Everything You Need To Know About The Harley-Davidson Livewire
May 08, 2020 08:24
Mass-production electric motorcycles with comparable performance to their gasoline counterparts have been around for nearly a decade. But Harley-Davidson has taken its time in entering the electric motorcycle market by testing, refining, and perfecting its prototypes for more than five years.
With the unveiling of the 2020 LiveWire, the wait for the electric hog is finally over. For environmentally-conscious fans of the Bar and Shield or those who just love the unique performance characteristics of battery-powered machines, the LiveWire is likely to meet or exceed their expectations.
Let’s take a look at a few of the highlights that Harley’s long-awaited entrant brings to the electric motorcycle market.
Its lengthy development allowed Harley-Davidson to get it right the first time
The LiveWire is beautifully styled, with tasteful nods to its legendary Harley pedigree. The design of the LiveWire is sleek, simple and elegantly proportioned, harkening back to the brand’s glory days of the no-frills raw power preferred by freedom-loving outlaws. But neither do the throwback design notes totally conceal the cutting-edge machinery that drives this bike. The most notable being the absence of Harley’s trademark thunderous roar, replaced by a barely audible whirl.
The seat is placed just 30 inches above the ground, enough to accommodate most riders. However, the relatively small size and agile look of the LiveWire might conceal its relatively hefty 600-pound weight. Even so, the LiveWire looks to be one of the best-performing electric bikes on the market.
The LiveWire’s road performance is superlative
The LiveWire has a listed range of 110 miles, with a maximum range of around 145 miles per charge. While the LiveWire’s range is respectable, motorcycles that cost much less have similar ranges. However, the somewhat low range is partially offset by fast charge times: an 80 per cent charge can be achieved in just 40 minutes.
When it comes to other aspects of performance, the LiveWire really delivers. One of the inherent benefits of electric-motor propulsion is the nearly uniform torque that is available at all speeds. With the ability to accelerate from 0 to 60 in under 3.5 seconds, the LiveWire is no exception to this rule.
Harely-Davidson has spent a great deal of time, making sure that throttle application is natural and well-suited to a wide range of driving conditions. The LiveWire remains tame in city traffic while easily allowing for adrenaline-pumping acceleration down wide-open stretches of country road.
Advanced traction control and ABS makes it one of the safest models to ride
The LiveWire also features an advanced traction control and antilock braking system that is driven by a six-axis accelerometer. These systems add significant levels of safety to the motorcycle’s operation, preventing wheel slip through almost any riding angle.
The LiveWire also comes with a system to prevent unwanted wheelies and stoppies. A great feature for driving on wet or uneven road surfaces.
The latest in-built technology features
The LiveWire’s has an impressive roster of built-in technology features. The bike has a rather pedestrian-looking LCD screen that is mounted centrally on the handlebars. But this system, which allows for touchscreen control even while wearing riding gloves, offers the rider a great deal of control.
The LiveWire has a number of different riding modes, including those for rain, road, sport, and range. It also allows for customisation of riding modes, with three user-preset configurations. However, the LiveWire does not incorporate fine-tuning of the suspension into its ride modes.
The LiveWire also comes with an available LTE connection as standard. This allows owners to remotely monitor the progress of charging, checking the physical location of the bike, and a number of other useful features.
The LiveWire rides great
Most importantly, the LiveWire is one EV that won’t disappoint in any aspect of its ride. With breakneck acceleration throughout nearly its entire speed range, the LiveWire has a listed top speed of 110 mph. With 86 pound-feet of torque delivering 105 horsepower at the wheels, the LiveWire’s muscle never slackens until just below reaching its top end.
The LiveWire also provides smooth power and a laid-back ride when desired. It’s comfortable but not overly soft suspension strikes the right balance between rideability and handling. It also comes with an adjustable Showa suspension, featuring Big Piston forks. Giving the LiveWire wicked stopping power are standard two-disk Brembo front brakes with four-piston calipers.
As the first full-production EV bike from a major manufacturer, the LiveWire hits most of the right notes you'd expect from Harley-Davidson. The LiveWire is a fully functional, practical electric motorcycle without any of the flaws seen in some of its competitors' models.
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