Testing Harley’s LiveWire S2 Del Mar electric motorcycle: First you ride it, then you want to buy it

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If the past happening you request is to effort and person your important different of wherefore you request to bargain different motorcycle, past bash yourself a favour and don’t ever get connected a LiveWire S2 Del Mar. Because arsenic soon arsenic you do, you’re going to privation one. Trust me, it happened to me.

Harley-Davidson’s electrical motorcycle marque LiveWire has conscionable reopened reservations this greeting for its 2nd electrical motorcycle model, the S2 Del Mar. The archetypal circular of reservations opened backmost successful May for the Launch Edition, but they sold retired successful 18 minutes.

The institution fto maine get an aboriginal trial thrust earlier reservations reopened, and present I can’t ideate going backmost to my boring aged beingness earlier this bike.

That’s not to accidental that the Del Mar is perfect, but the motorcycle itself checks astir each of my boxes. The lone large downside is that it’s inactive a spot pricey, astatine slightest for a motorcycle that volition admittedly beryllium utilized mostly successful a commuter relation by astir riders.

It’s surely much affordable than the $22,799 LiveWire One, which presently serves arsenic the brand’s flagship electrical motorcycle. LiveWire had hoped to motorboat the accumulation mentation of the LiveWire S2 Del Mar astatine person to $15,000, but ostentation pressures and proviso concatenation play saw the terms creep up to $16,999. That’s inactive a large determination successful the close absorption compared to the LiveWire One’s price, but it inactive keeps it a spot retired of scope of a batch riders.

If you tin plaything it though, you’re going to beryllium gladsome you did. Take a look astatine my archetypal thrust video beneath showing disconnected my greeting thrust connected the S2 Del Mar. Then work connected for each of the details.

LiveWire S2 Del Mar archetypal thrust video

Newly revealed Del Mar specs

In summation to opening up orders for the S2 Del Mar, LiveWire besides revealed much factual specs and show figures.

The updated metropolis scope is listed astatine 110 miles (177 km) connected a charge, and we besides got much info astir charging options. Both Level 1 (think: mean partition outlet charging) and Level 2 (think: nationalist charging station) volition beryllium disposable connected the bike, but there’s nary Level 3 DC accelerated charging similar connected the LiveWire One.

Even so, the institution says a Level 2 recharge of 20-80% (indicative of real-world complaint stops) volition instrumentality astir 75 minutes. That’s longer than a java stop, but it means that a luncheon halt oregon buying travel could conceivably enactment a astir afloat complaint backmost into your “tank.”

We don’t person an nonstop powerfulness standing yet, but the motorcycle has astir adjacent off-the-line show to the LiveWire One, scoring a 0-60 mph clip of 3.1 seconds. And erstwhile putting the motorcycle successful Sport Mode, I tin vouch for what that feels like. There’s nary clutch oregon cogwheel shifting to get successful the way, either. You’re going from feet connected the crushed to flying astatine 60 mph successful hardly the clip it takes to say, “well I’ll beryllium damned.”

The 431 lb (195 kg) Del Mar is simply a spot lighter than the 560 lb (254 kg) LiveWire One, truthful with the aforesaid acceleration times past it stands to crushed that it volition person a somewhat little powerfulness standing than the LiveWire One’s 78 kW motor.

LiveWire hasn’t announced the Del Mar’s apical speed, but let’s conscionable accidental it’s higher than you’ll ever need. I got it up to speeds that I had nary concern reaching connected a New York road and it seemed to person plentifulness of country to support going. I wasn’t astir to hazard my licence (or a speeding summons connected a motorcycle I didn’t own) by pushing my luck immoderate further than I already had, but suffice it to accidental that immoderate the apical velocity is, there’s nary roadworthy successful America that you’ll beryllium capable to legally deed it.

For me, the Del Mar felt similar a Goldilocks bike. It’s got a shorter scope than the LiveWire One, meaning you’re sitting much upright and don’t consciousness similar you’re leaning retired guardant implicit the vessel to drawback the bars. But it’s besides not excessively tiny either, and gives you capable tallness implicit the pegs that your legs aren’t tucked up underneath you. It’s nary cruiser, but it’s astatine slightest person to that extremity of the comfortableness spectrum.

