Tag Archives: Harley-Davidson Livewire

Harley Takes EV Tech on World-Wide Adventure to Prove Effectiveness on New Podcast

Can Electric Bikes Really Go Anywhere?

The biggest concern I’ve heard repeatedly parroted from the anti-electric vehicle mob is “good luck finding somewhere to charge your Telsa on a long road trip, those things are only good for city commuting”. Harley-Davidson is taking the EV technology they released with their new LiveWire Motorcycle across the entire globe on a 100 day, 13,000-mile trek to prove the naysayers wrong, documented on their H-D podcast series available on Spotify and Apple Podcasts.

In only 30 days, the same engineers that developed the LiveWire were assembled to retrofit the production model LiveWires to sustain the grueling journey ahead. The bikes utilize production-spec LiveWire parts such as the “RESS (Rechargeable Energy Storage System) hardware, chassis, and Harley-Davidson Revelation™ powertrain components” per the official press release. In addition to all of that, the bikes feature prototype wheels, rotors, and tires from their upcoming Pan America adventure touring bike set to release in late 2020, as a 2021 model.

If a 13,000-mile journey doesn’t sell you on the efficiency and reliability of electric motorcycles, I’m not sure what will. Back in June of 2016, Rafael de Mestre did a similar stunt/challenge by taking his 2012 Tesla Model S on a 15,534-mile drive over an 80 day period to prove the same point.

The podcast will include the engineering process as well as the trip itself and any issues the riders may run into along the way. The LiveWire that Ewan McGregor rode in Harley-Davidson’s recent Long Way Up documentary series was far from stock, so it will be great to see the capabilities of the technology with something closer to the motorcycles H-D has available to consumers.

H-D Podcast

TVS Apache RTR 200 4V

Source: MotorbikeWriter.com

Harley-Davidson Announces Podcast Series on LiveWire Electric Motorcycles Featured in “Long Way up”

From Press Release:

The Harley-Davidson LiveWire® model is an exhilarating electric motorcycle that pushes the boundaries of performance, technology and design in the two-wheel world. When an opportunity presented itself to Harley-Davidson to showcase the LiveWire motorcycle’s capabilities and performance in the most extreme conditions, H-D seized the challenge for the unheralded 13,000 mile off-road trek. The process to accomplish this journey is documented through Harley-Davidson’s podcast series.

Listen to the H-D Podcast on Apple Podcasts and Spotify and subscribe to get new episodes of the show automatically each week.

This six-part series documents how near-production LiveWire models were modified to shred dirt roads, single track, and desert trails over 13,000 miles of extreme off-road conditions.

“Harley-Davidson stands for the timeless pursuit of adventure,” said Jochen Zeitz, Chairman, President and CEO, Harley-Davidson. This podcast series is a premier showcase for how Harley-Davidson’s talented staff of engineers and designers go above and beyond in their mission to create motorcycles that unlock adventures wherever they may lead. These efforts can be experienced in the 2020 LiveWire – a shining example of how Harley-Davidson innovates to lead in the electrification of motorcycling. It’s an experience that can only be truly understood after riding it.”

Harley-Davidson Announces Podcast Series on LiveWire Electric Motorcycles Featured in "Long Way Up"

Utilizing the same talented Harley-Davidson engineers and designers that developed the LiveWire motorcycle, a select group was assembled from the broader development team to modify near-production LiveWire models to complete the journey. 

Together, this team designed, modified, and assembled a motorcycle in under 30 days. After initial testing, the team incorporated feedback to finalize ergonomic and storage systems on the bikes. In 60 days, the motorcycles were headed to the southern tip of Argentina.

The modified LiveWire motorcycles used production specification RESS (Rechargeable Energy Storage System) hardware, chassis, and Harley-Davidson Revelation™ powertrain components.  In addition, the motorcycles were modified with prototype rotors, wheels, and tires from the upcoming Harley-Davidson Pan America™ adventure touring motorcycle, and custom windshield, rear shock, and triple clamps made specifically for this project. 

Before delivery, both modified LiveWire motorcycles were evaluated at Harley-Davidson’s Willie G. Davidson Product Development Center for initial testing and ridden under similar development validation conditions at Harley-Davidson’s Proving Grounds facility.

Harley-Davidson invites you to experience the thrill and seamless acceleration of the motorcycle at the center of the adventure, the 2020 LiveWire motorcycle. In celebration of the global premiere of “Long Way Up,” available to stream now exclusively on Apple TV+, with every test ride a rider will receive a complimentary LiveWire t-shirt and limited-edition LiveWire poster. The poster is only available to those who test ride LiveWire models while supplies last.

Find an Authorized LiveWire Harley-Davidson® dealership near you and schedule your complimentary test ride.

Source: RiderMagazine.com

Chicago Harley-Davidson Partners With William Shatner to Auction Off His LiveWire

Are you a William Shatner fan and a fan of Harley-Davidson’s new LiveWire electric motorcycle? Then you really should consider this auction.

Chicago Harley-Davidson will be auctioning off Shatner’s Yellow Fuse LiveWire. It will feature an autographed tank. Shatner is best known for his acting, specifically for his roles in Star Trek and Boston Legal, but he’s also an author, producer, director, screenwriter, singer, and motorcyclist.

