Perhaps Harley isn't so far off the mark.
One of the original goals Harley-Davidson had in mind for the LiveWire was to appeal to young riders. No doubt the smartphone and Spotify generation would immediately gravitate toward a high-tech electric motorcycle, right? Well, not so much in the real world. Sabrina has some strong theories about why this didn't happen. There are exceptions, however. After her initial hesitation, Cheyleesi has absolutely fallen in love with the LiveWire.
Chey is the 25-year-old niece of Shadetree Surgeon, whose videos we've featured before. She has been riding for seven years, most of them on a Suzuki Savage. It's a great bike, especially for a smaller rider, but it's also not exactly a powerhouse. In a previous video, Chey got to try a LiveWire on loan to the Brap Star Garage. She was hesitant at first because of her diminutive height. The lack of a clutch and gearshift also gave her pause at first. Within seconds, though, she felt quite comfortable on the bike and wanted to keep it a bit longer.
The bike's height is still a bit difficult for her, but once she's moving she's extremely comfortable with it. "This is literally just a mobile computer," she says. Once on the highway she cranks the throttle and achieves speeds well above the posted limit in no time, leaving her buddies on their gas burners far behind. Her grin is so big you can see it clearly through her full-face helmet.
It's not just Chey that's tickled. Her friends like the LiveWire too. They want to know all about it, including important consumer information like whether it can do a burnout. Spoiler alert: it does, though it would work better if she turned the traction control off. Later one of her friends takes the LiveWire for a quick ride and repeats the steep but short learning curve that Chey had. Like Chey, her quick test ride went a bit longer than originally planned. "That makes me almost understand how it's $30,000," she says.
Sadly, that's the rub. Chey and her friends got to see and try out the LiveWire thanks to the generosity of Bert's Barracuda Harley-Davidson loaning it to her for a while. I don't personally know a single millennial who can afford to drop that kind of cash on a motorcycle, no matter if it's a LiveWire, an Energica, or a more traditional gas-powered Ducati. Only once in my life have I spent barely more than $3,000 on a motorcycle, and I'm solidly Generation X. You'll never skip enough avocado toast or fancy coffees to bridge that exponential price gap.
That said, the reactions that Chey and her friends have to the LiveWire is pretty much the embodiment of what Harley-Davidson was looking to do. The cost is still an issue, but when it comes to building an electric motorcycle that appeals to young riders, it seems that Harley was more successful than we've been giving them credit for. If this video is any indication, mission accomplished.