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A mid-power electric Harley motorcycle is on the way with scooters and bicycles in the years ahead.

harley davidson electric motorcycles
 

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Nice to see what HD has in store for the future. I see one big problem, and seeing this is HD, that will be over priced bikes that are short on features. As soon as the other major manufacturers,Japanese and EU, jump in with their EV's they will be lower priced with more features.
 

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I see one big problem, and seeing this is HD, that will be over priced bikes that are short on features. As soon as the other major manufacturers,Japanese and EU, jump in with their EV's they will be lower priced with more features.
I'll be curious how the new electric H-D products fare, as I'm likewise happy to see that Harley has some interesting stuff coming down the pipeline. However, I am going to respectfully disagree with you on the pricing issue. I'm not at all convinced that H-D products are overpriced, with the extrapolation that their electric bikes won't be overpriced either.

Sure, there are cheap Japanese bikes, but if you compare like-for-like, the MSRPs are similar. A few quick examples:
  • Road Glide ($21,700 - $28,300 base price) vs Gold Wing ($23,800 - $27,500 base price) vs Yamaha Star Eluder/Venture ($22,500 - $27,000)
  • Shadow 750 ($7,700) vs Street 750 (the most comparable H-D product, which is also $7,700) or Sportster 883 ($9,000).
I'm likewise not convinced that the Japanese bikes provide any more features than the H-D bikes. I'd be genuinely curious to see what features people are referring to when they say H-D products are poorly equipped compared to their rivals (seriously, if anyone has specific examples of what their competitor bike offers that H-D doesn't please let me know).

The perception that Harleys are overpriced comes from the absence of entry-level H-D products, rather than any like-vs-like comparisons. Harley has no bikes that are even remotely close to cheap Japanese offerings like the Honda Grom/Monkey (incidentally, the Monkey looks like a hell of a lot of fun and I want one) or YZF-R3, to name a few.

I don't think the price differential between H-D electrics and Japanese electrics will be significant. However, the price differential between a cheap gas bike and a cheap electric bike might be much more significant, as electric bikes are considerably more expensive (at least for now) than a comparable gas-powered bike. For example, the Livewire is $29,900 and the Hayabusa is $14,800, and it might be generous to consider the 'Wire and 'Busa to be comps. I bought my first bike - a lousy then-15 year old Honda 250 - for $500 and enjoyed the hell out of that bike for 15,000 miles. The best first bikes are $500 bikes that we buy on a whim from a neighbor or friend that has one to spare. Will non-riders be willing to spend what it takes to buy an entry-level electric bike? I imagine any cheap electric bike that we would recognize as a true motorcycle will be $7,000+. Is there a buyer for that market? Will people buy these cool new H-D products?

I sure hope they do. Based on my experiences with my Road King, Livewire, and numerous Harleys that I've rented, borrowed, or otherwise ridden, the new electric Harleys will be very well-engineered, high quality products. I'm looking forward to seeing them on the road, and possibly in my garage.

(Incidentally, I'm not a corporate shill for H-D, although I admit I'm a lifelong H-D fan and a bit of an H-D apologist)
 

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Hi Anubis, you can consider me a Harley fan-boy also. I've bought 5 new Harleys over the past 15 years and not even considered any other brands.

When I say HD's are overpriced with less features I do mean for like models from other brands and not entry level bikes. Last seven years I have owned two Road Glides and in fact traded my 2016 CVO RG Ultra for my Livewire. So basically I'm speaking from comparing my RG to other touring models. Things like electrically adjustable windscreens and reverse gear are some features on other bikes and may be extra upgrades but not come close in price to the MSRP of a CVO.

Now on to the Livewire. I put my deposit down last January and finally got it in November. Let's not even talk about that they were supposed to be delivered in August. So while waiting I did price out a Zero SR/F which is the Zero match to the LW. I had no intention of buying a Zero just wanted to see the premium I was going to pay on the LW. To reach most of the specs on a Zero one has to buy extra battery pack. To keep things short a Zero would cost me $24,800 fully loaded here in Texas so 5K less than a LW. BTW, the Zero comes with headed hand grips and wind screen included in base price which in comparison HD does not want us to add extra load to the 12v battery on the LW. Also remember Zero has been delivering EV's for 10 years.

