Harley-Davidson LiveWire

After the longest public gestation of a motorcycle in the history of history, Harley have finally released the technical specifications of their new LiveWire.

Harley Davidson LiveWire
Harley-Davidson LiveWire

Show me the numbers!

  • Weight – 249 kilograms (549 lb.)
  • Torque – 117 Nm (86 ft-lb)
  • Power – 105 hp (78 kW)
  • How fast – 0-100 km/h in three-seconds
  • City Range – 235 km (146 miles)
  • Highway range at 110 km/h – 113 km (70 miles)
  • Combined Range – 152 km (95 miles)
  • WMTC Range (euro standardised test) – 158 km (98 miles)
  • Normal power outlet charge time – 12.5 hours to full
Harley Davidson LiveWire
Harley-Davidson LiveWire
  • Fast outlet charge time – 1 hour
  • Batteries – Lithium Ion, 12.8V, 24 Wh, 120
  • Five year warranty on the RESS battery system
Harley Davidson LiveWire
Harley-Davidson LiveWire

Other points of note…

  • Harley call this motor the ‘Revelation’
  • It is water-cooled
  • From a normal 240-volt power outlet you get about 18km of range per hour charged
  • It still has oil! The single ratio gearbox runs in an oil bath
  • Battery is a 15.5kWh high-voltage lithium-ion battery
  • Battery cells are housed in a finned aluminium housing acting as a heat-sink
  • The motor recoups power under braking
  • The rider can select how much ‘engine braking’ they want
Harley Davidson LiveWire
Harley-Davidson LiveWire
  • A charge cable for a normal 240-volt power outlet is stored on the motorcycle
  • Traction control sensitive to lean angle
  • ABS has lean angle worked into its algorithms
  • Wheelie control, on a Harley! Yep, the LiveWire has it
  • Rider Modes – Sport, Road, Range, Rain and Custom
  • Showa provides the suspension (BFRC and SFF-BP)
  • Brembo Monobloc stoppers
  • Rear tyre is a 180/55, front is a 120/70
Harley Davidson LiveWire
Harley-Davidson LiveWire

Trev’s take on the LiveWire

You know what, I am a bit of a fan of this bike and I hope it is a real success.

Of course the real barrier to sales success will come from the price of entry.  My educated guesstimate, after looking at comparative pricing overseas ($29,799 in the USA), is that the Live Wire will command a sticker price of somewhere around $45,000 in Australia.

Harley Davidson LiveWire
Harley-Davidson LiveWire

In the current economic climate that is a lot of coin. But plenty of people are paying more than 35k for a Breakout and the Live Wire is a much smarter, faster motorcycle that represents the future, rather than the past… Will that be an alluring enough proposition for customers?

Harley Davidson LiveWire
Harley-Davidson LiveWire

Only time will tell, but if based purely on performance then there is no comparison. The Live Wire is not only so much faster in a straight line, but with 45-degrees of available lean angle, and decent spec’ Showa suspension, it also promises cornering performance light years ahead of the likes of the Breakout.

Harley Davidson LiveWire
Harley-Davidson LiveWire

But then people generally don’t buy Harleys for their performance now do they…?  It is the vibration, the sound, the smell, the history, the sensory experience…

Harley Davidson LiveWire
Harley-Davidson LiveWire

Does the Live Wire invade the senses and stir up any emotional appeal?  I have only briefly sampled an early prototype some years ago in Malaysia and I was impressed. It seemed Harley had done some clever work in the drivetrain with straight-cut gears to produce a whine reminiscent of an old rootes style supercharger, or a hot-rod / muscle car with a purposefully noisy set of timing gears. It sounded alright to my ears, and that whine was accompanied by a level of thrust very much stronger than a conventional Big Twin Harley. It was a glimpse into the future for me, and now that future is nearly here… Well for Americans it is, here in Australia it looks as though we still have another 12 months to wait, our first shipment at this stage does not look likely until August, 2020.

