August 23, 2019
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Harley-Davidson Dealers Prepare For LiveWire

BRISTOL, CT – Harley-Davidson dealers in the northeast are powering up for LiveWire. Yankee Harley-Davidson here got its charging station installed and operational early this month, while Empire Harley-Davidson in New Rochelle, NY got its online this week.

LiveWire is Harley-Davidson’s new high-priced electric model that is now expected to begin arriving in stores in early September. With a base MSRP of $29,799, LiveWire will have a city range of 146 miles and combined city/highway range of 95 miles. It will be available in three colors – yellow, orange and black.

EV charging station at Yankee Harley-Davidson

Harley-Davidson has been touting LiveWire for five years. Initial plans were announced in June 2014.

“I gotta believe they’re doing well,” said Mike Keehan, general manager and co-owner of Yankee Harley-Davidson, in regards to Harley-Davidson’s initial electric offering.

Only 150 Harley-Davidson dealers will be selling LiveWire – at least one per state, but none in Vermont – with large metro areas getting more than one outlet. The goal is to have all dealers selling electric models by 2022.

In addition to Yankee Harley-Davidson and Empire Harley-Davidson, other dealers in the region selling LiveWire include Boston Harley-Davidson in Revere, MA; High Octane Harley-Davidson in North Billerica, MA; Seacoast Harley-Davidson in North Hampton and Manchester Harley-Davidson in New Hampshire; Big Moose Harley-Davidson in Portland, ME; and Precision Harley-Davidson in Pawtucket, RI.

LiveWire photos courtesy of Harley-Davidson

Keehan said he’s already taken four deposits for LiveWire, while Kyle Hildebrand, managing partner of Empire Harley-Davidson, said he’s taken one so far. “We have a lot of interest,” he said. “It’s a ‘Hey, we want to see it!’ kind of thing.”

LiveWire’s electric motor is rated at 105 horsepower and produces 86 foot pounds of torque. “There’s a lot of excitement about it. It’s a high-end machine,” said Hildebrand.

One initial concern for LiveWire sellers has been infrastructure. Harley-Davidson pegged the dealer cost at $35,000 to $85,000 depending on the level of charging station used.

However, Keehan said, “It came in a lot less” at $22,000. Hildebrand also reported a lower cost as well.

While the arrival of LiveWire is still more than a month away, Keehan said his charging station has already gotten use. A couple of electric cars have pulled in and plugged in.

About Bud Wilkinson

An award-winning print and broadcast journalist, Bud Wilkinson writes the "RIDE-CT" motorcycle column and the "My Ride" vintage car feature for the "Republican-American" newspaper in Waterbury, CT. He studied journalism at Ohio Wesleyan University where he received a B.A. degree. He currently rides a 1987 BMW R 80 RT and a 2014 Triumph Bonneville.

One comment

  1. If it’s like my experiences with Danbury HD, they are going to have to get some sales floor staff who are not Devout Friars of the Exclusive Order of the Big Twin at the Church of Harley™, or they won’t be selling many of them. And Danbury is far from being the only HD dealer that talked smack about their own product when I expressed interest in V-Rod models or the XR1200. “Why would you want one of those? We have REAL Harleys over here (points to baggers or Lowriders)”

    Sorry, why should I pay the markup for the HD name if the bike is going to get me shunned by the rest of the HD community?

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