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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi, looks like a great forum here so hopefully will be some candid and quality responses that might help others considering a Livewire as well.

After having EVs for sometime, I decided to take the plunge on an electric motorcycle. I used to live by the Zero factory and rode all the new models when they came out and was impressed how they evolved over time. None of them every really ticked enough of my boxes to lay down the cash until recently. I was also very interested in the Livewaire when it came out but at $30k, the value wasn’t there for me.
When I saw that they basically dropped the ’22 models about 8k and you could pick up used ones in the high teens, it brought me back to looking at them a lot more seriously. There has also been other bikes that popped up on my radar; Energica.

I like Harley’s, have owned a few in my 50+ years of riding, but normally gravitate more toward sportbikes, hyper nakeds, dirt track bikes, and sport touring. So basically I wasn’t Harley’s target audience for the most part but the Livewire crosses into what I am interested.

I recently test rode the Zero SR/S and the Energica Ribelle and Ego. The Zero was pretty decent, has a good dealer network, not super quick but definitely not slow. Acceleration is an important part of my buying decision. The Zero is about 3.5 0-60,the Energicas I rode about 2.6 and looks like the Livewire is about 3.0. I think the Energicas would be even quicker than claimed if you could keep the front wheel down. They’ll easily do wheelies at 70-80 mph.

All pretty much will be quick enough on a daily basis to enjoy though the Zero is getting on the slow end of what I’d be looking for.

One of my concerns about electric bikes, and its something I experienced on the Zeros, even in the cooler air of coastal California, is throttling back due to heat. A hard run up a mountain pass, even in 70F temps and the power started to pull back because the thermal load on the motor was too much for sustained peak power. I live in Florida now and it is pretty hot for a lot of the year. So starting almost 30F warmer and riding the bike hard, I think the Zero’s power will fade pretty quickly if I ride more aggressively. It would pretty quickly go from 3.5 sec 0-60 likely into the high 4’s, 5’s if you get the motor too warm.

The Energica’s are pretty much immune to it from what I’ve seen (they have liquid cooled motors). I took them on a test ride in a 100F day and I saw no sign of fade at all. How is the Livewire under these circumstances? Can you do a lot of full throttle runs and not have the power reduced because of heat either for the batteries or motor?

Another concern I have is about the design choices Harley did with charging. From what I’ve read you have L1 charging which is very slow and basically L3 which is dependent on the having a fast charger nearby, and even then it doesn’t seem at a very high rate, likely to preserve the battery. It seems like they missed the Goldilocks options of L2 at higher rate than L1. It appears you can do L2 charging but it doesn’t charge any faster than L1.

I have 2 Tesla chargers in the garage and a Nema 14-50 for our other EV. L2 charging would have been a great option if someone needs faster than L1. This is a pretty big concern of mine. With the Zero or Energica I can recharge the bike with L2 in under 2 hours. The Energica also supports L3 and will charge to 80% in 45 minutes. Comparing the range specs similarly the Livewire goes about 145 miles (optimum conditions) vs 245 for the Energica. Maybe adding a fairing to the Livewire would help extend the range on the highway.

So let’s say I want to go for a 50-60 mile run on the highway, which will probably use 60%+ of my charge, it will take me a long time (5+ hours) to charge back up on L1. On the Energica or Zero, I could be back on the road at home on my L2 in less than an hour with an almost full pack. This just seems like a terrible oversight. Anyone found a workaround yet?

Charging is probably the biggest thing holding me back from a Livewire. There are a lot more dealers for them than Zero or Energica.

Anyone else shop the competition (recently)? If so, why did you, or didn’t you, go with the Livewire?

Any pet peeves that have surfaced over time? The one I set on the mirrors seemed to offer a great view of my shoulders. I assume someone makes extenders or better mirrors?

Would you buy our Livewire again after owning it for awhile? This isn’t my first bike so the acceleration isn’t going to wow me, likely my daily driver car will be quicker. I have other bikes now most of the time I am riding on my H2 Kawasaki which is very quick.

