What went down with Alta and Harley Davidson?

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1/23/2019 4:31 AM

Saw this on LinkedIn this AM

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How does HD bring all that cash to the table for the joint venture and then Alta still has to cease operations? Are they that bad financially?

Now HD claims to be the leader in the "electrification of motorcycles" using Alta products and technology.

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1/23/2019 4:43 AM

Just speculation here.. but it LOOKS like harley got involved in alta to steal their technology and then pulled out once they got what they wanted, thus causing the fall of alta.

This entire ordeal whether my speculation is correct or conspiracy is just another reason harley needs to go away. Everytime i look at that brand theres something toxic going on towards the rest of the motorcycle culture. /end rant

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1/23/2019 4:54 AM
Edited Date/Time: 1/23/2019 4:57 AM

kb228 wrote:

Just speculation here.. but it LOOKS like harley got involved in alta to steal their technology and then pulled out once they got what they wanted, thus causing the fall of alta.

This entire ordeal whether my speculation is correct or conspiracy is just another reason harley needs to go away. Everytime i look at that brand theres something toxic going on towards the rest of the motorcycle culture. /end rant

Or after seeing Alta’s technology Harley realized it was nothing that “advanced” and decided to go on their own?

I get Harley is trying to create a new market for themselves to grow their shrinking business, but I just don’t see folks flocking to them for electric bikes- they are still low tech, poor quality Harley.

What choice do they have..I give them credit for going after this market and I hope it works out.

With the world ending in 12 years..who really cares..

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1/23/2019 4:54 AM

Yup, it seems they invested - then chose to walk away...... then just so happened to have all this similar tech after the split

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Washed up moto and enduro weekend warrior.

1/23/2019 4:56 AM

kb228 wrote:

Just speculation here.. but it LOOKS like harley got involved in alta to steal their technology and then pulled out once they got what they wanted, thus causing the fall of alta.

This entire ordeal whether my speculation is correct or conspiracy is just another reason harley needs to go away. Everytime i look at that brand theres something toxic going on towards the rest of the motorcycle culture. /end rant

Brad460 wrote:

Or after seeing Alta’s technology Harley realized it was nothing that “advanced” and decided to go on their own?

I get Harley is trying to create a new market for themselves to grow their shrinking business, but I just don’t see folks flocking to them for electric bikes- they are still low tech, poor quality Harley.

What choice do they have..I give them credit for going after this market and I hope it works out.

With the world ending in 12 years..who really cares..

Were talking harley here man. They do not advance anything at all besides interest rates and the prices of their bikes laughing

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1/23/2019 4:58 AM


Pure speculation on one mans part, is, Orange & Black heard Alta was doing good with the bike itself, but was on the ropes money wise. They then threw a few nickels and dimes to Alta to get a look at what and how they were doing things.

After they got the info, they went back to doing what they do, building motorcycles.

As far as being the best electric wise, that's a toss up.

Look up Lightning Motorcycles. They have a sport bike with almost twice the range, for almost a third of the price.

But, that's all they have. You gotta admit, HD seems to be looking to offer electric in almost every type of 2 wheel thing out there. Given time, I would not be surprised to see something like the Alta at the local Harley dealer in a few years.

It's just business.
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1/23/2019 5:00 AM

kb228 wrote:

Just speculation here.. but it LOOKS like harley got involved in alta to steal their technology and then pulled out once they got what they wanted, thus causing the fall of alta.

This entire ordeal whether my speculation is correct or conspiracy is just another reason harley needs to go away. Everytime i look at that brand theres something toxic going on towards the rest of the motorcycle culture. /end rant

So wether or not you're right or wrong, Harley needs to go away because you think they are bad? You're not a supporter of the wall are you?

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1/23/2019 5:06 AM

kb228 wrote:

Just speculation here.. but it LOOKS like harley got involved in alta to steal their technology and then pulled out once they got what they wanted, thus causing the fall of alta.

