Tag Archives: Harley-Davidson Livewire

Australia Recalls Harley Electric Bike

Harley-Davidson Australia has now recalled its LiveWire electric motorcycle for switching off while running, more than a fortnight after it was recalled in the USA.

Company spokesman Keith Waddell says there have been “no instances in Australia” of the fault occurring.

The issue affects 41 LiveWire motorcycles sold in Australia since it was launched a couple of months ago. The Vehicle Identification Numbers of all bikes affected are listed at the end of this article.

The official recall notice, issued through the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission warns that the bike may switch off while running, causing a crash.

“The software in the On-Board Charging (OBC) System on affected motorcycles may initiate a shutdown of the electric vehicle powertrain, without providing reasonable indication to the rider that a shutdown sequence has been initiated,” the notice says.

In some cases, the vehicle may not be able to be restarted or, if restarted, may shortly thereafter shut down again. In some cases, indicator lamps may be illuminated on the instrumentation prior to loss of propulsion.

“These indicator lamps include: The Traction Control (TC) lamp, the Anti-Lock Brake System (ABS) lamp, and the Failure Indicator Lamp (FIL).

“Unexpected loss of propulsion of the vehicle while in motion without the ability to restart or remain restarted may increase the risk of a crash, increasing the risk of serious injury or death of the rider(s) or other road users.”

Owners are urged to contact their Harley-Davidson dealer “immediately to arrange a service”.

“The dealer will install new updated On-Board Charging (OBC) System software to rectify the issue, at no cost to the consumer,” the notice says.

The recall is Harley’s first in Australia for 2020.

toy run

YOUR LEGAL RIGHTS ON RECALLS

Even though manufacturers and importers usually contact owners when a recall is issued, the bike may have been sold privately to a rider unknown to the company.

Therefore, Motorbike Writer publishes all motorcycle and scooter recalls as a service to all riders.

If you believe there is an endemic problem with your bike that should be recalled, contact the ACCC on 1300 302 502.

To check whether your motorcycle has been recalled, click on these sites:

VINs of affected bikes:
VIN NUMBER                                        
5HD2XAED1LB802112
5HD2XAED1LB802157
5HD2XAED2LB802104
5HD2XAED2LB802135
5HD2XAED3LB802175
5HD2XAED4LB802105
5HD2XAED4LB802122
5HD2XAED4LB802167
5HD2XAED4LB802234
5HD2XAED6LB802154
5HD2XAED6LB802235
5HD2XAED7LB802163
5HD2XAED8LB802222
5HD2XAED8LB802236
5HD2XAED9LB802181
5HD2XAED9LB802231
5HD2XAEDXLB802108
5HD2XAED0LB802103
5HD2XAED1LB802109
5HD2XAED1LB802126
5HD2XAED1LB802174
5HD2XAED2LB802183
5HD2XAED4LB802203
5HD2XAED6LB802137
5HD2XAED7LB802146
5HD2XAED8LB802172
5HD2XAED9LB802097
5HD2XAED9LB802102
5HD2XAED3LB802127
5HD2XAED4LB802136
5HD2XAED2LB802118
5HD2XAEDXLB802125
5HD2XAED0LB802117
5HD2XAED7LB802129
5HD2XAED7LB802132
5HD2XAED8LB802141
5HD2XAED8LB802124
5HD2XAED6LB802140
5HD2XAED4LB802119
5HD2XAED5LB802128
5HD2XAED0LB802120

Source: MotorbikeWriter.com

RECALL: Harley-Davidson LiveWire Shutting Down While Riding

The ever-growing list of 2020 motorcycle recalls continues to expand with another addition to the hit-list; Harley Davison’s 2020 LiveWire is unexpectedly shutting down for some riders mid-ride and in some cases not allowing for the driver to turn the vehicle back on after initial shut-off.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration states that only 1% of the ~1000 bikes being recalled may be affected by the issue, so there is no reason to panic but it’s still better to be safe than sorry.

The issue apparently comes from the On-Board Charging software that causes the powertrain to turn off. I’m not sure if that issue will really cause *a complete* shut down of the bike with all other features shutting off, but other sources are reporting that ABS, TC, and other assists can indeed cut out as well.