So let's just hope pricing and features on future HD's EV's are on par with whatever the other brands put out there.At least HD can say they were first of the major established manufactures with their electric bike.
 

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Hi Anubis, you can consider me a Harley fan-boy also. I've bought 5 new Harleys over the past 15 years and not even considered any other brands.

When I say HD's are overpriced with less features I do mean for like models from other brands and not entry level bikes. Last seven years I have owned two Road Glides and in fact traded my 2016 CVO RG Ultra for my Livewire. So basically I'm speaking from comparing my RG to other touring models. Things like electrically adjustable windscreens and reverse gear are some features on other bikes and may be extra upgrades but not come close in price to the MSRP of a CVO.

Now on to the Livewire. I put my deposit down last January and finally got it in November. Let's not even talk about that they were supposed to be delivered in August. So while waiting I did price out a Zero SR/F which is the Zero match to the LW. I had no intention of buying a Zero just wanted to see the premium I was going to pay on the LW. To reach most of the specs on a Zero one has to buy extra battery pack. To keep things short a Zero would cost me $24,800 fully loaded here in Texas so 5K less than a LW. BTW, the Zero comes with headed hand grips and wind screen included in base price which in comparison HD does not want us to add extra load to the 12v battery on the LW. Also remember Zero has been delivering EV's for 10 years.

So let's just hope pricing and features on future HD's EV's are on par with whatever the other brands put out there.At least HD can say they were first of the major established manufactures with their electric bike.
Thanks for your reply (incidentally, I hope I didn't come across as an ass or otherwise attacking you when I responded to your comment - that wasn't my intention).

I'll admit that Harleys don't have a lot of accessories offered as standard features. I guess that hasn't bother me, mostly because I like my bikes to be simple with as few extras as possible (I'm guessing most buyers prefer more features to less, so I'm an outlier). I'm not sure why Harley doesn't make some of these features standard. It wouldn't cost much more, but it might change the perception of H-D as being overpriced relative to rivals. I will say that I've cross-shopped some Indian products and it appears the Indian bikes have similar levels of equipment and are even more expensive than comparable Harleys.

As for the Livewire, I guess I don't know what a fair price is. The Zero is obviously cheaper. My concern about the Zero is the future of the company. Although they aren't a new product, they are more of a "startup" than H-D. Harley might have some uncertainties in its future, but I feel like for the next 20 years at least H-D dealers will be easy to come by, even if the electric bikes don't end up being hits. I feel like parts will be easier to obtain in the future given the ubiquity of H-D dealerships. That being said, I might have to test ride a Zero at some point out of pure curiosity, if I can ever find a dealer that has a demo bike available.

Also, while Zero has been around for 10 years, I can't find any data about how many bikes they have delivered. I've never seen one. It strikes me as odd that I haven't seen one on the road despite the bikes being available for the last decade. Any idea on production figures?
 

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Anubis, Zero doesn't publish sales numbers but they are known to be around 1500 bikes in the US and about 2300 globally per year. They expect the new SR/F model to help grow those numbers significantly. I guess we'll see....
CD
 

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Anubis, I see Cybrdyke answered your sales question on the Zero. I think those numbers are for 2018. Zero has been selling for 10 years but as a company started in 2006. One big question I have is; has Zero ever turned a profit as a company? I do know they have had lots of money pumped into them from venture capitalist. I don't see outside investments as a bad outlook on them. Rivian has had over 1B invested on them by Amazon and Ford. What I see is maybe an established motorcycle company buying them out and using their technology for a faster timeframe to compete with HD.

I think Harley being out first of the majors with an EV will help Zero! As Harley keeps pumping out demo rides around the US, people doing those rides will go and test ride a Zero. Once you ride both people will notice the big price difference. The Livewire in not 5K to 10K better than the Zero SR/F! Here is a review on the SR/F from your next of the woods.

One good thing is we are going to see some exciting new electric motorcycles going out very soon.
 

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Yeah, at nearly $30,000 for each Livewire, when HD sells 500 units, they can claim to be the largest electric motorcycle manufacturer in the world. I agree that Livewire will help zero sales, if for no other reason, that Zero will be able to raise their prices.
 
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