Harley's new LiveWire is shockingly fun to ride and an explicit Harley bid to get younger riders to buy their goods. This does not work that far according to a Reuters report . The numbers are actually quite bleak.
The first LiveWires have just begun to reach dealers this month – two months after the motorcycles were expected to arrive . Reuters asked dozens of Harley dealers from across the country to see how the rollout went. The answer is: not good.
Most orders from dealers have come from older buyers who are already biking, which is in line with Harley's current core demographics, one it is desperately trying to change.
Younger buyers are eliminated by LiveWire's high costs. LiveWire starts at $ 29,799, almost enough for a Chevy Volt ($ 33,520) or over $ 10,000 more than the competing Zero SR / F electric bike .
Another thing that holds LiveWire back: the reach, which is a decent 146 miles into town, but plunges onto the highway, giving it 96 miles of combined reach.
The dealers Reuters talked to have not been impressed.
Via Reuters :
Harley's dealers said they are getting inquiries from young customers, but are struggling to sell them for sale. A key reason: LiveWire's retail price.
"Interest is very high," said a sales manager in a New Jersey-based dealership, who declined to be named because he did not have permission to speak to the media. "But once you get the price, interest is thrown out the window."
All this is to be expected, since many historical millennials have student loan debt, as history points out. interested in shelling out $ 29,000 for one thing, much less a limited-range electric motorcycle. What should worry Harley, though, is the dealers who don't even try.
Seven Harley dealers told Reuters they have not even bothered to order the bike, which would require investing in a Level 3 charging station and training personnel.
An Ohio-based dealer, who had originally signed up for LiveWire, said he pulled out at the last minute when he wasn't sure of the bike's demand in his area.
Harley would not say how many pre-orders it received for LiveWire, but an analyst estimated that they would sell between 400 and 1600 LiveWires in the first year. If true, it will be less than 1 percent of the total number of motorcycles it sells in the year, which was 228,051 last year.
This is to some extent Harley's plan to have her flagship electric bike on the market before introducing lighter and cheaper electric bikes in the years to come. These bikes I'm really excited about. I wonder if Harley wishes it had started there first.