Harley-Davidson’s electric motorcycle is a big change for the company

But the company has signaled it is time for a a change as the market for bikes continues to age, literally. Almost half of all motorcycle riders are 50 or older.

Harley-Davidson has especially struggled. Most recently, the motorcycle maker released third quarter earnings that beat expectations, but showed the company actually lost market share.

“Harley is in a tough spot here, where their core constituency is getting older and they are having a tough time attracting new people to the sport,” said Raymond James analyst Joe Altobello. Many view motorcycles as dangerous and difficult to operate, for example.

In recent years, the company has made an all out effort to attract more riders overall, including younger ones. The company unveiled a 10-year plan in 2017 to attract 2 million new riders by 2027. In addition to investing in electric bikes, the company has set up schools around the country to teach neophytes how to ride.

Electric motorcycles are expected to be a significant part of this strategy, but the company has also indicated it may expand into scooters and even bicycles, Argus Research analyst David Coleman said in an Oct. 26 research note.

“The expanded lineup may have greater appeal for women customers than the company’s traditional motorcycles,” Coleman said. “We also believe that this wider range of models will help to attract customers who might otherwise prefer to purchase a ‘fully custom’ motorcycle.”

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