Harley-Davidson released information on its first LiveWire-branded model the LiveWire One earlier this month, but as important as that was, we all know it’s not the most significant model the Motor Company will announce this month. No, that distinction belongs to the Revolution Max-powered “High Powered Custom” model which we can now confirm will be called the Sportster S. Certified as a 2021 model, the Harley-Davidson Sportster S will be powered by a modified version of the Pan America’s liquid-cooled DOHC 1252cc engine, with a claimed 121 hp. AMERiders has the LiveWire One’s details and the Sportster S’s information for you.
Sportster Leaked information.
So what information was leaked and how did it get out? Well, we will tell you…. The information came via a Vehicle Identification Number deciphering guide Harley-Davidson submitted to the U.S. National Highway Traffic Safety Association. The VIN decoder confirms the Sportster S name along with the model code RH1250S (which reflects its connection to the Pan America which has the model code RA1250).
According to the VIN decoder, the Sportster S’ engine code is “4”, whereas the Pan America uses the “S” engine, indicating some differences between the two powerplants. At a claimed 121 hp, the Sportster S produces less power than the Pan America, which claims 150 hp. This is likely due to the Sportster S being tuned for more mid-range torque. It’s unclear if the Sportster S engine will also have variable valve timing.
Even down 29 hp from the Pan America, the Sportster S would still be the second most powerful model in Harley-Davidson’s lineup, with a sizeable gap over the 1920cc CVO Tri Glide’s 107 hp – at just under two-thirds the displacement.
The VIN document doesn’t provide any details about the chassis, but from the photos Harley-Davidson has released, we can expect a single disc front brake, a high exhaust system with two stacked mufflers on the right, and a tubular swingarm.
The Sportster S name is pretty telling, however. We previously posited that Harley-Davidson would call it the Nightster, but the actual name is an even clearer indication that it will be replacing the existing air-cooled Sportster models which we do not expect to return for 2022. The “S” in the name also implies the existence of a non-S model.
Traditionally, Harley-Davidson uses S or Special to denote a higher-power version of a model. In this case, we expect a future Harley-Davidson Sportster to either have a less powerful state of tune or, more likely, a smaller displacement. The Revolution Max was originally conceived as a modular platform, with four displacements ranging from 500cc to 1250cc. A 975cc version (the displacement originally planned for the shelved Bronx streetfighter) is a likely candidate for the next Sportster model.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s latest VIN filings also gave us information on the LiveWire ONE. Would it be more of the same, or could we expect much to change when LiveWire ONE finally makes its debut?
On July 8, 2021, Harley-Davidson put those questions to rest with the official introduction of the 2021 LiveWire ONE. Although as Dustin pointed out, the NHTSA documents from June, 2021 list a 101 horsepower figure out of the Revelation electric motor, the Motor Company claims the same 105 horsepower for LiveWire ONE as it did at the LiveWire’s 2020 introduction. Incidentally, that’s also paired with a claimed 86 ft-lbs of torque, as well.
Other important figures to note: LiveWire ONE has a claimed top speed of 110 mph, with a zero to 60 time of 3.0 seconds. The battery is a 15.4 kWh unit. With a DC fast charger, Harley says it can charge from zero to 80 percent in 40 minutes, or up to 100 percent in one hour. City range is a claimed 146 miles, and combined stop-and-go traffic range is 95 miles. Real-world findings may be different, but if all those figures are in the general ballpark, it certainly sounds promising.
Suspension on the LiveWire ONE consists of a Showa Big Piston separate function fork up front, as well as a Showa balance-free rear cushion-lite monoshock in the rear. Wheels are 17-inch, black, cast-aluminum, split five-spoke units wrapped in Michelin Scorcher Sport rubber. Brake setup consists of dual four-piston radial Brembo monoblock up front, with a two-piston single disc setup in the rear. Seat height is 30 inches, ground clearance is 5.1 inches, and the whole shebang weighs 562 pounds at the curb.
The thing that might get most people talking about LiveWire ONE is the price, which has dropped significantly. For 2021, the new LiveWire ONE’s MSRP in the U.S. is $21,999, before any tax credits. That means you could buy one of these and a little electric scooter for a friend for the $30,000 price of the previous LiveWire. Or you could spend that extra $8K you’ll save on sweet accessories and gear for your new LiveWire ONE, which of course is what the MoCo is hoping you’ll do.
The LiveWire ONE will make its in-person debut at the IMS Outdoors North California show on July 18, 2021. If you’re going to an IMS Outdoors event, you should be able to take it for a demo ride. Also, if you’re interested in purchasing one, it’s available at the dedicated LiveWire.com website. For those who prefer to do their bike browsing in person, it will be available at 12 dedicated LiveWire dealers across the U.S. Currently, LiveWire dealers exist in California, New York, and Texas, but the company plans to open additional locations in fall of 2021.
That brings us to international availability. If you’re interested in the LiveWire ONE and you live outside the U.S., the good news is that the Motor Company didn’t forget you. While LiveWire ONE is currently only available in America, the MoCo’s plan is to roll it out in international markets sometime in 2022. There’s a signup form at LiveWire.com to get on a mailing list for updates, and we’ll of course keep you updated as we learn more.