When Harley-Davidson first unveiled its original LiveWire electric motorcycle and began taking orders nearly four years ago, the industry was largely in consensus about the bike itself. It scored impressive marks and high acclaim for performance and style, but its sales suffered due to the original lofty price of nearly $30,000 (though the price did drop to $22,000 after entering the LiveWire sub-brand). And so it’s no surprise that ever since the original launch, significant hype has been building for Harley-Davidson’s next lower-cost electric motorcycle.
With that much hype, it can be hard for any company to live up to the growing list of expectations.
But when Harley-Davidson’s new all-electric sub-brand LiveWire pulled the sheet off of the new Del Mar S2 electric motorcycle, riders responded instantly. And they did so by opening their wallets.
The first limited-edition run of Del Mar electric motorcycles sold out in just 18 minutes.
Granted, it was a small and exclusive block of just 100 Launch Edition bikes. But the bikes were also priced nearly $2,700 above the base model’s $15,000 price. And that extra few Gs mostly got you a unique numbered plate and colorway, but not a whole lot else.
Even so, it took mere minutes for Harley-Davidson to sell out the Launch Edition. The company is notoriously cagey about releasing sales figures, and so we don’t know any more info about how many normal production models have already been pre-ordered (despite my best prying).
Suffice it to say though that if 100 arguably novelty versions of the new Del Mar electric motorcycle sold out in less time than it takes to watch a sitcom episode, then sales of the more affordable production unit can’t be lagging too far behind.
And that’s not to say that LiveWire hit the nail on the head with pricing, either. The Del Mar was intended to widen the electric sub-brand’s market reach by appealing to (slightly) less affluent riders. And at $15,000, it’s definitely headed in the right direction. But nothing with Harley DNA is built to compete on price alone, and LiveWire isn’t about to change that. So the fact that there’s still some paying for the label going on here, especially on a bike that has a somewhat limited city range of 100 miles (160 km), shows that demand is not suffering – at least not initially.
All of this is good news for Harley and thus good news for LiveWire, especially considering that the brand isn’t finished dropping prices or rolling out new electric models. The Del Mar is expected to be followed by a yet unnamed S3 model built on the same ARROW platform.
That bike is projected to be an even lighter-weight bike than the middleweight Del Mar, further reducing the performance for a likely urban-centric electric motorcycle that could fall into the sweet spot of pricing for young riders that are coming of age in an electric world and looking for a fun, attractive electric two-wheeler for prowling their cities.
And with electric mopeds expected on the horizon as well, LiveWire could be looking at an entire family of electric two-wheelers running the gamut from flagship motorcycles to fun little urban runabouts.
While some were ready to count Harley-Davidson out just a few years ago, the future for H-D and its LiveWire brand may be looking rosier than ever.
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