He decided to auction off his own LiveWire at Chicago Harley-Davidson. It’s unclear why he wants to auction off the bike, but he did say the following in a press release: “This is my very own bike. I hope you love it as much as I do.” 

My guess is that he doesn’t like it enough to keep it and would like to get it out of his garage so he can buy something else.

Anyway, the LiveWire is an impressive machine. My colleague Jim Pruner at Web Bike World rode one for a review recently and called the bike misunderstood and underestimated.

Dakar Dreams

The main criticism many have of the LiveWire is its price. The bike has a $30,000 price tag in the U.S. It’s a lot of money for the range and performance, and I can’t imagine Shatner’s bike will be cheap either. For more information, check out Windy City Motorcycle Company.

According to our previous reporting, the LiveWire will come available in Australia in September of this year. It’s already available in other markets.

Source: MotorbikeWriter.com

Harley-Davidson LiveWire Sets World Records at EV Racing Exhibition

Harley-Davidson LiveWire Sets World Records at EV Racing Exhibition

From Press Release:

A Harley-Davidson® LiveWire® motorcycle set all-new records for elapsed time and top speed by an electric-powered production motorcycle on a drag racing course on September 4. Harley-Davidson™ Screamin’ Eagle™/Vance & Hines rider and three-time Pro Stock Motorcycle champion, Angelle Sampey stepped off her Harley-Davidson FXDR™ Pro Stock competition motorcycle to pilot the LiveWire bike to capture world record-breaking runs on the quarter and eighth-mile, covering the eighth-mile distance in 7.017-seconds and the full quarter-mile course in just 11.156 seconds at 110.35 mph. The 2020 LiveWire motorcycle’s top speed is limited to 110 mph.

The records were set during exhibition runs at the Denso Spark Plugs NHRA U.S. Nationals at the Lucas Oil Raceway in Indianapolis. This is another great pass at a bold future In Harley-Davidson’s quest to lead the electrification of motorcycles.

“Let me tell you what’s amazing,” said Sampey. “That was the first time I rode the LiveWire.” said Sampey, “I could not wait to get it on the track. The LiveWire is so easy to ride. Just twist the throttle and go, and you really go!”

Sampey and her Harley-Davidson Screamin’ Eagle/Vance & Hines teammates, Andrew Hines and Ed Krawiec, made a number of head-to-head drag race runs on stock LiveWire models, with Sampey posting the quickest times. Sampey is the winningest female in motorsports history with three-time Pro Stock Motorcycle championships (2000-2002) and 43 Pro Stock motorcycle wins.

Harley-Davidson LiveWire Sets World Records at EV Racing Exhibition

The Harley-Davidson LiveWire motorcycle is an all-new, all-electric model designed to offer riders a thrilling and high-performance motorcycling experience infused with a new level of technology, and the premium look and feel of a Harley-Davidson product. The LiveWire motorcycle is capable of rapid acceleration with just a twist of the throttle – no clutching or gear shifting required.

As Sampey proved at Indy, the instant torque provided by the H-D Revelation™ powertrain delivers exhilarating acceleration from a stop; the LiveWire motorcycle can rush from 0 to 60 mph (0 to 100 kph) in 3.0 seconds and 60 to 80 mph (100 to 129 kph) in 1.9 seconds. Because maximum torque is always on tap, roll-on acceleration for passing from any speed is outstanding. An optimized center of gravity, rigid aluminum frame and premium adjustable suspension components give the LiveWire motorcycle dynamic handling. With up to 146 miles of range*, performance is optimized for the urban street-rider.

The H-D Revelation™ electric powertrain produces minimal vibration, very little heat, and minimal sound, all of which enhance rider comfort and creates a unique riding experience, even on the drag strip.

Licensed riders can take a complimentary test ride on the LiveWire motorcycle at select Authorized LiveWire Harley-Davidson® dealerships in the United States, Australia, Canada and most European countries.

*Riding range estimates provided following SAE J2982 Riding Range Test Procedure and are based on expected performance of a fully-charged battery when operated under specified conditions.  Actual range will vary depending on riding habits, ambient weather and equipment conditions.

Source: RiderMagazine.com

Apple TV+ Reveals “The Long Way Up” Trailer Featuring Ewan McGregor and Charley Boorman

Apple TV+ has announced a trailer for Long Way Up, starring Ewan McGregor and Charley Boorman. McGregor and Boorman have two other critically acclaimed motorcycle adventure series, entitled Long Way Round (2004) and Long Way Down (2007). The Long Way Up covers 13,000 miles and spans over 100 days as the two travel from the tip of South America to Los Angeles, California. In the past, the duo has relied on motorcycles featuring internal combustion engines. This time, McGregor and Boorman made the entire trek on Harley-Davidson LiveWire electric motorcycles.

From Press Release:

The trailer for “Long Way Up,” the epic, new Apple Original series from stars Ewan McGregor and Charley Boorman is now available. The first three episodes of the 11-part unscripted series will premiere globally on Apple TV+ on Friday, September 18. New episodes will roll out weekly, every Friday.