This is not good news for anyone who rides their bikes in the evening or in low light, as there is potential for ABS, traction control, and your headlight to shut off mid-ride which could cause serious injury or even death.

Between the 22nd and 29th of October, 2020 LiveWire owners will be notified by mail regarding the recall and will be urged to take their motorcycles to their local H-D dealership to have the software updated for free.

Where I live, there is currently 10cm of snow on the ground, so if are like me and cannot arrange transportation of your bike to the dealership Harley-Davidson is happy to pick it up and return it back to your house absolutely free of charge.

If you are a 2020 H-D LiveWire owner it would be in your best interest to give the Harley-Davidson customer support line a ring and provide them with your VIN so they can check to see if you perhaps have one of the affected versions of the bike.

Source: MotorbikeWriter.com

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

Harley-Davidson LiveWire Review | Motorcycle Test

What is it like to ride?
By Adam Child

Harley Davidson LiveWire

Harley Davidson LiveWire

Harley-Davidson’s LiveWire


The LiveWire

I’ve been riding and racing electric bikes for a few years and I’m a convert. Yes, I’ll always adore petrol engines, the smell of two-stroke still gets me excited like a toddler after an energy drink, but electric bikes are coming, and Harley-Davidson’s LiveWire is one of the best of the current crop. Let me explain why.

Harley Davidson LiveWire Electric Motorcycle Review AZI

Harley Davidson LiveWire Electric Motorcycle Review AZI

Adam Child on the Harley-Davidson LiveWire

If you’ve never ridden an electric bike before, or even showed an interest, let me put forward some siple facts and benefits. There is no noise, there are no gears and therefore no clutch or gear lever. Electric power is immediate: twist and go with no lag.

Torque is instant, which results in fast acceleration. There’s no heat from the engine or exhaust because there isn’t one, no petrol and therefore no need for a petrol tank, (yes, that’s a dummy fuel tank on the LiveWire). And the bike performs the same no matter what the altitude, weather or conditions.

Harley Davidson LiveWire

Harley Davidson LiveWire

Charging opportunities will be a big aspect of LiveWire ownership for those pushing the range envelope

Riding an electric bike is very alien at first, especially for experienced riders. But you soon appreciate the technology and advantages, like going from a landline phone to a mobile. After a ride, my kids can’t burn their paws on the exhaust when the bike is in the garage and I don’t melt in traffic from the heat normally generated from an air-cooled V-twin.


So, what is a Harley-Davidson LiveWire?

There are several production electric bikes on the market, but the LiveWire is the first to come from a major motorcycle manufacturer. Remember it’s not just a case of producing the bike, you must have a dealer network that supports the new technology, in Harley’s case this is over 250 dealers worldwide. You can walk into your local Harley showroom tomorrow and order one in most large motorcycle markets around the world, but unfortunately not yet in Australia as LiveWire is not set to debut Down Under until late this year. 

Harley Davidson LiveWire

Harley Davidson LiveWire

Harley-Davidson LiveWire

The LiveWire is Harley’s most powerful bike to date, a quoted 105 bhp with 116 Nm of torque and a 0-60 mph time of three seconds; 60-80 mph in two. This isn’t slow.

To control the power you have four rider modes, Sport, Road, Rain and Range. These modes change the power characteristics, regenerative braking and traction control. The regen’ braking is like engine braking, and like the TC can be changed on the move.

There are an additional three custom modes, which can be specified to your needs and how you ride, for example: full power, no traction control or regenerative braking if you are brave enough. There is a six-axis IMU and therefore the traction control is lean sensitive. There is a noticeable change in the bike’s performance and character between modes, the Sport mode is certainly sporty, you have been warned.

Harley Davidson LiveWire

Harley Davidson LiveWire

The Harley-Davidson LiveWire features a TFT touch screen

The range is the big question and Harley is quoting 235 kilometres on a full charge in the relative steady Range mode, and around 160 kilometres of slightly more spirited riding. On a household socket, one-hour of charge equals around 20 kilometres of range, but on a fast DC charge, that time comes down to an 80 per cent of full charge in 30 minutes, and 100 per cent in an hour.

