2020 Electric Motorcycle Spec Shootout

They say the primary auto race began the second the second automobile was made, and the identical holds true in motorcycling, too. With the introduction of the 2020 Harley-Davidson Livewire, this marks the primary time a serious producer – truly, the major-ist producer (sure, new phrase) – has entered the electrical motorcycle house in giant numbers. And whereas they’re a fraction of the dimensions of Harley, Energica and Zero take pleasure in a years-long head begin within the e-bike biz.

The Harley-Davidson Livewire is the latest participant within the electrical motorcycle house, however we wish to know the way it evaluate to its rivals from Energica and Zero.

Now, after using the Livewire, we’re left to marvel – how precisely does it stand as much as the competitors? Specifically, we’re wanting on the Energica Eva and the brand new Zero SR/F. We’re engaged on getting all three machines within the flesh to settle the rating, however within the meantime, we’ve compiled some specs on all of the bikes. Fancy a little bit bench racing, anybody?

Comparing Base Models

Before getting hung up within the many various permutations the Energica and Zero are provided in, let’s begin with a three-way comparability of the bottom variations of every bike. At $18,995, the usual model of the Zero SR/F is the least costly providing right here, adopted intently by the $21,656 Energica Eva with none choices. There’s just one model of the Livewire out there, with its price ticket studying $29,799.

Representing probably the most performance-oriented mannequin of this e-bike group, the Energica Eva options elements from Brembo, Marzocchi, and Bitubo, simply to call just a few. (Photo: Marcello Mannoni)

No matter which trim bundle or choices you select, all three include a typical battery and motor. The Eva’s battery produces a max of 13.Four okayWh, with a nominal ranking of 11.7 okayWh – the bottom on this group. However, battery capability isn’t the entire story, because the Eva’s oil-cooled motor is rated at 145 hp (107 kW) and a large 148 lb-ft (200 Nm) of torque!

Move subsequent to the Zero, and the SR/F’s lithium-ion battery is rated at 14.Four okayWh max, 12.6 okayWh nominal. Meanwhile, its air-cooled motor places out significantly much less energy at 110 hp (82 kW), however its 140 lb-ft (190 Nm) almost matches the Eva’s.

The Zero SR/F is the corporate’s new flagship mannequin, and can be the one one on this trio with an air-cooled motor.

Lastly, there’s the Livewire, with its max battery capability of 15.5 okayWh and nominal ranking of 13.6 okayWh. The difficult half when evaluating the Livewire’s energy output to the others is that, not like Energica and Zero, who derive their numbers from the motor’s output shaft, Harley-Davidson states the Livewire’s figures of 105 hp (78 kW) and 86 lb-ft (116 Nm) are measured on the rear wheel, presumably to account for its 2x gear discount from the output shaft to the wheel. Interestingly, it ought to be famous that the Livewire is the one one of many trio cooling the motor with water. Being base fashions, the prices go up from right here with completely different choices, which might be defined subsequent.


With battery and motor setups established, we transfer on to the enterprise of depleting the batteries and the way lengthy that takes. Of course, like an inside combustion engine, mileage will range relying in your using habits. This is much more vital on electrics, as heavy proper fingers could make an electrical’s vary plummet quick. Still, numerous standardized assessments for metropolis, freeway, and mixed mileage at the very least give us a (very) tough guess as to how far one can go on a tank filled with electrons.

“Up to 120 miles,” says Energica. Thanks.

Energica isn’t very useful in its supplied supplies, merely saying the Eva can get “up to 120” miles. With so little to work with, we are able to solely assume these can be probably the most boring, mind-numbing 120 miles anybody would ever experience on a motorcycle, as you’d need to experience so gradual to get that far.

Meanwhile Harley and Zero are extra forthcoming with related info, with the previous claiming 146/70/95 (metropolis/freeway/mixed) figures for the Livewire in response to MIC standardized assessments, and Zero claiming 161/82/109 numbers in response to SAE J2982 requirements.

Don’t anticipate the Livewire to get 95 miles of vary when the roads appear to be this.

Having hung out with each bikes just lately, the 95-mile and 109-mile mixed figures, respectively, appear optimistic however doable below regular using/commuting. To get there would seemingly require extra conservative experience modes, good software of regenerative braking, and a mild throttle hand – all issues the typical commuter might get used to with out an excessive amount of adaptation. Expect these numbers to come back nearer to the freeway figures (or decrease) when you attain the enjoyable roads and crank up the facility and/or flip down the regen.

This is the place we attain the primary worth improve with the Zero, though the precise quantity is but unknown as of press time. Like Zero’s S and DS fashions, Zero will supply a Power Tank accent for the SR/F at a but undisclosed worth, providing as much as 223 miles (claimed) of metropolis vary. Considering the S/DS Power Tanks price almost $3000, it’s affordable to anticipate the SR/F Tank to have an identical price ticket.

