Harley-Davidson has pulled the plug for now on its first electric motorcycle, the LiveWire, after discovering an unspecified charging problem. They’re not recalling the $29,799, 105-horsepower bikes that are already on the road, but they have stopped production and delivery for now.
This is what HD said in announcing this move: “We recently discovered a non-standard condition during a final quality check; stopped production and deliveries; and began additional testing and analysis, which is progressing well. We are in close contact with our LiveWire dealers and customers and have assured them they can continue to ride LiveWire motorcycles. As usual, we’re keeping high quality as our top priority.”
I am glad to see that product testing revealed the problem now, rather than after there are many bikes in the marketplace and on the road. HD isn’t revealing exactly what the issue is, but any mechanical problem can pose a major risk to a rider, especially if it occurs in a busy traffic situation. I am looking forward to seeing these bikes on the road when the issue is worked out!
Apparently, the problem is with the charging equipment. Buyers have been urged by HD to charge only on professional equipment, such as at charging stations, and not at home. HD is trying to increase the number of charging stations it has around the country. It takes about 10 hours to charge the LiveWire at home and about one hour at direct-current charging stations.
The LiveWire, with no clutch or shifting, can go from zero to 60 mph in three seconds. The bike can go for about 140 miles in the city on a full charge.
HD did not say when production and sales will resume, so this is a big setback for HD as it hoped the LiveWire would attract younger riders. The bikes went into production in 2019 and were available for pre-order in the U.S. starting in January. Delivery to dealers began Sept. 27.
HD has seen its revenues drop in the last decade and its move to electric motorcycles, while continuing to make premium internal-combustion cruiser motorcycles, was aimed directly at millennials.
Thank you for reading,
Partner, Ziff Law Firm