LiveWire started life as a division of the popular motorcycle company Harley-Davidson, which spun the segment out into its own standalone company in late 2022. The LiveWire ONE model kicked off the independent company's motorcycle lineup and was later joined by the LiveWire Del Mar (and its LE variant), giving consumers a couple of options that differ from each other in several notable ways — all while sharing the same fully electric underpinnings that make these bikes more appealing to some consumers.
Range anxiety continues to play a role in whether someone upgrades from a gas-powered vehicle to something that runs silently and packs a battery, and motorcycles are no exception. It takes only a few minutes to refill a motorcycle's gas tank, plus it's easy to carry a spare bottle of fuel on the bike for emergencies. In comparison, electric motorcycles can take anywhere from an hour to several hours to charge, depending on the charger used and the battery's size. Even when fully charged, electric bikes also offer a lower range than their gas-powered counterparts. What can prospective LiveWire buyers expect?
LiveWire ONE electric motorcycle range
The LiveWire ONE motorcycle is visually notable thanks to its sports bike aesthetic, but that's not all it brings to the table. The model's electric motor is powered by a 15.4 kWh battery pack, which can go from zero to fully replenished in 60 minutes as long as you're using a DC fast charger, according to the company. As expected, it takes considerably longer to top up the battery using Level 1 and Level 2 chargers: you get 13 miles per hour spent on the charger.
How many miles can you ride on a full battery before you have to recharge? LiveWire provides two estimated ranges, which it says are based on "expected performance." Highway riding will get you a range of around 70 miles, while city riding will increase that number to 146 miles. A combination of the two puts the number around 95 miles on a full charge, though you might come in a bit higher or lower than that depending on your riding habits and speed. Do you like what you see? The LiveWire ONE is available now for $22,799, which is quite a bit higher than several inexpensive alternatives.
LiveWire S2 Del Mar electric motorcycle range
LiveWire will start shipping its second motorcycle, the S2 Del Mar, in late 2023. This model features a somewhat slimmer, more minimalist design when compared to the LiveWire ONE; the company describes it as an electric motorcycle for "urban riding," among other things. This model shaves several thousand dollars off the ONE's price tag at $15,499, but that lower cost comes with some spec sacrifices: the 10.5 kWh battery takes a little under 2.5 hours to charge from zero to 100% using a Level 2 charger and 8.4 hours to fully charge using a Level 1 charger. The model does not support DC fast charging.
That 10.5 kWh battery pack offers up to 113 miles on a full charge when it comes to city driving. Because faster speeds drain the battery faster, highway driving comes with a range estimate of 86 miles — assuming you're going 55 mph. If you're going a more common 70 mph on the freeway, the range drops to 43 miles. The combined city and highway range where the top speed hits 70 mph is 70 miles in total, while the combined city/freeway range at up to 55 mph is 86 miles. The Launch Edition (LE) variant that hit the market first features the same range.
How does LiveWire's range compare to other electric motorcycles?
How do the LiveWire ONE and S2 Del Mar compare to other electric motorcycles on the market? That depends on which ones you're looking at, but in general, the range is neither noticeably better nor worse than other similar electric bikes. Some models like the 2024 Kawasaki Ninja E-1 feature lower range — in that case, only around 41 miles on a charge — while others tip the scale in the other direction. There's the Onyx RCR with its estimated 120-mile range, as well as the Ultraviolette F77 that manages to push that figure up to around 190 miles on a charge, depending on the bike's configuration.
Of course, this also depends on what you consider an electric motorcycle. In September 2023, Honda launched its Motocompacto e-Scooter, which is a compact offering based on a classic model that bridges the divide between bicycles and full-blown motorcycles. Unlike the aforementioned models, the Motocompacto has an estimated range of only 12 miles, but it is also very inexpensive at $995. If you're looking for something that's highly affordable but capable of more than the folding scooter, there's also the Super Soco TC, which gets an estimated 44 miles on a full charge. That's not much, but the price tag is similarly low at $3,500 — and it looks like a proper motorcycle, unlike the Motocompacto.