2020 Harley-Davidson LiveWire Evaluate – Cycle Information
Rennie Scaysbrook | August 28, 2020
Three weeks with a Harley-Davidson LiveWire produced some enjoyable rides, some perplexed onlookers, and extra questions than solutions.
Images by Equipment Palmer
Final August, I flew as much as Portland to journey the Harley-Davidson LiveWire electrical motorbike. To say this was eagerly awaited can be considerably of an understatement. Was I excited? Sure. Pleased with the way it carried out? Sure. Satisfied of its potential? Additionally, sure, however…
Press launches are designed to point out the motorbike in its very best mild and Harley did an excellent job with the LiveWire. Portland’s roads appeared to swimsuit the vary of its very fast electrical motor and battery pack, though the roads did present up the stiff and moderately unforgiving nature of the suspension and chassis mixture.
As such, judgement was reserved till I received maintain of 1 a yr later (can’t consider it’s already been that lengthy), for a three-week sojourn in So Cal. Would the vary be as much as LA-style using, what with its plenty of freeways which might be a should to get wherever? Would I be so enamored with the LiveWire that I’d take into account throwing down $30K for one? Learn on.
At $29,799, the LiveWire is the sixth costliest motorbike in its vary of road bikes/cruisers (not together with trikes, as a result of, , they ain’t actual bikes). For that cash, you get far and away the sportiest machine within the Harley’s line-up. And when you think about the electrical propulsion, that makes the LiveWire ironic within the excessive.
Electrical motorbike producers like to pipe on about how all of the torque is on the market from zero rpm. Meaning you get all of the go, on a regular basis, and consider me, there’s a number of go together with the LiveWire.
20-60 mph roll-ons present such acceleration it’s genuinely laborious to consider it’s Harley-Davidson supplying you with this expertise, not Yamaha, Ducati or Aprilia. Pin the throttle even from a standstill and also you’re fired towards the horizon sooner than most supercars, but it surely’s if you’re already shifting that the acceleration actually shines. It’s not simply quick for a Harley, it’s quick, full cease.
My absolute favourite a part of the LiveWire is the throttle response. Harley has completed exceptionally nicely on this entrance, mapping a connection between the rider and the twist grip that’s one of the best I’ve ever skilled on an electrical motorbike and among the best on any gasoline motorbike, for that matter. The significance of such a feat must be emphasised, as a result of, not like its petrol-powered brethren, the LiveWire has no emissions legal guidelines to stick to, which is the enemy of a pleasant throttle response by way of the fuel-injection mapping required to go stated legal guidelines.
The throttle is delightfully deft, permitting the rider to dial in as a lot go as they like so fluidly, it’s nearly telepathic. Wind it on and issues occur so fast you don’t have time to consider the shortage of noise, or the lacking gearbox—you’re merely involved with having fun with a journey so very totally different to what you’d anticipate from the Bar & Defend.
That’s till you take a look at the sprint and see your vary disappearing like Houdini on a bender.
Right here’s my least favourite a part of the LiveWire. The vary from the 15.5kWh battery is just not ok, not in case your using consists of freeways, metropolis using, city commuting, , all of the locations you go on any given journey.
Once I left my place to spend a morning taking pictures images for this text, I had the LiveWire charged to the hilt. A full 100% vary confirmed, and I used to be off and working. My journey included a bit of little bit of suburbia, a fast stint on the freeway, a canyon scratch, some extra suburbia, and one other brief freeway leg house. That totaled 73.4 miles, leaving me with seven p.c cost out there and a quoted six miles of vary.
Granted, this was within the Street mode (you get Sport, Street, Rain and Vary—that ultimate mode is designed to work the regenerative braking as laborious as attainable to get extra cost again into the battery if you roll off the throttle). I ought to have put it in Vary however needed to see how far I’d go simply utilizing the Street setting, which has rather less regenerative braking.
The consequence? A attainable 80-miles vary in Street mode. For a $29,799 MSRP motorbike. Excuse me in my criticism, however that’s a joke. Once I returned house, I plugged the LiveWire into the wall and was proven it might take 10 hours and 43 minutes to cost again to full.
