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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Good evening fellas!

does anyone truly know the good, the bad, and the ugly differences between the 2020 HD ELW Livewire and the 2022 Livewire One.

I am looking to purchase a Livewire.
Let me start by saying I am emotionally attached to the HD brand and would rather get an HD branded one, but could also simply get a LW One and replace the trim to make it whole again with the HD logos.

The spec sheets prove that they are fairly different, especially the 13lbs weight increase, the 0.1kWh decrease, and the power/torque figures.

I have to admit I am mostly drawn to the idea of getting an HD branded one. But I’d like to hear from you if there are really good arguments to go the other way.
I know some MY2020 bikes had a bad transformer that would trip upon charging at home, but HD has a replacement PCB for it which is installed under warranty, if the bike isn’t already fitted with the new part.

Working in the automotive field has taught me that the best time to purchase a vehicle is 12-18 months after initial launch. That means the company has ironed out the biggest kinks, replaced the major faulty parts. This means that buying a later ModelYear you get a vehicle that has been improved based on market experience.
On the other hand, cost engineers don’t stop working at the launch of a vehicle, and will do their best to reduce the marginal cost of the vehicle by replacing parts and materials with lesser ones, or sometimes removing them altogether, often at the expense of the performance and quality.
This means that a later MY of a vehicle will likely have been stripped of the good quality details that the earlier ones had, especially in areas that that aren’t easy to see.
 

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Welcome to the forum. I faced the same dilemma. I went with the ELW instead of the LW1. There were a few differences that pushed me that way. The ones you mentioned and as well as an additional custom riding mode. I do use all 3 of the custom ones and it is nice to have. I'd rather have the HD version as who knows where the SPAC will be in a few years. At least I know HD is committed to the bike for some time.

While the status connected with the name doesn't mean a lot to me, it still may have an impact on future resale. While I could have swapped out the parts to make it look like the OG LW, I am glad I went the way I did as I like the ELW color choices. I have the orange and it looks awesome. I think the look is better than the cheap looking decals or whatever the graphics are on the LW1. Some may like the look of the LW1 tank but I don't. I haven't seen any major upgrades to the bike so nothing that enticed me to go with the LW1.

I do have an issue with something happening with my display. Seems like it might be affecting a other ELWs (per my dealer) but not sure about LW1's. The screen still works, but it is almost like there is an air bubble under it growing larger. Mine had what I thought might have been more than normal gear whine but after the first service it is quieter and the bike seems quicker. Don't know what all the did but the bike seems like it was improved. Maybe they did a SW update. I plan to ask now that I put a few hundred miles on it after the service.

I have a bunch of bikes and I have to say the ELW is one of my most favorite bikes I've owned. It has almost super bike power but accessible at any time with just a twist of the wrist. Biggest complaints so far are the seat suck, pegs a bit too high and a longer than necessary reach to the bar. Ergos are sort of like a drag bike. If something happened to mine I'd buy another tomorrow.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
I live in Savannah, GA. BTW the HD dealership here has never sought certification to sell or service the Livewire, so I’d have to rely on the shop in Jacksonville FL, some 130 mi out
 

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After going through an ordeal purchasing a "new" 2020 ELW, having the OBC fail on the first day of ownership, having the screen with the bubble mentioned above etc... I purchased a 2022 LW1 and I am very happy, no regrets. I can say I notice an improvement to the response of the display on the 2022 LW1, but I can't prove it. But my initial reaction to interacting with the ELW touch screen was underwhelming and my LW1 feels like what I would expect of a touchscreen display.

P.S. Maybe a SW update would have solved my screen response on the ELW had a kept it, I don't know.

I think the thing I am MOST happy about is that with the ELW, HD Connect was no longer supported. So no app support for new buyers. I was not in any way able to connect or activate my 2020 ELW with the HD Connect app. However my ownership of the 2020 ELW was limited to one day, so I may be wrong here, but the app said the feature was no longer supported, something like that. Just to be clear, the app said this feature was no longer supported (or some kind of similar verbiage), not a failure to connect etc. But I could be mistaken etc.