It’s worth pointing out that you may never fully drain the battery. In the same way you don’t let your iPhone run out of charge, nor do you let your fuel level in your bike drop to zero. Typically, you re-charge or fuel up once you’re in the red with 20 per cent or so left, which in this case means a quick 30-minute charge. That’s enough time to de-kit, have a coffee, check your phone messages and continue with a full charge.

A full-colour TFT dash with touch-screen controls and connectivity comes as standard, as do high spec Brembo monobloc calipers and fully-adjustable Showa suspension at both ends, this is a quality motorcycle, make no mistake.

Harley Davidson LiveWire

Harley Davidson LiveWire

The Harley-Davidson LiveWire also features fully adjustable Showa forks and Brembo brakes

All the fittings and design touches are high-end, the lines around the dummy tank are perfect, the ‘on show’ electric motor even looks good and is boldly on display, not tucked away. I like the design and feel, but the elephant in the room is the price; with Australian pricing expected to be in the $44K region, but no official figure announced as yet.

Yes expensive, but also comparable to exclusive, ‘high-end’ bikes from Harley. And don’t forget, you’ll never have to pay for fuel.


How does the LiveWire perform?

The norm on most electric bikes is to become immediately aware of the lack of engine noise, which amplifies the road noise, the clatter of bodywork, the noise of the final drive on the swing-arm. It sounds mechanically incorrect. But there are no such disconcerting noises on the LiveWire, this is the Bentley of the electric motorcycle world.

Harley Davidson LiveWire Electric Motorcycle Review AZI

Harley Davidson LiveWire Electric Motorcycle Review AZI

On the LiveWire there’s no intrusive mechanical or drive related noises, just smooth power

It’s super smooth, fuss-free and almost silent. Harley must have spent a colossal amount of effort and money ensuring the quality of fixtures and fittings. Like closing the door on a Rolls Royce, you instantly detect the quality just by the sound. Impressive.

Stopping 250 kg is no easy task, especially when you reduce the regeneration engine braking, but the powerful 300 mm twin discs with Brembo stoppers are more than up for the challenge.

Harley Davidson LiveWire

Harley Davidson LiveWire

The LiveWire also takes the title as fastest stopping Harley, backed up by ABS

This is one of the fastest stopping Harleys I’ve ever ridden. Even under hard use, the stoppers don’t fade. The ABS is a little intrusive on the rear, as the rear Michelin struggles to find grip under extreme braking, but otherwise faultless.

Like the brakes, the handling is head-and-shoulders above any road-going Harley I’ve ridden previously. Ground clearance is ample, it’s easy to achieve levels of lean other Harley riders can only dream about. Due to the long wheelbase, the initial turn-in is a fraction slow, but after that it just keeps leaning and leaning.

Harley Davidson LiveWire Electric Motorcycle Review AZI

Harley Davidson LiveWire Electric Motorcycle Review AZI

The LiveWire would also be the leader in the Harley line up, as far as possible lean angles, and performance

Fast transitions, asking too much of the chassis, can lead to a little insecurity, but this only occurs when you’re pushing the chassis to perform to track day levels of speed. For 95 per cent of the time for 95 per cent of riders the LiveWire is planted, secure and stable.

Complementing the handling is a huge tidal wave of torque. Full power mode will take even experienced riders by surprise, despite its weight and silence it can certainly drive hard from a standstill, enough to take your breath away at first.

Harley Davidson LiveWire

Harley Davidson LiveWire

The LiveWire is twist and go, with no clutch and no gears to worry about

From a standstill, it’s so easy to launch, as there isn’t any clutch or gears. Simply lay over the dummy fuel tank, twist and go. Form the lights it will even give a full-blown road-legal superbike a run for its money.

You end up riding the electric Harley harder than you really should as the power is so much fun and the handling there to match.

Harley Davidson LiveWire

Harley Davidson LiveWire

Belt final drive is also found on the LiveWire, alongside the sporty swingarm

Should you get carried away you also have a raft of helpful rider aids to keep the wheels in line. The traction control and re-intervention are smooth and effortless, and should you be worried about losing your licence you can always opt for a softer power mode. The combination of instant power, fun handling and non-intrusive electronics makes the LiveWire a truly enjoyable package.