Harley Davidson LiveWire
Harley-Davidson LiveWire

Harley-Davidson LiveWire Specifications

86 ft-lb
RPM max 15,000
Type Internal Permanent Magnet Synchronous Motor with Water Jacket cooling
Motor Name Revelation®
Inverter type IGBT
Pole Count 6
Power (hp/kW) 105 HP (78kW)
Diameter 6.69 in. (170 mm)
Stack Length 3.94 in. (100 mm)
Lithium Ion
Capacity 15.5kWh total, 13.6kWh min usable
Charge Plug Type
SAE J1772 Combo Inlet (CCS1) / IEC 62196 Combo Inlet (CCS2)
On-board charger, charge rate 1400 W
AC wall charging time (not verified) Target – Full charge in 12.5 hrs 
– Capable of 12.6 miles/hour charge rate (MIC city cycle)
DC fast charging time (not verified) Target – Full charge in 1.0 hr 
– Capable of 192 miles/hour charge rate (MIC city cycle)
DC to DC conversion 450W at 14.2V
MIC City
146 mi (235 km)
Highway (70 mph sustained) 70 mi (113 km)
Combined 95 mi (152 km)
WMTC (World Motorcycle Test Cycle) 98 mi (158 km)
Hands-free Mobile Phone – via Bluetooth
Voice Recognition Languages: Phone functions only Via paired iOS or Android device
Voice Recognition Languages: Tuner/Media/ Navigation Via paired iOS or Android device
Bluetooth Phone/media supported
Telematics Standard
84.1 in. (2,135 mm)
Overall Width 32.7 in. (830 mm)
Overall Height 42.5 in. (1,080 mm)
Seat Height, Laden / Unladen 30 in. (761 mm) / 30.7 in. (780 mm)
Ground Clearance 5.1 in. (130 mm)
Rake (steering head) 24.5 deg
Trail 4.3 in. (108 mm)
Wheelbase 58.7 in. (1,490 mm)
Tires, Type Michelin® Scorcher® “Sport”
Tires Scorcher® “Sport”
Tires, Front Specification 120/70 ZR17 58W
Tires, Rear Specification 180/55 ZR17 73W
Transmission Capacity 0.34 qt (0.32 L)
Coolant Capacity 0.8 qt. (0.72 L)
Weight, As Shipped 549 lb. (249 kg)
Weight, In Running Order 549 lb. (249 kg)
Gross Vehicle Weight Rating 949 lb. (430 kg)
Gross Axle Weight Rating, Front 434 lb. (197 kg)
Gross Axle Weight Rating, Rear 580 lb. (263 kg)
Primary Drive (*Cert)
Spiral bevel gear , 55/17 ratio
Final Drive (*Cert) Belt, 3/1 ratio
Transmission Single Speed
Gear Ratios (overall) 1st (*Cert) (X.XXX) 10
Aluminum cast
Swingarm Aluminum cast
Front Fork SHOWA® 43 mm Inverted Separate Function Forks – Big Piston (SFF-BP®), fully adjustable
Rear Shocks SHOWA® Balance Free Rear Cushion Lite (BFRC-lite®), fully adjustable
Wheels, Type Black, Split 5-Spoke Cast Aluminum
Wheels, Front Dia. / Width 17 in. (432 mm) / 3.5 in. (89 mm)
Wheels, Rear Dia. / Width 17 in. (432 mm) / 5.5 in. (140 mm)
Brakes, Caliper Type Dual 4-piston monoblock radial mount front, dual-piston rear
Brakes, Rotor Type Dual floating rotors (front), floating rotor (rear)
Brakes, Front Diameter / Thickness 11.8 in. (300 mm) / 0.2 in. (5 mm)
Brakes, Rear Diameter / Thickness 10.2 in. (260 mm) / 0.2 in. (5 mm)
Brakes, Anti-Lock Braking System (ABS) Standard
Suspension Travel, Front / Rear 4.5 in. (115 mm) / 4.5 in. (115 mm)
Lean Angle Testing Method
Lean Angle, Right / Left (deg) 45 / 45
Lithium Ion, 12.8V , 24 Wh, 120 A
Charging Onboard DC to DC conversion
Lights (as per country regulation), Headlamp All LED, low beam, high beam and signature position lamp
Lights (as per country regulation), Tail/Stop LED with light pipe tail
Lights (as per country regulation), Front Signal Lights LED
Lights (as per country regulation), Indicator Lamps High beam, turn signals, ABS, traction control, EV fault
Lights, Rear Turn Signals LED, Amber
Gauges 4.3” WQVGA 480×272 TFT Color Display with Ambient Light Sensor, 9 warning lights, Real Time Clock and Integrated Bluetooth Connectivity to a Smartphone to provide infotainment features including turn-by-turn navigation, telephone, music, and voice recogni
Electric Power Outlet USB C-type; output 5V at 3A



Harley-Davidson LiveWire Images

Arc Vector RHS

Together in electric dreams? | Not in Boris’s dreams…

Together in electric dreams? Not in Boris Mihailovic's dreams.... Let me make my understanding plain. I understand...
E Racer rugged edge

E-Racer Motorcycles introduce Edge & Rugged Mark2

2020 E-Racer Motorcycle Edge & Rugged Mark2 E-Racer Motorcycle have introduced two new specials, the Edge...
Arc Vector RHF

Arc Vector to ride the hillclimb course at Goodwood FOS

Electric neo-café racer to compete in Goodwood hillclimb The £90,000 zero-emission café racer Arc Vector...
MotoE World Cup test Valencia Final Start

Eric Granado wins MotoE race simulation from Garzo

MotoE Niki Tuuli fastest in final test session 23-year-old Brazilian Eric Granado (Avintia Esponsorama) took initial...
MotoE World Cup test Valencia Tues MotoE Grid Test

Bradley Smith tops MotoE testing ahead of race simulation

MotoE heads towards first full race simulation Bradley Smith (One Energy Racing) may have missed...