Although the Street 750 and 500 had to go, the Harley-Davidson lineup isn’t necessarily shrinking. The new Pan America adventure bike is starting to hit the road (and trails), and there are rumors of a new Sportster on the horizon. And Harley-Davidson hasn’t forgotten about its electric bike. Only the Harley-Davidson LiveWire isn’t just getting some showroom siblings; it’s getting its own sub-brand.
The current Harley-Davidson LiveWire is now the flagship of its own electric bike sub-brand
Up until now, there’s only been one Harley-Davidson electric motorcycle, the LiveWire. But while it’s been well-reviewed, it’s struggled to gain significant traction.
Firstly, that’s because, like many EVs, there’s an issue with charging infrastructure, Road & Track explains. Secondly, although Harley-Davidson now has e-bikes, they’re not electric motorcycles. And finally, with a $29,799 base price, the LiveWire isn’t exactly cheap.
Now, though, Harley is addressing some of these issues. As part of its ‘Hardwire’ turnaround plan, Harley-Davidson created an executive position dedicated to electric bikes, Roadshow reports. This position would oversee an entire electric motorcycle division which, originally, didn’t have a name, Roadshow explains. But it does now: LiveWire.
Here’s how this works. The current Harley-Davidson LiveWire electric bike isn’t going away, Road & Track reports. But going forward it will serve as the flagship of the LiveWire sub-brand. Think like the Polestar 1 is for Polestar and Volvo, or the Toyota Prius is for the modern Prius lineup, R&T and Autoblog explain. And this brand will focus predominantly on getting younger urban customers onto its electric bikes, The Drive reports.
The planned LiveWire motorcycles will also have dedicated showrooms, Cycle World reports. As of this writing, it’s unclear if they’ll be added onto or incorporated into existing Harley-Davidson dealerships. However, the LiveWire sub-brand will also have digital retail fronts in addition to physical ones.
The electric motorcycle segment is starting to fill up
Harley-Davidson’s decision to turn the sole LiveWire into a full electric bike lineup comes at a crucial time for two-wheeled EVs. E-bike company Sondors has announced its first electric motorcycle. And start-ups like Tarform and Volcon are getting close to releasing their first production models.
But it’s not just newcomers that are getting into the electric motorcycle segment. Well-established brands are, too, and Harley-Davidson is just one of them.
Kawasaki has an electric bike in the works, as does Triumph. MV Agusta also plans to release an electric motorcycle “‘within the next six years,'” MCN reports. Husqvarna now has an electric prototype, the E-Pilen, Motorcyclist reports. The British brand BSA is being resurrected as a fully electric marque. And let’s not forget the bike companies that have been all-electric from the start: Cake and Zero.
In short, the new Harley-Davidson LiveWire sub-brand faces even more competition than when the original model debuted. And if it’s going to survive and thrive, it will need proper support and competitive (and competitively-priced) bikes. Bikes that, as of this writing, we have no official details on.
When will the other LiveWire Harley-Davidson electric bikes show up?
Luckily, we won’t have to wait long to hear the new plans for the Harley-Davidson electric bike sub-brand. The company plans to unveil the first LiveWire-branded motorcycle on July 8th, 2021. As of this writing, we don’t have an official opening date for the planned showrooms. However, we do know the first ones will be in California.
Until then, we’ll just have to wait and see how much joy these new LiveWires will spark.
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