This entire ordeal whether my speculation is correct or conspiracy is just another reason harley needs to go away. Everytime i look at that brand theres something toxic going on towards the rest of the motorcycle culture. /end rant

HD1200 wrote:

So wether or not you're right or wrong, Harley needs to go away because you think they are bad? You're not a supporter of the wall are you?


No, I never said they were bad.
On the contrary. I think it's about time they started doing what others have been doing to them for decades.
I mean, virtually everyone copied their V Twin, and style, still do.
Like I said, it's just business.

As far as the wall, I'll keep that out of here.
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1/23/2019 5:15 AM

There is a part of me that thinks since HD got the electric tech, Alta might be tapping into HD's manufacturing stream.

Assembly at an established HD plant would dramatically lower the cost to produce an Alta.

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1/23/2019 5:17 AM

kb228 wrote:

Just speculation here.. but it LOOKS like harley got involved in alta to steal their technology and then pulled out once they got what they wanted, thus causing the fall of alta.

This entire ordeal whether my speculation is correct or conspiracy is just another reason harley needs to go away. Everytime i look at that brand theres something toxic going on towards the rest of the motorcycle culture. /end rant

HD1200 wrote:

So wether or not you're right or wrong, Harley needs to go away because you think they are bad? You're not a supporter of the wall are you?

motogrady wrote:
No, I never said they were bad.
On the contrary. I think it's about time they started doing what others have been doing to them for decades.
I mean, virtually everyone copied their V Twin, and style, still do.
Like I said, it's just business.

As far as the wall, I'll keep that out of here.

motogrady, That wasn't for you brother.

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1/23/2019 5:32 AM

One thing to remember, the HD Livewire shown above has actually been around for around four years. I believe they did short demos with the test bikes more than three years ago and from what I can tell the main packs and motor for it seem to be the ones they were working on with that bike, not the ones from an Alta.

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1/23/2019 5:49 AM

HD1200 wrote:

So wether or not you're right or wrong, Harley needs to go away because you think they are bad? You're not a supporter of the wall are you?

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"We don't rent pigs."

1/23/2019 5:51 AM

kb228 wrote:

Just speculation here.. but it LOOKS like harley got involved in alta to steal their technology and then pulled out once they got what they wanted, thus causing the fall of alta.

This entire ordeal whether my speculation is correct or conspiracy is just another reason harley needs to go away. Everytime i look at that brand theres something toxic going on towards the rest of the motorcycle culture. /end rant

HD1200 wrote:

So wether or not you're right or wrong, Harley needs to go away because you think they are bad? You're not a supporter of the wall are you?

Yes thats my opinion man.

They ARE bad - for the price. Look at KTMs superduke 1290 vtwin and then look at harleys v twins. Harley makes half the HP of a superduke. Not to mention they weigh 700+lbs. theyre cars on 2 wheels.

A lot of people want motorcycles because of sharp handling and powerful motors. harley doesnt deliver on either. Thats probably why their sales are tanking and theyre trying to develop sportier models.

I got to ride an ultra limited and it felt like a 1000lb bike with the power of a klx110. Ill never be convinced to spend $26,000+ tax and interest on one of those. Thats for sure.

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1/23/2019 5:52 AM

Harley funded Alta along for a period, then as time went on it became clear that they really only wanted the Alta tech and were going to just fire everyone and take over. The founders of Alta weren't willing to go down that road, and good for them for sticking behind the employees that built the company's, so they backed away from Harley. In the end funding never came and they had to close up shop for now, but a reboot isn't fully off the table.

For those saying there was no groundbreaking tech, you're both right and wrong. We'll see in the coming years that most successful inventions will come from the recombination of current technologies (ie combinatorial progression) rather than never before seen ideas. The individual elements of the Alta may not have been groundbreaking alone, but until this point nobody had ever put them together in a successful package that performed like the Alta did. In other words, the complete package was the revolution, not necessarily the individual parts.

