As you can probably tell at this point, Harley shipped a bunch of journalists out to Portland, Oregon, to have them test out the company’s new LiveWire. The LiveWire is Harley’s somewhat controversial entrant into the electric motorcycle field. The bike would be well received by many more people if it wasn’t so damned expensive.
As it sits, the price is set for right around $30,000. That’s too much money in my opinion, but that hasn’t stopped the company from getting deposits for roughly half of the bikes it’ll send to dealerships.
Harley released technical specs for the motorcycle recently. The bike gets a 15.5kWh lithium-ion battery that sends power to an internal permanent magnet synchronous motor with water jacket cooling. The bike makes 86 lb-ft of torque and 105 hp. It’ll do 0-60 in three seconds.
It’ll do 146 miles in the city, 70 miles highway, and 95 miles in mixed riding. With DC fast charging you can get up to 80 percent of the battery charged up in 40 minutes, which to me sounds like enough time to grab a leisurely lunch.
Opinions from Testers
Harley offered rides to journalists for various publications (we were for some reason excluded) and the reviews have mostly been positive. Here’s what some folks said:
“Hopefully, LiveWire will open potential riders’ minds to a new generation of Harley-Davidson vehicles. Then, the halo will have served its purpose. In the meantime, it’s a fun, compelling ride.” – Jason Fogelson at Forbes
“What’s special about the LiveWire is, despite the new logo, it looks and even feels like a real Harley when you’re on it, even without those hog pipes. After all, perception is reality, right?” – Hannah Elliot at Bloomberg
“I’d argue that you’re paying for a brand name with at least some prestige, a bike that is packed with quality engineering, and style that will snap necks. Is it for everyone? Not a chance. But maybe that’s why it’s good.” – Bradley Brownell at Jalopnik
“Overall, I was deeply impressed with the LiveWire. I did a whole lot of whooping and demented cackling in my helmet as I thrashed it around the twisties outside of Portland. That’s about as good a recommendation as I’ll give any bike. LiveWire is fun.” – Jason Marker at RideApart
All reviewers had their caveats. They all worried about price or performance or Harley in general. I can see why. Harley took a risk here and even if the bike is excellent, the company may have some issues selling it at the price they want to get for it. I have no doubt it’s a fun bike to ride, but I’m unsure if the LiveWire Harley really needs.