I am looking for a fun, fairly quick, daily rider that isn’t a lot of hassle to maintain. I want it to handle and brake well and be engaging to ride in general

Based on current market conditions, is it better to buy the all new ’22 for about 22k+ all the stupid fees and tax or maybe consider used? I’ve seen dealers blowing out the leftover ‘20’s for about the same price. Seems better to get the newer if no real difference. Down the road it will be 2 less years of depreciation.

An alternative is a used one I ran across. It is a used ’20 model I might be able to pick up for about 17k. I am not sure how much warranty is left? Which leads into the question of how reliable in general they have been. First year vehicles can have a lot more issues than the ones that came later.

If I do go with a new one, that pricing s pretty close to the Energica which has better charging options (L1, L2 and L3), much quicker, better range, highest top speed, outstanding customer service BUT a very small dealer network and chain drive. The Zero would likely be the safest, but the most boring choice.

The post turned out longer than I planned but a lot of thoughts came up while I was writing. The dealer just called back I am off to test ride a Livewire now which might help finalize my decision but input from some of you would be helpful.
 

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You are correct, the Livewire charges with L1 or L3. L2 is at the L1 rate. Some people want L2. Others, like me, prefer having L3 available. It will do 100 miles of spirited riding on a charge. Some riders seem to get 150 by being conservative and very eco minded. It is an hour to recharge on L3, or overnight on L1. I like being able to ride 90 or 100 miles recharge over coffee or lunch, and ride 100 more. I'd hate togive up L3 for L2.
 

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Check the demo bikes from livewire directly for 22's at lower prices. And there are some HD LW's in the teens new from dealers trying to get out of the market. Let me know if you have trouble finding them. Yeah I hear you about level two. But level 3 is fast and once it is everywhere it will be a thing. I think comparing the Energica's is harder. I don't think I would trade level 3 for level two of the zero's. The zero's look and feel cheaper to me. There are a lot of old ones of the bigger zero's sitting around that didn't sell. This new Zero store thing turns me off but if you own tesla you probably don't care. I would have probably purchase and FXE if they had one in stock. But they didn't. And I didn't want the 16K zero's. Seems like you have a lot of super sport kind of options. At the same price I think the One is the better motorcycle. The Zero software is clearly less stupid. Hard to know if the dealers are equally dumb. It probably varies. You can buy the Livewire one direct and I think that is a pretty good option keeping the Dealers in check. I am hoping the HD community influence on LW keeps them more open to modification and tuning which I think leads to longevity. I think the Zero risks being ewaste in 10 years. The LW One certainly has some risk there two but I paid 8K more to hedge against that. I mean if you don't need one now it is kind of hard to recommend purchase before the first of the year. But maybe I don't fully get the details of the new bill and it isn't done yet. Maybe today. Level 3 isn't really that reliable around me yet. But I mostly ride less then 30% into the battery pack. So level 1 has it back before I need it again.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Thanks for the insight so far. L3 makes sense if it is substantially faster than what L2 would be but I don't see that would be the case here from what I've read. L3 has been very problematic when I've traveled in our non-Tesla car that supports it.

As for the bill before Congress, I didn't see anything about motorcycles or even e-bikes in it. If there is an income limitation, I'll likely be excluded anyway.

The zero store is something I understand but can't say I am a fan of either. Their L2 charging is definitely fast enough to make a difference.

@xophere - I'll DM you about dealers wanting to dump their leftovers. Who will be supporting the 2020 LW's going forward, the HD dealers or the Livewire dealers?

I test drove the LW and if I can find one at the right price I am in. Feels better than the Zero. Quality is higher. I think the Energica is clearly better but I am not sure I'm willing to pay the price premium as the advantages it has won't be as evident in how I plan to use the LW.
 

