Harley Davidson: The Next LiveWire

A view of the ‘S2 Del Mar’ and built on a proprietary scalable modular ‘Arrow’ platform

H-D’s Second Electric Brainchild Could Be A Budget-Friendly Middle-Weight Competitor

When the LiveWire One was debuted, many adored the torquey tug and quality components – but at a sky’s-the-limit price of $29,799 USD (The post-2019 price dropped further but still hovered at a base MSRP of $21,999), the bike was beyond the reach of the middle class commuting crowd. 

A slide from Harley-Davidson's statement regarding the HardWire Strategy

Now, we’re told that The One’s sibling – known only has the ‘S2 Del Mar’ and built on a proprietary scalable modular ‘Arrow’ platform – is slotted to be a new, cheddar-friendly addition to the middleweight competition.

And they’re banking that this platform will really resound with the needs of our current gens.

Harley? Budget-friendly?

Read on. 

A slide from Harley-Davidson's statement regarding the HardWire Strategy

In a report from Motorcycle.com, Harley outlines the perks of the S2 Del Mar (shortly after they announced to the world that LiveWire was going public):

  1. Fast Speed to Market

  2. Scalable for Future Vehicle Configurations

  3. Lower, Efficient Investment for New Models

  4. Lower Incremental Parts Development

  5. More Flexible To Evolving Regulations

These goals – while still far out and not yet fully realized – hinge on a four-tier plan for Harley’s future electric bikes. 

“The LiveWire One will continue as the brand’s premium model (with its premium price),” comments the report. 

“It will be followed with middleweight LiveWire S2 (System 2) models, a more lightweight series of LiveWire S3 models, and heavyweight LiveWire S4 models.”

A slide from Harley-Davidson's statement regarding the HardWire Strategy

The Arrow system – Harley’s latest invention – is an equation, or formula, that can be applied to multiple future models. In this case, the “S2 Del Mar’ design matches The One’s current function of using the battery as a stressed member – much the same as the engine is a stressed member of the frame on KTM’s 1290 Super Duke R, most of Ducati’s lineup (including the Monster 1200), and BMW Motorrad’s R1100RS

A slide from Harley-Davidson's statement regarding the HardWire Strategy

“It combines a motor, battery, inverter and on-board charger that can be used in different configurations, which means a more efficient use of R&D funds and the ability to adapt to market and regulatory needs,” comments the report. 

“The modular approach also allows for different choices of heat management: air, liquid or refrigerant cooling.”

“The inverter and on-board charger will be integrated, reducing size, complexity, and the number of microprocessors required. It will also have its own air- or liquid-cooling system.”

A slide from Harley-Davidson's statement regarding the HardWire Strategy

Combine this with the news that this bike will remain as a direct-drive machine (versus Kawasaki, who was apparently logged saying that they’d have multi-speed gearboxes for their upcoming electric motorcycles), begging the question of power range. 

“The middleweight bike likely won’t need the LiveWire One’s impressive performance, such as the 100+ hp motor or the 0-60 mph time of 3 seconds,” muses a report from Electrek

“By dialing back the performance and range, as well as working with a more modular platform that may offer reduced production costs, H-D could present a highly competitive electric motorcycle.”

A slide from Harley-Davidson's statement regarding the HardWire Strategy

What do you think?

Will Harley-Davidson succeed at creating a middleweight electric machine with all the components to do well in the current economy?

Drop a comment below letting us know what you think, we love reading what you have to say. 

Be sure to also get caught up on other related news coming down the H-D pipeline, and as always – stay safe on the twisties.

*All media sourced from Motorcycle.com*

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  1. I don’t see any claims for distance on a charge so I assume it’s still less than 100 miles. That means I can ride to our lunch break about the time the battery dies. Then, if I can find somewhere to charge it, I can have a nice 3 hour lunch while it’s charging. I hope there’s a restaurant in walking distance of the charging station. Sounds fun.

    1. Absolutely. I was sayin’ to Jeb at the feed store jes’ yesterday when one of them newfangled hissing and roaring clunkers pulled up and needed some guzzoline and to cool down… why Jeb I sez, I can have my horse Joe chow down on some oats while I’m buying gingham for the missus and chawbacca for me, and then we’re ready to go for another day’s ride while that Satan-spawn noisy rust-bucket is still pinging and leaking.

      Of course, one day, far into the future, there may shurely be kickstarters, drum brakes, and Lucas electrics forever and ever, Amen.

  2. Range and turn-around time are my biggest hurdles for EVs (of all types) currently. That’s not even considering the longer-term environmental impacts of the batteries… So far, there isn’t an EV made that would make me want to switch.

  3. No mention of the what the power structure is going to be – Will Harley have the engineering smarts to step up to an 800 volt system like Kia, Hyundai, Audi and Porsche for super fast recharge times? With a high voltage system, they can make the bike lighter as power cables can be much smaller and lighter, and charge times will drop dramatically – My E-Tron GT can charge from 10% to 80% in 16 minutes … not much slower than filling with gasoline…

  4. If the price is right, it could be an interesting development. I’m a big fan of Zero’s new FXE, but I’d have a hard time swinging $12k for it. My use case would be commuting and shorter rides where a supermoto style bike excels, so the range issue isn’t a major deterrent for me. My commute is 14 miles each way, so easy to manage with a bike in this class. I hope the Del Mar, or whatever it gets called in production is focused on the commuter/short range explorer; this seems like the most viable approach for electrics at this time. 7kw battery in a lightweight (under 350lbs), priced in the $8500 range would make more of an impact on the market than Livewire 1.