Ailing American bike maker Harley-Davidson is looking at E-Bikes and electric scooters in case this whole electric motorcycle thing doesn’t work out.
And it’s so far not working out.
We’re not going to sugar coat it: things are not looking good for Harley-Davidson. They’ve lost over 30% of their stock value over the past year as more and more Baby Boomers get too old to ride motorcycles, while Millennials and younger generations ignore Harleys as an expensive and inefficient way to travel.
So Harley is doing anything they can to remain relevant. At this years CES Show in Las Vegas, Harley revealed their LiveWire electric motorcycle to a somewhat muted response. While the bike itself offered a fully electric powertrain with modern amenities such as driver assistance software and an LTE modem, the LiveWire’s performance figures were lackluster at best. Meanwhile, at a price of $29,799, prospective bike owners could afford a far more exciting sport bike from a Japanese manufacturer, or for just $5,000 more, purchase an entry-level Tesla Model 3.
For Millennials looking for cheap and efficient travel options, the Model 3 is the obvious choice. For thrillseekers, the LiveWire is an expensive option in a sea of superior alternatives.
It’s still too early to tell how sales of the LiveWire will shake out, but we’re not holding our breath. And neither is Harley-Davidson, who in a new report from CNN, say they’re looking at alternative transportation companies such as Bird and Lime. Both offer rentable urban e-scooters to get around city congestion.
"It's a huge opportunity," Marc McAllister, vice president of product portfolio at Harley-Davidson, told CNN. "For people who are using Bird and Lime today, how do we give them a much better experience with a Harley-Davidson brand and lifestyle?"
Harley-Davidson also introduced two electric mobility concepts at CES--one an electric mountain bike, and the other an electric scooter. Both use a throttle and have no pedals, which means they would require a motorcycle license to operate and are not suitable as rentable urban transports.
Without a product to offer in a theoretical ridesharing startup, Harley-Davidson continues to look like a company scrambling to find a new market to break into and doing it poorly.