“Long Way Up” reunites McGregor and Boorman for the ultimate adventure in travel and friendship after more than a decade since their last motorbike adventure around the world. In their most challenging expedition to date, the two cover 13,000 miles over 100 days from Ushuaia at the tip of South America to Los Angeles.  In order to contribute to the sustainability of the planet, the duo travels on modified electric Harley-Davidson LiveWire® motorcycles.

Using cutting-edge technology, they travel through 16 border crossings and 13 countries along with their longtime collaborators, directors David Alexanian and Russ Malkin, who follow in the first two electric Rivian trucks ever made. 

“Long Way Up” was created and executive produced by Ewan McGregor, Charley Boorman, David Alexanian and Russ Malkin.

Apple TV+ is available on the Apple TV app on iPhone, iPad, Apple TV, iPod touch, Mac, select Samsung and LG smart TVs, Amazon Fire TV and Roku devices, as well as at tv.apple.com, for $4.99 per month with a seven-day free trial. The Apple TV app will be available on Sony and VIZIO smart TVs later this year. For a limited time, customers who purchase a new iPhone, iPad, Apple TV, Mac or iPod touch can enjoy one year of Apple TV+ for free. This special offer is good for three months after the first activation of the eligible device.*

The Long Way Up Starring Ewan McGregor and Charely Boorman Trailer Released

Source: RiderMagazine.com

Harley-Davidson LiveWire Completes First U.S. Border-To-Border Ride

California resident Diego Cardenas has completed the first known U.S. border-to-border ride aboard a Harley-Davidson LiveWire electric motorcycle. Cardenas’ journey began at the U.S. Mexican border and ended at the U.S. Canadian border, covering over 1,400 miles on his H-D electric motorcycle.

Harley-Davidson LiveWire Border-To-Border Ride

From Press Release:

In the past few months, the world has found new ways to celebrate momentous life achievements. Riding motorcycles has been one such outlet – especially new motorcycles that are groundbreaking, like Harley-Davidson’s first electric motorcycle, LiveWire™.  

Diego Cardenas, a California resident, was hoping to spend June 30, 2020, in Spain celebrating his 50th birthday. This Spring, he knew he was going to need a new plan, but he wanted it to be something he was passionate about — a trip he could do that allowed him to maintain social distancing but also be memorable and unique. So, he set on a new plan, riding his LiveWire motorcycle from the U.S. Mexican border to the U.S. Canadian border using the West Coast Green Highway, WCGH. The WCGH is a network of electric vehicle DC fast charging stations located every 25 to 50 miles along Interstate 5 and other major roadways in Washington, Oregon, and California. 

“I wanted to be a part of Harley-Davidson history and have my future grandkids be able to talk about how their grandfather was the first H-D electric motorcycle owner to do such a ride,” said Cardenas. “I wanted to show the world that electric charging infrastructure is growing and be an inspiration for others to try riding electric motorcycles like the LiveWire.” 

On June 22, Diego started his epic trip from San Ysidro, CA. He rode over 1,400 miles and on his 50th birthday, June 30, he reached his goal by making it to the U.S. Canadian border town of Blaine, WA. Along the way, he did live social media reports of his progress and fans following along on his journey were able to meet him in person and cheer him on. He also made plenty of stops along the way to do a bit of sightseeing with his wife and eight-year old daughter who were along on the trip in a car.  

“The trip was unbelievable, such a great journey,” said Cardenas. “The West Coast Green Highway is a really good idea, there are so many options that you can be confident you will get to where you need to go. Also, if you pull up and cannot use one charger, you have additional ones super close by. It’s darn awesome! Please spread the word, this is so doable. If you have an electric motorcycle, or any bike, just get out and ride during these challenging times. Do a road trip, it helps during these stressful times to free your mind and body to see new things.” 

Cardenas’ journey can be found at this link, he also is the founder and creator of this page. His mission for the group is to bring together electric vehicle and non-EV riders to ask questions, get ideas and support the EV motorcycle riding community. 

Harley-Davidson LiveWire Border-To-Border Ride

Source: RiderMagazine.com

Indian Motorcycle plans electric EFTR

Indian Motorcycle has filed a trademark application for the name EFTR which suggests it is an Electric Flat Track Racer, with the bike possibly unveiled as early as next year.

The model name EFTR indicates it is likely to be styled on their current popular FTR 1200 model.

Indian FTR 1200 Race Replica discountsCheck out our FTR 1200 Race Replica review

This would not be the first electric motorcycle from Polaris which is the owning parent company of Indian Motorcycle.

In 2015, Polaris bought Brammo electric bikes and rebadged them as the Victory Empulse TT which I rode in Colorado that year. 

Victory Empulse TT electric motorcycle benefits smaller automatics altaMBW rides the Victory Empulse TT electric bike at its launch in Colorado in 2015

When Polaris pulled the pin on Victory Motorcycles in January 2017 to concentrate on Indian, they dropped the Empulse TT.

However, then vice-present of motorcycles Steve Menneto confirmed at the time that they would produce an electric Indian within five years.

That timeline means the EFTR could arrive in 2021.

