In mid August 2019 there has been a flurry of excitement from current Sur Ron Light Bee owners over the announcement of the electric motorcycle named Booom Bee. An actual electric motorcycle from Sur Ron shown in spy videos and posts. This post is not about the actual facts about the bike, but my concern that how the new bike sales ‘may’ affect the future of Sur Ron in general. Because I rode in the heyday of motorcycling, it has saddened me to watch the shrinking of the motorcycle community. So many motorcycle shops who existed for decades in the Bay Area have closed, replaced by fast food shops or For Lease signs.
Electric startups like Alta who was based here in San Francisco suddenly folded due to finances.
Sure the estimated price for the new Booom Bee is projected to be much less than Alta, Zero or Harley. But my concern has less to do with pricing and more to do with overall interest in motorcycling. The Light Bee occupies a space formerly unknown in the motorized two wheel market. Sure it can be compared to old ICE pit bikes, a high powered eMTB but in my mind something like the SR didn’t really exist. We all can go back and forth arguing until we are red in the face about the future of motorbikes. I just want Sur Ron to remain financially viable so I can selfishly continue to enjoy improvements they make to the Light Bee.
Will the financial burden of the Booom Bee tax Sur Ron too much?!
Come On Booom Bee! I love my Light Bee so sell like crazy…please!
I just read this article about Harley offering ebikes! But the part that I’m hoping only applies to street riding is this passage:
“As anyone following H-D’s continually sinking fortunes (and stock price) understands, the company needs to branch out beyond ground-pounding, big-inch boulevard cruisers and high-dollar touring rigs if they hope to survive. Maybe far beyond.
Keep in mind that Levatich is more than a pencil-pusher or Harley-come-lately. He’s been with H-D since the halcyon days in 1994, when The Comeback was in full swing. He’s also a mechanical engineer, and he’s watched the downturn go from a trickle to a receding tide. The problems H-D faces are many and varied.
Harleys can be expensive, but worker wages haven’t kept up with rising economy, while rents and other expenses (like home prices and health care) definitely have. Older and returning riders are aging out of the market and into the safety of cars. Young people are not into motorcycles like their parents and grandparents were; they’re into their phones, video game consoles, those ever-multiplying city scooters and rideshare services to get from A to B. To them (and more and more people it seems), cars are expensive luxuries, and motorcycles? Danger, danger, forest ranger.
Kids brought up in ever-safer cars with a dozen airbags and full-body padding plus helmets on their bicycles aren’t exactly embracing the road rebel lifestyle as adults, at least not in the numbers that can keep H-D afloat with new riders as in the past. Analysts can debate those points and opinions all they like, but the truth is on the streets: People are ridesharing, riding bicycles, scooters and last-mile tech more and more, and electric bikes are surging in popularity as prices fall and quality rises. Ebikes represent an especially strong vector of this suddenly popular electrified transportation paradigm, and offers new opportunities in design, marketing and profits for bicycle makers. Why not motorcycle makers as well?”
I have recently seen more motorcycles on the road lately, but certainly not in the numbers I have seen in the past….