Harley Davidson Invests in California Electric Bike Compnay

Uh oh? This is what they invested in, motorcycle dirt bikes. Not exactly news for interests in this forum.
 

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Harley Davidson released images of future designs including what looks like a full suspension mountain e-bike, see bottom right quarter.

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As a Harley owner, glad to see Harley finally branching out. They released pics of their 2020 motorcycle line-up. Which is nice to see motos other than cruisers. I'm not a fan of that MTB design though.... I like the "stealth" look of the Specialized bikes where you have to look hard to see that its an ebike. Although that Harley may have way more range and power given how big that battery area is. But I guess the flip side would be weight...
 
This article from TheStreet points out the potential issues with H-D's e-bike offering(s). The success or failure of one or more H-D e-bikes might be related more to generational views of the brand than quality. As the article notes, the H-D brand appeal (power, style, and decades of reputation) might not translate to the e-bike ethos (cleaner, inexpensive method of transportation) and the generations that love H-D might not give way to generations that care that much about the brand.

However, H-D makes quality products so a legit e-bike from the company would be solid though pricey. It'll be interesting to see how this develops.
 
I thought the same thing too. That the HD brand image may not translate well to the new "target" audience. I think it will be a hard sell. BUT if you watch the new ads they are running, it's a good approach. Rather than focusing on how they own the cruiser segment they are going back to the roots of why/how Harley got started. What they were trying to accomplish way back in the beginning.

What will need to happen is their "e" offerings are going to have to be of very good quality. I don't think thats going to be problem. They've been working on the Livewire for years. And with their experience with motorcycle design, I think it will translate well into "ebike" segment. Depending on the price points, I'm willing to take a chance...

But you are right, it's going to be a hard sell...


This article from TheStreet points out the potential issues with H-D's e-bike offering(s). The success or failure of one or more H-D e-bikes might be related more to generational views of the brand than quality. As the article notes, the H-D brand appeal (power, style, and decades of reputation) might not translate to the e-bike ethos (cleaner, inexpensive method of transportation) and the generations that love H-D might not give way to generations that care that much about the brand.

However, H-D makes quality products so a legit e-bike from the company would be solid though pricey. It'll be interesting to see how this develops.
 
I've been riding Harleys for 30 years and have been a stock holder for 27. They've been investing in LEV technology for the last 10 years and plan to release the LiveWire MC in 2019.

In 2014 H-D put a fleet of demo electric motorcycles on tour across the U.S. for the public to ride and comment. It was a huge success. At the time H-D said when a battery could be produced at a good price point, that could offer a decent range and not weigh a ton, the LiveWire MC would go into production. Early 2018 they announced the production and projected release in 2019.

https://www.harley-davidson.com/us/en/motorcycles/future-vehicles/livewire.html

Having H-D involved will be a boon to the 2 wheel LEV industry. R&D will trickle down.



I don't know if H-D will seriously start making the kind of ebikes we discuss here. Just having people talk about this is priceless advertising. It wouldn't be the first bicycle for them. Or the second! Harley is selling a U.S. made commemorative reproduction of their 1917 bicycle. You don't want to know the price.

https://www.google.com/amp/s/amp.jsonline.com/amp/674894002

Sure is pretty though.

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Agree re: H-D quality in the e-bike market. If they are going to make it, they are going to make it right. Even if H-D doesn't blow the doors off the market, it's good to have a high-end option as long as others are working at different price points.

I thought the same thing too. That the HD brand image may not translate well to the new "target" audience. I think it will be a hard sell. BUT if you watch the new ads they are running, it's a good approach. Rather than focusing on how they own the cruiser segment they are going back to the roots of why/how Harley got started. What they were trying to accomplish way back in the beginning.

What will need to happen is their "e" offerings are going to have to be of very good quality. I don't think thats going to be problem. They've been working on the Livewire for years. And with their experience with motorcycle design, I think it will translate well into "ebike" segment. Depending on the price points, I'm willing to take a chance...

But you are right, it's going to be a hard sell...
 
These bikes fit their history far better then the concept mtn ebikes they put out a while back. I looked at those concept drawings and thought they have no off-road reputation and they think releaseing a mtn ebike was a good idea. If those early concept drawings were intended to distract the competition then I think it was very smart.

These look like legit urban mobility ebikes but I still prefer geared or DD hubs for faster commuting ebikes - mid drives are fine for riders that never want to ride faster than 35kph on their way around the neighborhood or they're not in any hurry to get to Starbucks for a latte. For us commuters that have serious ride distances a faster ebike is almost a necessity because time is money in our world. Nothing exotic but enough assist to sustain upwards of 55kph makes perfect sense (oh boy I can already read the backlash coming from those that never ride over 35kph).
 