EFTR range and price

We doubt the EFTR will be a resurrected Empulse TT, but it could have some of the same technology. (Out of interest we have included the 2015 tech specs for the Empulse TT at the end of this article.)

When he made the electric Indian announcement, Steve said their electric bikes would have up to 225km of range which is much higher range than the Empulse TT at about 140km.

Interestingly, the Empulse TT had manual transmission in an effort to make motorcycle riders feel more at home than with a twist-and-go throttle like most electric motorcycles.

we expect much the same with the EFTR.

Obviously it is too early to speculate on price, but the Victory Empulse sold in the US from $US19,999 (about $A28,500).

That is much less than the Harley-Davidson electric LiveWire which sells for almost $US30,000 overseas and could cost more than $A40,000 when it arrives in Australia late this year.

Harley-Davidson LiveWire electric motorcycle electric highways short circuitMBW riding the LiveWire at its launch lats year in Orgeon

2015 Victory Empulse TT tech specs

Victory Empulse TT electric motorcycleVictory Empulse

  • Price: $US19,999 (about $A30,000)
  • Warranty: 5 years/unlimited km
  • Service: only when brake and hydraulic fluids are needed
  • Motor: Internal permanent magnet AC induction
  • Power: 40.2kW
  • Torque: 82.7Nm
  • Transmission: 6-speed gearbox with multi-plate, hydraulic activated wet clutch
  • Battery: 10.4 kW-hr Brammo Power Lithium Ion
  • Battery life: 15,000 cycles from nothing to full charge
  • Voltage: 103.6 volts / 117.6 volts (max)
  • Charge times: 2.0 hrs (Level I / 20 to 80% SOC); 3.5 hrs (Level II / 0 to 100% SOC); 8.0 hrs (Level I / 0 to 100% SOC)

    Victory Empulse TT electric motorcycle boardEmpulse TT battery

  • Emissions: None
  • Brakes: Dual 310mm Brembo floating disks with twin 4-piston radial Brembo callipers (front); Brembo single disk with dual piston hydraulic Brembo brake calliper
  • Top speed: 161km/h-plus
  • Suspension: Adjustable 43mm inverted forks, Adjustable direct-acting rear shock
  • Dry weight: 213 kg
  • Clearance: 185.4mm
  • Length: 206.5cm
  • Rake/Trail: 24° / 3.8”
  • Seat: 800mm
  • Wheelbase: 1473mm
  • Tyres: Continental Sport Attack II 120-70 ZR17, 58W / 160/60ZR17 69W
  • Wheels: 17” x 3.5” / 17” x 4.5”

Source: MotorbikeWriter.com

Energica eases electric range anxiety

If range anxiety is the biggest hurdle for electric motorcycles, Italian company Energica, who supplies the bikes for MotoE, may have the answer.

Their new Ego and Eva have a larger battery with up 400km (250 miles) of range.

Now that’s a substantial amount and it should ease any range anxiety you might feel about electric motorcycles.

As far as we can see it’s the best on the market beating Zero motorcycles with 360km if you use their optional Charge Tank which costs an extra $US2295.

2020 Energica Eva Ribelle
2020 Energica Eva Ribelle in the city

Range anxiety

However, Energica’s quoted 400km range is for city riding only.

As we know, regenerative braking helps replenish a battery, so stopping and starting actually provides more range than a steady throttle. It’s the opposite of petrol-powered vehicles.

Read all about the electric vehicle range hoax here!

Out on the highway, Energica’s range drops to 230km (143 miles) which is still pretty good, but may not ease some people’s range anxiety.

However, they don’t say at what speed that is. You certainly won’t get that far if you are doing their rated top speed of 200km/h!

If you buy or have access to a DC Fast Charger, it will charge to 80% in 40 minutes, which is fairly standard across most electric vehicles.

On fire!

electric garage fire energica
Energica garage explodes in flame

Meanwhile, Energica is still reeling from the fire earlier this year that destroyed their entire fleet of MotoE race bikes.

The fault was found to be in an overheating charger that wasn’t even plugged in.

Harley-Davidson last month embarrassingly, but temporarily, pulled the plug on its electric LiveWire production over the same issue after one charger overheated.

Harley-Davidson LiveWire electric motorcycleHarley-Davidson's electric LiveWire short circuit
LIveWires on DC fast chargers

Energica models

Despite the issues with chargers, these Energica electric bikes certainly look fantastic.

They’re not yet available in Australia, but they would cost more than $A30,000.

That’s still about $14,000 less than Harley’s LiveWire is expected to cost when it goes on the market here late next year.

It comes with a mix of Marzocchi forks and Bitubo shock, with Bosch brakes and full-colour TFT instruments.

Source: MotorbikeWriter.com

Harley-Davidson LiveWire is electrifying

Two things stand out about the Harley-Davidson LiveWire electric motorcycle: it is literally electrifying and cool!

That’s more than just a couple of gratuitous puns.

This bike is not an electric toy! It’s a real bike that is claimed to go from 0-100km/h in three seconds and we proved it on the world media launch with several impromptu drags on a lonely country road outside of Portland, Oregon. So that’s electrifying performance in anyone’s lexicon.Harley-Davidson LiveWire electric motorcycle

Many moto journos talk about the nirvana of having ultimate linear power delivery. That’s exactly what this supplies. There are no surges or lags, just a hand-of-God thrust in the back as you hurtle forward and the world tons to a blur.

