Yes, Harley also has an electric motorcycle in the range and at the dealer in Amsterdam two were ready for us for a driving impression with the Harley Davidson Livewire.
The most traditional brand in the motorcycle world is mainly known for noise. Progressive is the last word that comes to mind when you think of the mostly air-cooled engines. Still, it was the American motorcycle manufacturer who launched the concept from the LiveWire came up.
Four years later it became known that it was not only a fun crafted concept but that a serious production model of the LiveWire was coming. And with that, the brand immediately became a pioneer. The first traditional motorcycle brand to come onto the market with an electric motor. Time for a driving impression with the Harley Davidson Livewire.
With no experience with the brand, I traveled from my Brabant village to Harley-Davidson Amsterdam. It immediately became clear that progressive is a word that fits the brand. To start thinking in boxes for a moment, what does the average HD driver think of the LiveWire? This group misses the noise, according to Robbert (HD Amsterdam) the LiveWire mainly appeals to a new target group. “But they have to ride it before they can pass judgment!” Let’s do that too. Racing suit on and at the back @michaelras On.
The LiveWire is very easy to drive
We both immediately notice that the Harley-Davidson LiveWire feels immediately familiar and very pleasant to handle. The 249 kg goes unnoticed. Actually, it is all very easy. During a stopover, we discuss our experiences and come to the conclusion that he may even be steering too easily. Acceleration is, of course, very linear and the Brembos slow down well. To really enjoy the LiveWire, you have to take the HD with you to the Eifel. A challenging route with many curves brings out the best in the LiveWire. Viewing is in any case guaranteed because the lack of engine noise ensures spontaneous conversations with passers-by.
The differences with a fuel engine
Michael and I both recognize the ‘heartbeat’ that Robbert pointed out to us before we left. The HD has a modest heartbeat that you only feel when you pay attention. Handy to check whether it is ‘on’, because with an electric motor there is of course no roaring from the blister pipes. And there are more differences between the LiveWire and a traditional V-Twin. The kill switch finally has more function than teasing your friends at the traffic light. You ‘start’ the LiveWire with the kill switch. By the way, Michael prefers to drum on his tank at the traffic lights and that sounds a bit different with the LiveWire.
The charging connection is hidden under the ‘tank flap’. With an extra cover you can conjure up the connection for fast charging. In forty minutes, the battery status is 80% again. There is just enough storage space under the saddle for the charging cable. If you connect this to a power outlet, Harley will report 20.8 kilometers per charging hour. Lubricating a chain is also a thing of the past with the electric Harley with the belt drive.
Indicating direction also takes some getting used to. When driving off to the left, I accidentally press the horn a bit clumsily. At the first right turn it is a bigger quest. The switch for the indicator to the right is also on the right side of the steering wheel and that takes some getting used to. The tilt angle sensor in the HD LiveWire ensures that the indicators turn off automatically after a bend. And that is a godsend for a clumsy person like me.
High-end brands for the LiveWire
By the way, I am also a person of the details. For example, you can see miniscule LiveWire above the drive and it does not shine on the HD. A critical look at the rubber shows that Michelin has been able to supply a special set of Harley Davidson. The Scorcher® Sport tires cost 465 euros for a set and the Harley logo is on top of that. In addition to Michelin, we have also seen the Brembo brand pass by. Harley is not trying to reinvent the wheel itself but is now working with Brembo for the brakes, with Showa for the fully adjustable suspension and will work with Rizoma for other accessories. For example, the LiveWire can be customized just like the humming Harleys.
The electric motor produces 105 hp and 116 Nm of torque. The different riding modes adjust power, regeneration, throttle response and traction control. You can choose between Sport, Road, Range and Rain. Rain speaks for itself, in Range the LiveWire regenerates a lot, Road is especially suitable for the highway and Sport is the mode where the most fun can be achieved. We have therefore only driven in the Sport mode. If you would like to adjust something yourself, there are four positions left. In addition to the 4.3 inch touchscreen, the LiveWire is equipped with cruise control, cornering ABS and traction control.
A real driving range is between 100-150 kilometers. If you want to discover the newest of the newest, this is the bike. If you value driving range more, it is still a bit of patience. For me, the LiveWire is a well-steering innovative motor that fits well with so-called ‘innovators’.
A novelty for 2021
For the price of 34,000 euros you own a LiveWire in the color Vivid Black with a four-year warranty. If you want to add a hip color, this costs 310 euros extra and you can now choose from Orange Fuse / Yellow Fuse. If you have noticed that the Harley-Davidson charging station is blue, you can bet on the new color for next year.
Want to see a moving image of the Harley Davidson Livewire? Look below at Nico Rosberg who, as a green pioneer, was of course also allowed to tour the Livewire
Thanks to Harley-Davidson Benelux and Harley-Davidson Amsterdam. Would you like to experience for yourself whether Livewire is something for you. Then you have to go for a spin on their demo. Please first contact Robbert or Mike from HD Amsterdam on 020 833 4455.