Harley-Davidson didn’t match Stage Two charging (Stage One and Two cost on the identical charge), however you may roll as much as any Stage Three DC Quick Cost station throughout the nation and go from zero to 80 p.c in 40 minutes, or 100% in an hour, and with the abundance of Stage Three stations round in populated city areas, getting a cost shouldn’t be a problem. Nonetheless, you may’t be blissful should you journey for 80 miles and it’s a must to sit for an hour every time you want a cost. The place the LiveWire turns into a viable various is should you journey 20-25 miles every technique to work and might cost it if you get house, and even at work. Apart from that, it’s not a convincing argument.
One fascinating factor is that electrical motors, not simply the Harley, are claimed to realize higher rage should you use them in cease/begin conditions, like metropolis visitors, in comparison with utilizing them at a continuing pace on the freeway, like gasoline bikes.
Harley claims 146 miles of vary when utilized in “metropolis” using, nevertheless, I couldn’t get a greater common than about 1.1-1.3 p.c of vary per mile whereas using round my native streets, which was as near NYC-style using as I may get.
That might then get me near about 90-95 miles of vary, method under what Harley quotes. Nonetheless, I can’t remark definitively on the “metropolis” vary till I simply take one into downtown LA and dodge the tent cities for a day. However then I’d be caught there, for at the least an hour, till I received a DC Quick Cost prime up.
It will need to have been powerful for Diego Cardenas, the Californian who rode a LiveWire from San Diego to the Canadian border by using the West Coast Inexperienced Freeway. The optimum phrase right here is “freeway.” That’s the realm the place you get the least quantity of vary from a given cost. Cardenas rode over 1400 miles and took eight days to get there (presumably he was simply out for an extended cruise, moderately than to make time). If he did it in even half that point, he’d be stopping a lot to cost he might as nicely have taken the practice.
It might sound like I’m being an a-hole right here, and in some respects, I’m. Nonetheless, using with one eye always on the remaining vary shouldn’t be solely annoying, it detracts from an in any other case wonderful motorbike.
The match and end on the LiveWire is great, as is the 4.3-inch touchscreen that truly does work with gloves, moderately than simply the corporate saying it does. There’s cruise management, respectable brakes, though the texture on the lever is a bit of picket, and luxury is mostly fairly good regardless of the stiff suspension. There’s a little bit of a attain to the ’bar, but it surely helps general consolation by serving to the rider lean into the wind with out placing a lot weight on the wrists.
Oh, and the seems to be on individuals’s faces if you glide previous, proud and silent, letting the paint shimmer within the solar, is sort of well worth the ticket value alone.
However the vary means I can not advocate the LiveWire over a gasoline machine. Not but, at the least. Bummer, as a result of there’s nothing just like the jollies you get from pinning a LiveWire at 20 mph and see 80 mph flash up on the display screen earlier than your thoughts has had an opportunity to catch up. It’s silly quick, and in that regard, already method forward of most gasoline bikes.
Hopefully, at some point, in a number of many years from now, somebody will learn this text and say, “man, how far we’ve come!” Electrical bikes will solely get higher from right here, cost instances will scale back, vary will improve, and so forth. However that point isn’t right here but. CN
2020 Harley-Davidson LiveWire Specs
|Energy unit:||Revelation Inner Everlasting Magnet Synchronous Motor with Water Jacket cooling|
|Charging:||Onboard DC to DC conversion|
|Entrance suspension:||43mm Inverted Separate Operate Fork, absolutely adjustable|
|Rear suspension:||Stability Free Rear Cushion Lite (BFRC-lite), absolutely adjustable|
|Entrance brake:||Twin 300mm disc, 4-piston caliper, ABS non-obligatory|
|Rear brake:||260mm disc, 1-piston caliper, ABS non-obligatory|
|Entrance tire:||120/70 ZR17|
|Rear tire:||180/55 ZR17|
|Seat peak:||30 in.|
|Weight (claimed):||549 lbs.|
|Colour:||Orange Fuse, Yellow Fuse, Vivid Black|
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