Will Electric Bikes Save Harley?

So, it costs half as much and goes twice as far. Hmm.

Maybe the new city scooters due out in a couple of years will save the company? I almost couldn’t write that because it sounds so preposterous.

The scooters, which Harley unveiled at the X Games in January, look like someone took a Honda Ruckus (which are pretty awesome, as scooters go) and made it boring. The scooters will be 49 cc’s, so they won’t require a motorcycle license, but they will require that you surrender any sense of style to get on one.

OK. That’s a bit harsh. Perhaps Harley will tweak the design before they offer the bikes for sale. I hope.

There is a different path available to Harley, but it’s difficult…

During the late 1960s and 1970s, Harleys fell out of favor. The company subsisted by selling fewer bikes and offering lots of branded items such as shirts and lighters to keep the cash rolling in. They held on until the rising generation aged into the sweet spot to buy their bikes. Maybe this could happen again.

As the Millennials age, they’ll eventually feel their rebellious oats and want to strike out against The Man on the weekend even as they toil away at professional jobs during the week. As long as Harley hasn’t hurt its brand too much with offerings like the urban scooter, it could fit the bill.

The payoff could be huge since there are more Millennials than there are Boomers. The trick will be remaining relevant long enough, with its mystique intact, to take advantage of the opportunity.

Such a strategy won’t make shareholders happy, but it would allow Harley to maintain its well-deserved image as a quality American product.

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Dan Richards 1 year ago Member's comment

Smart of #Harley to diversify and find a new sales outlet. But I agree that their pricing seems way off. I also think they'd have been better off using a new brand name. The target markets are completely different. $HOG

Danny Straus 1 year ago Member's comment

How can Harley justify charging so much for its electric bikes?