CEO Zeitz announced that Harley-Davidson would bring its E-motorcycles to Japan next year. The automaker has been a pioneer in taking up electric drivetrain with the flagship model LiveWire One. The new smaller and more cost-effective S2 Del Mar is more suitable and expected to be released in the Japanese market. This move by H-D comes at a time when the Big Four of Japan have been slow to develop E-motorcycles. However, a few models revealed by Honda closely resemble E-scooters and mopeds like e-Cub.
According to CEO Jochen Zeitz, Harley Davidson brings E-motorcycles to Japan by next year. It is one of the first legacy motorcycle manufacturers to accept electric drivetrains.
Almost ten years ago, the company initiated the development of Project LiveWire, leading to the creation of the Harley-Davidson LiveWire electric motorcycle. Despite receiving outstanding reviews for its performance, the bike experienced poor sales because of its hefty price tag, which was close to 30,000 US dollars.
Under the company’s new electric brand, the LiveWire was relaunched, featuring subtle modifications. Named the LiveWire One, the new version hit the market with a significantly lower price tag compared to its predecessor. The new model comes in at approximately $23,000, which is almost $7,000 cheaper than the original.
The second e-motorcycle model, LiveWire S2 Del Mar, is expected to release later this summer for customers. This version is a bit smaller but more affordable at $15,000. LW aims to attract younger, urban riders who couldn’t afford its main electric motorcycle some time ago.
CEO Zeitz did not mention which of the above models would be entering the Japanese market but the ideal choice would be affordable LiveWire S2 for launching HD e-motorcycles in Japan. CEO also revealed that the company may bring the smaller combustion engine Chinese-made X350 motorcycle to Japan.
While Japanese motorcycle manufacturers are slow to embark on E-moto development, Harley-Davidson has announced plans to introduce its electric motorcycles in Japan. Despite the growth of the electric motorcycle market over the past ten years, Honda, Yamaha, Suzuki, and Kawasaki have largely disregarded it.
Until now, they have only introduced ideas and models, but many of them were not satisfactory, with poor features. Especially, when compared to Harley’s high-performance electric motorcycles, which can accelerate from 0 to 60 mph in just three seconds.
A consortium was formed by the four major Japanese motorcycle manufacturers to create a universal standard for swappable electric motorcycle batteries. However, their expectations for an advanced product were diminished after discovering that Honda’s small Gogoro-style battery would likely be the accepted standard.
Honda has committed to unveiling multiple electric motorcycles in the coming years. Although only a few models have been revealed, they closely resemble electric scooters and mopeds. An example of this similarity would be the Honda e-Cub.
After the United States, Japan represents the second-largest market for Harley-Davidson. The Japanese business of the company grew significantly last year because more people used motorcycles to avoid public transportation during the pandemic.