Harley-Davidson has faced almost endless criticism for being stuck in another decade in terms of both styling and engineering, but sweeping changes are now afoot.
They have bet big on electric, their now sub-brand LiveWire has set some lofty goals, but it isn’t just all talk. They have recently announced that they will be launching their new middleweight bike on a modular platform, not dissimilar to what we have seen with Yamaha and their CP2 platform as well as Aprilia and their 660s, only, electric.
Like pretty much every EV manufacturer they are still very much in the investment phase and to back that up they will be going public. This approach has an element of risk, but now more than ever that risk seems to be minimal.
Harley LiveWire: SPAC Merger
The most logical first step in this particular venture is getting funding, and Harley is betting on the stock market for this.
Their “merger” is strictly business as it is with investment firms, well at least 96% of it is, the other 4% will go to their new partner.
This direction makes a lot of sense as EV companies have been hot property in that world, so it stands to reason that an established brand that already has a bike on sale in the form of the LiveWire ONE will indeed attract considerable investment, allowing them to proceed with the necessary retooling of certain facilities to produce more electric motorcycles.
Harley LiveWire And Kymco: Strategic Partnership
The remaining 4% will be in the hands of Taiwanese giant Kymco, although they have been making most of their money producing scooters, they too have bet big on electric.
It is a partnership that is already well under way as they have helped develop the e-bikes Harley are already selling, but the end-game is far more beneficial to LiveWire and by extension Harley-Davidson. They have already established a vast manufacturing and distribution network, and although it seems like the upcoming Del Mar middleweight and the ONE will be built in the US, the future bikes may well be made in Asia by Kymco.
Harley LiveWire: Electric Optimism
Although the future certainly looks bright, that figure of 100,000 sales by 2026 still seems a little optimistic, especially when you consider that it is only a mere four years away. Four years ago, the LiveWire was still a concept bike.
It remains to be seen just how good, or bad the Del Mar really is. If it is as good as the ONE and comes in at the right price then we can start getting excited, for now all it amounts to is a number on a chart. Electric motorcycles still have several challenges to overcome before they can enter the mainstream, but they will be a part of the larger emissions' solution going forward, of that there is little doubt.