Those rental e-scooters that show up around your neighborhood might have "Harley-Davidson" on the side soon.
You might think that Harley Davidson tried to draw younger, sportier riders a decade and a half ago with the addition of the Buell line of bikes, but anyone who ever stepped into a Harley dealer to look at a Buell could tell the dealers weren’t committed to the change.
These days, it seems The Motor Company is, indeed, truly dedicating itself to a reinvention– this time, though, the future is electric.
We’ve all seen the hype around the LiveWire, and while the size and price of that bike might not be super practical for most Americans, Harley isn’t putting all their eggs in that basket. Not only do they have a concept electric dirt bike, but also a scooter. They’ve just purchased StaCyc which designs electric bikes for little kids, and now they’re looking at some of the e-scooters you may have seen around a city where you live.
Harley seems to be evaluating the advantages of emulating Bird and Lime, two of the emerging rental e-scooter companies whose business plans sometimes seem to be “it is better to ask forgiveness than permission.” Many of these e-scooter companies all use the same brand and model of e-scooter, which is a Chinese-built custom-branded thing with an 18-or-so mile range. Harley is pretty sure it can do better, while differentiating itself from the companies that already exist in this market, by offering a better, more thrilling ride instead of just rote transportation.
Harley has not confirmed whether they will commercialize the electric dirtbike or electric scooter concepts, yet, but they do exist in the flesh. The Motor Company has a couple of other small electric concepts in the works but they may not have advanced past existing purely in software, yet.
What are your thoughts, friends? Have you rented an electric scooter in your city or town, and if so how was the experience? If there were a Harley-branded scooter available to you, would you choose that one over the Bird or Lime branded scooter? Will any of these rent-by-the-hour scooters advance past “it’s better than walking” to an actual thrill ride?