Harley-Davidson S2 Del Mar


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Harley Davidson S2 Del Mar

Step into the world of Harley-Davidson and prepare to embark on an exhilarating ride with the iconic S2 Del Mar. With a rich history and a captivating presence, this model is a true standout in the legendary Harley-Davidson lineup. In this article, we dive deep into what sets this remarkable machine apart, exploring its stunning design, impressive performance, unmatched comfort, cutting-edge features, and unforgettable ride experience. Whether you’re a die-hard enthusiast or simply curious about what makes this beast tick, get ready to discover why the Harley-Davidson S2 Del Mar is a force to be reckoned with. From its raw power to its unrivaled style, this motorcycle is sure to leave you craving more. So, join us as we unveil the dynamic world of the Harley-Davidson S2 Del Mar and uncover the wonders that await.

Harley-Davidson S2 Del Mar – A stunning electric machine from Livewire

Freed from the shackles of Harley-Davidson, the Harley-Davidson S2 Del Mar is the first all-new machine from the Livewire brand. While there are some subtle nods to the iconic American brand dotted about the bike, for the most, it is a completely fresh take on what a modern electric bike can be. It won’t be the last “S2” model we see released under the Livewire brand as thanks to the uniquely flexible and modular platform, many different bikes can be built, all of them having individual styling and capable of carrying out various applications.

Looking at the Harley-Davidson S2 Del Mar, it is clear to see what the bike is and how it should be used. The flat-track styling and Dunlop hoops scream sideways action when driving on the dirt. This could very well be the case with light modifications but Livewire has been pitching this bike firmly at the urban rider market, a motorcycle for zipping about the city and stretching its legs.

You will be impressed by the pulling power of the engine, as it seemingly does not run out of puff above 60 mph as other electric bikes do. It is simple science that, as revs rise, torque decreases and the impression you’ll get with the S2 Del Mar is that it seems to have the same amount of torque at 60 mph as it achieves at significantly lower speeds. Not only will it make last-minute overtakes a doddle but coming out of faster corners does not leave you with a breathless bike underneath you that does not have anything left for the next long straight.

Harley Davidson S2 Del Mar

Harley-Davidson S2 Del Mar Review

An electric Harley-Davidson sounds like something that should not exist. It feels like a self-negating proposition, like dry-slope skiing or vegan meat. This put me, as a seasoned biker, in a bit of a pickle when I came face-to-face with the S2 Del Mar. I have always seen myself as a Harley person, cruising around with powerful machines with loud noise. However, when you stripe down the motorcycle to less than 500 pounds and replace the loud and powerful engine roar with a barely discernible while, wouldn’t slapping a Harley label on it feel wrong?

See also  Harley-Davidson Livewire One

This might be what Harley’s electric division would want you to think. There is a reason the motorcycle company has branded this division as a separate company, Livewire, which is building out an almost entirely independent operation, from the engineering phase to the customer relationship management. The Livewire One was released in 2019 after the prototype was shown back in 2014. The Del Mar series is the second line and it goes further than its elder and pricier sibling in looking to carve out an entirely new segment of customers.

If you belong to this segment of customers, you will want to know everything about the S2 Del Mar before making the purchase. In this in-depth review, you will get to learn what the Harley-Davidson S2 Del Mar is all about.

Design and appearance

On first acquaintance, the Harley-Davidson S2 Del Mar’s lines impress. The bike looks nimble and elegant but it is not flimsy. Its most Harley-ish feature, aside from the name stamped discreetly on what may in other circumstances have been the gearbox, is a fuel tank-shaped protrusion having a distinctive tear-drop profile. Radiator-like ribs will encase the true heart of the bike – an integrated electric motor, a battery pack, and other systems that form a structural part of the frame, which lend it stiffness and make the motorcycle quicker to assemble. As Livewire claims, the all-new Arrow architecture will be the basis of future bikes.

Despite a number of throwback touches like the faux fuel tank, it does not look like an electric bike pretending to be a gas-powered classic, but like its own thing, a modern street motorcycle with a touch of futurism. You can hear either a chainsaw buzz or a smooth electric hum that comes from it and not be surprised either way.

The S2 Del Mar looks and feels like an entirely different beast compared to the Harley-Davidson Livewire One. The new motorcycle tips the scales at 198kg, which means it is considerably lighter than its larger, older sibling. It is also super-slim, to the point it feels almost as though there is no motorcycle between your legs at all. The bars are wide while the pegs are comfortable and low-set but even after a few minutes on the seat, my first thoughts were that I might need some extra padding by the end of the day.

Vance Strader, the chief of engineering of Livewire has stated that there are many inherent features that an electric platform makes possible. A battery of inertial sensors on the S2 Del Mar will detect how the motorcycle is accelerating or decelerating, pitching, leaning, rolling, and yawing. The data can then be fed back in such that the engine delivers the right amount of juice to keep the motorcycle stable. While an ICE bike has a plethora of rotating parts – flywheel, crankshaft, and gears, that produce moments of inertia pointing in different directions, an electric bike is merely a rotor within the motor. He adds that you are not fighting against the gyroscopic forces. The motorcycle does exactly what you tell it to.

