Harley Releases Full Specs For 2020 LiveWire

The Motor Co.’s first electric will be here very soon. Here’s what we know.

Preorders have been taken for the US, Canada, and Europe, and the countdown to the full release of Harley's hugely-anticipated LiveWire electric is now in the final stages, with media tours and ride events happening as we speak. The first production electric motorcycle from the Motor Company is set to hit dealerships this fall and Harley is banking on a lot with this premium product, the first in a series of electric models looking to establish Milwaukee as a leader in the electric motorcycle segment. Its debut is a big part of the More Roads to Harley-Davidson plan to build the next generation of riders through new products, and its impact will undoubtedly be huge in that regard.

We’ve gotten dribs and drabs of LiveWire specifications over the last few months, and we’re set to ride the thing shortly, but now that all the numbers are finally out we’ll give you a quick overview of what’s now known.

2020 Harley-Davidson LiveWire on road.
The 2020 Harley-Davidson LiveWire is coming to dealers very soon, and we’ve finally got all the info on it.Harley-Davidson
2020 Harley-Davidson LiveWire electric motor called "Revelation."
The LiveWire’s electric motor is called Revelation, and Harley’s official power rating for it is 105 hp.Harley-Davidson

Harley revealed months ago that the new all-electric powertrain would be called Revelation, but not much else. Now we have more details about the new permanent-magnet motor which is mounted longitudinally and low in the chassis under the battery, for a lower center of gravity, and cooled by a water jacket, with coolant running through a small radiator. While there’s no transmission per se there is a gearset arrangement due to the motor’s longitudinal layout, so that the output shaft can be turned 90 degrees to align the drive belt sprocket with the rear wheel. The shaft mates to a gearbox containing a 9.71:1 gear reduction running in an oil bath. At the tail end, the drive belt transfers power from the gearbox output pulley to the 17-inch rear wheel, with a 3:1 ratio between the output pulley and the wheel pulley. The gearset is set up to generate a distinctive new mechanical sound as the LiveWire accelerates and gains speed.

Another aural detail relates to the starting sequence. When the rider activates the powertrain, the electric motor puts out a subtle pulse to let them know the bike is on and ready to ride. The pulsing stops when the bike begins to move, and starts up again when you come to a stop.

Lastly, that Revelation motor is rated at 105 hp (78 kW) and produces a claimed 86 ft.-lbs. of torque, with 100-percent of its rated torque ready the instant the throttle is twisted.

2020 Harley-Davidson LiveWire battery.
The battery is a 15.5 kWh high-voltage unit composed of lithium-ion cells, with a max range of 146 miles (city).Harley-Davidson

The LiveWire’s 15.5 kWh high-voltage battery (or RESS; Rechargeable Energy Storage System) is composed of Samsung lithium-ion cells and is placed up in the bike’s center, surrounded by the cast-aluminum frame. The RESS is wrapped in a cast-aluminum finned housing which also acts as a heat-sink to help cool the cells—the housing attaches to the frame at multiple points to shore up overall chassis rigidity. Air scoops on the bodywork further direct cooling air to the upper part of the housing/battery.

The large capacity battery is said to provide 146 miles of city range or 95 miles of combined stop-and-go and highway range as measured using the MIC City and MIC Combined tests. There’s power regeneration capability as well when the LiveWire is coasting “off-throttle,” and the motor becomes a generator putting charge back into the battery (it feels like an engine braking effect). The level of regeneration varies depending on the Ride Mode, and riders can also adjust the regeneration setting within the custom Modes. There’s also a 12-volt lithium-ion accessory battery for start-up and key fob recognition duty.

2020 Harley-Davidson LiveWire charging battery.
H-D has baked DC Fast Charging technology into the LiveWire, and is offering a strong charge support network across its dealerships and other DCFC stations.Harley-Davidson

You charge the LiveWire’s high-voltage battery in two ways. The Level 1 onboard charger plugs into a standard 120-volt household outlet, which gets you 13 miles for each hour of charging. Figure on getting a full charge overnight with Level 1 charging. The LiveWire also comes with Level 3 DC Fast Charge (DCFC) capability, which gives you a 0–80 percent charge in just 40 minutes, with 100-percent charge in an hour, through a SAE J1772 connector. You can also charge the LiveWire at a Level 2 charging station, but it’ll charge at the Level 1 rate.

Harley also put their money where their mouth is on the crucial question of charging accessibility; they’ve committed to a strong network of charging stations which will include all Harley-Davidson dealerships that want to carry the LiveWire. Every H-D dealership selling the LiveWire—around 150 at this time—is required to have dedicated electric charging stations, and that includes at least one Level 3 DC fast charger. Every stocking LiveWire dealership is also required to keep at least one specially-trained staff member on hand to help LiveWire interested buyers and answer questions, as well as a specially trained Harley-Davidson Master Motorcycle Technician.

US LiveWire customers will get free charging on ChargePoint stations at participating dealers for the first two years, and Harley is also giving LiveWire owners 500 kW of free charging service at Electrify America DCFC charging stations.

