Harley-Davidson (Harley) has made it official.  It’s newest and its first electric bike, the Livewire will be available in August 2019.  But it’s not going to be cheap to ride an electric Harley.  Starting price of the new machine is $29,799.  It’s not yet clear what other options may be available and how much they could add to the Livewire’s starting price.

Note:  The Livewire’s FAQ page lists the Livewire as being available through North America and Western Europe in the Fall of 2019.

Charging

Claimed range is 110 miles in mixed riding.  To get that range, Harley says that the Livewire can be charged using a standard household outlet.  Three levels of charging will be available.  The charging levels posted on Harley’s website are not the clearest.

Verbatim from Harley’s website:

The LiveWire™ can be charged at any compatible charging station, or with its on-board charger and a standard household outlet.

  • Level 1 (standard household outlet): 13 miles range per hour of charged.
  • Level 2: LiveWire can be connected to a Level 2 charge unit but will be charged at the Level 1 rate.
  • Level 3 (DC Fast Charge): 192 miles range per hour charged.

We’ll let you determine what this really means until we get clarification.

Performance wise, Harley claims the bike goes from 0 – 60 MPH in under 3.5 seconds.  Since the bike is electric, there is no clutch and no shifting required.

Technology

Harley has made use of technology with the Livewire.  A telematics system called H-D Connect is Harley’s proprietary system which feeds data about the bike to the owner via an app.  Harley says the benefits of H-D Connect are:

H-D™ Connect allows owners to connect remotely to their LiveWire™ motorcycle and allows for viewing of key vehicle health information such as battery charge status. It will also send you security alerts if your bike has been bumped, tampered with or moved. GPS-enabled stolen vehicle tracking provides peace of mind. H‑D™ Connect also tells you the location of your parked motorcycle on a map, sends you automated reminders about upcoming vehicle service and a charge station locator.

The first year of H-D Connect service is free.  Thereafter, Harley only says that there will be a subscription fee without disclosing how much the service will cost.

If an owner doesn’t buy the service after the free first year, they will not be able to utilize any security features or obtain any remote statuses.  Also, if an owner does purchase the subscription, H-D Connect will not function if there is no cellular service.  Harley says that “generally” H-D Connect will continue to function in areas with lower cellular quality such as 3G areas.

Since Harley is trying hard not to alienate existing users and Harley’s distinctive sound, Harley says the Livewire will produce “a new signature Harley-Davidson sound as it accelerates.”

Compared To Zero Motorcycles

Zero Motorcycle’s Zero S ZF14.4 starting price is $13,995.  It has a claimed mixed riding range of 120 miles.  So based solely on price and claimed range, the range performance between the two is similar, but the Livewire will have a price premium of about $15,800.  That’s a lot of money to pay for the Harley brand.

We’ll keep you apprised of what’s happening with the Livewire as more information becomes available.

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