“(…) We believe premium Harley-Davidson electric motorcycles will help drive excitement and participation in the sport globally,” Matt Levatich said. The electric bike under discussion will be based on the Livewire, an electric prototype that Harley demonstrated in 2014. It has fast acceleration and a depressingly short electric range. It will have to compete with electric motorcycles and scooters already being produced by California’s Zero Motorcycles and Alta Motors, Germany’s BMW and Italy’s Energica, among others.
The Milwaukee-based motorcycle maker will close its factory in Kansas City, Missouri, and consolidate production in York, Pennsylvania, according to the statement Tuesday. Levatich declined to say how much production capacity will be reduced. Even President Trump praised the company last year as a “great example” of a business creating jobs and building factories in the country. U.S. motorcycle ridership has stalled in spite of Levatich’s efforts to introduce models for first-time buyers and teach more Americans how to safely get around on bikes. However sales in the crucial U.S. market fell 11 percent in the fourth quarter and 8.5 percent for the year.