Lighting the City with an all-electric Harley Davidson

Richard Nunn will ride the all-new Harley Davidson Livewire for the 15th annual Light the City ride

Richard's test ride of the new all-electric Harley Davidson was capture on a GoPro camera.
Richard's test ride of the new all-electric Harley Davidson was capture on a GoPro camera. (WJXT)

The 15th annual Light the City ride is this Friday and Mother Nature is bringing leather-weather. The Legacy Law Enforcement Foundations only night time ride will feature a new route, finishing in St. Johns County at the new Adamec Harley Davidson in St. Augustine.

To mark the new ride, I am riding, well, a new ride. Thanks to Adamec, my two-wheeled chariot will be the all-new Harley Davidson Livewire. This is Harley’s first all-electric motorcycle. In 2014, I had a chance to ride the prototype. Like everyone else at the press release and test ride, I was shocked to see an American motorcycle company with 115 years of petrol-powered motorcycles switching to batteries. The prototype was good, really good. But what Harley is delivering for 2020 is amazing.

Power comes on in a way that no naturally aspirated motorcycle can deliver. Twist the throttle and the 15.5kWh battery propels you to highway speeds with dialed in fluidity. Mathematically, the battery conversion equates to 86 pounds of torque and 105 horsepower in a package that weighs around 550 pounds.

What about that classic V-twin sound? Nearly no noise at all. There is a little electric motor sound at speed, but when idle it is silent. No clutch, no gears, it’s twist the throttle and go. This means resist the urge to “blip” the throttle or “rack the pipes.” If you twist the throttle at a light, you’ll end up running into the car or motorcycle ahead of you. The Livewire does have a subtle electronic heartbeat that sends a “lub dub” vibration to the rider letting them know it’s on.

New all-electric Harley Davidson Livewire
New all-electric Harley Davidson Livewire (WJXT)

The ride is stiff with a sportbike feel. The seating position is more upright, which is nice on the back, but the seat and the lack of padding will have you looking for rest stops.

At around $30,000, Harley knows this isn’t going to be a volume seller, especially with their HD traditionalist. Two wheels for the price of a really nice car will also deter younger buyers. Harley says this will be a “halo” product, showcasing the potential of the technology and declaring HD’s commitment to new products. It’s also a stunning showcase to tempt battery-powered buyers as Harley will be releasing more affordable EV rides in the coming year.

With an average of 146 city miles per charge in the city and 70 miles at 70 mph on the highway, this electron driven screamer of a cycle could be a fun weekday commuter or weekend ride. Harley is offering two years of free charging at its fast DC charging stations. The cycle also comes with a home charger that plugs into a regular house circuit.

I will make sure I am fully charged before I hit the highway with hundreds of other bikers as we Light the City for the Legacy Law Enforcement Foundation and their charities. Weather is looking clear and cool, so break out your leathers and join me for an all-new ride for a great cause.

Ride details: The 15th Annual Legacy Law Enforcement Foundation Light the City Ride on Feb. 7 at Adamec Harley Davidson on Baymeadows Road. http://legacylawenforcementfoundation.org/shop/

The pre-ride registration is from 4:30 p.m.-6:30 p.m. and kickstands are up at 7 p.m. The ride ends at the new Adamec Harley Davidson of St. Augustine at 380 Outlet Mall Blvd. in St. Augustine.


Starting at Adamec Harley-Davidson of Jacksonville

(8909 Baymeadows Rd) to 295

295 to US 1

US 1 to Nocatee Parkway

Nocatee Parkway to A1A

A1A to Vilano Bridge

Vilano Bridge to San Marco

San Marco to US 1

US 1 to SR 16

SR 16 to Outlet Mall

Ending at Adamec Harley-Davidson of St. Augustine

(380 Outlet Mall Blvd)

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