08 March 2019 | Motors

Harley-Davidson scoots into kids electric bikes

Seals StaCyc deal

The StaCyc electric two-wheelers will provide an entry point for the youngest riders. – Harley-Davidson

Harley-Davidson Inc moved into kids electric bikes on Tuesday with the purchase of California-based StaCyc Inc, tapping a new business outside its declining core market in classic motorcycles.

StaCyc's 'EDRIVE' bikes, which retail at around US$650, are aimed at toddlers and kids, encouraging them to have fun outdoors as they learn to balance while getting a hang of biking.

The lightweight bikes have an aluminium frame and boast of three power modes and a 45 to 60 minutes charge time. A single charge delivers a cycle time between 30 and 60 minutes.

"The StaCyc electric two-wheelers will provide an entry point for the youngest riders," Harley said in a statement.

Lowest since 2010

Harley's sales have declined in the United States as its core baby boomer audience ages and millennials are slow to purchases its motorcycles that can cost upwards of US$28 000.

In January, the company said it expects to ship up to 222 000 motorcycles globally in 2019, the lowest number since 2010.

The company last year unveiled a plan to introduce cheaper, nimbler bikes to woo young riders, and plans to launch its first electric motorcycle without the traditional clutch and gear-shift controls by fall this year.

Harley aims to deliver "a full range of electric products for a vast audience," senior vice president of marketing and brand Heather Malenshek said.

The company did not disclose the price at which it bought StaCyc.

Shares of Harley were marginally down at US$37.49. Up to Monday's close, the stock had risen 10% this year, compared with an 11.4% increase in the S&P 500 index. – Nampa/Reuters