Harley LiveWire is Familiar, yet Very Different, says Fortune Review

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Harley LiveWire

Harley’s first all-electric bike feels like a Harley when you climb in the saddle. But from there, the LiveWire is like nothing else, reports iconic magazine.

Harley-Davidson motorcycles are known for producing a lot of noise. Ironically enough, however, no model in the company’s 115-year history has made as much noise publicly as the LiveWire – an all-electric bike that produces virtually no sound. Times are undoubtedly tough for H-D these days, and the LiveWire is supposed to be the first in a series of new models that will right the financial ship. Many feel that the bike’s success is tied to things like looks or price. But in the end, what really matters is how it rides.

Making an electric motorcycle feel like a Harley is obviously the most difficult task to pull off. Clearly, there’s no way to give it that signature V-Twin rumble. So we’re left wondering – can Harley forge ahead in a changing world without losing its core identity? To find out, we look to Fortune‘s recent seat time on a LiveWire simulator. And right off the bat, they note that while it looks different than any other Harley, the LiveWire “feels like you’re getting on any of the company’s other bikes.”


But that’s where the electric Harley’s similarities to past models begins and ends. There’s no “loud roar” upon startup. No “rumbling, bone-shaking growl” from its engine. But that doesn’t mean that it’s silent, like many other EVs. In fact, Fortune notes that the LiveWire exhibits a “higher pitched sound as it accelerates,” a feature that will undoubtedly seem strange at first.


Also See: Zero Motorcycles’ SR/F Takes Aim at Harley’s LiveWire


The lack of violent noises and vibrations doesn’t take away from performance, of course. Harley says the LiveWire will do 0-60 in just 3.5 seconds, and Fortune’s butt dyno agrees. “Electric or not, this thing seemed like a fast bike,” they noted. Combined with a lower center of gravity and adjustable suspension, the LiveWire should corner much better than your traditional Harley, too.

2020 Harley Davidson LiveWire

A brave new world, indeed. Now all that’s left is to see if people can change their perception of what a Harley-Davidson is.

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Brett Foote has been covering the automotive industry for over five years and is a longtime contributor to Internet Brands’ Auto Group sites, including Chevrolet Forum, Rennlist, and Ford Truck Enthusiasts, among other popular sites.

He has been an automotive enthusiast since the day he came into this world and rode home from the hospital in a first-gen Mustang, and he's been wrenching on them nearly as long.

In addition to his expertise writing about cars, trucks, motorcycles, and every other type of automobile, Brett had spent several years running parts for local auto dealerships.

You can follow along with his builds and various automotive shenanigans on Instagram: @bfoote.

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