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The Youths Aren’t Buying the Harley LiveWire

LiveWire 2018
Image from Harley-Davidson

Let Me Guess, Price?

Harley-Davidson’s new electric LiveWire was supposed to usher in a new era for Harley. One that wasn’t dominated by sales to older riders. However, so far the folks who are interested in the LiveWire enough to actually buy it are pretty much what you’ve come to expect from Harley—old wealthy guys.

According to a new report by Reuters, most of the guys and gals buying the LiveWire are older riders and people who already own Harleys. The LiveWire is supposed to be a kind of halo bike for the company’s new vision. This means it’s more expensive. However, that excludes the kind of riders that Harley claims it wants to attract.

Reuters interviewed 40 different dealerships and discussed the bike with them. Many of the dealers revealed that younger buyers are interested but once they hear the price they walk away. One dealer in New Jersey said, ” … once you get to pricing interest is thrown out of the window.”

Harley LiveWire

We’ve said from the beginning that the price of the LiveWire would be its biggest issue. It simply doesn’t deliver enough range for the money. The bike can go 146 miles per charge in the city. Jump on the highway and you’re looking at a little less than 100 miles per charge. For $30,000, you could buy a Zero Motorcycle and still have enough for another entry-level gas bike. Heck, you’re getting close to Chevrolet Bolt EV territory.

Still, this may not be a huge issue for Harley in the short term. It wasn’t expecting massive sales. It was expecting relatively low sales numbers. Buyers are expected to be people with high incomes and money to burn. Its the future electric bikes from the company that it’ll target a more budget-conscious consumer base. That’s when we’ll really find out if Harley’s electric strategy will pay off.

  1. we knew this before it came to market

    I suspect Harley knew it too

    the technology needs to improve and trickle down

    where is that cool off roader the X games dude was playing with ?

    1. Yeah, I’m going to be way more interested in the other electric bikes Harley puts out. If they don’t slap a huge price tag on those bikes, then they could sell well.

  2. Totally true !

    Many say Harley had to do it. Had to.
    If they should have done it is another story… at least from a business and customers perspective.
    Tech is nothing if people can’t take it.

    1. Hey Floyd, Yeah, I really think a price of about $18k would make this bike a game-changer. If Harley lowered the price to something reasonable (which won’t happen), I think people would line up to buy it.

  3. dude,

    I test rode it in Sturgis, and it really is an awesome bike. I fail to see how this story is accurate, they are not even in dealerships yet. They have been delayed. It is 30k and 18 y/o kids are not going to buy it, we know that.

    1. Hey other dude,

      I’ve just reported on the findings that Reuters posted from their survey of the dealerships, which are taking pre-orders for the bikes. If there’s an innacuracy it’s not with my reporting of the information. In regard to the LiveWire, I have no doubt it’s an awesome bike, but it’s hard to argue it’s not overpriced. Also, I agree with you. Reuters didn’t find anything we didn’t already know, but that doesn’t change the fact that Harley is trying to change its customer Demographic and so far it is failing to do so.

  4. The price of the LiveWire is too high, the range is too short and the styling sucks. Harley completely blew it on this one.

  5. Who doesn’t ride a Harley for the sound, smell and freedom.
    Being chained to a 100k range on a bike that makes no sound and has no top speed is a prison sentence, not a joyous experience! I’m glad they are $50k in Australia so I don’t have to endure the sight of too many of them!

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