Harley struggles to fire up young riders

Harley-Davidson is betting on electric motorcycles to attract the next generation of younger and more environmentally conscious riders.

But as Harley ships its first "LiveWire" bikes to dealers, there is little evidence the 116-year-old brand is catching on with new young customers.

Dealers tell Reuters the problem is price. The LiveWire costs nearly $30,000 - putting it beyond the reach of young debt-ridden college grads .

And Harley isn't offering discounts or incentives.

What's more - LiveWire's limited range of 146 miles on a single charge is also hampering sales.

Dealers say the bulk of the preorders are coming from existing users and old riders.

Harley would not comment on the preorders.

The iconic American manufacturer badly needs young customers. Last year, it posted its steepest sales drop in four years in the U.S., and sales are expected to slide again this year.