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Harley-Davidson LiveWire electric motorcycle weight increase leads to bigger battery speculation

The Harley-Davidson LiveWire appears to be getting an update that affects some of its keys specs, namely weight and power.

LiveWire weight/power updated

New 2021 Australian certification filings for the electric motorcycle indicate that the weight of the bike will increase and the power will slightly decrease compared to the same filings made in 2020.

The previous certification filings for the Harley-Davidson LiveWire indicated a weight of 249 kg (549 lb).

The new figures put the weight at 255 kg (562 lb).

The previously power figure of 78 kW (105 hp) at 11,000 rpm was also updated in the 2021 filing to 75 kW (101 hp) at 10,500 rpm. 

harley-davidson livewire

We have reached out to Harley-Davidson inquiring where the extra weight is going, and will update if we receive more details from the company.

Until then we can’t be sure where the extra weight comes from. Australia could suddenly be requiring 13-lb handlebar tassels for all we know. But some are already speculating that the extra weight could find its way into a larger battery pack.

The current Harley-Davidson LiveWire uses a 15.5 kWh battery. That provides the bike with a city range of 235 km (146 mi) and a combined city/highway range rating of 153 km (95 miles).

Some back-of-the-envelope math gives us a look at how much range the LiveWire could stand to gain. I’m not sure which cells are used in the LiveWire’s battery, but a typical high-capacity 18650 battery cell has an energy density of around 250 Wh/kg. The extra 6 kg therefore could result in an estimated 1.5 kWh of capacity. That would be a nearly 10% increase in the LiveWire’s battery capacity.

The slightly lower power would also make the bike a bit more efficient, at least for anyone who enjoys a hefty twist of the wrist. A 10% range boost could add around 24 km (15 miles) to the city range or 15 km (9 miles) to the highway range.

While few riders are ever happy to see a power reduction, the 3 kW that the LiveWire appears to be losing represents just a 3.8% lower power rating. The LiveWire is already one of the most powerful electric motorcycles available, effectively on par with Zero’s top offerings, though both lag behind Energica’s racing electric motorcycles. The LiveWire has frequently faired well in drag race exhibitions thanks to its 0-60 mph time of around 3.0-3.1 seconds.

Harley-Davidson claims that the LiveWire is the bestselling electric motorcycle in the US. The company recently doubled down on its development of electric motorcycles, creating a separate division within the company to focus purely on electric vehicles.

In another nod to EVs, H-D spun off its electric bicycle program as a separate e-bike startup known as Serial 1 Cycle Company. We had the honor of taking the first media test ride last year before the Serial 1 e-bikes were unveiled.

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Avatar for Micah Toll Micah Toll

Micah Toll is a personal electric vehicle enthusiast, battery nerd and author of the Amazon #1 bestselling books DIY Lithium Batteries, DIY Solar Power and the Ultimate DIY Ebike Guide.

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