I like the LW1 Livewire Connect support, and can't imagine not having access to it if I still owned the ELW. Also my 2022 LW1 has three custom ride modes available to configure, so I am not sure why that is mentioned as a difference.

If you go either way I am certain you won't be disappointed, but I suggest comparing the two first, and looking into the HD Connect. I assume that it is working fine for previous owners, but will not work for new owners past a certain date. Otherwise they are pretty much similar. Color should be easy to change, considering the small amount of material to paint or wrap, or as mentioned, purchase HD tanks etc... But I think that is probably more expensive than a custom paint.

Good luck with your decision and enjoy the process!

P.P.S. I did a comment listing the parts difference between the 2020, 2021 and 2022. The biggest changes from the 2020 to the 21 and 22 is a different battery and OBC (on board charging system). What those differences mean, I don't know, but they are completely different part numbers.
 

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I too have had no issues with HD Connect. Most of the time it there isn't much lag from a request given all it has to go through. I'd say typically within 30 seconds to 1 minute for me to get refreshed data from the bike. In general I am pretty happy with it.
 

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Seat and it's mechanism seems to be the most notable. These hd guys are pretty brand loyal. I really hate the Harley brand. If you want a different color get it wrapped. The bike is a large battery with a lot of electronics. They moved some things around to danger money but also I am sure because of real world issues. I tried sell you a computer that had been sitting for 3 years would you be interested? It would you take the current design for the same money? Mostly the same bike. I have yet to hear of a change besides the Corbin compatibility that I would miss. Go figure how much painting it the color you want will cost. Now go figure out how much upgrading the electronics will run you? That said if the livewire price is too high and the Harley price is low enough certainly worth it. Otherwise crazy talk.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
More than the electronics sitting in a dry environment I’d be worried about the rubber of the shocks getting brittle.
Honestly I guess there is no way to tell how better or worse the LW1. Yes electronics and SW might be sizably updated, but also materials could be sizably cheaper.
It’s easy to assume that the ELW was being sold at a loss, even at 30 grand. A good reason to spin off the LW company to keep HD’s books healthy, in much the same way Mercedes Benz did with MCA when making the smart ForTwo (always sold at a loss).
On the other hand I can imagine engineers looking at every corner for opportunities to bring the cost down on the Livewire One.
 

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More than the electronics sitting in a dry environment I’d be worried about the rubber of the shocks getting brittle.
Honestly I guess there is no way to tell how better or worse the LW1. Yes electronics and SW might be sizably updated, but also materials could be sizably cheaper.
It’s easy to assume that the ELW was being sold at a loss, even at 30 grand. A good reason to spin off the LW company to keep HD’s books healthy, in much the same way Mercedes Benz did with MCA when making the smart ForTwo (always sold at a loss).
On the other hand I can imagine engineers looking at every corner for opportunities to bring the cost down on the Livewire One.
What materials are cheaper? You can see the list of changes I posted in this thread:


I compared all three parts manuals to compile that list, they have a section in each one that lists all the new part numbers, so there was no guessing, just some comparing to make sure.

The biggest questions I don't have an answer for and details are few:

1. Where is the extra 40 lbs (ish) on the LW1 vs the ELW? I am going to assume all this extra weight is either in the new battery the LW1 has, or the weights of the two bikes are off for clerical reasons. (The two models were weighed differently?)

2. What is different about the battery in the ELW versus the LW1? They are both rated at 15.5 kWh (woops, looks like the Livewire website just changed the stats to 15.4 kWh... Not sure what to think?). I would love to know what cells are used other than Samsung SDI. Considering both the ELW and LW1 are advertised (I believe) as using Samsung SDI cells, could there be much savings here if a cheaper battery was built for the LW1? Could it be higher rated cells were used for the LW1 increasing the weight of the LW1 and giving it a larger buffer?

