April 1, 2015: For Immediate Release: Harley Davidson, noted American motorcycle manufacturer, declares it’s electric motorcycle “Project LiveWire” a PR disaster with it’s die-hard customer base as a result of unrelenting social and internet feedback, and a plummeting stock market performance since the announcement last year, scraps plans to produce electric motorcycles, and sends all 40 test bikes to the crusher in a move reminiscent of GM’s EV1 experiment of “Who Killed the Electric Car” fame.
…but in spite of what the Harley Davidson sources will tell you, I have actually read a lot of comments from their die-hard customer base, and it’s simply all rehashing the same anti-EV, anti-sportbike points you can hear in any bar or roadhouse across the country with a bunch of Harleys parked out front. Frankly, I wanted to get some feedback from some of the actual, real, Harley bikers (read: those who don’t dress up with leathers for just the weekend) at the Boston event, but first, they were notably absent on a Saturday morning, and second, the ones who were there weren’t the least bit interested in the LiveWire. I’ve had this nagging little feeling in the back of my mind since Day One with this project… someone at Harley got a bug up their ass about Zero and Brammo and Made in the USA motorcycles, and how H-D wasn’t representing, and told someone down the food chain to do the homework and see if it flies. Of course, it was kind of like asking a Jamaican to start an Olympic bobsled team, right?
…or something like that.
For what it’s worth, the immediate response from Wall Street sure doesn’t inspire confidence:
Time will tell, but you have to wonder… what exactly will happen to those 40 bikes if H-D decides to scrap the project?