Harley-Davidson shocked its fans when they announced a few years ago that they wanted to build electric motorcycles on a large scale. Ironically, the brand famous for its huge, rumbling V2 engines. But the group developed its own strategy under the German CEO Jochen Zeitz and split off the electronics division called LiveWire. It is now presenting its first in-house development based on the “Arrow” platform (see bottom text box for details).
The new brand is now set to go public and Harley-Davidson hopes to raise around $545 million. The US brand wants to sell 53,000 electric motorcycles by 2025. They will have little to do with the hapless Harley-Davidson LiveWire, which is now being sold as LiveWire One, but will be completely new developments.
Electric flat tracker
With the forthcoming IPO, LiveWire is introducing its first standalone model, named Del Mar, named after a flat-track racetrack in California. Accordingly, it is designed in the style of a flat tracker, a motor sport that enjoys great popularity in the USA and in which Harley-Davidson has won numerous titles. That means: flat, wide handlebars, 19 inch wheel at the front and 18 inch at the rear, plus a small lamp cover around the LED headlight reminiscent of the Harley-Davidson Sportster S.
Fallen out of frame
What is striking is that the Del Mar does not have a frame. LiveWire calls its electric platform Arrow and uses the battery block as a supporting element between the steering head and swingarm. The case should be stable enough. Underneath is the electric motor, the Del Mar does not offer a gearbox and the pinion lies on the pivot point of the swingarm, the spring strut is supported on the block. As is typical for Harley-Davidson, the rear wheel is driven by a quiet and low-maintenance toothed belt. In the future, a number of models will be created on the Arrow platform.
80 hp and 199 kg
LiveWire gives the power as 59 kW (80 hp). That would be decent, but not sensational, but the weight specification makes you sit up and take notice: LiveWire states 199 kg. If it’s true, it would be around 50 kg under the LiveWire One, but the battery should be correspondingly smaller. The Del Mar is said to accelerate to 100 km/h in under four seconds and have a range of around 160 km. Nothing has yet been announced about the capacity of the battery with its cylindrical cells in the common 21700 format, insiders estimate it at 9 to 12 kWh. It can be charged using alternating current with charging capacities between 1.4 kW (Level 1) and 6.2 – 7.6 kW (Level 2). As a modern e-motorcycle, the Del Mar has GPS and gets its updates via mobile communications.
Launch edition already sold out
LiveWire has announced series production for the second quarter of 2023, but 100 pieces with custom paint are coming ahead. Unfortunately, anyone who is determined to secure a Launch Edition Del Mar is too late, as the $17,699 copies are already sold out. Whether and when the LiveWire Del Mar will be available in Germany is still open.
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