These bikes fit their history far better then the concept mtn ebikes they put out a while back. I looked at those concept drawings and thought they have no off-road reputation and they think releaseing a mtn ebike was a good idea. If those early concept drawings were intended to distract the competition then I think it was very smart.

These look like legit urban mobility ebikes but I still prefer geared or DD hubs for faster commuting ebikes - mid drives are fine for riders that never want to ride faster than 35kph on their way around the neighborhood or they're not in any hurry to get to Starbucks for a latte. For us commuters that have serious ride distances a faster ebike is almost a necessity because time is money in our world. Nothing exotic but enough assist to sustain upwards of 55kph makes perfect sense (oh boy I can already read the backlash coming from those that never ride over 35kph).
115 years of dirt flat track racing and dirt hill climb racing.

H-D is a big tech company. Anything that shines a light on ebikes is a good thing. I really don't think H-D will get into ebike manufacturing in a big way. Many automotive and motorcycle manufacturers have dipped their toe in the water, few have taken the full plunge. But who knows? It's fun to talk about.
 
I love those big companies investing in electric bike segment. I forgot the name but Harley even acquired that electric balance bike company. I think they know young people aren't into those big bikes and try to get connected with new green generation.
If I were Harley Davidson I would invest in a company with a closer identity tough .
 
Micah Toll posted a couple of images of Harley-Davidson ebikes shown at their Annual Dealers Meeting https://electrek.co/2019/08/21/harl...-electric-bike-design-as-in-electric-bicycle/
Mid-drive, belt-drive, possibly an Enviolo CVP, one of them is a step-through.
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Great article from Electrek... more details here:

There are some interesting things happening here with these Harley-Davidson e-bikes.
  • That chunky down tube very well may be holding the battery, or it could be integrated into the brick above the motor.
  • First of all, we see the standard e-bike parts. There’s a mid-drive motor down by the cranks, though it’s a bit blockier than I would have expected.
  • Either way, there’s not a ton of battery space on those bikes. That’s likely a hint that these will be pedal-assist electric bicycles that require some user pedal input to engage the motor, not throttle-only e-bikes.
  • The serious cycling saddles and lack of cruiser-style pedal forward geometry are two more nods towards the likely pedal-assist nature of these Harley-Davidson e-bikes.
  • It’s also a bit hard to tell, but I think I also spy belt drive on those bikes instead of standard chain drive. And is that an internally geared hub on the rear?
 
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I loved the bikes but that isn't HD. It looks more like a Specialized or European e-bike like Klever. I love the looks but I won't call them Harley Davidson. Wish they have an e-bike like Ariel D-Class or Vintage Electric which fit better to HD Image. (All are my biased personal views)
 
Micah Toll now reports some confusion about Harley’s direction with their ebikes, a source on the Dealer Advisory Council reported Harley will offer Class 1-3, while an internal document passed to Micah include the line “Harley-Davidson will be pursuing Class 1 pedal-assist eBicycles only”
Source: https://electrek.co/2019/10/23/harley-davidson-electric-bicycles-leaks/

I bought my Guard Dog goggles for riding in cold weather from a Harley dealer, but it will be interesting to see how much floor space dealers will set aside for ebike accessories.
 
Given the closings of HD shops and the reported rise in sales by Giant, I expect them to jump on. But knowing the HD shop guys as I do,I can't imagine them being excited or being big on CS with eBikes. I'd be excited if it meant an American made product but who does that these days?


According to an internal H-D communication intended to educate dealers and prepare them for the upcoming Harley-Davidson electric bicycles:
Last month, we shared more information with you about H-D’s plans to enter the growing eBicycle market. Here we provide a primer on eBicycles to help you begin to prepare for the launch of these products in 2020.
eBicycle classes
Various global government regulatory agencies have created a definition of an eBicycle, and the industry and those agencies have adopted very similar eBicycle rules that establish three classes of eBicycles:
Class 1 pedal-assist eBicycles are the most popular, representing 88% of the global market. In Europe, Class 1 eBicycles are limited to 250 watts of power and the system cannot provide assistance over 25 kilometers per hour (15 mph). In the US this class is limited to approximately 20 mph and can have up to 750 watts of power.
Harley-Davidson will be pursuing Class 1 pedal-assist eBicycles only. Note that the Harley-Davidson electric bike concepts that were displayed at events in early 2019 are not eBicycles because they do not have pedals.
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(Link Removed - No Longer Exists)
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