Harley's brand-savior electric streetbike has finally been fully launched, and here are the figures of consequence: 105 horsepower, 116 Nm (86 lb-ft) of torque, 15.5-kWh battery, 146 miles (235 km) of city range, 70 miles (113 km) of highway riding, and Level 1 or 3 charging.
We already knew at the end of last year that the Livewire will ride on lovely Showa balance-free suspension, with very unHarley-like Brembo monobloc ABS stoppers. By CES in January, we learned it'll rock lean-angle sensitive ABS and traction control systems and a 4.3-inch color touchscreen with navigation built in.
Now we also have acceleration stats: 0-60 mph (0-98 km/h) in 3 seconds flat, and overtaking bursts from 60-80 mph (98-129 km/h) in a sprightly 1.9 seconds. And indeed charging times: flat to full in an hour on a Level 3 DC fast charger, with the 80 percent mark taking 40 minutes. Interestingly, while the Livewire can charge on a Level 2 system, it'll trickle charge at the Level 1 rate, giving you only 13 miles' (21 km) worth of range for an hour's charge, like what you'd get plugging it into the wall at home – so be prepared for a 12.5-hour wait if you need to go from 0-100 and there's no Level 3 charger around.
There will be programmable re-gen braking, water cooling of the "Revelation" powertrain to prevent thermal throttling, and the bike's weight will be a reasonably decent 549 lb (248 kg). The Livewire is also capable of a 45-degree lean angle in either direction, which may set a new record for the brand.
All in all, not a lot of surprises. This is a really nice-looking electric motorcycle, with a decent enough range for urban and city outskirts work, more than enough performance for a fun and snappy ride, and some premium features that will make it a pleasure to deal with day to day.
Unfortunately, there's no change to the key metric that might make the biggest difference to whether this thing will sink or swim in the market: the blistering US$29,799 price tag, which makes it a very expensive proposition no matter whether you're comparing it to premium combustion bikes or other electrics. But it's a Harley. Harleys always look expensive for what you get if you're looking at the spec sheet, and in our limited experience, they can also deliver a unique and compelling experience. Who knows, it just might work. We kind of hope it does.
Enjoy a video below, focusing on the design process.
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