In announcing its plans to put the LiveWire brand on the stock market Harley-Davidson has revealed details of the firm’s expansion plans – set to include a range of machines on a new scalable ‘Arrow’ architecture.
Photos of the bare ‘Arrow’ platform appeared in the firm’s presentation to investors, showing a design that closely follows the appearance of the ‘EDT600R’ sketch that was revealed last year. Unlike the LiveWire One (the new version of the original Harley LiveWire electric bike), the Arrow design doesn’t have a separate frame. Instead, the battery pack, inside an alloy case, forms a monocoque chassis, with a steering head section bolted to the front, an electronic control unit and radiator mounted behind the front wheel and the motor and swingarm attached to the rear. It’s scalable, as with a few different battery sizes, headstock designs and motor sizes, the design means components can be mixed and matched to create a wide array of different models – with varying performance, style and range – without starting from scratch for each one.
Specifically, LiveWire says the batteries, all built around ‘21700’ format cells, will be made in 50V, 100V, 350V and 400+V forms. They’ll be able to be either air or liquid-cooled and allied to an integrated, on-board charger. A variety of motors will also be used, both air and liquid-cooled depending on application.
With the original LiveWire One already established in production, the next step in the product plan is the launch of the LiveWire S2 Del Mar (titled, it seems, after the California town of the same name). This bike will be a middleweight offering – smaller and lighter than the original LiveWire One – based on the Arrow platform, and as such is expected to closely resemble the EDT600R seen in the 2020 sketch. This bike clearly uses the Arrow architecture, and Harley appears to be using a numbering system to reflect the battery pack size.
In the sole photo of the new Arrow platform, the battery unit appears to carry the wording ‘Revelation 700’ (the original LiveWire’s power unit is called ‘Revelation’), suggesting the original ‘600’ of flat-track-style EDT600R might have been shifted to ‘700’ – even though at this stage it’s not clear precisely what the numbers align to. There’s a chance they’re chose to represent the equivalent capacity of an internal combustion-powered bike with similar performance, giving buyers a familiar reference point to measure the new machines against.
The S2 Del Mar will be just one of a range of S2 models, all middleweights with the same core components but different styles to compete in various segments of the market.
The S2 range will be followed, logically enough, by an S3 line-up. According to LiveWire’s plans, these will be scaled-down models – still on the Arrow architecture but with smaller batteries and motors to slot into the ‘lightweight’ market.
It’s here that LiveWire’s partnership with KYMCO comes into play. The Taiwanese firm has a 4% stake in the new company, having put $100 million into the project, and will also use the S3 platform for its own electric models.
Finally, the LiveWire plan envisages the launch of a range of heavyweight ‘S4’ machines. These seem likely to be effectively the bikes that will replace the original LiveWire One, while also expanding into more markets as the highest-performance, longest-range models in the proposed LiveWire line-up.