And after a vigorous 110km test ride through the streets of Portland and beautiful surrounding country, the bike was still cool to the touch, even the water-cooled motor, battery and radiator.

So it doesn’t just look cool and represent a cool trend in motorcycling, it’s literally cool to touch which makes it an ideal summer commuter bike!Harley-Davidson LiveWire electric motorcycle

Price

The dual-seat LiveWire is made in Cork, Pennsylvania and has been in development almost a decade.

It finally goes on sale shortly in the USA at about $US30,000 in a choice of cool lime, a bright orange and gloss black.

It will arrive in Australia late next year probably at more than $A40,000 which is more than most of their Touring models.Harley-Davidson LiveWire electric motorcycle

Harley-Davidson Australia and New Zealand say they won’t have a definite figure until closer to our launch.

It’s expensive, but it also has suitably premium components, a high quality of ft and finish (not a cadmium bolt in sight!), thick and lustrous paint, plus premium controls including a proximity key fob.

Styling is a subjective matter, but I like the modern, minimalist look and the big cooling fins around the battery, although the gloss black model looks way too dark. Maybe they should have made the calling fins silver on that one.

Harley-Davidson LiveWire electric motorcycle
Harley-Davidson LiveWire electric motorcycle

The remote rear fender with number plate allows for a tidy wasp-like tail with the pillion seat suspended in mid-air.

Underneath the seat is a small lockable compartment for the the mains charger and cable that includes a handy helmet hook. Harley put the key fob under the seat so we wouldn’t lose it and it was the only mechanical sound in the whole bike. Most riders would keep it in their jacket pocket!Harley-Davidson LiveWire electric motorcycle

You can also get a small “speed screen blade”, decorative trim, different hand and foot controls and a cover that includes a charging cord port. Many traditional Harley accessories such as wheels and bars can also be fitted.

LiveWire comes with two batteries. The big 15.5 kWh high-voltage Lithium-ion battery or “Renewable Energy Storage System (RESS)” made up of Samsung battery modules has a five-year/unlimited kilometre warranty.

Harley-Davidson LiveWire electric motorcycle
Battery

Harley chief engineer Glen Koval says the recyclable battery should last 10 years without significant loss of capacity unless it is not treated well or used extensively in extreme cold conditions.

There is also a small 12V lithium-ion battery to power instruments, lights, etc.

Harley has not said how much a replacement main battery will cost, probably because in five years from now it will cost a lot less, anyway!

Silent running

Of course, the electric LiveWire is quiet, especially at low speeds, but not exactly silent.

When you switch it on, the headlight and instrument screen lights up, but there is no accompanying motor noise.

As you take off,  you can feel a gentle buzz which is induced by the rocking of magnets. Harley wanted riders feel the “heartbeat” of the machine.

When you give it the berries, the bike makes a turbine “whoosh” noise thanks to the belt drive and “meshing” of the primary spiral bevel gears. At highway speeds all you can hear is the wind.Harley-Davidson LiveWire electric motorcycle

While I missed the throbbing sound and feel of a Harley V-twin engine, I actually found it made you more aware of surrounding noises from other vehicles.

It also meant that when I listened to music, GPS directions or phone calls on my helmet intercom, I didn’t need to turn the volume up quite as high.

The lack of noise also seems to have a calming effect on the rider.

However, I was acutely aware that other road users couldn’t hear me coming and a couple of times I tapped the horn to announce my presence.

RangeHarley-Davidson LiveWire electric motorcycle

Harley recently released details that claim city range of up to 235km and 152km of highway range.

While they don’t give total charging time from a mains outlet with the provided cord, they do tell us that a 120/240-volt outlet will provide about 20km (13 miles) per hour of charging. That means it will probably take at least 11 hours from flat to reach full capacity. And the cost would be less than $4.

They also claim their Fast Charge (DCFC) technology will recharge a flat battery to 80% in 40 minutes and full in 60 minutes.

Harley-Davidson LiveWire electric motorcycle
Mobile DC fast chargers at work

They brought in three mobile DC fast chargers for the event which they say are not as powerful as the permanent ones that will be at Harley dealerships. These chargers were only used at the end of the day’s ride.

None of the bikes ran out of “juice” on the road test, even though we mainly rode hard and fast in the electrifying “Sport” mode.

We covered about 110km and my bike still showed 30% charge left.

The charging port is in the top of the “fuel” tank for easy access.Harley-Davidson LiveWire electric motorcycle

You can check the battery recharging status and time left to full on the instruments or on an accompanying H-D Connect app.

The Android and iOS app also alerts you if someone is tampering with your bike, includes a GPD tracker if its stolen, shows the closest charging stations and reminds you when the bike needs a service. But since the only consumables are the brake pads, servicing should be cheaper. Still, service intervals are 1600km first and then every 8000km like their conventional bikes.

Harley PR rep Joe Gustafson says the app gives the rider “peace of mind”.

