EARLIER this year, Harley-Davidson took the sensible step of splitting the electric manufacturing side of its operation out from the more traditional, petrol-powered offerings.
And I refer to this as a sensible move because it really was. For some dyed in the wool H-D fans, anything without an air-cooled V-twin at its heart (let alone an electric motor) simply wasn’t a Harley-Davidson.
The first of the new bikes to be built will be based on a new Arrow drive system. It’s a modular system that comprises a motor, battery and swingarm in a single package. Beneath the skin of the unit is an in-built inverter and on-board charger, elements that are required to elevate any EV in the modern age – it opens up the ability to fast charge without extra equipment.
Oh, and if the image above looks eerily familiar, that’s because it is… The powertrain first broke cover in an electric flat track concept a little while ago. The full image can be seen below.
The design has been chosen as it opens up a world of possibilities for differentiation in the range. A naked, adventure or even sports bike could be created from the same drivetrain and battery system.
After the S2 comes the S3, a bike that takes the same ethos and scales it back for what we guess is a more user-friendly, mass-market machine.
To help LiveWire achieve this, it is calling on lightweight and electric motorcycle specialist Kymco, a move that should open up the Taiwanese firm’s mass-production know-how and presumably its IONEX swappable battery technology. The knock-on benefit of that to the end-user is easy to see.
The final piece to the LiveWire puzzle comes in the form of the S4. This is a bike that will use the latest in technology, with a view to increasing range and improving charge time. It’s important to note that this will not be a scaled-back version of the bike above. The LiveWire presentation confirms it will be a new heavyweight machine.
LiveWire won’t just be for adults!
As is the way currently, LiveWire is looking to bolster its motorcycle manufacturing business with a range of youth and junior e-bikes and scooters. Harley-Davidson acquired the STACYC electric scooter brand a few years back. It’s now confirmed that this brand will sit within LiveWire.
While that doesn’t sound like massive news for us full-sized riders, it may go some way to explaining where some of those whacky electric scooters and e-bikes (revealed post-Rewire strategy) will go!
New Models and LiveWire goes Public
It’s been a busy week for probably the most well-known maker of electric motorcycles. Last week the news of the merger with Kymco was announced, and at the same time, the brand revealed it was going to be floating on the New York Stock Exchange.
While it is only a matter of months since LiveWire announced its divergence from the main Harley-Davidson brand, it’s finding its feet in the world, and it’s not hanging around.
A bit like its bikes.