Harley’s new LiveWire Del Mar electric motorcycles begin deliveries in US

The long-awaited deliveries of the new LiveWire Del Mar Launch Edition electric motorcycles have just begun, and we’re already hearing feedback on the rides from early customers.

The S2 Del Mar is LiveWire’s second model of electric motorcycle, though it holds special significance as the first to be launched purely under the LiveWire badge.

The LiveWire One, the brand’s first model, was inherited from Harley-Davidson after the company spun off LiveWire as a 100% electric sub-brand in 2021.

The original Harley-Davidson LiveWire was priced at nearly US $30,000, but was relaunched as the LiveWire One with a price tag closer to US $23,000.

The recently launched LiveWire Del Mar, which is priced at US $15,500, is designed to further open the market with a more accessible model intended for largely urban riders.

With an advertised 113 miles (181 km) of city range and a 63 kW (84 hp) motor propelling the bike from 0-60 mph (0-96 km/h) in 3.1 seconds, the LiveWire Del Mar still packs quite a punch for an urban-focused motorcycle.

Diego Cardenas receiving delivery of his LiveWire Del Mar last week.

The first Del Mars arriving now are part of the Launch Edition bikes, a limited series of 100 individually numbered motorcycles that sold out in 18 minutes when they were launched last year.

I caught up with Del Mar Launch Edition owner Diego Cardenas to learn about his delivery experience last week. Diego is a well-known figure in LiveWire circles, organizing owners groups as well as personally embarking on cross country rides on his H-D LiveWire, demonstrating the capabilities of DC Fast Charging for electric motorcycle touring.

Diego lives close enough to LiveWire’s Malibu Experience Center that he received a visit from the LiveWire team for delivery.

The inaugural LiveWire bike was handed over to its fortunate owner last Wednesday at the Malibu Experience Center in beautiful Malibu, California. Since then, there have been a handful of deliveries, including my own, which arrived at my doorstep last Friday. My residence is approximately 80 miles from Malibu, and I was fortunate to enjoy the Del Mar delivery experience. The team from LW spent around two hours at my home, providing me with a comprehensive tutorial on how to operate the bike. It was reminiscent of the Tesla delivery experience from the early days of the Model S.

Since then, Diego has been testing the limits of the machine, including on his 70-mile (112 km) commute to work with a mixture of freeway and street traffic.

While the Del Mar has a 113-mile (181 km) city range, motorcycles are known for significant range reductions at higher speed due to the drag effects of the rider’s body.

Diego’s experience give us our first in-depth look at the bike’s real-world range.

Diego shared a video on Facebook detailing his 70-mile commute, where he arrived at his office with 20% battery remaining. He recharged at work and left for home with a 90% charge. On the way back, he pushed it hard enough to roll into his garage with 2% battery remaining, and was already receiving messages from his bike that he should consider looking for a plug.

After several rides, Diego explained that his impression is that for a 200-pound (90 kg) guy like him, speeds of around 55-60 mph (88-96 km/h) result in a range of roughly 75-85 miles (121-137 km). That would make a Cannonball Run fairly difficult, but is likely sufficient for the vast majority of commuter riders that make up the Del Mar’s target market.

The Del Mar launches at a pivotal moment for LiveWire, and is expected to be the bike that sets the stage for a new era of lighter, more affordable electric motorcycles from the brand designed for deeper market penetration. While the H-D LiveWire and LiveWire One earned critical acclaim for their design and engineering, the bikes’ higher price tags limited their reach. With a new generation of more affordable bikes that maintain LiveWire’s signature performance and design, the company could be setting a new course.

LiveWire and Zero Motorcycles currently account for the majority of highway-capable electric motorcycle sales in the US, as well as a large segment of those motorcycle sales in Europe. However, companies like Italian sportbike maker Energica have seen their numbers grow while Asian upstarts also aim for a slice of the growing pie.

The LiveWire Del Mar is built on a modular platform around a structural battery pack that is expected to result in several new models over the next few years.

With only a week’s worth of bike’s delivered so far, it’s too early to say what this could mean for the brand. But so far, riders seem pretty pleased.

Oh, and in the next few weeks I’ll join those 99 other owners of Del Mar Launch Edition bikes receiving their deliveries. Stay tuned for my own thoughts.

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