H-D Connect uses a cellular telematics control unit (TCU) that functions as an LTE-enabled modem connecting LiveWire motorcycles to the cloud. Owners will get the service free for a year.

It will be available soon in the USA, Canada, Puerto Rico and most EU countries and becomes available in late August 2020 in Australia, Brazil, Mexico and Japan. Subscription details and pricing will be available online.

Electrifying modesHarley-Davidson LiveWire electric motorcycle

There are seven riding modes: Range, Rain, Road and Sport, plus three customisable modes.

Each mode affects the acceleration and response from the twist-and-go throttle.

It also affects the amount of “regeneration” which is like engine braking and helps to recharge the battery.

Both of these also affect the range.

The modes also vary the amount of cornering-enhanced traction control that includes a wheelie control to stop the front wheel lifting and a rear-wheel lockup control.

They label their traction control High, Medium and Low, but high is not for high intervention but high slip, so it is opposite to what it appears.

Riders can select the modes on the fly with a button on the right-hand controller. Your selected mode is displayed on the big, easy-to-read 11cm colour touchscreen which is like a mini iPad.

  • Sport: Full, seamless power and 80% immediate throttle response. This offers truly electrifying performance. I thought it might make it a little jerky, but it so smooth and predictable, even in slow-speed manoeuvres. Traction control is also set to High which is the lowest level of intervention. However, you can turn it off when stopped. Regeneration is also quite significant at 80% so you don’t even need to use the brakes to come to a full stop. The only time I touched the brakes was in emergency brake tests and when riding hard.
  • Road: This mode softens throttle response to 55%, power delivery to 80% and regen to 30%, plus medium traction control. Harley says it feels more like a traditional petrol-powered bike and they are right, but because of its twist-and-go transmission (like a scooter), you can’t slip a little clutch to smooth out power delivery for tight, feet-up u-turns. But guess what! You don’t need to. It’s super-smooth with plenty of feel, unlike any EFI fly-by-wire throttle. Medium traction control can be turned off when stopped.Harley-Davidson LiveWire electric motorcycle
  • Range: Obviously this is the economy mode to squeeze extra range out of the bike. Throttle response is smoother at 55%, power 40% and regen 80%, making it quite jerky when you roll off the throttle. Traction control is medium and can be turned off when stopped.
  • Rain: Like the rain mode on many conventional bikes, this has 0% power, 30% soft throttle response, 15% regen and Low traction means high intervention and cannot be turned off.
  • Three Custom Modes: You can select your own levels of power, regeneration, throttle response and traction control and save them to A, B or C modes. Power, regeneration and throttle can be adjusted from 0-100% in 1% increments, and traction can be set to Low, Medium or High intervention.

Since most riders won’t touch the brakes to slow down, the rear brake LED light will light up on regenerative braking to alert traffic behind your that you are slowing, avoiding rear-enders.

Lively LiveWire

Sporty Harley-Davidson electric LiveWire parade silicon standardise
Harley’s LiveWire electric motor

Harley says the H-D Revelation electric motor has 78kW of power. That’s not too bad for a 249kg bike which is about the same as a 1200 Sportser or Ducati Diavel.

That power figure is the same as a KTM 1190, but the porky LiveWire weighs a substantial 32kg more.

More importantly, the bike has 116Nm of torque which is substantially more than the 95Nm in the 1200 Sportster .

Full-tilt torque is available as soon as you twist the throttle, which is why traction and wheelie control is so important.

It feels lively and lithe, like many streetfighter-style bikes with its flat bars.

On the highway it’s stable, around town it’s manoeuvrable and in the twisties it feels planted and precise, thanks to the premium Showa suspension.

It’s fully adjustable, but rather than playing around with the clickers, you can go to the instrument screen and put in the weights of you, pillion and any luggage and it will calculate the right settings. How clever is that!

Some claimed it felt top heavy, but I didn’t think so. The weight is carried low in the underslung motor. It feels a little heavy coming up off the side stand, but then it feels perfectly balanced.

Harley-Davidson LiveWire electric motorcycle
Clever locking sidestand

I love the use of Harley’s clever stable side stand that won’t allow the bike to roll forward when parked downhill.

The low centre of gravity makes it easy to turn and quick to change direction.

However, the seat is 779mm high and is narrow so even shorter riders can get their feet flat down on the ground. I’m 183cm tall and I could still bend my legs with my feet flat on the ground. There is also a Slammer seat that is 25mm lower.

The Brembo brakes are powerful and have plenty of feel, but with the regenerative braking of the motor, you really don’t need to use them that often, although it’s nice to know they are there when you need them in an emergency.

Conclusion

At this price, it’s going to be a hard sell, even for cashed-up, early adopters and techno nerds.

But they will find this is not just some toy. It’s a serious, full-size, hard-charging, fun motorcycle that is both easy to ride and a hard charger for the adrenalin junkie.

