Harley-Davidson releases new video of their electric motorcycle You can’t say the boys from Milwauke ain’t tryin’.
Harley-Davidson has been faced with criticism since the beginning of time. To quote Fuzzygalore:
Harley-Davidson seems to be one motorcycle brand that many people are very vocal about their love or dislike of.
There are the die-hard brand loyalists who buy and proudly wear their branded gear, bandannas, t-shirts from dealers afar. Some riders get tattoos of the company logo, have stickers on their cars or trucks and seem to see Harley-Davidson as a facet of the American dream.
And then there are the people who are pretty vocal about hating everything HD stating reasons such as – outdated technology, poor performance and peddling a lifestyle above all else.
I cannot think of another brand of motorcycles that divides people so clearly.
– Fuzzygalore, Girlie Motorcycle Blogger
Harley has been bashed for everything from poor performance to backwards mentality, and a knack for making motorcycles that are no longer feasible for the average rider.
So they seem to be turning their entire business model in a more sustainable direction. From Project Rushmore and the Street series to liquid cooling and an electric motorcycle, we’ll say it again: you can’t say the boys from Milwaukee ain’t trying’.
But here’s the thing, Harley-Davidson is a bit of legend in the industry. The brand is legendary. Evel Knieval, Easy Rider, The Malborough Man, you name it. Harley-Davidson is a living symbol of Americana. And we like it. A lot. You’d be hard-pressed to find even the purest of supersport racerboys not willing to jump out of his or her leather onesie in order to take a brand new hog out for a romp.
As a marketing student I studied the brand. Amicably called “The MoCo”, Harley is shrouded in nostalgia, history, attitude, symbolism, and spectacular failures. We can’t mention Harley’s trying to patent their distinct and globally-recognized sound – while Japanese clones tried to mimic it – without also mentioning the AMA days.
But that’s all old news now.
Even the Sportster, Harley-Davidson’s smallest bike in 2007, received fuel-injection. Fast forward six years and liquid cooled heads are being introduced, and then, a 500cc and 750cc Harley?! Say it ain’t so!
When I rode a Sportster it was shunned upon by the Harley-sta crowd. It was the “postman’s bike”. If the 883cc Sportster is the postman’s bike, than who will ride the Street 500 and Street 750? We already know who will ride Harley-Davidson’s latest motorcycle: an electric bike. No one.
So with the MoCo reaching out in all new directions, are they not diluting the very reasons people are in love with the brand, while simultaneously trying to convert haters who, well, are gonna hate? Or will the smartness pay off? Will all of these moves create a more versatile product offering and develop a younger and more diverse brand following?
Is Harley-Davidson growing a brand, or killing their own mystique?