Who knows but HD currently...
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Nice job investigating the part number changes!
From my experience a part number with an added letter is simply a new part number, to be considered as a different part.
On the other hand I have seen parts be updated without changing a part number (not a disturbance if the part works like the previous design, especially for fitting and connection standards). Haven’t seen that happen often though.

when checking the parts lists, hopefully through diagrams as well, did you notice parts MISSING in the new design? Sometimes cost engineers find their way towards the removal of things altogether haha
 

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Nice job investigating the part number changes!
From my experience a part number with an added letter is simply a new part number, to be considered as a different part.
On the other hand I have seen parts be updated without changing a part number (not a disturbance if the part works like the previous design, especially for fitting and connection standards). Haven’t seen that happen often though.

when checking the parts lists, hopefully through diagrams as well, did you notice parts MISSING in the new design? Sometimes cost engineers find their way towards the removal of things altogether haha
Unfortunately I did not dig that deep. But I have officially owned both, arguably the ELW for less than 24 hours, but I don't see anything missing from the LW1.

Wait... the fancy "Livewire" script on the right side of the metal trim just above the motor, is missing from the LW1. Which is just stuck on with tape, I think, I know the left side is...

My perspective? The LW1 is slightly updated, with the negative being more weight and less power. But ask yourself, is the more weight due to a denser battery (where else really could all this extra weight be looking at those part changes? Perhaps the LW1 battery weighs more for safety reasons?), and the 500 less RPM (hense the less power) for better longevity and minimal overall impact to performance? 0 to 60 is still rated the same right?

Wait, I thought the bike was heavier? Could they have more battery to pull from? Are the weight differences accurate if the acceleration is the same? Are they both actually the same three second zero to 60?

Sadly, HD and Livewire are not sharing too many deep technical details.
 

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Consider all the major items between the ELW and LW1 (my list is small for thinking)

Tires: same
Frame: same (other than the seat structure)
Rims: same
Brakes: same (I just mean the Brembo brakes)
Suspension: same

Running out of items to cut cost on... must be some of the electronics and battery that are cheaper.

Wait, how many OBC failures have you read about with the LW1? How many LW1 displays are delaminating and bubbles etc? I don't know, I have not counted but I am curious.

I don't think really anything other than possibly a less expensive battery is in the LW1 compared to the ELW. But I don't think that is the case either. I think LW just lowered their margin to get the LW1 into more people's hands with a lower price tag, hoping a larger production will make the difference.

But a less expensive battery would help too. Less expensive but the same warranty. Less expensive but the same (almost the same?) performance and stats. I am beginning to think if it is a less expensive battery, it is not important, other than weighing more, the end result on paper is the same? Or is it weighing more because it is updated denser cells or safety I mentioned? I just don't know. Wish I did.

Fun conversation.
 

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Nice job investigating the part number changes!
From my experience a part number with an added letter is simply a new part number, to be considered as a different part.
On the other hand I have seen parts be updated without changing a part number (not a disturbance if the part works like the previous design, especially for fitting and connection standards). Haven’t seen that happen often though.

when checking the parts lists, hopefully through diagrams as well, did you notice parts MISSING in the new design? Sometimes cost engineers find their way towards the removal of things altogether haha
I worked for an H-D dealer “back in the day” and an alpha after the p/n indicated that the part had been modified or improved somehow but was backward compatible to the original date of the numeric. So, for example, p/n 12345-67 was first introduced in the 1967 model year, 12345-67A superseded that sometime after 1967 but will work back to 1967 for any bike that requires 12345-67. 12345-67B superseded 12345-67A and is still backward compatible, and so on. The changes could represent anything from a repaired defect to a minor improvement to a different part supplier and unless you were part of the decision-making team or the supplier it’s next to impossible to know what changed or why.
 

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I worked for an H-D dealer “back in the day” and an alpha after the p/n indicated that the part had been modified or improved somehow but was backward compatible to the original date of the numeric. So, for example, p/n 12345-67 was first introduced in the 1967 model year, 12345-67A superseded that sometime after 1967 but will work back to 1967 for any bike that requires 12345-67. 12345-67B superseded 12345-67A and is still backward compatible, and so on. The changes could represent anything from a repaired defect to a minor improvement to a different part supplier and unless you were part of the decision-making team or the supplier it’s next to impossible to know what changed or why.
Also, for a while in the 1980s, H-D sold their own line of “aftermarket” parts branded as “Eagle Iron”; these had the same p/n as the OEM parts but with a “T” at the end (e.g.: 12345-67T.
 
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