To feel I was doing something truly special for Earth Day, I visited my good friend Harlan Flagg at his shop, Hollywood Electrics. Harlan sells a full range of electric motorcycles, bicycles, and scooters and repairs them too. If it's on 2 wheels and runs an electric motor, it's for sale at Hollywood Electrics. Even the $17,000 Roehr was recently sold through Hollywood Electrics.
In this first video, Harlan tells me how business is doing, and his thoughts on the current state of the electric motorcycle industry. What's really worth noting is that he cites lack of financing as the biggest hurdle to electric motorcycle sales. Because both his shop and the brands he carries are relatively new, banks are wary about offering financing through either of them. However, some customers have obtained loans through their banks or credit unions. It's a shame, because an electric motorcycle could be financed for close to the cost of keeping an ICE motorcycle gassed up for a month! But when customers are forced to scrounge up $10,000 cash, it becomes a luxury item few can afford, even in Hollywood.
Next, Harlan takes me on a tour around the shop and talks about some of the bikes, everything from a $499 moped to a “price upon request” vintage Yamaha electric bicycle made exclusively for Olympic cycling teams. Apparently the pace bike needs to be able to go up to 55mph to keep the Olympians on their toes. It's much lighter than Yamaha's hybrid concept from 2009. Shame that's not in production yet…
The Low Rider is a Little Juicer
And finally, no visit to Hollywood Electrics is complete without a test ride. The Juicer chopper was too crazy to pass up. I've always hated choppers/cruisers (well, ever since I worked on Melrose Ave in the early 90′s), but of course this one was different. It was more like a low-rider bicycle the rad Cholos in East LA would ride. Yet still, I could not keep a straight face, and wouldn't dare ride it in the street. Not with those crazy handlebars! But Juicer is a cool company, because they're building works of art right here in Downtown LA, that also happen to be relatively viable transportation. And yes, the motor is loud. Not sure why, though. Loud watts save lives?