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The 2019 Harley-Davidson LiveWire Is Far Too Expensive

All image credits: Harley-Davidson
All image credits: Harley-Davidson

Struggling motorcycle company Harley-Davidson’s vision for embracing the future is offering a full line of electric motorcycles by 2022. The first of these electrified bikes will be the 2019 LiveWire and, like all other Harley motorcycles, it’s expensive.

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Let’s just get it out of the way first. The bike’s MSRP comes to $29,799. That is an expensive bike no matter which way you look at it. Do the specs justify the price? Read on to decide.

The all-electric LiveWire will apparently hit 60 from a stop in 3.5 seconds. There is no clutch and no gear shifting, which will definitely make riding an extremely different experience. And riders will be able to slow down using the power regeneration mode in addition to the brakes.

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The frame is made from lightweight cast aluminum, which probably helps offset the weight of the battery. There’s fully adjustable front and rear suspension and a touchscreen display.

Because the powertrain sits low in the bike, it should be able to handle well and be easier to balance while stopped. Additional features include ABS and traction control, both of which are fully electronic.

Illustration for article titled The 2019 Harley-Davidson LiveWire Is Far Too Expensive

Then we get to the range. Harley estimates 110 miles of urban roads on a single charge, which... isn’t great. And you can expect that mileage only to drop on the highway, as motorcycles aren’t the most aerodynamic.

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One of the advantages of motorcycle ownership is their superior mileage over cars. You’re supposed to be able to fill up less frequently and go further. This bike is less than a Honda Rebel, which gets an estimated 200 miles between fill-ups. It won’t be a matter of simply popping over to gas station, either.

Harley says that the LiveWire can be charged at “any compatible charging station” and times are as follows:

  • Level 1 (standard household outlet): 13 miles range per hour of charge.
  • 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.

Harley might be doing a Tesla thing, in that it releases the expensive, flashy EV first and then follows it up with the smaller, cheaper offerings. At least, I hope this is the business plan. I don’t think this bike is bad-looking and I want to see more electrified bikes.

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The LiveWire will be available starting August 2019.

Illustration for article titled The 2019 Harley-Davidson LiveWire Is Far Too Expensive
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Illustration for article titled The 2019 Harley-Davidson LiveWire Is Far Too Expensive
Illustration for article titled The 2019 Harley-Davidson LiveWire Is Far Too Expensive
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Illustration for article titled The 2019 Harley-Davidson LiveWire Is Far Too Expensive
Illustration for article titled The 2019 Harley-Davidson LiveWire Is Far Too Expensive
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Illustration for article titled The 2019 Harley-Davidson LiveWire Is Far Too Expensive

Writer at Jalopnik and consumer of many noodles.

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DISCUSSION

I feel like they’d be hard-pressed to have made this more wrong for their market or any market if they tried.

  • It’s electric, so the typical Harley person will hate it.
  • It’s expensive so someone looking for an electric bike can’t afford it.
  • It’s inefficient for its intended purpose, so someone willing to spend the money will look for a different option.

They hit the failure trifecta!