I’m a much relaxed benignant of rider, anyway. As overmuch amusive arsenic it tin beryllium crouching into an Italian athletics bike, I’m overmuch much astatine location successful a comfy upright position. And truthful the S2 Del Mar speaks to me.

In fact, I thought the Del Mar would beryllium smaller than it was. Each clip I looked astatine images of the Arrow platform, which is fundamentally the structural artillery and centrifugal combo that the Del Mar is built on, it each conscionable looked truthful compact. But the motorcycle inactive has superior beingness erstwhile you locomotion up and propulsion a limb implicit it. No 1 is going to deliberation you’re connected a tiny bike.

And erstwhile you stroke them distant astatine a postulation light, leaving them successful your dust, they’ll beryllium definite you weren’t connected a tiny bike.

When it comes to artillery capacity, we’re inactive near successful the dark. LiveWire isn’t spilling the beans connected that info conscionable yet.

Based connected the 110-mile metropolis scope offered by the company, and the Level 2 recharge clip from 20 to 80% successful 75 minutes, I’d wager that the artillery volition autumn successful the 9.5 to 10.5 kWh range. But that’s conscionable an educated conjecture astatine this point.

What I tin archer you is that I did astir 40 miles (64 km) connected the motorcycle and utilized 55% of the battery, equating to a mixed scope of astir 73 miles (117 km). That thrust included everything from metropolis postulation to unreasonably accelerated road speeds, truthful that’s astir apt a beauteous just “mixed” scope figure. If you’re really doing metropolis riding oregon astatine slightest keeping it nether 55 mph oregon so, that 110-mile scope fig is apt wrong reach.

Between my metropolis and road riding, the Del Mar felt arsenic astatine location successful some worlds. It’s tiny and airy capable to beryllium a nimble metropolis ride, yet ample and almighty capable to beryllium comfy connected immoderate interstate.

The 1 happening that felt a spot lacking was immoderate benignant of sound. To beryllium fair, I was investigating the motorcycle successful and astir New York City, and truthful the metropolis cacophony was ne'er going to let the nuisance of a humble nonstop thrust electrical centrifugal whine through. But with a brace of LiveWire Ones connected either broadside of maine during overmuch of the ride, I could perceive their motors much than I could perceive my own.

To beryllium honest, the LiveWire One has ever been a spot louder than I’d prefer. It’s got a chill dependable to it, and the mechanics of the bevel cogwheel that nutrient that dependable adhd to the coolness. But erstwhile you truly thin into it you get a reasonably large signature sound. The Del Mar, connected the different hand, is truthful quiescent that I couldn’t truly perceive it successful the city. It near maine wanting a small much auditory feedback. But possibly if I had been successful a quieter area, I would person heard what I was looking for.

Even so, the information that the 3 of america (including my 2 LiveWire thrust partners Chris and Jon) could each transportation connected a speech portion riding is testament to however overmuch nicer it is to beryllium connected quiescent electrical motorcycles than rumbling ICE bikes.

All successful all, I had a blast riding the LiveWire S2 Del Mar and came distant majorly impressed.

I had initially expected to find a downgraded LiveWire One, erstwhile alternatively I was presented with a motorcycle that rivals the LiveWire One’s performance, yet successful a much comfy and manageable package.

Sure, the LiveWire One volition inactive person much scope from its larger artillery and faster recharging times with its DC accelerated charging ability. And if you privation to spell connected cross-country rides, that’s the amended bike. But for idiosyncratic that conscionable wants a rocket connected wheels for cruising the metropolis and section highways, past the S2 Del Mar is the ticket.

It nestles itself close successful betwixt bikes similar the Zero FXE and Zero DSR erstwhile it comes to terms and range, meaning it gives a bully enactment for a middleweight electrical motorcycle with much scope than beauteous overmuch immoderate commuter should need, yet astatine a terms that doesn’t stroke past $20K and into flagship electrical motorcycle territory.

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