Harley-Davidson LiveWire tech specs

  • Price: $US29,799 (about $A42,500)
  • Available: Next month in North American and Europe, late next year Australia and New Zealand
  • Colours: range, lime and black
  • Battery warranty: five-year, unlimited-km
  • Motor: H-D Revelation permanent-magnet, water-cooled electric motor
  • Power: 78kW (105hp)
  • Instant torque: 116Nm (86ft lbs)
  • Battery: Air-cooled 15.5kWh high-voltage lithium-ion battery (Rechargeable Energy Storage System)
  • Transmission: motor output shaft, 9.71:1 gear reduction, belt drive
  • Acceleration: 0 -100km/h 3 seconds; 100-130km/h 1.9 seconds
  • Top speed: 177km/h
  • Range: 235km (city), 152km (combined stop-and-go and highway range using MIC City and MIC Combined tests), 158km (World Motorcycle Test Cycle)

    Harley-Davidson electric LIveWire parade
    Charging points on the LIveWire are under the “fuel” cap.

  • Charging: 120/240-volt outlet 20km (13 miles) per hour of charging; DC Fast Charge (DCFC) 0-80% in 40 minutes or 100% in 60 minutes
  • Weight: 210kg
  • Suspension (rear): fully adjustable Showa Balanced Free Rear Cushion-lite mono-shock
  • Suspension (front); Showa Separate Function Fork-Big Piston

    Sporty Harley-Davidson electric LiveWire
    Fully adjustable Showa rear shock

  • Brakes: Dual Brembo Monoblock calipers, 300mm rotors
    Tyres: H-D/Michelin Scorcher (180mm rear and 120mm front)
  • Rider aids: Reflex Defensive Rider Systems (RDRS), Cornering Enhanced Anti-lock Braking System (C-ABS), Cornering Enhanced Traction Control System (C-TCS) and Drag-Torque Slip Control System (DSCS)
  • Technology: 4.3” colour TFT touchscreen, Daymaker LED headlamp, LED lighting, H-D Connect service connectivity and Harley- Davidson App
  • Riding modes: Seven selectable Ride Modes electronically control motor performance and level of RDRS intervention
  • Accessories: dual seat and tail, speed screen blade, decorative trim, hand and foot controls and cover with charging cord port
Sporty Harley-Davidson electric LiveWire
Touchscreen instruments

More tech specs

2020 Harley-Davidson LiveWire MODEL SPECIFICATIONS

Dimensions

84.1 in. (2,135 mm)

Overall Width

32.7 in. (830 mm)

Overall Height

42.5 in. (1,080 mm)

Seat Height, Laden / Unladen

30 in. (761 mm) / 30.7 in. (780 mm)

Ground Clearance

5.1 in. (130 mm)

Rake (steering head)

4.3 in. (108 mm)

58.7 in. (1,490 mm)

Tires, Type

Michelin® Scorcher® “Sport”

Scorcher® “Sport”

Tires, Front Specification

120/70 ZR17 58W

Tires, Rear Specification

180/55 ZR17 73W

Transmission Capacity

0.34 qt (0.32 L)

Coolant Capacity

0.8 qt. (0.72 L)

Weight, As Shipped

549 lb. (249 kg)

Weight, In Running Order

549 lb. (249 kg)

Gross Vehicle Weight Rating

949 lb. (430 kg)

Gross Axle Weight Rating, Front

434 lb. (197 kg)

Gross Axle Weight Rating, Rear

580 lb. (263 kg)

Drivetrain

Primary Drive (*Cert)

Spiral bevel gear , 55/17 ratio

Final Drive (*Cert)

Belt, 3/1 ratio

Transmission

Single Speed

Gear Ratios (overall) 1st (*Cert) (X.XXX)

Aluminum cast

Aluminum cast

Front Fork

SHOWA® 43 mm Inverted Separate Function Forks – Big Piston (SFF-BP®), fully adjustable

Rear Shocks

SHOWA® Balance Free Rear Cushion Lite (BFRC-lite®), fully adjustable

Wheels, Type

Black, Split 5-Spoke Cast Aluminum

Wheels, Front Dia. / Width

17 in. (432 mm) / 3.5 in. (89 mm)

Wheels, Rear Dia. / Width

17 in. (432 mm) / 5.5 in. (140 mm)

Brakes, Caliper Type

Dual 4-piston monoblock radial mount front, dual-piston rear

Brakes, Rotor Type

Dual floating rotors (front), floating rotor (rear)

Brakes, Front Diameter / Thickness

11.8 in. (300 mm) / 0.2 in. (5 mm)

Brakes, Rear Diameter / Thickness

10.2 in. (260 mm) / 0.2 in. (5 mm)

Brakes, Anti-Lock Braking System (ABS)

Suspension Travel, Front / Rear

4.5 in. (115 mm) / 4.5 in. (115 mm)

Performance

Lean Angle Testing Method

Lean Angle, Right / Left (deg)

Lithium Ion, 12.8V , 24 Wh, 120 A

Onboard DC to DC conversion

Lights (as per country regulation), Headlamp

All LED, low beam, high beam and signature position lamp

Lights (as per country regulation), Tail/Stop

LED with light pipe tail

Lights (as per country regulation), Front Signal Lights

Lights (as per country regulation), Indicator Lamps

High beam, turn signals, ABS, traction control, EV fault

Lights, Rear Turn Signals

LED, Amber

4.3” WQVGA 480×272 TFT Color Display with Ambient Light Sensor, 9 warning lights, Real Time Clock and Integrated Bluetooth Connectivity to a Smartphone to provide infotainment features including turn-by-turn navigation, telephone, music, and voice recognition.

