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Hello, everyone. I am in the process of conducting research into Harley Davidson for a stock pitch and am closely examining their push into the electric motorcycle market as an area for future growth. I am curious to hear your thoughts on the Livewire and how it stacks up to other bikes in the space. For example, Zero's SR/S is competitively priced and I am curious as to why you think the Livewire is (or is not) superior. Is the price premium worth it to own a Harley? It seems as though Harley is attempting to target a new customer segment as the majority of HD's loyal customer base is committed to combustion motorcycles at least for now. In line with this, do you think there is the possibility for broad appeal of an electric bike among riders broadly if the technology progresses?

Bottom Line: Please share any thoughts you have on the Livewire, why you bought one, and how you see the future of Harley Davidson electric motorcycles. I greatly appreciate your help. Feel free to comment on any aspect of this post.
 

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Hello, everyone. I am in the process of conducting research into Harley Davidson for a stock pitch and am closely examining their push into the electric motorcycle market as an area for future growth. I am curious to hear your thoughts on the Livewire and how it stacks up to other bikes in the space. For example, Zero's SR/S is competitively priced and I am curious as to why you think the Livewire is (or is not) superior. Is the price premium worth it to own a Harley? It seems as though Harley is attempting to target a new customer segment as the majority of HD's loyal customer base is committed to combustion motorcycles at least for now. In line with this, do you think there is the possibility for broad appeal of an electric bike among riders broadly if the technology progresses?

Bottom Line: Please share any thoughts you have on the Livewire, why you bought one, and how you see the future of Harley Davidson electric motorcycles. I greatly appreciate your help. Feel free to comment on any aspect of this post.
The Livewire is a sales flop for Harley so far.HD made a bad decision by overpricing the bike. It may have brought a few people into the EV bike segment but the majority of buyers are true Harley loyalists.

You mention Zero. A lot of people mention that Zero has a fit and finish issue but the Livewire is not a 5k to 10k better quality bike. Plus Zero has different models for different riding segments. I don't know how well your versed in the E-motorcycle world but you should have mentioned Energica also as part of the competition. The Energica models run circles around the Livewire IMHO! Zero and Energica were selling E-Bikes for years before Harley came out with the Livewire in 2019. The big problem for the competition is a small dealer network compared to HD. Even with HD's dealer network only 150 dealers became Livewire authorized out of 700 dealers total when the Livewire came to market.

Since your making a pitch for HD stock I would wait a couple of years to see if the new management team and corporate plan to get Harley back to sound financial footing works out. I know the stock market is buy low and sell high but HD is a big risk right now. What will bring life back to HD is their ICE motorcycles and not the electric segment.
 

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I think that this was an excellent move by Harley-Davidson and I don't say that just because I bought a LiveWire.

I'd been looking for an electric bike for at least five years, starting with the earliest iterations of Zero when I was working overseas. I was on their mailing list for literally years and rode three demos of their bikes over time. I was really disappointed however that they didn't follow up with specific inquiries after demo rides nor make any effort to sell me 'their' bike.

When the LW was announced I waited about two years before I was able to ride a early version at the HD dealership in Vegas. I had quite a few rides because none of the die-hard Harley loyalists thought it was anything but a toy. I could tell on the first ride I was not sitting on a toy. Although the fit and finish was good it wasn't great - but again it was a prototype.

Then at about the same time the first online reviews of the LiveWire came out from trusted motorcycle journalists, I was contacted by the local dealership with whom I'd registered an interest a year earlier, to see if I wanted to order one. I put down $1000 deposit approximately 14 months before my LW was finally delivered (not a criticism, the original delivery date was going to be 9 months but the Chinese virus got in the way).

From my perspective, I think this is a great offering by HD.

Not necessary in order of priority, but having frequented electric-motorcycle forums for some years, the number and variation of difficulties that Zero motorcycle riders have is truly stunning. The lack of after-sales support from Zero is frequently mentioned and of course if you're in a country where there is no Zero dealer at all, you get zero support (pun intended) from the factory for private importers.

Next, Energica is a good brand judging by the experiences of their owners, but again, dealerships are few and far between and it's unclear as to how much after sales advice the factory is willing to give to assist owners who can't bring the bike back to a dealership. By saying unclear, I'm being tactful, as after all, you can't believe everything you read on the Internet, including what I'm saying - this is a concern from Energica owners who have no dealership access.

