Standby: the world of motorcycling is about to change with the introduction of Harley-Davidson’s electric motorcycle, the LiveWire.
Price: $49,995 AUD / $53,995 NZD
The world is changing before our eyes: massive industries are dying; others are being born and yet others are adapting remarkably well to the future. Harley-Davidson is one of the latter. Harley has released an all-electric motorcycle, the LiveWire. While diehards might see it as a betrayal of the 117-year-old brand’s values, the first electric mainstream motorcycle is far from it.
The LiveWire offers the rider a high-performance motorcycling experience infused with a new level of technology, and the premium look and feel of a Harley-Davidson product. And the motoring world is gushing about it.
This is because the LiveWire is, by any measure, a game-changing piece of engineering, and very different from anything you would have ridden. First off, there’s no clutch. Or gear-shift lever either, because there’s no gear shifting. (This will definitely appeal to new learner riders, something Harley needs to do as its traditional fan base of middle-aged riders shuffles off to the retirement home.)
There is a gearbox, but it’s a single-speed transmission using a bevel gear and belt drive. The LiveWire is powered by the all-new H-D Revelation™ permanent-magnet electric motor rated at 78 kW (105 horsepower ) and producing 116 Nm of torque.
Unlike an internal combustion engine, the H-D Revelation can produce 100 percent of its rated torque the instant the throttle is twisted, and 100 percent of that torque is always available,
And also unlike an internal combustion engine, there’s no engine oil to change, and no spark plugs, air filter or primary drive to service. Electric power also eliminates maintenance issues associated with ethanol-blend gasoline and off-season storage. Of course, you’ll still have regularly service consumable items, such as the drive belt tension, gearbox oil, brake fluid and brake pads, and tyres at recommended intervals.
The LiveWire is powered by a 15.5kWh high-voltage battery composed of lithium-ion cells (made by Samsung), positioned in the centre of the motorcycle and surrounded by the motorcycle’s cast-aluminium frame.
Charging can be done via a standard 240-volt household outlet with a special power cord that stores below the motorcycle seat. According to Harley, DC Fast Charge technology provides a 0-80 per cent of battery charge in 40 minutes or 0-100 per cent charge in 60 minutes. Primarily suited to the city rider, the battery will deliver 235 km of city range or about 152 km of combined stop-and-go and highway range.
Although we haven’t had the chance to ride the bike yet, Harley says centre of gravity has been optimised to enhance traction, braking, and cornering performance. To top this off with the bike has a stylish look that will surely turn heads and usher in a whole new generation of fans.
You can now experience the thrill of the all-new, all-electric LiveWire that’s available in 8 dealerships in Australia. Head here.