As far as we’re conscious, not one of the standardized vary assessments take wheelies into consideration.


Obviously, whenever you run out of battery, it’s a must to recharge. Here all three corporations have taken a barely completely different method to their cost methods. There’s no shock all three have Level 1 provisions to plug into the wall outlet in your house, however the variations come whenever you wish to velocity issues up. Both the Eva and SR/F settle for Level 2 charging, however the Eva is provided to just accept as much as 24 kW of DC Fast Charge, permitting a totally drained battery to achieve 85% State of Charge (SoC) in as little as 20 minutes.

Assuming a DCFC station is provided to blast out 24 kW, the Eva can attain 85% in simply 20 minutes. In this instance, at an output of 17 kW, half an hour will get this Eva to 80% cost. (Photo: Damiano Fiorentini)

The Zero just isn’t appropriate with DCFC, however its method to recharging, along with the included Three kW on-board charger, is to permit the shopper to improve to the Premium mannequin which provides a further Three kW charger and $2000 to the value. Another $2300 will get you one other 6 kW of charging, for a complete functionality of 12 kW, which utterly replenishes a useless battery in a single hour. This additionally brings the whole worth to $23,295.

The base SR/F will get the ahead 3kW charger, and the Premium mannequin will get the one simply behind it. An accent 6kW Charge Tank might be out there later.

DCFC prepared, however not Level 2.

Harley skips Level 2 charging solely, making the Livewire DC Fast Charge-ready, which brings the battery from Zero%-80% in 40 minutes. Wait one other 20 minutes and it’s totally topped off. Since the overwhelming majority of public charging stations out within the wild are Level 2 stations, we marvel why Harley made this selection.

Though they’re rising in quantity, Level Three DCFC stations are nonetheless comparatively scarce, which implies the problem for all three machines is discovering appropriate charging stations that may present sufficient electrical energy.

Other Interesting Bits and Bobs

Not way back e-bikes didn’t characteristic a lot in the way in which of rider aids. An odd factor contemplating the quantity of torque being channeled by the rear tire. Now, all three bikes come geared up with security options like ABS and traction management, although the Livewire and SR/F are geared up with IMUs (Inertial Measurement Units), upping the ante additional with Cornering-ABS and lean-sensitive traction management. Drag torque slip management (principally like a slipper clutch on a ICE motorcycle) is discovered on the Harley and Zero, whereas the Livewire additionally options rear wheel elevate mitigation.

When it involves the extra conventional items discovered on a motorcycle – suspension and brakes – all three stack up comparatively evenly. Showa gives fork and shock bits for each the Livewire and SR/F. The Big Piston-Separate Function Fork is discovered on every, whereas the shocks are barely completely different. Each are tuned to the respective producer’s specs.

With a hefty 615 lbs to decelerate, the Eva can use all of the brakes it may get. Hence the 330mm discs and Brembo Four-pot, radial-mount calipers.

The Livewire will get the smallest rotors right here; two 300mm floating rotors are squeezed by Four-piston monoblock radial-mount calipers. In distinction, the Zero sees twin 320mm floating discs clamped by J-Juan radial Four-piston calipers. Besting all of them, nonetheless, is the Eva’s 330mm discs and Brembo radial-mount calipers. The larger discs make sense because the Energica can be the heaviest bike right here by a big chunk: 615 lbs in comparison with 549 lbs for the Livewire and 485 lbs for the SR/F (which climbs to 498 for the Premium mannequin). All three have regenerative braking talents to additionally assist gradual them down.

Both Harley and Zero have options that permit for mobile connectivity along with your cellphone to offer numerous quantities of details about your bike – in addition to the possibility to change sure settings.

Being the Italian efficiency firm that it’s, the value begins to leap with the Energica relating to suspension and wheels. As it comes customary, the Eva sees Marzocchi and Bitubo present fully-adjustable fork and shock, respectively. Cast aluminum wheels are additionally customary. If that received’t reduce it, an additional $2000 will get you OZ cast wheels, and $3300 on high of that may swap the Marzocchi/Bitubo combo for Öhlins items. Those two choices alone deliver the Eva’s worth to just about $27,000.

And The Winner Is…

Ha! It’s a lot too quickly to be making that decision, however at the very least these specs laid out side-by-side under assist painting a clearer image of what every motorcycle is able to. But what do you wish to learn about this trio? Tell us within the feedback and we’ll do our greatest to reply as soon as we get all three within the flesh.

Here’s yet one more Livewire shot, simply because.


The submit 2020 Electric Motorcycle Spec Shootout appeared first on Motorcycle.com.