I put my money where my mouth is and bought a LiveWire Harley-Davidson

Image for article titled I put my money where my mouth is and bought a Harley-Davidson LiveWire

Photo: Bradley Brownell

$29,799. When the LiveWire was first released in 2019 as a 2020 model bike, that’s where Harley-Davidson pegged it. I thought it was too expensive when it was launched, but after riding it, I kind of figured it out. It was meant to be an advanced power move for early tech-rich users, like the original Tesla Roadster, but bikes. It turns out those kinds of riders don’t exist or enjoy the Harley-Davidson brand as The Motor Company had imagined.

As you probably know by now, Harley-Davidson has turned the LiveWire brand into its own company. The bike formerly known as the Harley-Davidson LiveWire is now the direct-to-consumer LiveWire One. While the bike is more or less the same as before, but with updated bodywork and a new lower price. You can now order a LiveWire One for just $21,999, which is much more palatable.

Image for article titled I put my money where my mouth is and bought a Harley-Davidson LiveWire

Photo: Bradley Brownell

Not only does this price drop mean new bikes are $7,800 less than just two years ago, it also means used 2020 models are available on the used market for a song . From what I found out during the buying process, everyone who has touched this bike before me has lost their ass on it.

Harley might debate that, but the overbuilt, tech-heavy LiveWire feels like the kind of bike that costs more to build than it sold for. The original buyer of this bike picked it up in 2020 on a finance deal for over $30,000 after taxes and so on. Luckily, the original owner of this bike was actually at the dealership the day I came to view it. He confirmed to me that he traded in the bike last August for $20,000 even, after owning it for 18 months and putting only 1200 miles on the odometer. The dealer I bought the bike from even admitted it, and after some negotiation decided it was worth selling me the bike at a loss just to get it off their floor.

Image for article titled I put my money where my mouth is and bought a Harley-Davidson LiveWire

Photo: Bradley Brownell

I ended up paying just under nineteen thousand dollars for this bike, which not only means it was over $10,000 less than when it was new, but it was more than a grand less than the dealer paid for it in the trade-in last August, and that’s still three thousand less than ordering one from LiveWire. I went to the dealership on Saturday morning, told them a reasonable number that I would be comfortable paying for the bike, and when they didn’t come to meet me, I left. They called me the following Monday and said they would accept my offer. The deal was done on Thursday, and I took him home. I couldn’t be happier.

Image for article titled I put my money where my mouth is and bought a Harley-Davidson LiveWire

Photo: Bradley Brownell

I passively pursued the LiveWires used for a good part of the year. A A recent move across the country and a few warm post-winter days have me dreaming of two wheels again, and the recent Radwood sale has me filling my pockets with some fun cash. IIt was a perfect storm that ended with me rather than shutting me up. I’ve loved this bike since I first rode it in July 2019 and vowed to own one.

My little pact with myself for years was that if I bought a gas-powered bike, it had to be Radwood-era, and if I bought a new bike, it had to be electric. I co-run Autopia 2099, after all. So with my 1996 BMW R1100GS bought last summerand this new LiveWire in my life, I have the perfect two-bike solution of my dreams.

Image for article titled I put my money where my mouth is and bought a Harley-Davidson LiveWire

Photo: Bradley Brownell

Alright, enough bragging. Why the hell did I buy this?

I admit there are still plenty of bikes I haven’t ridden, but I’ve ridden just about every type of bike. Without a doubt, the LiveWire is the best motorcycle I’ve ever ridden, bar none. It doesn’t do everything for everyone, but for my use case it’s pretty close to perfect. It’s fast, fun, reasonably comfortable, and has plenty of range for what I need to dy. If I have to go more than 60 or 70 miles at a time, I can take my GS. I’ve done long rides on a LiveWire before. Occasionally they are doing very welland other times they are very bad.

Image for article titled I put my money where my mouth is and bought a Harley-Davidson LiveWire

Photo: Bradley Brownell

I’m not much of a sports bike enthusiast, as I prefer my fast machines to be standing naked machines. I’m the oldest person writing for Jalopnik Dot Com these days, after all, so I like a comfortable driving position. The LiveWire delivers less than 3 seconds 0-60 times without the track-focused bumpy riding position. It’s fast enough that I can take it on a bike trail for a day or two, but easy enough to ride that I can still zip it around town as a commuter. Shit, I rode it in the rain today, and it was as docile as a mouse.

Image for article titled I put my money where my mouth is and bought a Harley-Davidson LiveWire

Photo: Bradley Brownell

Unlike my GS, this bike is not modified in any way, shape or form. This is a LiveWire that has lived a life indoors under cover and looks fresh in the showroom. There isn’t so much as a scratch or blemish anywhere. It’s perfect for me, if I’m being honest. This bike is a blank slate, something for me to put my spin on. I think I need to order a rear storage kit to get rid of the thick looking rear wheel cover. I will probably also get an aftermarket body kit and carbon fiber passenger delete panel to paint a wild color to give this bike a stronger visual appearance. Black is a little too tame for my taste.

If I can figure out how to accomplish this, I would also like the footpeg bracket to be redone so that the passenger footpegs and the extra metal brackets for the passenger are removed. If I could just make the whole thing end where the rear master cylinder mounts, and still have the necessary strength, that would be great. I will never ride with a passenger, mainly because my wife finds the bikes terrifying. If I’m going to drive a monoposto, just aesthetically, it would be nice to remove the residual passenger foot pegs.

Image for article titled I put my money where my mouth is and bought a Harley-Davidson LiveWire

Photo: Bradley Brownell

As service components like tires and brakes wear out, I will upgrade them to more track-focused components, but they work great for now.

Image for article titled I put my money where my mouth is and bought a Harley-Davidson LiveWire

Photo: Bradley Brownell

As gas prices continue to be painful and new bikes sell at massive markups, I can’t recommend a used LiveWire highly enough. You might even be able to find one that was never registered with its original factory warranty. I was talking with Grand Rapids Harley in Michigan about an orange bike with the 2-year factory warranty (and 5-year battery warranty) still intact. It was a bit rich for my blood, but still less than a new LiveWire.

Image for article titled I put my money where my mouth is and bought a Harley-Davidson LiveWire

Photo: Bradley Brownell

Electric vehicles aren’t working for everyone right now, but if you have a place to charge at home or at work, it could be a nice and fun way to get around this summer. It’s one of the best bikes of all time, if you ask me. It didn’t make much sense at $30,000, but here, under twenty, it’s a no-brainer.

Discuss it in the comments if you want, I’ll take a look!

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