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    • There are companies popping up all over the place you have never heard of before, and established companies jumping into the EV motorcycle market…but who are their potential customers?

      In December 2019 I was invited by Harley-Davidson to join them on a media ride and launch of the new LiveWire prior to the International Motorcycle Show (IMS) in Long Beach California, happening a day after the ride.

      I purposely went knowing nothing about the LiveWire so I could have a completely raw experience and make my own opinion.

      In short, I loved it, to me it felt like a game changer, I detailed the experience on ADVrider with a detailed article and images I took. Then sat back to see what the masses at ADVrider thought and what their comment might be like.

      It is extremely obvious that the ‘average Joe’ on ADVrider hates H-D with a passion, maybe because when the mind of an ‘inmate’ (this is the colloquialism for members) thinks adventure they think it should involve some dirt. One thing H-D is not known for in the last few decades is a motorcycle that fits the criteria of the inmates vision, and even when they did it wasn’t a success.

      **Sorry , but this "Old Dog" can't see anyone but Snowflakes ridin' this thing
      **LMFAO...seriously,. 153km then a 13hr charge time for the average owner...good luck HD
      **The price is a game-changer too, pushing the limits of common sense and brand loyalty
      **At $1,600.00 USD these would sell
      **Sorry, Harley, but I don't have $30,000+ to spend on a bike. :(
      **specifily designed for the "younger riders". Don't you realize the younger riders don't have that kind of money to spend! Ha!
      **Two simple things to fix. The price and the range . End of the story.
      **It's still a POS Harley.

      There were 124 comments, the majority are negative opinions and most likely from riders who have never ridden an EV, it will be interesting if those same commenters change sides if they do ride an EV.

      Like this commenter wrote -

      Nobody should be skeptical or cynical without having thrown and leg over one — To those of us that have, it’s just too obvious that you’re a bit silly;)

      That was pretty much a given, the article was obviously to create recognition of a new model to riders that may not be aware of its impending release, and create a ‘call to action’ (CTA) by H-D so they can get riders talking and basically do a virtual market research without having to pound pavements or dealerships to get similar results.

      My take on the responses when I read them was – too expensive and takes too long to charge.

      There were a few comments about Zero Motorcycles in comments, that their product was superior, in design, weight, cost and more importantly charging time.

      **I think you need to try a Zero. ;)
      **I think that Zero offers a lot more value

      Hidden in the comment section on the H-D article there was one inmate who pointed something out that was missing from everyone else’s argument and distaste about EV vehicles in general.

      **Motogasoline • 5 months ago
      I read somewhere last week there are over 160k millionaire millennials in the states. How many brand new harleys are stripped down for a cam and bore kit before even leaving the dealership! Happens all the time. A lot of folks have a lot of money. I think with the r&d and tech that went into the livewire Harley has the price right where THEY need it to be.

    • Due to the volume of comments about Zero Motorcycles I made a point of contacting them indirectly through a dealership and asked them if they would contact their head office to ask if I could take a bike out for an extended ride and subsequently write an article about it.

      The response was very positive, and I returned the following week to do that ride, again wrote an article, again published on ADVrider, and once again waited on the responses.

      Not surprisingly the comments were almost the same but from different inmates – too expensive, and too slow to charge, even though it was faster to charge than the H-D and cheaper.

      **Why a large, 125mph-capable motorcycle with a pathetic, unrealistic range?
      **Seriously, just MHO, too short a range and too expensive for the motorcycle capability you get
      **Maybe I'm a cheapskate, but I've never paid more than seven grand for a bike
      **Add to the list of things that you'll never do again:
      Ride 200 or so miles at a stretch with a 5 minute "recharge"
      Do 3 or 4 of the above daily.
      And while I'll never buy gas again, electricity isn't free.
      **We also have WAY more electric charging spots than gas stations in Manhattan. I think we're down to maybe 3 gas stations below 57th street! Times are changing fast.
      **it would be like refueling a car using a straw

      I rode their flagship model, but also rode one of their lower priced models as well, but there was no love for that either.

      So what now, who’s left?…loads of companies are jumping on the EV motorcycle bandwagon, but who are they making these motorcycle for and why?

      Back to that comment, does he have a point –

      I read somewhere last week there are over 160k millionaire
      millenials in the states. How many brand new harleys are stripped down for a
      cam and bore kit before even leaving the dealership! Happens all the time. A
      lot of folks have a lot of money. I think with the r&d and tech that went
      into the livewire Harley has thebprice right where THEY need it to be.


      Is this fact? No idea, but sound feasible!
      Is it logical ? Yes it is.
      Is this good for the motorcycle industry as a whole? Yes!

    • Next up I interviewed, but couldn’t ride due to COVID-19 and restricted travel Cleveland CycleWorks and their newly released Falcon.