2020 Harley-Davidson LiveWire bikes riding on road.
This thing flies. Acceleration (0–60mph in 3 seconds) and other performance numbers look very healthy indeed.Harley-Davidson

The instant torque from the H-D Revelation powertrain makes for screaming fast acceleration from a stop, and Harley tells us the LiveWire goes from 0–60 mph (0–100 kph) in 3.0 seconds and 60–80 mph (100–129 kph) in 1.9 seconds. We’re guessing that roll-on acceleration will be an absolute blur, especially with no clutch or gear shifting to mess with.

2020 Harley-Davidson LiveWire touchscreen display.
As the first in Harley’s new portfolio of electrics, the LiveWire comes packed with the latest connectivity tech and a super-sharp, adjustable touchscreen display.Harley-Davidson

A tilt-adjustable 4.3-inch color TFT touchscreen (thin-film transistor) mounted just above the handlebar offers the rider info like a speedometer, range, and high-voltage battery status. There are also several rider-selectable options, including a power meter that indicates power usage while riding, a Ride Mode indicator, charging status and alert information keyed to warning lights (turn signals, ABS active, check engine/battery overheat, etc.).The touchscreen only functions when the bike isn’t moving though many of the display options can be changed while riding.

You can also tap into the Bluetooth connectivity to use with your smartphone and a wireless headset through the touchscreen. Riders can listen to music from their phones and accept calls, with info displayed on the touchscreen, and the Harley-Davidson App lets you tap into turn-by-turn navigation instructions.

Meanwhile the H-D Connect (developed with Panasonic) technology links a LiveWire owner with their motorcycle via the free Harley-Davidson App. H-D Connect basically serves as a modem connecting LiveWire bikes to the cloud, and core functions (turn-by-turn directions, ride planning, dealer and event locations) of the app are included with the download. With H-D Connect and the app, riders can check key vehicle health info any time (provided there’s a cell signal), including things like battery charge status or available range. They can even check the bike’s location, set tamper alerts and enable service reminders. H-D Connect will be live in the fall of 2019, and is free for the first year of owning the LiveWire, but then requires a subscription. Details can be found on H-D.com/connect.

2020 Harley-Davidson LiveWire rear wheel.
Because it’s a premium motorcycle, the LiveWire is outfitted with top-shelf components.Harley-Davidson

We’ve already mentioned the rigid lightweight aluminum frame, which should keep things pretty responsive in the handling department. But the premium supporting components H-D has chosen for the LiveWire will also help; you get a high-performance and fully adjustable Showa BFRC (Balance Free Rear Cushion-lite) monoshock out back, as well as a matching 43mm inverted Showa SFF-BP (Separate Function front Fork-Big Piston) front suspension that’s also adjustable and designed for low-speed damping control to handle typical urban riding scenarios.

The LiveWire rolls on a pair of 17 inch wheels shod with H-D/Michelin Scorcher Sport rubber (180mm rear and 120mm front), and helping to slow down the 549 pound machine are dual 300mm rotors with Brembo Monoblock front brake calipers.

2020 Harley-Davidson LiveWire on road.
There’s a full suite of rider aids to supplement all those trick bits, too. One of those is a Bosch six-axis IMU for state of the art traction control and bank angle sensing.Harley-Davidson

As you’d expect from a premium electric motorcycle, the LiveWire comes with a full set of electronic rider aids and interfaces, many of which are customizable.

Ready for the acronyms? First up is the Reflex Defensive Rider Systems (RDRS) which incorporates Cornering Enhanced Anti-lock Braking System (C-ABS), Cornering Enhanced Traction Control System (C-TCS) and Drag-Torque Slip Control System (DSCS) all designed to give riders more confidence and control in sketchy situations.

The C-ABS system is there to prevent the wheels from locking up under braking for better control in a straight-line emergency scenario, operating independently on the front and rear brakes, but C-ABS also factors in the lean angle of the motorcycle to determine brake pressure when cornering. Rear-wheel Lift Mitigation uses the C-ABS sensors and the six-axis inertial measurement unit (IMU) to manage rear-wheel lift during heavy braking.

Meanwhile, the Cornering Enhanced Traction Control System (C-TCS) is designed to keep the rear wheel from “spinning out” under acceleration, especially in wet weather conditions or when the surface changes. Each pre-programmed ride mode has a specific level of C-TCS, and in the customizable ride modes, riders can choose from three levels of C-TCS intervention or even deactivate C-TCS. It’s always on in Rain Mode, however.

Finally, the Drag-Torque Slip Control System (DSCS) manages rear-wheel slip and prevents rear-wheel lock due to regenerative braking during deceleration on wet roads. DSCS kicks in at speeds over 10 mph and works with the ABS system to balance deceleration and rider control.

2020 Harley-Davidson LiveWire electronic dashboard with modes.
It also has plenty of Ride Mode options. Riders can choose from seven selectable Modes that electronically control the bike’s performance and levels of intervention.Harley-Davidson

Four of the LiveWire’s modes are pre-programmed while three are customizable. Each Ride Mode gives you a specific combination of power, regeneration, throttle response, and traction control. Ride modes can be changed any time, either while riding or when stopped.

