Harley Davidson is making a concerted effort to revamp their image for riders with smaller mid-sections and less facial hair. The company is seeking to be the world leader in battery powered motorcycles. It all started in 2014 with the Project LiveWire prototype. Harley Davidson has also announced plans to have a full lineup of electric motorcycles by 2022. However, since that reveal, fans have been waiting patiently for something concrete. The wait is no more. Harley Davidson is finally releasing the LiveWire to the public for the 2019 model year.
Anyone who has driven an electric vehicle understands the rush of instant torque these systems provide the instant the throttle is pressed. The same experience can be had with the Harley Davidson LiveWire, which is powered by a permanent magnet electric motor. The Rechargeable Energy Storage System (RESS) is made up of lithium-ion cells surrounded by a finned, cast-aluminum housing. There is also a small 12-volt lithium-ion battery that powers accessories such as the lights, controls, horn and instrument display. The system can be charged using a level 1 charger that can be plugged into any standard household outlet. A Level 3, DC Fast Charge is also available. Fully charged, the LiveWire has a range of about 110 miles.
Harley’s are known to be loud but with an electric motor there is no mechanical noise. Harley Davidson has designed the LiveWire to make a sound that increases in pitch and volume as the motorcycle increases in speed.
This setup creates an undoubtedly unique experience because there is no clutch to engage. A twist of the throttle is all it takes for instant thrust. 60 mph can be reached in 3.5 seconds. The motor is centered low in the aluminum frame, which helps provide a lower center of gravity that improves the handling. The rest of the chassis includes a fully adjustable Showa fork and Showa mono-shock in the rear.
Brembo Monoblock front calipers pinch dual 300 mm discs to provide stopping power. ABS and TCS help keep things under control in conjunction with seven selectable riding modes. Four modes are preset from the factory and three can be customized.
Harley is also touting its H-D Connect Service, which gives riders the ability to connect with their bikes through an LTE-enabled system. The Harley-Davidson smartphone app provides the following information:
- Motorcycle status: Information available through H-D Connect includes battery charge status and available range from any location where a sufficient cellular signal is available. This allows the rider to remotely check the charge status including charge level and time to completion. Riders will be able to locate a charging station with ease thanks to an integrated location finder built into the H-D App.
- Tamper alerts and vehicle location: H-D Connect indicates the location of the parked LiveWire motorcycle and alerts can be sent to the rider’s smartphone if the bike is tampered with or moved. GPS-enabled stolen-vehicle tracking provides peace of mind that the motorcycle’s location can be tracked.*
- Service reminders and notifications: Reminders about upcoming vehicle service requirements, automated service reminders and other vehicle care notifications.
(Information provided by Harley Davidson)
The Harley Davidson LiveWire is set to go on sale in August 2019 for a price of $29,799.