Well if you have heard of motorcycles then you will have heard of Harley Davidson. One of the oldest motorcycle manufacturers in the world.
William S. Harley along with his childhood friend Arthur Davidson began working to build their first a motorcycle in 1903 using a small wooden shed in Milwaukee as their factory with “Harley-Davidson Motor Company” scrawled on its door. Things have moved on a long way since then with Harley Davidson growing to the true-American brand know across the world. Over recent decades Harley’s have become synonymous with the American biker lifestyle and they have some of the most brand-loyal customers ever seen. But in 2019 Harley Davidson released something totally new to the brand…… their first ever electric motorcycle, the Livewire.
H-D First Steps in to Electric
The LiveWire is Harley Davidson’s first venture in the electric motorcycle market. It was first displayed to the media in June 2014, with prototypes being made available for test rides at US Harley Davidson dealers later that year. But it took until January 2018 for Harley Davidson to announce that the bike was to enter production and would hit the market in 18 months. The first deliveries were made in September 2019 but were temporarily halted due to an unspecified charging issue which Harley-Davidson resolved as of October 2019.
The LiveWire motorcycle features a 15.5kWh high-voltage battery (or RESS; Rechargeable Energy Storage System) composed of lithium-ion cells surrounded by a finned, cast-aluminium housing. The high-voltage battery provides a minimum of 98 Miles (158 Km) of city range or 95 miles (152 km) of combined stop-and-go and highway range.
The LiveWire uses an onboard Level 1 charger and power cord to connect to any standard household outlet and get a full charge overnight (around 11-12 hours). Alternatively you can use a public Level 3 DC Fast Charge station for 80% charge in 40 minutes or 100% charge in an hour however Harley Davidson do stipulate that to maintain battery performance, longevity, and warranty, charging by DC fast charge should only be done for 1 in every 4 charges. By using a DC fast charging system this means you can charge at a faster rate than available with AC charging such as used by Zero. However these are only generally seen as public charge stations and would not be something you would likely be able to get installed at home or work.
The LiveWire motorcycle is powered by a H-D Revelation™ permanent-magnet electric motor rated at 105 horsepower (78kW) and producing 86 ft. lbs. of torque.
LiveWire offers seven selectable Ride Modes that electronically control the performance characteristics of the motorcycle and the level of Reflex™ Defensive Rider Systems (RDRS) intervention. Each Ride Mode consists of a specific combination of power, regeneration, throttle response, and traction control settings. LiveWire comes with four pre-programmed modes: sport, road, range, and rain, along with three ride modes the rider can customize.
PRICE: £28,995 before UK Government Grant of £1,500 which would bring the actual price payable down to £27,395 (correct at time of print – Apr 20)
TORQUE – 116 Nm
HORSEPOWER – 78 kW
MOTOR – Revelation®
BATTERY – 15.5 kWh Rechargeable Energy Storage System (RESS)
LEVEL 1 – 15 km for each hour of charging
LEVEL 2 – Same rate as level 1
DC FAST CHARGE (DCFC) – 0-80% in 40 minutes. 0-100% in 60 minutes.
RANGE, MINIMUM – 158 km**
RANGE TESTING METHOD – WMTC Per EEC 134/2014 Abbex VII Appendix 3.3
FRONT FORK -SHOWA® SFF-BP® (Separate Function front Fork-Big Piston)
REAR SHOCKS – SHOWA® BFRC™ (Balanced Free Rear Cushion-lite) mono-shock rear suspension
WHEELS, FRONT TYPE – Black, Split 5-Spoke Cast Aluminum
WHEELS, REAR TYPE – Black, Split 5-Spoke Cast Aluminum
BRAKES, TYPE – Brembo® Monoblock Front Brakes
BRAKES, CALIPER TYPE – Dual 4-piston monoblock radial mount front, dual-piston rear
LENGTH -135 mm
SEAT HEIGHT, LADEN – 761 mm
GROUND CLEARANCE – 130 mm
RAKE (STEERING HEAD) – 24.5
TRAIL – 108 mm WHEELBASE – 490 mm
TYRE, TYPE – H-D®/Michelin® Scorcher® “Sport”
TIRES, FRONT SPECIFICATION – 120/70 ZR17 58W
TIRES, REAR SPECIFICATION – 180/55 ZR17 73W
WEIGHT, IN RUNNING ORDER – 249 kg