Harley Davidson releases brand two new brand new electric motorcycle in LiveWire lately. Did we miss the trees for the forest? What if a smokescreen is LiveWire?
There is enormous value in generating declaration model a striking high-tech electric motorcycle. But let’s consider for whom this motorcycle is. It just doesn’t feel like a feasible alternative with elevated debt to income ratios for younger Gen X or Gen Y kinds and it feels too intimidating to start drivers. On that front, the two newly unveiled lower concept H-D cars deserve a closer look.
Verily, when we first saw photos of the concept bikes from the CES show, we weren’t all that moved. Many concepts just don’t make it to the production line, and especially the low-riding scooter just didn’t seem to be completely formed. The ultra-light version hit us as a pedal-free mountain bike. This is truly an intelligent move; Ducati’s MIGG-RR electric mountain bike will quickly be in retailers. Yamaha has been accessible for years with power-assist bicycles, and then there’s the Kalk & hybrid. The field with opportunities is mature.
Last week at the X Games in Aspen, the two fresh H-D ideas produced a working appearance so we took a closer look. And what a distinction it is to see riding videos instead of shots from a static studio. Harley plunged X Games host Jack Mitrani into the minimal, boxy scooter and unleashed him on downtown Aspen’s roads for a first-ever ride.
Meanwhile, Australian freestyle motocrosser Jacko Strong placed the mountain bike idea through its paces, hooning it around like a real madman on the snowy Aspen slopes. Again, the combination of components and technology is borrowed from both the motorcycle and bicycle worlds. The belt-drive, electric motor and premium suspension working in conjunction with a mountain bike’s lightweight frame, slim form factor, and (solid) wheels. It also carries what looks like a seat with a rather stratospheric height that is massively painful.
Ultimately, the hope is that these concept machines will remove some of the motorcycle obstacles and attract fresh cyclists. You wouldn’t need a motorcycle permit to run them. The ride is simpler and the learning curve decreased with a lower weight and more affordable form. And if they come with a removable battery that can be loaded with a family outlet, it’s the icing on the cake. It is uncertain whether they will become manufacturing models. But Harley has promised that future models will carry rates as low as “a few thousand bucks,” which could make all the difference.