Harley-Davidson just pulled the plug on its power move to produce an electric motorcycle that will appeal to a new generation of riders.
The Wall Street Journal reports that production has stopped and deliveries have been suspended on the LiveWire after the company found an issue with the bike’s charging system. No word on how long testing will take before production can resume.
Although those who already own one have been told that the bikes are still safe to ride, Harley-Davidson asked both customers and dealers not to recharge them in outlets at home. They should only use professional chargers found at their dealerships. On the plus side, charging at a dealership only takes about an hour versus using a home outlet, which takes about 10 hours.
The LiveWire, to which WSJ’s Dan Neil gave a glowing review (“the best sport-bike-riding experience in the world” and “the most hellacious power tool ever to come out of Milwaukee”), was supposed to be the brand’s savior, as its dedicated ridership is aging. Offering millennials an affordable (less than $30,000) and clean alternative to the iconic motorcycle seemed to light the way for future sales, even though the forecast was only to produce around 1% of Harley-Davidson’s total vehicles.
The company has been struggling more generally with falling sales, and it recently cut its shipment forecast.
Update Monday, October 21:
A spokesperson for Harley-Davidson issued the following statement saying that production and delivery of the motorcycle have resumed:
“After completing rigorous analysis this week, we have resumed LiveWire production and deliveries. Customers may continue riding their LiveWire motorcycle and are able to charge the motorcycle through all methods. Temporarily stopping LiveWire production allowed us to confirm that the non-standard condition identified on one motorcycle was a singular occurrence.”