The LiveWire is gonna be expensive!

49% of the US Median Annual Household Income Gets You an H-D LiveWire with 110 Miles of Range

…and still no XR1200 replacement in sight.

We figured that Harley-Davidson was gonna play the “premium pricing” card—and Harleys are premium motorcycles in many ways, despite the stupid shit that the haters love to say about 1940s technology in 2019, Hardley-Ableson, and so on. My, how clever.

But $29,799—49% of the 2017 median annual American household income of $61,372—for 110 miles of city range? Come on! That’s a non-starter.

At least the specs are up to par: 214 horsepower and 91.5 lb-ft of torque in a 386-pound package featuring fine-ass forged aluminum rims, traction control, Bosch cornering ABS…

Oh shit, sorry. That’s an Italian Harley, the Panigale V4 Corse you can buy for $196 more than a LiveWire.

Yeah, yeah, it’s a gassy bike. Gasser. Whatever.

Actual specs for the LiveWire are spotty at best, with no power or torque numbers available yet, but lots of breathless excitement about the bike’s “high-performance electric propulsion, evocative design, and cellular connectivity,” as well as its “new signature Harley-Davidson sound” that “represents the smooth, electric power of the LiveWire motorcycle.”

Cellular connectivity? Yep:

H-D™ Connect Service: The LiveWire motorcycle is equipped with H-D™ Connect, which pairs motorcycle riders with their bikes through an LTE-enabled Telematics Control Unit coupled with connectivity and cloud services using the latest version of the Harley-Davidson™ App. This technology makes the LiveWire motorcycle the first North American mass-market cellular-connected electric motorcycle. With H-D Connect, data is collected and transferred to the app to provide information to the rider’s smartphone about:
· Motorcycle status: Information available through H-D Connect includes battery charge status and available range from any location where a sufficient cellular signal is available. This allows the rider to remotely check the charge status including charge level and time to completion. Riders will be able to locate a charging station with ease thanks to an integrated location finder built into the H-D App.
· Tamper alerts and vehicle location: H-D Connect indicates the location of the parked LiveWire motorcycle and alerts can be sent to the rider’s smartphone if the bike is tampered with or moved. GPS-enabled stolen-vehicle tracking provides peace of mind that the motorcycle’s location can be tracked.*
· Service reminders and notifications: Reminders about upcoming vehicle service requirements, automated service reminders and other vehicle care notifications.

Confusingly, HD-Connect—clearly the reason to drop an extra $13k on the LiveWire—will only be available in certain markets. That asterisk at the end of the second bullet denotes that assistance from law enforcement is required to track stolen bikes—in case some new-to-Harleys LiveWire buyer has been watching too much SOA and decides to go get his recently-jacked bike back.

I say “extra $13k” because the pre-ordering a LiveWire will cost you $13,304 more than buying a $16,495 Zero SR today, which offers similar performance and a claimed city range of 179 miles, compared to the “optimized for the urban street-rider” (yes, they really said that) 110-mile range of the LiveWire.

Astute readers will recognize that this isn’t an electrons-to-electrons comparison. One real-deal big deal that the LiveWire brings to the party is seriously rapid, Level 3 DC fast charging, which according to our contact at H-D, will let you “fill up” 80% of the range in 40 minutes. Harley dealers that sell the LiveWire (apparently not all ‘of em) “will offer a public DCFC charging station.” There is of course onboard Level 1 charging as well, expected to provide a full charge overnight.

You can add faster Level 2 charging to the SR by way of Zero’s $2,295 “Charge Tank,” but those same astute readers will also recognize that Level 2 is not as good (or fast) as Level 3.

Speaking of Zero, the new and “mysterious” SR/F will be revealed on 2/25, and I’ll bet you a week of fancy lattes (dirty chai, please) that it won’t cost $30k. Will it have fast charging? Maybe? Probably?

On the plus side, the LiveWire continues to look good, like it has for the last… what is it now? Five years? The contrast-colored motor housing still looks like a bomb about to be dropped off the underbelly of a Dubya Dubya Two bomber, but other than that weird torpedo, the LiveWire doesn’t appear to have bunch of nonsensical, extraneous shapes hanging off of it and doesn’t feature overly complicated lines, even if what I’ll call the tank-al area recalls the slight awkwardness of our fondly-remembered XR1200R. Overall, it looks like a pretty decent rendering of the popular ass-up, abbreviated tailsection styling that every bike “builder” is hot for right now.

But again, come on… 110 miles of city range for thirty grand is preposterous. It’s almost like Harley-Davidson is trying to discourage pre-orders. I’m sure some serious moto-scholar is cooking up a conspiracy theory about that right now, so I’ll leave that shit for the DisinfoWars dimwits.

The LiveWire will be available in August of this year. You can pre-order and read Harley’s version of things here.

By the way, the LiveWire preorder availability press release included a couple “concepts.” I’m not going to waste (m)any words on these two—basically an electric version of those good old lawmnower-based minibikes and what looks like the redheaded stepchild moped-esque lovechild of a mountain bike and an Alta (aw shit!)—because Harley hasn’t shared any real info. But here are the photos, because everyone loves photos, especially ones of concept bikes that will probably never be real.