Harley-Davidson appears to have found some type of issue with the LiveWire, so the company has halted production of the electric motorcycle while it investigates.
Update: A Harley-Davidson Motor Company spokesperson tells us that LiveWire production and deliveries have resumed.
After completing rigorous analysis this week, we have resumed LiveWire production and deliveries. Customers may continue riding their LiveWire motorcycle and are able to charge the motorcycle through all methods. Temporarily stopping LiveWire production allowed us to confirm that the non-standard condition identified on one motorcycle was a singular occurrence. We take pride in our rigorous quality assurance measures and our drive to deliver the world’s best motorcycles.
We have confirmed that this was a singular occurrence on one motorcycle. Our rigorous analysis showed our strong quality assurance measures are working as designed. The findings also reaffirmed the strength of LiveWire’s technology and product design. Production has resumed and we are delivering to dealers.
Harley-Davidson pauses LiveWire production
Harley-Davidson’s LiveWire is the brand’s first electric motorcycle.
It was designed as a halo product for H-D that would showcase the company’s electric motorcycle prowess and lead the way for up to four other Harley-Davidson electric motorbikes to come in the next few years.
It had just begun making deliveries on the bike when production was suddenly halted today.
We reached out to Harley-Davidson Motor Company, and the company responded with the following statement:
As we lead in the electrification of motorcycles, we have delivered our first LiveWire motorcycles to authorized LiveWire dealers. We recently discovered a non-standard condition during a final quality check. We stopped production and deliveries, and began additional testing and analysis, which is progressing well. We are in close contact with our LiveWire dealers and customers and have assured them they can continue to ride LiveWire motorcycles. As usual, we’re keeping high quality as our top priority.
For customers who have taken delivery of LiveWire motorcycles, we’ve assured them they can continue to ride, and we’ve asked them to only use DC fast charging at this time.
Further, a high-ranking Harley-Davidson official speaking to Electrek said the production halt was “temporary.”
The Harley-Davidson LiveWire is designed to be charged either via a DC fast-charging station (Level 3), which can charge the battery up to 80% in 40 minutes, or via slower Level 1 rate charging, which requires an overnight charge and normally occurs in riders’ garages using a standard household outlet. All Harley-Davidson dealers that stock the LiveWire are required to have at least one Level 3 DC fast charging onsite. Some have installed multiple fast chargers.
If LiveWire riders are currently being encouraged by Harley-Davidson to only charge using DC fast charging while this “non-standard condition” is investigated, riders will need to charge at specific charging stations and won’t be able to charge at home.
Those are the facts, above. That’s what we know.
Now it’s time for me to speculate.
This sounds like Harley-Davidson found some type of issue in the on-board AC charging system on the LiveWire. That’s the system that allows overnight charging at home. The LiveWire has a built-in AC charger with storage under the seat for the AC charging cable.
At this point, we have no idea what the issue is. It could be a simple plug cover issue, or there could be something more serious related to the vehicle’s operation or safety.
From Harley-Davidson’s statement, it sounds like they aren’t too worried and that there isn’t an immediate threat to rider or vehicle. The fact that they are recommending against home charging is still worrying though, as it indicates a specific issue was discovered — one that H-D isn’t yet ready to talk about.
On the other hand, the reassuring part is that it sounds like the company is progressing toward a solution. This doesn’t appear to be a game changer, and it sounds like this “temporary” halt is likely an abundance-of-caution type of scenario.
Of course that doesn’t mean that mainstream media isn’t going to be running “LiveWire is done for!” headlines. But from what we have to go on right now, it sounds more like a minor issue that Harley-Davidson wants to fully inspect before moving the production line forward.
This is Harley-Davidson’s first electric motorcycle, and there’s bound to be some bumps in the road as the company gains experience designing and building an entirely new type of motorcycle.
What do you think? Let us know in the comments below.
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