Sport Mode gives you the full performance potential, with full power and the quickest throttle response. Traction control is at its lowest level here, and regeneration offers big off-throttle braking effect.

Road Mode is more of a balance between tech and performance, with ABS and TCS intervention for peace of mind and more traditional (read; internal combustion-like) riding experience.

The Range Mode is the one that gives you the smoothest inputs with a high-level of regeneration so riders can squeeze the most range out of a battery charge.

Rain Mode, as expected, restrains acceleration and limits regeneration with more electronic intervention.

Riders can turn off the Traction Control System (TCS) when stopped, except in Rain Mode, when it’ll always be on. No dice with the Anti-lock Braking System (ABS) however; it can’t be disabled. With the bike off, the rider can create up to three Custom Modes, choosing Power, Regeneration, Throttle Response and Traction Control levels from 0 to 100 percent, and Traction Control can be set to Low, Medium or High.

2020 Harley-Davidson LiveWire beside river and bridge near city.
As you’d expect from a Harley, the LiveWire pays a lot of attention to styling.Harley-Davidson

The LiveWire follows a key Harley-Davidson styling mantra by keeping the focus on the motor. In this case, the H-D Revelation electric motor is the visual ground zero, with its bright case and uniquely muscled shape. Even the aluminum case for the battery gets distinct styling elements like the sculpted cooling fins that somewhat mimic the similarly horizontal fins on an air-cooled engine. The paint treatment, naturally, is specifically chosen to convey an emotional point, which points to the advanced technological aspect of the LiveWire. The special paint looks like anodized metal and comes in two exclusive colors, Yellow Fuse, and Orange Fuse—or you can just go with the basic Vivid Black (which looks more like standard gloss paint).

2020 Harley-Davidson LiveWire seat.
You can accessorize it with new or existing parts.Harley-Davidson

Harley’s also offering a nice spread of accessories tailored specifically for the LiveWire should you want to farkle up your new ride. The fresh bits include a two-up seat and tail section, a speed screen blade, sleek trim, hand and foot controls, and a motorcycle cover with a charging cord port. What’s even cooler is that many existing Harley-Davidson Genuine Motor Parts & Accessories, including hand and foot controls, mirrors and Spectra Glo decorative lighting, can also be used on the LiveWire.

2020 Harley-Davidson LiveWire beside river in front of city.
It’ll be available before you know it.Harley-Davidson

The LiveWire will hit select Harley-Davidson dealerships in the United States (150 of them, at last count), in the fall of 2019, with Canada and most European countries getting them next. Expanded availability is then planned for 2020 through 2021. We expect US deliveries to start by summer’s end. The LiveWire MSRP is $29,799.

2020 Harley-Davidson LiveWire front wheel fairing.
The LiveWire comes in a metallic-looking Orange Fuse or Yellow Fuse paint color. You can also opt for black, which seems to be fuseless.Harley-Davidson

2020 Harley-Davidson LiveWire Specifications

MSRP $29,799
MOTOR Revelation internal permanent-magnet synchronous motor w/ water jacket cooling
TRANSMISSION/FINAL DRIVE Single-speed/belt
CLAIMED HORSEPOWER 105 hp
CLAIMED TORQUE 86 lb.-ft.
FRAME Cast aluminum
FRONT SUSPENSION Showa 43mm inverted Separate Function Fork - Big Piston, fully adjustable
REAR SUSPENSION Showa Balance Free Rear Cushion-lite shock, fully adjustable
FRONT BRAKE Brembo Monoblock 4-piston radial-mount caliper, dual 300mm discs w/ Bosch lean-sensitive ABS
REAR BRAKE Brembo 2-piston floating caliper, 260mm disc w/ Bosch lean-sensitive ABS
WHEELS, FRONT/REAR Split 5-spoke cast aluminum, 3.50 x 17 in. / 5.5 x 17 in.
TIRES, FRONT/REAR 120/70R-17 / 180/55R-17
RAKE/TRAIL 24.5°/ 4.3 in. (108mm)
WHEELBASE 58.7 in. (1,490mm)
SEAT HEIGHT 30.7 in. (780mm)
WEIGHT 549 lb. (249kg)
AVAILABLE Fall 2019
CONTACT harley-davidson.com
2020 Harley-Davidson LiveWire ride modes on right grip.
In total, there are seven Ride Modes; Four pre-programmed, three customizable. You can change them any time via the mode button on the right grip. Cruise control is on the left grip.Harley-Davidson
2020 Harley-Davidson LiveWire with bodywork funnel to help with cooling.
Scoops on the bodywork funnel outside air to the upper part of the battery to help with cooling.Harley-Davidson
2020 Harley-Davidson LiveWire with Showa Balanced Free Rear Cushion-lite) monoshock.
The LiveWire gets high-spec bits like this Showa BFRC (Balanced Free Rear Cushion-lite) monoshock with independently adjustable compression and rebound damping.Harley-Davidson
2020 Harley-Davidson LiveWire on road.
Harley went with a longitudinal motor layout rather than transverse mainly for visual punch, but that orientation also allows the LiveWire to lean 45 degrees—more than any other H-D model—before the pegs touch down.Harley-Davidson