Harley-Davidson electric LiveWire (Part 2)

Battery included with H-D’s new big boy’s toy.

The dual-seat HarleyLiveWire is made in York, 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.

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. If I’m being picky there is an exposed wire to the front indicators that should be concealed.

Underneath the seat is a small lockable compartment for 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

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 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. 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! Claimed city range is up to 235km and highway range 152km.

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 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. We covered about 110km n the launch ride and my bike still showed 30% charge left. 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

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).
  • Charging: 120/240-volt outlet 20km 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.
  • Brakes: Dual Brembo Monoblock callipers, 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, 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.

Harley

Read more about the Harley-Davidson Electric LiveWire in Part 1 here.