Expert Insights

Harley-Davidson's LiveWire EV Motorcycle

Dave Nichols
June 30, 2023
The LiveWire is an all-new, full-electric motorcycle, with zero crossover to any other bike in the Harley-Davidson range. The focus was on building a premium bike, whose full electric power didn't remove the soul of a Harley.
Man Riding a Fast Motorcycle

Harley-Davidson's LiveWire EV Overview

We’ve all seen electric bicycles and even small electric motorcycles such as those produced by Brammo back in 2012 (since they used electric motors, they were still technically motorcycles). Now Harley-Davidson has stepped up with the first serious full tilt sport cruiser with its LiveWire Electric bike. The Motor Company is hoping the EV bike will draw younger riders to embrace the company’s green energy pastures.

Woman Charging the Harley-Davidson LiveWire EV Motorcycle

Zero to 60 Faster Than You Can Read This!

The LiveWire is an all-new, full-electric model, with zero crossover to any other bike in the H-D range. The focus for the machine is on making a premium electric motorcycle, that still has the soul of a Harley-Davidson. So, it was interesting to learn that the LiveWire is extremely un-Harley-like in a couple of ways. First off, it devours corners with the ferocity and finesse you’d not normally attribute to a bike from the Milwaukee-based brand. It’s quick to turn, exceptionally well balanced and can carry extremely good levels of corner speed, despite its light weight.

The second and most obvious difference is the lack of any kind of H-D thunderous burble from the engine, although that said, it isn’t silent by any means. The bike shrieks towards maximum revs, sounding like a cross between an F15 and a Tie Fighter from Star Wars, launching you toward the next bend with similar light-speed urgency. Harley-Davidson says the maximum speed for the LiveWire is 114 mph with a claimed 105 horsepower generated by its 78 kilowatt motor.

The bike was first displayed to the media in June 2014 and made available for public test rides at United States Harley dealerships later that year. In January 2018, Harley-Davidson announced that the motorcycle was entering production and would hit the market in 18 months. The first deliveries were made in September 2019.

In March 2020, Michel von Tell set a world record for distance covered in 24 hours on an electric motorcycle, using the LiveWire. He rode 1,070 miles, traveling from Zurich, Switzerland to Singen, Germany. Later the same year, the streaming video documentary series Long Way Up followed the two-wheeled exploits of actor Ewan McGregor and Charlie Boorman riding LiveWires in Central and South America, covering 13,000 miles.

The 549-pound electric bike’s top speed is electronically limited and has a range of 146 miles between charges. It can go from zero to wet your pants 60 mph in a mind-melting 3 seconds. Yes. Zero to 60 faster than you can read this.

However, the price may slow you down a bit as this sci-fi scooter retails at a whopping $30,000. If that doesn’t put the brakes on for you, give the LiveWire a test ride at your local Harley-Davidson dealer. It’s probably the most complete electric motorcycle currently available.

Harley-Davidson LiveWire EV Motorcycle Being Ridden on Open Road