Harley-Davidson is planning a second model called Del Mar for its LiveWire brand of electric motorcycles for the second quarter of 2022. As a more affordable model below the LiveWire One, the Del Mar is to be based on a new platform called Arrow , which has a technical peculiarity.
As Harley CEO Jochen Zeitz recently revealed, the Arrow platform will use the battery as the load-bearing component that connects the steering head to the swingarm mount. Until now, the battery was integrated into the frame, which is the only load-bearing element, but this classic frame is omitted in the Arrow platform. Instead of being attached to the frame, the swingarm is attached to the engine side mounts and the suspension strut is again supported on the battery pack by means of a deflection. In the past, these forces were directed towards the frame. The Arrow platform is designed as a lower cost base for a number of new electric motorcycle models.
The new arrangement saves weight and can reduce costs, but also requires a completely new design of the battery box, as this not only protects the cells in the event of an accident, but now also has to absorb other forces during the journey – like those of the suspension strut.
Zeitz did not specify the extent of these savings and at what price the Del Mar will be offered. What is clear is that the Del Mar will be the first model in the so-called S2 series under the familiar LiveWire One. Other S2 models will follow.
The Arrow platform battery will use round cells in the 2170 format. Depending on the model, Harley will connect these standard cells differently in order to achieve voltage levels between 50 and 400 volts. Depending on the voltage – and here 50, 100, 350 and 400+ volts are mentioned – the drive power scales accordingly, and different cooling systems can also be installed.
LiveWire has yet to give details on engine performance but did reveal it will be a direct-drive system with no gearbox that will be fully integrated with the chassis and suspension. This is supposed to optimize installation space, rigidity and weight. As with the battery, the Arrow platform also provides different cooling systems for the drive depending on the power level.
After the S2 series, the LiveWire electric models of the so-called S3 series are to follow, which are again a class below. These will not use the Arrow platform but will be developed in cooperation with Kymco. The American motorcycle company also said it will take advantage of the “latest technologies to treat heavy motorcycles with expected improvements in range and load capacities.
Harley Davidson isn’t just about covering electric motorcycles of all sizes. The American motorcycle manufacturer has already entered the booming e-bike market, launching the Series 1 e-bikes in August last year.
In December 2021, it was announced that the LiveWire brand would go public via a SPAC merger. Completion of the deal, like the debut of the Del Mar, is expected in the second quarter of 2022. During the IPO, Harley-Davidson announces that it will showcase the electric motorcycle platform for the first time pure Arrow, on which the now announced Del Mar is to be based.