Harley-Davidson said Tuesday it has acquired StaCyc, a maker of electric bikes for kids, to advance its strategy of attracting new riders with electric vehicle technology.

The deal takes Harley a step further away from the iconic motorcycles that made its name. Sales of those bikes have declined as the core baby boomer market ages. The company expects to ship as many as 222,000 motorcycles globally in 2019, the lowest number since 2010.

StaCyc’s eDrive electric stability bikes, which debuted in 2016, are aimed at providing training in balance for future motorcyclists. Harley did not disclose the price it is paying for StaCyc.

“The StaCyc team shares the same vision we have for building the next generation of riders globally and we believe that together, we will have a significant impact in bringing the fun and enjoyment of riding to kids everywhere,” Heather Malenshek, senior vice president of marketing and brand at Harley, said in a news release.

Harley said the deal “reinforces its commitment to lead in the electrification of motorcycling.” It previously announced plans to launch LiveWire, a premium, high-performance electric motorcycle in fall 2019 and future lightweight and middleweight electric motorcycles at various price points starting in 2021.

As Reuters reports, Harley “is increasing its bets on electric vehicles” as sales and profits are expected to fall this year and revenue is only expected to rebound slightly in 2020. The company also “needs new growth opportunities as [it] struggles to deal with tariffs from the Trump administration that have hurt earnings.”

Under its More Roads to Harley-Davidson plan, the company has been focusing on building the next generation of riders through new products in additional motorcycle segments. StaCyc’s two eDrive models were already being sold in the U.S. through 29 Harley dealerships.

“The opportunity to work with the team at Harley-Davidson and have the support to carry out our mission to create the next generation of riders is exciting,” StaCyc founder Ryan Ragland said. “Together we’re building a plan that fast-tracks our ability to help the industry create as many riders as possible.”

Photo: Getty Images

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