Harley-Davidson's LiveWire Performance Numbers Are Better Than Expected

Illustration for article titled Harley-Davidsons LiveWire Performance Numbers Are Better Than Expected
Image: Harley-Davidson

When Harley unveiled the production-ready LiveWire electric bike at CES in early January, we were all focused on the Wisconsin brand’s pricing strategy. With an MSRP of $29,799, and a whole lot of estimates, question marks, and TBAs when it came to the bike’s ultimate performance, we were forced to assume the worst. As it turns out, things are a bit better than we may have believed in January, but the bike is still hellaciously expensive.

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According to Harley, it has finally performance tested and certified the LiveWire in production trim. The 0-60mph time was previously expected to be 3.5 seconds, but that’s been beat by a massive half-second, sitting at 3.0 now. The 60-80mph time is even more impressive at just 1.9 seconds. According to Cycle World, that’s way quicker than anything non-electric, including the legendary Suzuki Hayabusa and Triumph’s Rocket III.

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Acceleration was always going to be the LiveWire’s strong suit. It was expected to fall short on range. While Harley still won’t say what size its battery stack is, it appears to be just a smidge smaller than that found in the new Zero SR/F. While the Zero manages 82 miles of 70-mph riding, the Harley falls short of that. It doesn’t quote a full highway number, but somewhat misleadingly slaps an 88 mile number on a “combined” city and highway. 140 miles of city range for the LiveWire isn’t too bad, however.

So, the Harley is really quick. It’s not quite as quick as Kawasaki’s supercharged H2, despite costing about the same money. For now, the fastest of gasoline motorcycles still outpace Harley’s electric, but it’s closer than we thought.

I’m starting to come around on the price of the LiveWire, but it’s still pretty expensive. Give it a few years and inexpensive electric bikes will start coming down the pike. For now, we have to rely on people to buy into the more expensive models, like the Livewire, to push companies to focus on making more of them. I’m ready for it.

Jalopnik contributor with a love for everything sketchy and eclectic.

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DISCUSSION

afborroni
Alexioflexio

im surprised that Italy’s premier EV manufacturer, the ones who actually race in e-motogp, with the best technology in the moto EV market today, is never mentioned. Energica Motors is owned by CRP.. premier supplier to F1 and aerospace. Their electric tech and their motorcycle performance is way ahead of Zero.. or the Harley.. and yet Zero is always quoted as a competitor. Seriously, bizarre.. at the cost of seeming conspiratorial, I have to wonder. Again, the manufacturer who runs e-motogp, who produces amazing Electric bikes for the USA market.. is not mentioned as a competitor. why? https://www.energicamotorusa.com/