Back in the real world, most LiveWires are going to spend some if not the majority of their life around town, which is when most electric vehicles make perfect sense, dare I say more so than their petrol counterparts. The LiveWire is like a twist-and-go scooter but with more than double the power to embarrass unsuspecting road users from the lights.

Harley Davidson LiveWire

Harley Davidson LiveWire

There’s also no engine heat to worry about for commutes and hot weather

Unlike any other Harley, there’s no heat, so even in the middle of summer you won’t feel like your testicles are being barbecued. Harley has even added a ‘fake’ pulse, which gives the feeling the bike is alive and reminds you not to mistakenly twist the throttle hoping for a blip of engine noise.

The weight is more noticeable at slow speeds, but I’m only 5ft 6in and never had an issue at slow speeds. But just remember, there is no engine noise so everyone can hear you swearing at bad drivers.


Is the LiveWire touring-ready?

A cruise control comes as standard and is simple and easy to use on the Livewire, simply set to 110 km/h, and with few vibrations and negligible noise, it’s a surreal experience cruising. Stability is excellent, which allows you to play with the informative clocks or simply enjoy the view ahead.

Harley Davidson LiveWire Electric Motorcycle Review AZI

Harley Davidson LiveWire Electric Motorcycle Review AZI

In Australia you’ll need to plan your longer trips around charging

The ergonomics are a little aggressive, reminiscent of Ducati’s Monster from a few years ago, with wide bars and a prominent stance. The seat is relatively comfortable, the suspension on the sporty-firm side, but with just a 160 kilometres range, you’re going to be stopping to rest and charge every 1.5 to 2 hours.

On our test ride around Barcelona, I was a little heavy with the throttle and spent too much time enjoying the tyre ripping torque. With heavy use, you need to start thinking about plugging in after around 120 kilometres, depending on the road and the weight of the rider.

Harley Davidson LiveWire Electric Motorcycle Review AZI

Harley Davidson LiveWire Electric Motorcycle Review AZI

A fast DC charge station can get you back on the road in 30 minutes in many cases

But ridden normally I believe a 160 kilometre range is easily achievable, possibly more. Ride for 160 kilometres, stop for a coffee, plug in and repeat. Touring is an option, it just needs planning, 400 kilometres a day with two half hour stops, that’s easily achievable. Plug in overnight at your hotel and repeat the next day.


LiveWire Verdict

The LiveWire is a true game-changer, the first mass-produced electric bike from a global motorcycle manufacturer, and it’s good. Forget the fact it’s electric for the moment; as a bike it’s fun, handles, looks good, is desirable, even has some character, which is incredibly difficult to inject on a silent machine.

Harley Davidson LiveWire

Harley Davidson LiveWire

The LiveWire offers a glimpse into the future of motorcycling

Yes, it’s expensive, and covering big miles in a day won’t be possible unless you have a support crew. But for everyday riding, it’s an impressive bike. Considering this is Harley’s first road-legal electric bike, they’ve got off to a good start, in many ways one of the best Harley’s to date and already one step ahead of the competition.

Who, ten years back, would have predicted that Harley would lead the way in electric bikes? I didn’t see that one coming.

Harley Davidson LiveWire Electric Motorcycle Review AZI

Harley Davidson LiveWire Electric Motorcycle Review AZI

Interestingly, it’s Harley bringing the first electric bike to the market from a major motorcycle manufacturer, as they expand their offerings to a much wider rider-base

Harley Davidson LiveWire Specifications
Price: $ TBA in Australia
Engine: Electric
Power: 105 bhp / 78 kW
Torque: 78 ft-lb / 116 Nm
Frame: Aluminium
Wheelbase: 1490mm
Brakes Front: Dual 300mm discs, radial mounted 4-piston Brembo caliper
Brakes Rear: 260mm disc, two-piston caliper
Transmission: Auto
Suspension: 43mm inverted fully-adjustable Showa forks; Single rear shock, fully adjustable
Wheels/tyres: 120/70×17; 180/55×17; Michelin
Seat height: 761mm
Fuel capacity: er?
MPG: It’s electric
Weight: 249 kg
Warranty: TBA
Website: https://www.harley-davidson.com/au/en/motorcycles/livewire.html

Source: MCNews.com.au