See also  Harley-Davidson Livewire One

Ride and performance

The Harley-Davidson S2 Del Mar has four riding modes – Rain, Sport, Eco, and Road. The Rain Mode is the most forgiving of the different riding modes on this model. Each model delivers different levels of traction control, throttle mapping, and regenerative braking, which is when you ease off the throttle and the motorcycle slows, converting the momentum back into battery charge. In Rain Mode, both the throttle and the braking will be gentler, and even as you climb into moderate speeds, there won’t be the lightning-quick electric acceleration that you may have been expecting. It felt quite reassuring and I quickly found myself not missing the gears and clutch and enjoying how I was able to focus on the ride.

You can also look to switch between other ride modes. The Sport Mode dials up the power while dialing down the traction and slip control. The Eco Mode maximizes the smoothness and efficiency. Meanwhile, the Road Mode is a balance somewhere in the middle. Switching the ride modes while riding is simple and seamless as you just need to press a button within easy reach of the right thumb. The Harley-Davidson S2 Del Mar also offers over-the-air software updates, which can include new ride modes or ways to customize them.

Wheelie control will operate when in Road Mode but since it wasn’t installed on my bike, I opened up the throttle just as much as I dared. It did not prove to be very much. At 50-60 miles an hour, the motorcycle assumes that if you are giving it some gas, you mean it. A quarter turn was enough to make me feel a bit nervous, despite not getting anywhere near the full 184 lb-ft of torque available.

Interestingly, at that speed, the difference in acceleration between different ride modes does not feel all that big. Even in the Rain Mode, the S2 Del Mar was plenty responsive even if you have to give it a sudden kick to overtake an erratic driver.

When comparing it to the Livewire One, it was more than 100 pounds heavier than the S2 Del Mar’s 431 pounds. Further, it also felt a bit more solid while its electric while is distinctly louder. Harley has designed the Livewire One’s engine sound to be noticeable, which might be a safety feature but I can imagine it might get irritating on a longer ride, unlike the S2 Del Mar, whose sound basically vanishes behind the wind once you are up to moderate speeds.

In city traffic, the S2 Del Mar has a noticeable edge over the Livewire One. It is nippier when slaloming in and out of lanes and around obstacles while the more upright riding position will feel more relaxed, safer, and more comfortable. I felt more aware of my surroundings with the S2 Del Mar. Moreover, I also felt calmer to handle the bike in stop-start traffic on potholed roads than an ICE bike.

See also  Harley-Davidson Livewire One

Charging and battery technology

The charging and technology used in the S2 Del Mar are by design. The Harley-Davidson S2 Del Mar is squarely aimed at the urban biker. The bike offers a maximum range of 110 miles in town and while Livewire has not said what its highway range will be, a direct comparison with the Livewire One (146 miles urban and 95 miles highway) suggests that it could be around 70 miles.

Further, unlike the Livewire One, which could go from zero to full charge in around an hour, the S2 Del Mar surprisingly does not offer DC fast charging. It only offers Level 1 and Level 2 charging, which means it may take several hours. The company claims that the S2 Del Mar manages to go from 20% to 80% Level 2 charge within 75 minutes but this isn’t good enough to extend your day range in most settings.

Whether this is the perfect bike for you or not will depend on where you live and where you will be riding the bike. In crowded areas public transport or bicycle will be more convenient than the S2 Del Mar. In cities with less traffic, the S2 Del Mar will be fine to get around the city. For a day trip without a few hours of charge, I was limited to around 35 miles each way, which does not get me that far out of the city.

The Harley-Davidson S2 Del Mar isn’t the ideal bike for me, which is a shame as it is a lovely motorcycle. It manages to be extremely powerful, nimble, forgiving, and exciting all at once while having a distinctive identity and great style. If you live in a city where getting around on a bike makes sense and don’t care about embarking on longer trips, it can be the ideal bike.

Harley Davidson S2 Del Mar

Price and availability

One of the particular areas where the Harley-Davidson S2 Del Mar differentiates itself from its elder sibling is in the price segment. Where the Livewire One is priced at $22,799, the new Harley-Davidson S2 Del Mar comes at a much more palatable $15,499. In comparison to the battery-powered competition, the new S2 Del Mar looks like great value and undercuts the $19,850 Zero SR/F by a fair bit. The only area where the latter is stronger is in the recharge time, although to get the quickest one-hour charge time, you will need to spec the SR/F with the optional 6kW rapid charger, which is a $2,000+ premium.

The color options on the Harley-Davidson S2 Del Mar are thoroughly modern and you’ll have the gloss Nimbus Grey option and two matt-finished motorcycles available in Asphalt Black and Nightfall Blue.

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