When it comes to mainstream brands building electric motorcycles, there aren’t many of them around right now. Harley-Davidson’s all-electric spin off brand LiveWire is the most prominent of them for the time being. Lots of armchair riders claim the LiveWire One is too expensive and doesn’t offer enough range, but everyone I know who has ridden it, myself included, has walked away with a huge smile. For my specific riding needs, I have previously called it the best motorcycle on the market right now. If the upcoming Del Mar is as good as I think it might be, there might be a new top dog!
It’s hardly a secret that I’m a fan of what LiveWire is doing right now, but I’m ready to see what’s next. During yesterday’s earnings call, CEO Jochen Zeitz announced that the second all-electric model from the brand would be launched in Q2 of this year. Based on LiveWire’s new “scalable” modular platform called ARROW, the Del Mar will be a lighter and less expensive model coming in below the One.
Built around new lithium-ion 21700 cells, LiveWire’s new battery pack is said to offer better energy density than the 18650 format cells used in the One. If the smaller and lighter bike can offer similar range as the One with a physically smaller pack, that would be a huge step in the right direction. Similarly, the company is moving to a smaller and lighter direct-drive electric motor with proprietary magnetics.
The standing thought is that the Del Mar will be a flat-track style upright naked motorcycle, smaller and nimbler than the existing One upright naked. It won’t have quite the power than the One offers, but it should be a pretty good performer. Maybe we’ll even see the bike compete in American Flat Track if Harley can convince the series to allow electrics. Del Mar, after all, is home to a California horse racing track that has historically been used for dirt speedway motorcycle racing.
This is phase two of LiveWire’s plans for world domination, or at least electric motorcycle market domination. Phase three, as was reported last year, involves a partnership with Taiwan’s Kymco brand. Using the same ARROW modular architecture, Kymco and LiveWire will build a third smaller electric motorcycle lineup below the Del Mar.
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The world of EV motorcycles is extremely exciting right now, and I really hope the Del Mar actually delivers the fun of the LiveWire One in a smaller and lighter package that more people can afford. All of those things are good things.