2019 Harley-Davidson LiveWire fails to electrify?

Outpost LiveWire NYC 2019

Part of an ambitious marketing plan to lure in a younger rider demographic, American motorcycle manufacturer Harley-Davidson (H-D) issued the LiveWire electric motorcycle but pre-order sales have not been as electrifying as hoped. Part of the problem lies with the LiveWire’s price – USD 29,799 (RM125,098) – according to H-D dealers interviewed by news agency Reuters.

Coming into the market in January of this year, the LiveWire has been available for pre-order but take-up of H-D’s electric bike with new riders has been poor. Instead, most of the orders in the book have come from existing riders in the senior category.

This data was culled from interviews with 40 out of the 150 US H-D dealerships located in Wisconsin, Illinois, Indiana, Ohio, Michigan, California, Nevada, New Jersey and New York. The dealers have said the LiveWire is not being ignored by younger riders but many find the buy in retail price prohibitive.

A vast majority of millennial age riders cannot afford the LiveWire as it is “targeted to young and affluent customers earning more than USD 100,000 (RM420,000) a year,” says Gary Jon Prough, general sales manager at a H-D dealership in Illinois. Aside from price, another concern about the LiveWire is range, which H-D says can do 235 km in the city and 152 km in combined highway and city riding.

While the LiveWire can fully charge overnight using domestic current or in 60 minutes with a Level 3 DC fast charger at H-D dealers, the range between charges limits the appeal of H-D’s electric motorcycle considering the long distances between cities in the US. H-D forecast selling between 400 to 1,600 LiveWires this year but delays in delivery have meant sales are being pushed into the winter, traditionally a slow season for motorcycle sales.

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