Electric Power Outlet

USB C-type; output 5V at 3A

EV Specific Content: Motor

Internal Permanent Magnet Synchronous Motor with Water Jacket cooling

Motor Name

Revelation®

Inverter type

Pole Count

Power (hp/kW)

105 HP (78kW)

6.69 in. (170 mm)

Stack Length

3.94 in. (100 mm)

EV Specific Content: RESS

Lithium Ion

15.5kWh total, 13.6kWh min usable

EV Specific Content: Charging

Charge Plug Type

SAE J1772 Combo Inlet (CCS1) / IEC 62196 Combo Inlet (CCS2)

On-board charger, charge rate

AC wall charging time (not verified)

Target – Full charge in 12.5 hrs
– Capable of 12.6 miles/hour charge rate (MIC city cycle)

DC fast charging time (not verified)

Target – Full charge in 1.0 hr
– Capable of 192 miles/hour charge rate (MIC city cycle)

DC to DC conversion

450W at 14.2V

EV Specific Content: Range

146 mi (235 km)

Highway (70 mph sustained)

70 mi (113 km)

95 mi (152 km)

WMTC (World Motorcycle Test Cycle)

98 mi (158 km)

Infotainment

Hands-free Mobile Phone – via Bluetooth

Voice Recognition Languages: Phone functions only

Via paired iOS or Android device

Voice Recognition Languages: Tuner/Media/ Navigation

Via paired iOS or Android device

USB Type-C

Phone/media supported

Telematics

(Harley-Davidson paid for our flights, hotels and meals.)

Source: MotorbikeWriter.com

Harley-Davidson LiveWire | 0-100 in 3s | 152km range

DIMENSIONS

Length

84.1 in. (2,135 mm) Overall Width 32.7 in. (830 mm) Overall Height 42.5 in. (1,080 mm) Seat Height, Laden / Unladen 30 in. (761 mm) / 30.7 in. (780 mm) Ground Clearance 5.1 in. (130 mm) Rake (steering head) 24.5 deg Trail 4.3 in. (108 mm) Wheelbase 58.7 in. (1,490 mm) Tires, Type Michelin® Scorcher® “Sport” Tires Scorcher® “Sport” Tires, Front Specification 120/70 ZR17 58W Tires, Rear Specification 180/55 ZR17 73W Transmission Capacity 0.34 qt (0.32 L) Coolant Capacity 0.8 qt. (0.72 L) Weight, As Shipped 549 lb. (249 kg) Weight, In Running Order 549 lb. (249 kg) Gross Vehicle Weight Rating 949 lb. (430 kg) Gross Axle Weight Rating, Front 434 lb. (197 kg) Gross Axle Weight Rating, Rear 580 lb. (263 kg)

DRIVETRAIN

Primary Drive (*Cert)

Spiral bevel gear , 55/17 ratio Final Drive (*Cert) Belt, 3/1 ratio Transmission Single Speed Gear Ratios (overall) 1st (*Cert) (X.XXX) 10

Frame

Aluminum cast Swingarm Aluminum cast Front Fork SHOWA® 43 mm Inverted Separate Function Forks – Big Piston (SFF-BP®), fully adjustable Rear Shocks SHOWA® Balance Free Rear Cushion Lite (BFRC-lite®), fully adjustable Wheels, Type Black, Split 5-Spoke Cast Aluminum Wheels, Front Dia. / Width 17 in. (432 mm) / 3.5 in. (89 mm) Wheels, Rear Dia. / Width 17 in. (432 mm) / 5.5 in. (140 mm) Brakes, Caliper Type Dual 4-piston monoblock radial mount front, dual-piston rear Brakes, Rotor Type Dual floating rotors (front), floating rotor (rear) Brakes, Front Diameter / Thickness 11.8 in. (300 mm) / 0.2 in. (5 mm) Brakes, Rear Diameter / Thickness 10.2 in. (260 mm) / 0.2 in. (5 mm) Brakes, Anti-Lock Braking System (ABS) Standard Suspension Travel, Front / Rear 4.5 in. (115 mm) / 4.5 in. (115 mm)

PERFORMANCE

Lean Angle Testing Method

J1168 Lean Angle, Right / Left (deg) 45 / 45

Battery

Lithium Ion, 12.8V , 24 Wh, 120 A Charging Onboard DC to DC conversion Lights (as per country regulation), Headlamp All LED, low beam, high beam and signature position lamp Lights (as per country regulation), Tail/Stop LED with light pipe tail Lights (as per country regulation), Front Signal Lights LED Lights (as per country regulation), Indicator Lamps High beam, turn signals, ABS, traction control, EV fault Lights, Rear Turn Signals LED, Amber Gauges 4.3” WQVGA 480×272 TFT Color Display with Ambient Light Sensor, 9 warning lights, Real Time Clock and Integrated Bluetooth Connectivity to a Smartphone to provide infotainment features including turn-by-turn navigation, telephone, music, and voice recogni Electric Power Outlet USB C-type; output 5V at 3A

Source: MCNews.com.au