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1/23/2019 7:02 AM
Edited Date/Time: 1/23/2019 7:03 AM

kb228, it’s kinda easy to make flippant remarks about H-D and the products they sell. But let’s just take a moment to be objective about this. I spend a fair amount of time at motocross tracks and I have only ever seen one Alta and it came out of a Sprinter which clearly belonged to the company based on the huge logos on the sides. Contrast this with how many Harley’s I see on the road every single day. You may not care for their products but clearly other people enjoy them. As far as what happened with their business partnership, I suspect there is a lot more to the story than we will ever know, and as they say, there are two sides to every story. Painting H-D as the bad guys and Alta as being victims of their predatory business practices is oversimplifying reality. Alta’s problems in terms of being a viable business where clearly evident long before Harley even came knocking. That seems clear to anyone who views the facts objectively.

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1/23/2019 7:05 AM

BNG wrote:

kb228, it’s kinda easy to make flippant remarks about H-D and the products they sell. But let’s just take a moment to be objective about this. I spend a fair amount of time at motocross tracks and I have only ever seen one Alta and it came out of a Sprinter which clearly belonged to the company based on the huge logos on the sides. Contrast this with how many Harley’s I see on the road every single day. You may not care for their products but clearly other people enjoy them. As far as what happened with their business partnership, I suspect there is a lot more to the story than we will ever know, and as they say, there are two sides to every story. Painting H-D as the bad guys and Alta as being victims of their predatory business practices is oversimplifying reality. Alta’s problems in terms of being a viable business where clearly evident long before Harley even came knocking. That seems clear to anyone who views the facts objectively.

Cant argue that either

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1/23/2019 7:17 AM

If they sold every Alta they made at full retail they would still be in the red. Heard that to many times and no business will survive that.

The battery life is the biggest deal breaker along with cost.

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1/23/2019 7:18 AM
Edited Date/Time: 1/23/2019 7:30 AM

motogrady wrote:
No, I never said they were bad.
On the contrary. I think it's about time they started doing what others have been doing to them for decades.
I mean, virtually everyone copied their V Twin, and style, still do.
Like I said, it's just business.

As far as the wall, I'll keep that out of here.

I am pretty sure that Davidson's were not the ones that came up with V Twin engine idea.
As a matter of fact, I don't think they were even in top 5.

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1/23/2019 7:29 AM

A couple of weeks ago, HD announced the price on the forthcoming Livewire : just under $28,000 USD.

Not sure what the 'uptake' will be on them at that price.

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1/23/2019 7:33 AM

kb228 wrote:

Just speculation here.. but it LOOKS like harley got involved in alta to steal their technology and then pulled out once they got what they wanted, thus causing the fall of alta.

This entire ordeal whether my speculation is correct or conspiracy is just another reason harley needs to go away. Everytime i look at that brand theres something toxic going on towards the rest of the motorcycle culture. /end rant

Brad460 wrote:

Or after seeing Alta’s technology Harley realized it was nothing that “advanced” and decided to go on their own?

I get Harley is trying to create a new market for themselves to grow their shrinking business, but I just don’t see folks flocking to them for electric bikes- they are still low tech, poor quality Harley.

What choice do they have..I give them credit for going after this market and I hope it works out.

With the world ending in 12 years..who really cares..

Ive heard this a few times today, where is the 12 years coming from?

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1/23/2019 8:02 AM

Tarz483 wrote:

Ive heard this a few times today, where is the 12 years coming from?

I have the same question----what did we miss ??

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1/23/2019 8:08 AM

Harley looked around Alta and saw behind the curtain. Then they hired/stole the lead designer and pulled the plug on the money. I would assume we will eventually see them in court.

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2015 Beta 500 RS, history: 99 KTM 300, 87 CR250, 84 KLR 600, 82 GPZ 550, 81 KX 250, 80 KX 250, 79 Montesa 414 VE, 78 250 VB, 77 360 VB, 76 360 VA, 75 YZ 125, 74 TM 125, 72 TS 125, 60's West Bend Go Boy Kart

1/23/2019 8:12 AM

Brad460 wrote:

Or after seeing Alta’s technology Harley realized it was nothing that “advanced” and decided to go on their own?

