The introduction of the Harley-Davidson LiveWire electric bike in 2014, was initially a pilot program to test the viability of an electric Harley-Davidson. The LiveWire was a departure from the traditional Harley-Davidson brand, with a quiet motor, smooth operation, and lack of traditional features like a clutch or loud exhaust. Despite mixed reactions, the HD LiveWire is one of the best electric motorcycles nowadays. It is a high-quality build and is seen as a “halo” project meant to inspire and aspire. In addition to the LiveWire, Harley-Davidson has also invested in the Stacyc brand of battery-powered balance bikes for children.
The HD LiveWire bike features the latest H-D Revelation™ electric motor, a permanent-magnet engine that generates 105 horsepower (77 kW) and delivers 86 ft. lbs. of torque. Unlike traditional internal combustion engines, the H-D Revelation can provide 100% of its rated torque instantly upon twisting the throttle, and this level of torque remains consistently available. This results in an exceptional and smooth acceleration that creates an exciting and thrilling riding experience. The H-D Revelation motor is cooled by a water jacket, with coolant circulated through a small radiator, and is positioned longitudinally and low in the chassis to lower the motorcycle’s center of gravity and aid maneuverability.
The HD LiveWire motorcycle offers a unique and exhilarating riding experience since it does not have a traditional transmission or clutch. Instead, riders can simply “twist and go.” The output of the motor needs to be turned 90 degrees to align the drive belt sprocket with the rear wheel, which contributes to LiveWire’s distinct sound. The motor output shaft is linked to a gearbox that features a 9.71:1 gear reduction system that runs in an oil bath. Power is transferred from the gearbox output pulley to the rear wheel through a final-drive belt, which has a 3:1 ratio between the output pulley and the wheel pulley. The gearset is engineered to produce a signature Harley-Davidson sound as the LiveWire accelerates and gains speed, which represents the smooth and electric power of this unique motorcycle.
The battery is warranted by H-D for five years with no mileage limit. Externally, it has air-cooling fins. The 215-pound battery is called the RESS (Renewable Energy Storage System) and is rated at a maximum capacity of 15.5 kilowatt-hours. The claimed mileage on a full charge is 146 miles in the city, and 95 miles of combined city and highway. Acceleration is what makes this bike so fun. Zero-to-sixty time is 3.0 seconds, and the claimed Harley Davidson Livewire top speed is 110 mph, but it isn’t electronically limited and may go faster than that.
The distinguishing feature of electric motorcycles compared to traditional gasoline-powered motorcycles is their near-silent operation. The Harley Davidson LiveWire, being an electric bike, produces no exhaust sound. However, the motorcycle does emit a unique mechanical sound that Harley Davidson claims is a distinctive feature, resembling that of a jet engine.
Listen to the sound here
HD LiveWire’s aluminum frame is designed to serve as a foundation for various types of bikes. It is not completely welded; instead, a significant portion of it is assembled using bolts, which allows for modular components to be added or swapped out to modify the bike. The center section of the frame houses a large battery, with the motor positioned horizontally beneath it and the charging unit concealed within the area where a traditional gas tank would be located. The bike comes in a base color of Vivid Black but is also available in Yellow Fuse and Orange Fuse color schemes.
All the lights on the bike are LED and provide strong illumination. The headlight has a futuristic design and includes three primary LEDs that use lenses to direct the light appropriately for visibility and safety. The turn signals are also very bright and automatically turn off after use, which is particularly useful for forgetful riders. The turn-signal buttons are located on both sides of the handlebars, meaning that to activate the right turn signal, the rider must use the button on the right side of the bars and vice versa. This arrangement may take some time to get used to, as most bikes typically have a single switch on the left to control both signals.
The traction control system is a crucial feature of this motorcycle, and it utilizes a six-axis IMU (inertial measurement unit) that is programmed by Harley-Davidson to provide a range of benefits. These include cornering ABS, enhanced traction control for cornering, mitigation of rear-wheel lift, and a drag torque-slip control system that helps ensure that the tires maintain proper contact with the road when braking, cornering or riding on slippery surfaces. The LiveWire is equipped with 17-inch cast-aluminum wheels that are fitted with Michelin Sport tires.
There are three methods available to charge the bike. The preferred approach is to utilize a level-three charger. These chargers are available at H-D dealerships that carry the LiveWire, as well as in many urban areas. When using a level-three charger, a completely depleted battery can be fully recharged in just one hour, or up to 80% in only 40 minutes. Alternatively, a level-two charger can be used, but this will charge at the same rate as a level-one charger, meaning it will take approximately 8-10 hours to fully charge the battery. The third option is to use the provided household cable to charge the bike overnight at home.
Harley Davidson LiveWire’s price is $30,000 but you can get a used one for about $20K on a secondary market. Get one on eBay.
