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Discussion Starter #1
Recently a Harley CEO let it be known exactly who they're targeting with the Livewire and but simply, its for mass appeal, for everyone from new riders to experienced and even those that want to do the least bit of maintenance. Do you guys think this is how it will really play out or will we see a demographic that is more after the performance that comes with this technological advancement?

“We are progressing to that plan and we are excited about that product. We continue to see electric vehicles as a tremendous opportunity,” CEO Matt Levatich told The Street when asked about the electric bike. “These motorcycles are easier to ride than bicycles, they lend themselves to urban environments where our product is maybe less targeted or less suited. They are suited to a generation of people that don’t have the mechanical depth of experience that maybe boomers had with manual transmissions and clutches.”
 

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Harley needs to make sure the Livewire has enough range to stand up to its competition in this segment because nobody wants to be stranded. They'll also need to price it accordingly or else they could fail to attract younger buyers who are new or seasoned riders. The demographic they're aiming at is thrifty and trying to get the most bang for their buck.
 

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I believe back when this concept was first shown off it was said to have around 100miles of range? There is going to be a lot more restrictions with battery size and capacity on a motorcycle for obvious weight and handling concerns. And to be honest I doubt this bike is going to be affordable for most younger riders.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
I believe back when this concept was first shown off it was said to have around 100miles of range? There is going to be a lot more restrictions with battery size and capacity on a motorcycle for obvious weight and handling concerns. And to be honest I doubt this bike is going to be affordable for most younger riders.
that all depends on what they have planned for EV bikes which could see the Livewire become more of median model than anything entry level
 

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100 miles per charge doesn't seem enough, especially when riders are prone to stay on the roads more than expected. I've been on day trips where we were surprised with how far we've actually traveled. Time flies when you're having fun.

Problem with Harley bikes was the pricing premium compared to other bikes out there, and the same could happen with the LiveWire if it's too expensive no matter how forward thinking it is.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
100 miles per charge doesn't seem enough, especially when riders are prone to stay on the roads more than expected. I've been on day trips where we were surprised with how far we've actually traveled. Time flies when you're having fun.

Problem with Harley bikes was the pricing premium compared to other bikes out there, and the same could happen with the LiveWire if it's too expensive no matter how forward thinking it is.
It can be enough depending on how long charge times take. A friend of mine has a brand new Chevy Bolt that gets 90 miles of charge in just 30 minutes. Not impressive but its the electric vehicle industry in its infancy. Tesla is working to get supercharger times within the 8-10 minute range.
 

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We'll have to wait and see if HD can nail the LiveWire's performance, design and pricing because this is still relatively new territory for motorcycles and they need to be appealing to attract buyers. But there is hope because they don't have a lot of competition.
 

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I mean there are already plenty of electric bikes on the market, but most of them are designated for commuting and wont have near the power output or specs of the Livewire. And alike most other electric vehicles, charging should be quite quick up to 80% capacity.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
I mean there are already plenty of electric bikes on the market, but most of them are designated for commuting and wont have near the power output or specs of the Livewire. And alike most other electric vehicles, charging should be quite quick up to 80% capacity.
Give it time and Harley will catch up, being the brand they are, starting from the top and starting small is natural.
 

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Harley doesn't have time to catch up. They've been bleeding money for years and moving production overseas isn't helping their image as an American brand.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
A lot of factors are at play here that can determine their success and quite frankly, Harley is one of the few that can turn around and make a lifestyle brand the American public can love again. The challenge is being relevant.
Its actually quite popular for big umbrella corporations to buy and rebuild classic brands because classics done right, never die out, only evolve.
 

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I don't know what company is going to be interested in scooping up a brand that's struggling this much. But new ownership and a shift in focus could be exactly what they need to turn things around. There is only so long they can sustain themselves without a good revenue stream, so if someone is going to throw them a lifeline, it needs to be soon.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
You'd be surprised by the reasons why failing brands get scooped.
Sometimes its just the fact they've been around a long time and are known for certain things.
In that case they just need capital, restructuring and people on board that understand consumer needs going forward.
 

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A struggling brand is one that can be bought for cheap, and Harley Davidson is still a widely recognized and reputable name in the industry. The quality of their products has not changed, they just need to revamp their lineup and expand outside of cruisers.
 

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Discussion Starter #15
The right investors can change things around a lot. Chinese investors are trying to get into transportation and Harley is a solid bet.
 

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The right investors can change things around a lot. Chinese investors are trying to get into transportation and Harley is a solid bet.
Due to the trade war I think we'll be seeing less investment from China based firms and more with those that have better U.S. relations.
Even internally like Ford and Rivian.
 

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Discussion Starter #17
China is becoming a new global superpower so I can see automakers and bikemakers start their shift towards China like what Volvo has done recently.

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Samuelsson in February cited the ongoing trade war between the U.S. and China as one reason why Volvo's operating profit margin dipped to 5.6 percent last year from 6.7 percent in 2017.

Tension between the U.S. and China caused Volvo to adjust its production so that vehicles built in China were no longer shipped to the U.S., where they faced a 27.5 percent tariff. Now Volvo models such as XC60 SUV are going to the U.S. from Europe instead of China.
 

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Whoever controls the marketing and promotion for the LiveWire will have to toe the line of appealing to a new/younger demographic of people without alienating their older customers. It's definitely doable but they have to be careful.
 
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