      Their base bike comes in priced almost 75% cheaper than the H-D LiveWire, and charges at a fraction of the time, a full charge in less than two hours, compared to both H-D, Zero and probably a few others this puts them a long way ahead.

      They are just a very small company, basically a motorcycle shop, one that has big ambitions for the future. Not dissimilar to H-D over 100 years ago.

      …but they made one big mistake, in my eyes, releasing to the world their motorcycle in what was effectively a real-life version of the artist’s rendering…without fenders so it would look cool! I feel they should have had both variations on display.

      They responded with - quote

      The moped and Motorcycle version have plate mount and fenders, we are not however circulating those photos yet, as we wanted to present the bike in "concept" ultra minimal form for the first 2 weeks.

      Readers jumped all over this and subsequently berated the motorcycle and the positive point about charging and price were lost in the static.

      Back to 'that comment' again, and his alleged 160,000 millennial millionaires, what did they think? We didn’t hear from them because ‘misery loves company’ and the negative commenters took over and once the comment section went in that negative direction there was no coming back.

      Was that millennial looking at the CCW Falcon and saying to himself ‘that’s it’. Where does that millennial live and should we let them be happy with motorcycles like this and designs like this.
      History teaches us that we will advance, regardless of opinion.

      Where do these buyers live ad how much are basics like a parking? Here's a shot from 2011 in Manhattan, how much is parking there now? Four motorcycles to one car space?

      At the turn of the last century my great, great, uncle was the first person in his town to own a car

      Back then he was ‘the millennial’, to drive the car he needed a person to walk in front of the car and wave a read flag to let other people know he was coming because this modern invention was on the way.

      His friends told him he was crazy, you couldn’t get anything more reliable than a horse, or a horse and cart or buggy. The fluid ‘that automobile’ needed was difficult to find and once you got out of a town or city you could wait for hours or days to be filled up to be able to continue…sound familiar?

      So, should we give the potential millennial buyer a louder voice and see where this takes us?

      Was my great, great uncle right in buying an automobile verses a new horse and buggy, I would say yes, and so many other like him. Technology advanced at an amazing pace and produced something most of the western world cannot do without, reliable transportation.

      He not only did that once, with a car, but also a second time, he was the first person in his town to buy a motorized bicycle, and again I think everything worked out well for us.

      Is history repeating itself, yes it is. Are companies who are building these EV’s and trying every angle to make what ‘they’ feel is the right product for the market wrong or just more forward thinking that the average joe?

    • or is the buyer a cyclist who just wants out of the city at the weekend with something offering a little more comfort and speed.

      There is a crossover happening between bicycles, electric bicycles and small EV motorcycles, its coming should we welcome it with open arms

      Here are few bicycles from the manufacturer Giant, I took these snaps at an unusual location...The International Motorcycle Show!!!

    • Fantastic, and perfect timing. Next week I'm interviewing the CEO of Zero for Adventure Rider's weekly live stream. Last week it was the co-founder of Revzilla which got a ton of interest, but when we were asked about the future of motorcycling he said not electric because he wants the sound he can feel in his chest (he rides a dark Ducati Monster).

      I responded that for off road the quiet can be really nice, especially when it comes to land use issues. Some guys in the announcement thread had great things to say about their Zeros:

      fredx • 17 hours ago

      I ride a Zero SR/F, and am also looking forward to this. What I've loved about Zero's bikes (this is my second one), is that they're motorcycles first, electric second. They perform spectacularly well, and happen to be electric. My SR/F pulls like a liter bike, handles great, and is a total kick in the pants! And then I plug it in at home, and charge it off my solar panels. Yeah, solar powered burnouts are my idea of fun!

      They're looking more badass with each rev, imo:

    • I think there is a definite spilt, from the cyclist or urban rider looking for a little more than their electric bicycle/ small EV moto can offer, to the current ICE rider who just wants to do the right thing by the environment, be it emissions or decibels

      Range, charge time, and price are the big obstacles just as they were when the horseless carriage rolled out into the sunshine the first time

    • Like electric cars, electric motos aren't there for me, yet. "There" being aesthetic design, range and functionality for my style of riding.

      I'm certainly not against owning a EV! I like the idea of never needing fossil fuel again on a personal level. But again, I will not buy something that does not appeal to my eye.

      We'll get there...look how quickly MTBs evolved.

    • I used to consider myself a very good cyclist and would count how many people passed me during my rides. It was usually 1 or 2 in 100. I made sure I made them earn it.

      Now they just blow by me effortlessly on clunky bikes with no perceived effort. Ah, the age of ebikes.

    • Same here Chris!

      At one time I had 13 bicycles in the garage!