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I think for L3 is 10x L1 for me. Yes it sucks but open a ticket with LW and they will work on it. You just have to test the network and plugshare. Yeah I think that bill is the same thing for me. I think Jack pointed out the language for you on youtube already. Strange these conversations in mutiple mediums. Yeah also the Energica has a lot more mechanical systems. It is trying to be the real deal replacement. Where the LW 1 is really the best bike they could build with the comprimises. And some HD dealers are becoming LW dealers. Others aren't. Will the LW dealers that aren't HD dealers support the HD? That is a good question. Certainly the HD dealers with support the HD. My dealer is both for now. My plan is to only use them for issues that are outside standard work. Warranty, parts, etc. Take the bike to a real shop. I just have to see if I can find one that is interested in dealing with it. Hopefully LW will be free to take the dealer requirements away from the HD old school stuff and do better.
 

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DC fast charging makes extended rides possible. Level 2 is just two slow.
The DC fast charging played heavily in my HD LiveWire decision. Harley’s dealer footprint is second to none in the United States.

With my hilly backroad adventuring, I am getting 115-120 thanks the plenty of downhill regen opportunities. I am quite satisfied with the range. I put 1000 miles on mine in the first 6 weeks of ownership.

The Zero motorcycles aren’t built nearly as well as the Livewire. Also, the power cut at 10% is the bullshit of bullshits. I’ve ridden my LiveWire to less than 4% and it feels stout until the end. Thoughout, the Harley just oozes quality and rides like a proper naked sport bike. Harley under promises and over delivers on range and power. Reviews seem to suggest that Zero does the opposite.

Energica? I am in Pennsylvania, which is number 4 in the nation in terms of the number of motorcycles on the road. I have seen nearly ever Zero model. Never seen an Energica in real life. I’ve owned a plethora of Italian bikes. Parts and spares are hard to come by for the big Italian names. If something broke on an Energica, where do you get the parts? Where are the dealers? Electric Ducatis are around the corner if you want Italian and electric.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Thanks for all the insight here. I ended up going with a 2020 ELW with super low miles and wrapped up the paperwork today. While it wasn't new, it still had a good chunk of warranty yet. The need to fix something before I can take it home but it's officially mine.

It really is a well put together bike. I think if it was at any other dealership than HD, it would have sold like hotcakes. I guess just too far away from the typical HOG demographic. The more time I spend around it, the more I appreciate the attention to detail. For not much more than a Zero SR/S or F it just feels so much better built.

Honestly the way the Zero felt is more like I thought it would have felt if HD built an electric motorcycle. The ELW feels more like someone like BMW built it. Going down the road it just feels very taut and responsive. I can't wait to put some miles on it. No more roasting my chestnuts on a hot day by the motor or the cooling fan.
 

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Thanks for all the insight here. I ended up going with a 2020 ELW with super low miles and wrapped up the paperwork today. While it wasn't new, it still had a good chunk of warranty yet. The need to fix something before I can take it home but it's officially mine.

It really is a well put together bike. I think if it was at any other dealership than HD, it would have sold like hotcakes. I guess just too far away from the typical HOG demographic. The more time I spend around it, the more I appreciate the attention to detail. For not much more than a Zero SR/S or F it just feels so much better built.

Honestly the way the Zero felt is more like I thought it would have felt if HD built an electric motorcycle. The ELW feels more like someone like BMW built it. Going down the road it just feels very taut and responsive. I can't wait to put some miles on it. No more roasting my chestnuts on a hot day by the motor or the cooling fan.
Congrats. What color?
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
No wax but you can ceramic coat it. That is my plan. I have a lady who does great work and I always help her out in her off season so she takes good care of me. I'll post some pics when done.
 

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Thanks for the insight so far. L3 makes sense if it is substantially faster than what L2 would be but I don't see that would be the case here from what I've read. L3 has been very problematic when I've traveled in our non-Tesla car that supports it.

As for the bill before Congress, I didn't see anything about motorcycles or even e-bikes in it. If there is an income limitation, I'll likely be excluded anyway.

The zero store is something I understand but can't say I am a fan of either. Their L2 charging is definitely fast enough to make a difference.

@xophere - I'll DM you about dealers wanting to dump their leftovers. Who will be supporting the 2020 LW's going forward, the HD dealers or the Livewire dealers?