Yeah, I'd have liked the LIveWire priced at least 5K less, but having had the opportunity to physically look at and ride all three - Zero, Energica and LiveWire - I remain extremely happy with my purchase of the very expensive LW; as I posted elsewhere, I sold two bikes to buy this one and I'm glad I did. I don't know if I'm classified as a HD Loyalist; of my lifetime motorcycles owned and rode, Harleys make up slightly fewer than one-fifth including the current LiveWire :)

At my age, I'd rather be an early adopter, than wait a few more years and maybe miss out on the chance of riding a very fast, extremely well-handling and responsive EV motorcycle at all. And yes, even in my advancing 60s I'm still childish enough to relish having a rare quality-finish breed of EV bike that attracts attention when parked as well as when I'm riding (y)

Basic Wishlist:
Being able to swap out / trade the RESS for a one w/improved range + power, yeah baby!!!
Handlebar risers​
Lowered footpegs​
Luggage options for day touring​
Fill in the silly hole in the rear fender​
Mirrors that show the road not my deltoids​
Clean up the plate and lights mount at the back​

Custom Wishlist:
Wheel options 👀​
Auxiliary lights :devilish:
LW-Blue H-D shield logo decals :cool:
Chrome battery cover ;)

Thanks and good luck
 

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My own thoughts are pretty much represented by what Oldun said above.

While different demographics will potentially approach the LW differently (urban, suburban, rural), I think there is a role for each. In an urban environment, this could be the one and only bike very easily. When commuting on my LW I will intentionally route through the city because sport acceleration from light to light is just a blast. I live and operate in the suburban/rural environment and so for me the LW is in a stable of other ICE cruisers. It is not the bike for touring, and any attempt to compare in that category is a disservice.

As far as cost, I wanted to be able to work with a dealer. Way too much experience with BMW and Vanderhall losing a dealer and needing warranty work that is very frustrating. So in central Indiana, it is Zero or LW. I tested the Zero a heck of a lot more than the LW and was ready to move on that purchase until I took one test ride on the LW. The ride handling, feature integration, quality build/finish put this well ahead of the Zero. My personal position is that I knew if I bought the Zero I would wish I had just gone with the LW. I have no regrets and would do it again. I don't know how the cost of the bike tracks with HD R&D costs plus actual component/build costs, but for those who complain about the cost...well, nobody forces you to buy it. I hope that HD continues in the electric space and learns from the LW to introduce bikes that are more accessible to a broader market.
 

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My own thoughts are pretty much represented by what Oldun said above.

While different demographics will potentially approach the LW differently (urban, suburban, rural), I think there is a role for each. In an urban environment, this could be the one and only bike very easily. When commuting on my LW I will intentionally route through the city because sport acceleration from light to light is just a blast. I live and operate in the suburban/rural environment and so for me the LW is in a stable of other ICE cruisers. It is not the bike for touring, and any attempt to compare in that category is a disservice.

As far as cost, I wanted to be able to work with a dealer. Way too much experience with BMW and Vanderhall losing a dealer and needing warranty work that is very frustrating. So in central Indiana, it is Zero or LW. I tested the Zero a heck of a lot more than the LW and was ready to move on that purchase until I took one test ride on the LW. The ride handling, feature integration, quality build/finish put this well ahead of the Zero. My personal position is that I knew if I bought the Zero I would wish I had just gone with the LW. I have no regrets and would do it again. I don't know how the cost of the bike tracks with HD R&D costs plus actual component/build costs, but for those who complain about the cost...well, nobody forces you to buy it. I hope that HD continues in the electric space and learns from the LW to introduce bikes that are more accessible to a broader market.
100% agree.
 

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Adding a tad to what Oldun wrote that pretty much encapsulates my thoughts:

Simply put, the Livewire is a unique entrance into a realm no other major motorcycle manufacturer has really entered, BMW electric mopeds aside. And Harley did it with such style that many of us bought these Livewires despite limited practicality.

Zero and the other current options were researched, but reviews all over the web from people who rode both made it clear the Livewire wasn’t like the rest. I made the decision to buy it without even a road test. And while I like a couple other brands almost as much as Harley, I’d consider myself a Harley loyalist these days. If Harley continues to support and develop the Livewire, or similar, I’ll likely keep upgrading every 3-5 years (I used to replace vehicles every 1-2 years, then I got married).