      I'm a roadie at heart. I got seriously addicted when I moved to Mission Viejo in '83. Road riding in SOCAL was unlike anything I ever saw or experienced east of the Mississippi. Being a climber, I loved riding in MV. Watching the '84 Olympic road races in MV was icing on the "cake" while I lived there.

    • I think there is definitely a place for these smaller lighter bikes if someone os look to improve their skills in a local area to be more proficient on a larger bike on bigger trips

    • Chris, we all want these to be real, and fun too (not a small ask) but only their companies truly want them to be successful. Yet I don't agree that they should preach. And I fear they'll use anything to produce propaganda. Come now, we just want to ride for fun. Defining that "fun" for us there is a long line of vendors. Yet many of us don't drink the Kool Aid just because some pretty pictures and someone says so... They have their work cut out. Have a look at what I believe riding a motorcycle should feel like..

    • Random EV thoughts and ramblings...

      An interesting thought...

      If it is has 2 wheels and an electric motor of some sort, is it an ebike, an escooter or emotorcycle?

      As far as I can tell, the major difference between a traditional scooter and motorcycle, the motorcycle motor is attached to the frame and on a scooter, attached to the rear suspension.

      As such, are the lines of EV 2 wheeled transportation now blurred? ebike, I don't know anything about them either.

      I'm not sure I will ever own an ebike; perhaps when I'm 90, maybe. I'd rather pedal 100% of the time using my power. Exercise. Plus I just love to bike, always have.

      I'd like to have an escooter suitable for transpo around our village; I'm a Vespa aficionado since living in Italy in the 70s. The Vespa Electtrica isn't THERE either. Wife can't ride 2 wheels on road, she'd die. Why we have a road tandem.

      The wife has been wanting the Polaris GEM eM 1400 LSV with flatbed for her gardening and tooling around the village. Everyone else has a golf cart, but, that's not me either. Golf carts are for more senior folks (not a 65yo). Sadly, SC passed a law last year stipulating low speed vehicles must remain within 4 miles of the registration address. This makes it impossible to trailer them to other locations for use. The very high purchase cost for a 4 mile radius of use is a tough pill to swallow and I'm not there either.

      So perhaps something between a escooter and Live Wire, maybe an eTrike with a small flatbed for plants, cooler, etc?

      Regardless, the nut to crack for all EVs is energy storage. Whoever invents a small, lightweight energy cell capable of storing many hours of useful energy, recharged in the time it takes to perform a pit stop at LOVE'S, will be worth more than Bezos.

      I remained intrigued about all EVs, but, especially the emoto for adventures. Thanks for the article Paul!

    • Would you use an eBike if it meant you could do this, and do you think it would improve your riding skills on your ICE...especially 5.05 onwards

      (@Chris one of your favorite namesakes)

    • ABSOLUTELY! If I were 40 years younger!

      When you reach 40, you begin to discover you don't bounce so well anymore. At 60 the body no longer bounces at all, it just gets crushed when you fall. And heal time is now measured in weeks, not days.

      A 73yo MTB riding buddy once told me, "I ride like I do today so I can ride tomorrow". And he is still pretty darn aggressive on single track. If he could see, none of us would be able to hang with him!

      But it is sure fun watching youngsters ride like that! I tried trials motos in my teens. Went back to MX as I had a thing for speed and dirt. Still do without much speed these days.

    • I think the smaller, lighter e bikes will be good for newer riders and advance slow bike skills, mtb, trials and enduro way past what any of us can imagine right now

    • Being able to perform a "track stand" was the first thing I learned in trails riding. And it helped to have the technique down once I started riding road bikes (bicycles) seriously.

      When someone new to the adventure motorcycle or motorcycles in general ask me where to start learning, I always tell them learn how to balance your moto at a standstill. And when they look at me skeptically, I point them to Jimmy Lewis' video about balance.

      I've participated in several of Jimmy's slow speed races. I can ride pretty slowly, yet, there were always guys a lot better at SLOW racing. And most had extensive trials experience.

    • I've been researching ebikes this afternoon.

      Arnold (Governor) has some serious ebikes!

      The MOTAN E-560 P7 750W with a milk crate attached to the rear rack would be about perfect around here.

    • Let me know what you find. I'm looking for one for my wife. Needs to be cargo-ish and carry some grocery bags. Fat tires preferred.

    • personally I think the charge time outweighs the range.

      It’s funny the way people argue the point on sites like advrider saying they want a 300 mile range. Really so it can be like what stock bike? That’s right, they struggle to name any but new tech has to be better.

      So for me if it does have a 150-200 mile range like most bikes do then that’s great, but charging to 80% or more needs to be 30 minutes or less from a wall outlet without a huge adapter to make everyone or at least the majority happy.

      I think the CCW Falcon was a great step forward with quick charging and a decent price but because they didn’t show it with fenders people lost their minds.

      Makes me laugh that people want a street legal machine to charge quicker than their phone