Harley-Davidson Plugs Into The Future With The Electric LiveWire

Harley-Davidson has been working on the LiveWire for years and the motorcycle manufacturer has finally revealed the production bike and some preliminary specifications.

Set to be launched next year, the LiveWire is unlike any previous HD model as it has an electric powertrain. This isn’t just a fluke as the company intends to be the “world leader in the electrification of motorcycles” and expects to offer a full range of electric models by 2022.

Getting back to the LiveWire, the bike has been designed for the “urban street-rider” and it features an evolutionary design which some classic HD styling cues. While engines are typically one of the more prominent features on motorcycles, the LiveWire doesn’t have one so it’s lithium-ion battery pack takes center stage.

Harley-Davidson was coy on technical specifications, but said the bike has an on-board Level 1 charger and a power cord which is located underneath the seat. While there’s word on range or recharging times, the LiveWire can also be used with Level 2 or Level 3 chargers featuring either a SAE J1772 connector (USA) or an IEC type 2 connector (International).

Besides the primary battery pack, the LiveWire will have a separate 12-volt lithium-ion battery. This will power the lights, horn and instrument cluster.

Speaking of the latter, the motorcycle has a color touchscreen display which is tilt-adjustable and provides access to a wide range of information. The company didn’t mention the display’s size, but said it will have Bluetooth connectivity and available GPS navigation.

While it remains to be seen if traditional HD owners will embrace the LiveWire, the company has high hopes for the model. As they noted, the bike’s electric motor provides immediate torque and “astounding acceleration with just a twist of the throttle.” There’s no word on performance specs, but the bike will have a unique sound that “increases in pitch and volume with speed.”

Besides the mysterious powertrain, the LiveWire has 17-inch wheels with Michelin sport tires. The front wheels are backed up by a Brembo braking system with features dual 11.8 inch (300 mm) discs that promise to deliver outstanding stopping power. The bike also has anti-lock brakes and a traction control system. Other highlights include a rigid aluminum frame, a fully adjustable Showa suspension and a low center of gravity.

Additional information, including pricing, will be announced in January.

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  • João Coelho ??

    Looks great!

  • Mynameis Taylor

    so Erik Buell was right after all………

  • Six Thousand Times

    Haven’t ridden one yet but I love the idea of an electric bike.

  • Mr. EP9

    “While it remains to be seen if traditional HD owners will embrace the LiveWire, the company has high hopes for the model.”

    They won’t but I doubt that’s going to be a death sentence for the LiveWire; how it performs compared to the competition will. Pressure is on Harley, don’t screw it up.

  • Wandering_Spirit

    Been in the making for quite a while…i am not a fan of electric vehicles but on a HD and similar models it makes sense to carry them over the 21st century and a new imaginary dimension where customers are both (at least in their dreams), imaginary wanderers in the physical world and digital wanderers in an intangible world…

  • LeStori

    Should be called the Whispering death. No one will hear you coming. You will be more likely to be involved in an accident. On the plus side there should be more organ donors!…

    • “the bike will have a unique sound that “increases in pitch and volume with speed.”

      • kDawg

        Won’t be loud enough to get the soccer mom’s attention with kids screaming in the minivan. LOL

        • DR.FUNK

          …And don’t forget that text that has to be answered.
          I’m guessing that Harley and others in the e-bike space are betting that car makers will make radar / lane detection software pretty much standard. (i hope they do)

      • Karl

        Poor fella,he either read but with little understanding of what he read or he skipped the article to grandstand in the comments section.

        • LeStori

          I cannot hear most motor bikes as it is as my car sound proofing masks the noise. Even something like a normal Harley-Davidson only makes noticable noise when accelerating. Find it hard to believe that the “unique” sound eminating from an electric bikes noise generator will be more noticable than a reciprocating engined Harley. Especially in high risk situation suburban traffic.

  • Anthony James

    Torque!

  • performante

    and somehow, it will still leak oil.

  • Wandering_Spirit

    Makes sense as a rationale. Urban cowboys maybe. But the idea that your mileage is so low might not go well with a brand like HD.

  • Toronado_II

    The sound of a Harley is half is charm…

    • Dennis James

      I remember now nice steam locomotives sounded.

      • Toronado_II

        Ahhhh… come on !

  • DR.FUNK

    I like it…on many fronts.
    1) It’s an attractive bike.
    2) You know it’ll have performance.
    3) It shows that Harley is not trying to ride off into extinction on V-Twins.

  • DR.FUNK

    On the near horizon…motorcycle companies will probably lead the way toward flying vehicles for personal transport.(prediction)

  • DR.FUNK

    Not a biker here…but what range would make a biker comfortable?

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