By Tyler Greenblatt
Anonymous Lurker Poop
Harley-Davidson’s new, all-electric LiveWire is now available at 250 dealerships globally with more to roll out in the next two years. (Courtesy Harley-Davidson Motor Company/)
After five years of buildup and anticipation, Harley-Davidson has officially launched the production version of its LiveWire fully electric motorcycle. The Motor Company first introduced the world to its electric bike concept in 2014. LiveWire brings a new level of technology and performance to the Harley-Davidson brand while maintaining a 146-mile range and comes with a price tag of $29,799.
Related: Harley-Davidson Shares 2019 LiveWire Details at EICMA
Designed to be the ultimate city commuting machine, LiveWire gets 146 miles of range in mixed-use riding conditions. (Courtesy Harley-Davidson Motor Company/)
The all-new Revelation powertrain provides instant torque in a clutchless, gearless configuration that can propel LiveWire from 0 to 60 mph in three seconds and from 60 to 80 mph in 1.9 seconds. The powertrain produces minimal noise, vibration, and heat to give riders a pleasant experience whether they’re commuting, hitting twisties, or covering highway miles. Unlike other electric vehicles that make no noise at a standstill, the Revelation powertrain produces a subtle electric pulse to let the rider know it’s on and ready to roll. Once throttle is applied, the pulsing goes away and is replaced by LiveWire’s signature electrical sound.
LiveWire takes just one hour to fully charge using the included DC Fast Charge cable and a standard household socket. (Courtesy Harley-Davidson Motor Company/)
LiveWire’s battery uses DC Fast Charge technology to provide an 80 percent charge in 40 minutes and a full charge in 60 minutes via an onboard Level 1 charger that plugs into a standard household outlet. The battery provides for 146 miles of city range or 95 miles of combined city and highway range. Regenerative braking helps achieve those numbers as the bike’s braking power is converted back to battery charge. The battery comes with a five-year, unlimited-mileage warranty which will likely provide some peace of mind for prospective owners.
Showa upside-down forks are tuned for low-speed damping, perfect for handling potholes and city streets. (Courtesy Harley-Davidson Motor Company/)
Street performance was given a high priority through LiveWire’s production cycle and the end result is a motorcycle with nimble handling characteristics, a low center of gravity, and plenty of braking power. The lightweight cast-aluminum frame is extremely rigid while the low-slung battery and drive components keep the weight low for an agile ride. A fully adjustable Showa BFRC monoshock rides under the open seat and allows the rider to easily tune for passengers and payloads or solo back-road runs. Front suspension comes in the way of a Showa SFF-BP inverted fork setup that can be adjusted in line with the rear mono and is factory-tuned for low-speed damping control primarily necessary for city riding. Dual Brembo Monoblock brake calipers and equally impressive 300mm rotors provide all the braking power one would expect from a sporting motorcycle while delivering safe stops in stop-and-go traffic environments. LiveWire also utilizes Harley’s Reflex Defensive Rider System (RDRS) which includes cornering-enhanced ABS, traction control, and a Drag-Torque Slip Control System. Completing the trifecta of braking and handling are a set of Michelin Scorcher Sport tires (180mm rear and 120mm front).
A Showa mono-shock rear and a pair of Michelin Scorcher Sport tires provide LiveWire with excellent handling characteristics. (Courtesy Harley-Davidson Motor Company/)
Even without the traditional air-cooled V-twin powerplant Harleys are best known for, LiveWire’s design team still made it a point to make the Revelation electric motor a major focal point of the motorcycle. The cast-aluminum battery case was given a healthy dose of functional cooling fins reminiscent of those found on The Motor Company’s air-cooled cylinders. From a body perspective, the floating rear fender tucks neatly against the rear tire to open up the space under the bike’s tailsection.
Three paint colors are available at LiveWire’s launch, two of which are tailored to have an anodized metal look that matches the motorcycle’s high-tech theme: Yellow Fuse and Orange Fuse, both of which are exclusive to LiveWire. Vivid Black is also available.
As can be expected from The Motor Company’s latest offering, LiveWire includes all of H-D’s best technology features and quite a few new ones. A 4.3-inch color TFT touchscreen serves as the bike’s gauge cluster that also controls LiveWire’s seven selectable ride modes that adjust performance and RDRS intervention. A Daymaker LED headlight clears the road at night while LED signal and brake lights provide the ultimate in visibility. H-D Connect allows riders to link their smartphone to their LiveWire motorcycle through the latest version of the Harley-Davidson app.
A 4.3" TFT touchscreen gauge controls the bike’s drive modes and monitors performance and battery life. (Courtesy Harley-Davidson Motor Company/)
LiveWire is available through select Harley-Davidson dealers in the US, Canada, and Europe with additional global launches planned for 2020 and 2021. Currently, 150 US dealers carry LiveWire while 250 dealers globally will carry it. Any dealer who sells LiveWire motorcycles is required to have a trained master technician and a trained sales associate to support those customers and machines. Additionally, those dealerships will also have at least one 24-kilowatt DC Fast Charge station at their facility. Preorders for LiveWire began in January, when The Motor Company also announced the development of two additional electric two-wheelers, a mountain-bike-style machine and a scooter.
As with Harley-Davidson’s other models, a host of accessories will be available through the Parts & Accessories catalog that include a two-up seat and tailsection, speed screen blade, decorative trim, cover, and more. Many H-D P&A; products currently available will also fit LiveWire motorcycles.
Many items are carryovers from other H-D models, giving LiveWire a familiar experience right off the bat. It also makes customization and accessorizing even easier! (Courtesy Harley-Davidson Motor Company/)
MOTOR permanent-magnet electric
BORE x STROKE N/A
COMPRESSION RATIO N/A
FUEL DELIVERY N/A
TRANSMISSION/FINAL DRIVE Single-speed/belt
FRONT SUSPENSION 43mm Showa inverted fork, three-way adjustable for spring preload, compression and rebound damping; 4.5-in. travel
REAR SUSPENSION Showa Balance Free Rear Cushion Lite (BFRC), two-way adjustable for preload and compression damping; 4.5-in. travel
FRONT BRAKE 300mm discs w/ radial-mount four-piston calipers
REAR BRAKE 260mm disc w/ dual-piston caliper
WHEELS Cast aluminum; 17 x 3.5-in. front; 17 x 5.5-in. rear
TIRES Michelin Scorcher Sport; 120/70-17 front, 180/55-17 rear
RAKE/TRAIL 24.5°/4.3 in.
WHEELBASE 58.7 in.
SEAT HEIGHT 30.0 in.
BATTERY CAPACITY 15.5 kWh lithium-ion
CLAIMED CURB WEIGHT 549 lb.
Warranty 5-year, unlimited mileage (battery)
AVAILABLE Fall, 2019
All of LiveWire’s lighting components use LED technology for the ultimate in brightness and visibility including the Daymaker headlight. (Courtesy Harley-Davidson Motor Company/)