HD LiveWire has starred alongside Ewan McGregor and Charley Boorman in the famous ‘Long Way Up’ travel show where they test the newly released HD LiveWire. See below:
Technical Specifications 78 kW HD LiveWire electric motorcycle (2019)
|Motor||Harley Davidson Revelation|
105 hp (78 kW), longitudinal design,86 lb⋅ft (117 N⋅m) torque
|Power transmission||90 degree gearbox with belt-driven rear wheel|
|Cooling system||liquid, shared by motor and controller|
|Battery||15.5 kWh (56 MJ), 13.6 kWh (49 MJ) usable, Samsung cells, with 5-year, unlimited mileage warranty|
|Charging||supports Level 3 DC Fast Charging; comes with Level 1 charger that can be stored under the seat.|
|Charge Time||1 hour|
|Wheels||17-inch front & rear wheels *Single disc, 2-piston front brake|
|Top Speed||110 mph|
|Performance||0–60 mph (0–97 km/h) : 3.0 seconds|
60–80 mph (97–129 km/h) : +1.9 seconds
Range: 146 mi (235 km)
|Other specifications||549 lbs in running order|
Cast aluminum frame and swingarm
Single speed powertrain
The 2022 LiveWire One
In May 2021, Harley Davidson announced it was spinning LiveWire off as its brand, including replacing the Harley Davidson logo on the motorcycles with the LiveWire logo. The first LiveWire branded motorcycle, named LiveWire ONE, was unveiled at the July 8 International Motorcycle Show in Sonoma, California. In December, Harley Davidson announced it was merging LiveWire with AEA-Bridges Impact Corp. (ABIC), a SPAC formed by private equity executives John Garcia and Michele Giddens, and it would begin publicly trading on the NYSE with the ticker symbol “LVW”. The deal was reportedly financed by $400 million of ABIC’s cash held in trust, $100 million from Harley-Davidson, and $100 million from Taiwanese scooter manufacturer Kymco, through private investment in public equity (PIPE) sale. Livewire is now all on its own. A unique brand of all-American electric motorcycles, no longer under the banner of Harley Davidson.
Due to supply issues of raw materials and key components, like semiconductor chips and regulatory measures of the European market in 2022, Harley Davidson has halted production and delivery for two weeks which gave rise to the rumors that LiveWire might be discontinued. Which does not happen to be true. LiveWire has announced the second motorcycle LiveWire S2 Del Mar – a cheaper option (around $17,000) to be launched in late 2023. After the launch of the S2 Del Mar, LiveWire aims to continue its brand image separation from Harley with a plan called HardWire.
The Livewire is a seriously quick naked bike, although its horsepower was reduced from 105 for the previous model to 100 for LiveWire One. Harley Davidson LiveWire One top speed recorded is 110-115 mph. With 4 selectable riding modes, Sport, Road, Range, and Rain, the character of the power delivery and control response can easily be altered to match the riding conditions.
Lean-sensitive traction control can help tame things, and the Showa suspension does a great job of delivering a quality ride and putting the power to the pavement. Beefy 300mm Brembo twin disc front brakes with ABS have now issues bringing the 562lb bike to a quick halt.
The LiveWire ONE has a top speed of 110 MPH and goes from 0-60 MPH in 3.0 seconds.
Possibly the most exciting aspect of Livewire? The price has been chopped significantly since the model introduction now officially starting at $22,799.
Th color choices are available for the 2022 Livewire One: Liquid Black, Horizon White, and Nebula Red.
The LiveWire ONE can be charged at any compatible charging station, or with its onboard charger cable and a standard household outlet.
- Level 1 (standard household outlet): 13 miles range per hour of charge
- Level 2: the LiveWire ONE can be connected to a Level 2 charge unit but will be charged at the Level 1 rate
- DC Fast Charge: the LiveWire ONE can be charged to 80% in only 40 minutes, and fully charged in one hour using DC fast charging stations found nationwide.
LiveWire ONE motorcycles are distributed exclusively through authorized LiveWire locations and can also be purchased online at www.livewire.com. You can reserve your motorcycle purchase by building your ideal bike configuration and placing a deposit online. A limited inventory of lightly used, fully warrantied Factory Fleet motorcycles is also offered for purchase at www.livewire.com/factory-fleet. A motorcycle license is not required to buy a LiveWire One. You may purchase a LiveWire motorcycle without a valid motorcycle license. However, a valid motorcycle license is required to legally operate a LiveWire motorcycle on the street. You can also require a trade-in if you already own a motorcycle and want to get a brand new LiveWire One. They evaluate your current motorcycle (of any brand) and offer you a guaranteed trade-in value that can be used as part payment for your new LiveWire motorcycle. You’ll just have to share some information and photos of your bike, no need to visit a LiveWire location with your trade-in. They’ll come and collect it. Harley Davidson LiveWire One price is around $23,000. You can configure your LiveWire one before purchasing at LiveWire One Website.
LiveWire also offers a free app both for Android and IOS to plan custom rides – including points of interest and charging spots.
Technical Specifications of LiveWire One
|Seat Height, Laden||30 Inches|
|Weight (in running order)||562 LB|
Power System and Charging
|High-Voltage Battery||15.4 KWH Rechargeable Energy Storage System (RESS)|
|Level 1 Compatible (11 Hours)||13 Miles for each hour of charging|
|Level 2 Compatible||Same rate as Level 1|
|DC Fast Charge (DCFC)||0-80% in 40 Minutes. 0-100% in 60 Minutes|
|Combined City and Highway||95 Miles|
|Electric Motor Torque||84 FT – LB|
|Horsepower||100 HP / 75 KW|
|0-60 MPH||3 sec.|
Integrated Bluetooth connectivity to a smartphone to provide infotainment features, including turn-by-turn navigation, telephone, music and voice recognition.
One of the coolest things I think about HD LiveWire is that there is a special playlist built to match the mood of the electric motorcycle riding experience. The playlist is available on Spotify and Apple Music.
Finally, ss Harley Davidson is some kind of family or society, LiveWire is a society of electric motorcycles. You can follow the updates from LiveWire on Instagram and Facebook.
And if you ever spot a family member HD LiveWire riding next to you, don’t forget to say Hi:
Comparison of LiveWire One with its major competitors
|Model||LiveWire One||Zero SR / F||Energica Experia|
|Range||146 miles||187 miles||261 miles|
|Weight||460 lb||500 lbs||573 lb|
|Power and performance||Top speed: 110 mphMax power: 100 hp||Top speed: 124 mphMax power: 110 hp||Top speed: 112 mphMax power: 80 hp|
|Charge Time||1 hours||2 – 3 hours||40 minutes|