I test drove the LW and if I can find one at the right price I am in. Feels better than the Zero. Quality is higher. I think the Energica is clearly better but I am not sure I'm willing to pay the price premium as the advantages it has won't be as evident in how I plan to use the LW.
Actually, I don't really understand the point of L2. The fast charge (L3) is the way to go, and govts shouldn't be wasting money on the L1 or L2. L1 at home is fine. If I have to charge on the road, L1 is 10 miles range per hour, compared to 20 for L2. Either way, I am sitting for hours. I am not going to charge for 2 hours, drive 20 minutes to do it all over again. Once Fast Chargers are more prevalent, EVs and EV motorcycles will take off.
 

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Agreed but given the landscape of today if you are trying to get somewhere. L2 is very useful. In the end it is silly. But today it would make a big difference in route planning at the edge. And if you end up in a line. DC is fine when it is just you. What if you are third in line? could 2 hours of L2 get you to your next destination... just more options. I charged at a level 2 yesterday. I paid extra and got level 1. I need to be as close to 100 as I could be for the nest hop. So I worked from starbucks. Would have been better to have just had a short coffee break.
 

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Agreed but given the landscape of today if you are trying to get somewhere. L2 is very useful. In the end it is silly. But today it would make a big difference in route planning at the edge. And if you end up in a line. DC is fine when it is just you. What if you are third in line? could 2 hours of L2 get you to your next destination... just more options. I charged at a level 2 yesterday. I paid extra and got level 1. I need to be as close to 100 as I could be for the nest hop. So I worked from starbucks. Would have been better to have just had a short coffee break.
But that is my point. A DC fast charge is the short coffee break. Charging twice the speed of slow is still slow.
 

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I didn't disagree but it would have saved me 45 minutes. And an hour to get 20 miles could be a big deal on the edge given how many more L2 chargers there are. Also for folks that already have them in their houses and want to do quick turn arounds. There are reasons today it would be very useful.
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
L3 charging is much harder on the battery. That is why they have a 3:1 ratio of charging L1:L3. I already have L2 at home for my cars. If the ELW would support it, with the current L2 can pump into it, I could recharge my batter a lot more quickly than L1.

I often need to drive across town. This is a good 60 mile at fairly high speeds. I just got the ELW but based on what I've read, it will likely use up most of a charge. Putting it on L1 I am done for the day, pretty much no more riding. L3 is overkill but with L2, an hour's charge could get me decent range. I have a 50 amp and a 60 amp 220V circuits. The 60 amp is for my Tesla wall charger. The other is a Nema 14-50. I could easily dump 10kw in an hour. That isn't much slower than the rate it will charge on L3.

If I cam back at 20%, I could easily bump it up to 80-90% very quickly. More importantly, I don't have to keep my bike at a higher SoC (state of charge) all the time in case I need to ride it fairly far. On L2, if it supported the rate I can charge at, or close to it, I could add a fair amount of charge quickly. By keeping my average SoC lower, I minimize the degradation of the battery. So I could keep it at 50% and then a quick top up to 80% for the ride. A lot of the time 50% might be enough for me.

With the stupid slow L1 charging, I am basically forced to keep a higher average SoC,in case I need to ride somewhere longer than I planned. High SoC in high temps is terrible for accelerating battery degradation. I live in a hot climate so it can make a real difference to me.

Almost every home has 220 somewhere. Usually near a dryer or an electric range. I rented a house and used a splitter to share the 220 with the dryer there as the landlord wouldn't let me add something in the garage to charge my EV while our house was being built. I still had a good 30 amps and could add 6kw/hr. Even at that slower rate, you could almost charge the ELW in 2 hours. That isn't much worse than L3 with gets you the ELW.

Supposedly the Livewire can charge at up to 25kW. If I am doing 11-13kW, that is pretty close. So if I can fully charge in 2 hours vs 11, I'll take that over occasional L3 use which HD discourages anyway. Or using HD's stats, 0-100% in 1 hour. With L2 and my 60 amp circuit, I'd be at about 83%. So not really that far off L3 as the L3 charge level has to really taper off when you go to 100%.

So give me L2 charging of at least 6kW, preferably more (9-12kW), and it would be more useful to me than L3. A lot more L2 chargers around than L3.
 
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