveWire™ Electric Motorcycle Today. SHOWA® Suspension. H-D™ Connect Service. Touchscreen Display. Starting at $29,799. 0 to 60 in Under 3.5 Sec. Lightweight Frame. No-Clutch Twist and Go.
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