As for faithful HD ICE fans coming over to EVs, we did. I miss my blacked-out Fat Bob now and then, and I look at lots of bikes as I plan to retire in Colombia in a few years where I may need a more all-terrain bike (maybe an electric enduro, if one comes along by then). But while in the US, I’ll probably end-up with an entirely electric fleet of bikes and autos. I only have one ICE left; it’s in my Jeep. Even all my lawn equipment is electric, as is my new skateboard. Plenty of kinks to work out, but the technology appears to be the immediate future for transportation. Harley was wise to see it years ago.

Given the world’s movement toward electric, incentivized or otherwise, yes I would note the future of Harley Davidson electric motorcycles is good. Pricing remains an issue, and they will need to come down on the more “average” electric motorcycle to increase sales. Meanwhile, please heed the advice Oldun shared and make sure all current Livewire owners can/will have their batteries replaced when needed, and please see to it our bikes remain supported by HD in all future R&D efforts. If HD can manage the last two well, they’ve already got the fan base.

BTW, Oldun's Basic Wishlist is a good one!
 

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HD is about to discontinue the LiveWire. That tells me all I need to know. With the issues I have had and the fact HD is dropping it means I made a bad decision. I will echo what someone else has already said: I don't have enough time for these companies to make a good product. I may be able to ride for 10 more years. I bought because I couldn't wait. The result is less than stellar.

JJ
 

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HD is about to discontinue the LiveWire. That tells me all I need to know. With the issues I have had and the fact HD is dropping it means I made a bad decision. I will echo what someone else has already said: I don't have enough time for these companies to make a good product. I may be able to ride for 10 more years. I bought because I couldn't wait. The result is less than stellar.

JJ
Do you have any ‘new’ info to support your claim the LiveWire is being discontinued?
 

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Over quite a few years I have cut recognized losses with bikes, 2 jobs, and assorted boys' toys. But even if there are only 2 years of the LW ('20 and '21) I don't class buying a LW as a mistake or a decision I wish I had not made or a loss I want to cut.

It's a quality product and I have rediscovered the Joys of Leaning, Cornering, and Full-On Acceleration. And hey, if it's a Limited Edition, then my Smug will Rise further (y)

I do hope of course that parts and repairs will remain available but that be true of all such toys. My venerable 2001 FXDXT is also sometimes a problem to get parts and repairs for... Sic transit gloria mundi....
 

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Over quite a few years I have cut recognized losses with bikes, 2 jobs, and assorted boys' toys. But even if there are only 2 years of the LW ('20 and '21) I don't class buying a LW as a mistake or a decision I wish I had not made or a loss I want to cut.

It's a quality product and I have rediscovered the Joys of Leaning, Cornering, and Full-On Acceleration. And hey, if it's a Limited Edition, then my Smug will Rise further (y)

I do hope of course that parts and repairs will remain available but that be true of all such toys. My venerable 2001 FXDXT is also sometimes a problem to get parts and repairs for... Sic transit gloria mundi....
I don’t share your ’glass half full’ mentality on this one..lol. I bet these bikes would lose 60%-70% of current value overnight if they were discontinued. We all lose money on depreciating assets, but due to limited future repairability, I suspect this would be worst case scenario. For example, how long would the small number of dealers that are authorized to work on Livewires continue to do so? I imagine a year or two max....not good.
 

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I just sent a formal request to Harley Davidson to engage directly on this forum. I'm hopeful the request will be well received and someone might join the forum soon who can answer questions and address concerns voiced by the Livewire owners on this site.
 

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I just sent a formal request to Harley Davidson to engage directly on this forum. I'm hopeful the request will be well received and someone might join the forum soon who can answer questions and address concerns voiced by the Livewire owners on this site.
The MoCo has been directly involved with owners in the First Strike program by assigning engineers to the owners for input or questions on their Livewires. Don't know if any positive actions will come out of this program.
 

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REVISED: I personally think Harley Davidson should speak for Harley Davidson.
It's apparent we need a Harley Davidson presence on this forum, and I would think that would be welcomed by everyone.
 
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