I get Harley is trying to create a new market for themselves to grow their shrinking business, but I just don’t see folks flocking to them for electric bikes- they are still low tech, poor quality Harley.

What choice do they have..I give them credit for going after this market and I hope it works out.

With the world ending in 12 years..who really cares..

Tarz483 wrote:

Ive heard this a few times today, where is the 12 years coming from?

OldPro277 wrote:

I have the same question----what did we miss ??

Some climate change nut job claims that if we dont fix climate change the world will end in 12 years. Its like the 2000 and 2012 BS all over again.

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1/23/2019 8:13 AM

I had high hopes for Harley's electric bike market entry; especially based upon their 52-month stock price trends. With their manufacturing and brand presence, if they did it right it could really make them a good buy at the moment for a value investment.

Unfortunately, asking 30k for a bike that gets 100miles of range for a new entry into the market is ludicrous. They may sell a few, but I highly doubt they will make a decent profit when looked at from an R&D cost of development, tooling, and scale of manufacturing. I was hoping for the bike to come in the 15-20k range and then the other offerings they are working on to be scaled on that for consumer pricing.

At that rate and if that is their focus, I wouldn't touch their stock with a 10ft pole. I won't even bother looking at them again as a possible buy until they're in the $25-30 range unless they make a hard left turn on their strategy.

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1/23/2019 8:17 AM

Global warming. The sky is falling. The planet only has 12 years left if we dont fix global warming. According to some.

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1/23/2019 8:18 AM

Tarz483 wrote:

Ive heard this a few times today, where is the 12 years coming from?

OldPro277 wrote:

I have the same question----what did we miss ??

kb228 wrote:

Some climate change nut job claims that if we dont fix climate change the world will end in 12 years. Its like the 2000 and 2012 BS all over again.

Not like me to miss that ,lol Thanks KB

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1/23/2019 8:22 AM

Johnny Depp wrote:

Harley looked around Alta and saw behind the curtain. Then they hired/stole the lead designer and pulled the plug on the money. I would assume we will eventually see them in court.

Did Alta have non-compete clauses in the joint venture to protect them from this?

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1/23/2019 8:25 AM

Johnny Depp wrote:

Harley looked around Alta and saw behind the curtain. Then they hired/stole the lead designer and pulled the plug on the money. I would assume we will eventually see them in court.

mxtech1 wrote:

Did Alta have non-compete clauses in the joint venture to protect them from this?

I would assume the courts will decide the validity of that. There is still no communications from the Alta founders, and I know they'd love to, but surely their lawyers have advised them not to talk.

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2015 Beta 500 RS, history: 99 KTM 300, 87 CR250, 84 KLR 600, 82 GPZ 550, 81 KX 250, 80 KX 250, 79 Montesa 414 VE, 78 250 VB, 77 360 VB, 76 360 VA, 75 YZ 125, 74 TM 125, 72 TS 125, 60's West Bend Go Boy Kart

1/23/2019 8:31 AM

Johnny Depp wrote:

Harley looked around Alta and saw behind the curtain. Then they hired/stole the lead designer and pulled the plug on the money. I would assume we will eventually see them in court.

I'd like to see a source that states Harley hired their chief design officer/lead product engineer and then pulled funding.

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If it can't be fixed with a hammer, it's an electrical problem.

1/23/2019 8:33 AM
Edited Date/Time: 1/23/2019 8:42 AM

Never in the history had a large manufacturer bought a product and stole an idea then closed the said products doors...you guys are cray.

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Robert_Kearns


Realistically people pay Harley for their name. People line up in droves to pay $100 for a $20 sweatshirt with the H-D logo on it. People pays $15,000 to ride a vibrator down the road too. Old technology. Good luck gettin us moto-tight wads to pay the HD premium.

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