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No Hat Trick For LiveWire

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All Good Things…

After being gently weaned from Harley Davidson’s teat as a stand-alone brand for electric motorcycles, they have done well. Not in terms of sales or profit obviously. Don’t be silly. There are still close to zero humans out there in the real world buying electric motorcycles. Dutch sales figures, for example, show a barely two per cent market share in bike sales for all electric motorcycles combined. BMW sells roughly seven times that number all by itself.

No, where they have done well is finally bringing a cool-factor to whizzy biking. Actually, they have so far been the only electric bike brand to crack that nut. Most competitors are either bankrupt or eternally stuck in a concept stage. The only real world rivals are Energica, who are out to lunch, and Zero, who still exclusively build bikes for massive dorks.

The Harley Davidson LiveWire/LiveWire One was a pretty well received and well-rounded bike. Not just as an electric motorcycle, but as a motorcycle in general. The S2 Del Mar that followed (and for whatever reason is still not available in most of Europe) is one of the best looking new bikes out there. We at RunningWide have even waxed lyrical about how it seemed that Harley Davidson and its LiveWire offspring could do no wrong in the styling department lately.

…Must Come To An End

Enter the difficult third album. Seemingly out of nowhere, LiveWire introduced their third motorcycle to the world this week. Though there had been some chatter, there really was not much warning. The socials were cleared out, the countdown posts were put in place and within three days bike lovers all over the world were treated to the LiveWire S2 Mulholland.

Allow me to rip off the band-aid. If you liked the first LiveWire, and you loved the S2 Del Mar… You are going to absolutely hate this one. So, what exactly has happened? Well, it looks as if in their haste to get it out onto the showroom floors, they have completely forgotten to design the damn thing.

The intention is clear. The Mulholland mimics the basic shape of a light, Sportster-esque machine, with a bit of a clubstyle vibe to it even. Forgive me for having to use the word style there. The idea is not bad, since the whole clubstyle thing is reasonably popular right now. In any case, LiveWire fails to stick the landing, unfortunately

The Mulholland out there looking goofy

It is based on the S2 platform we know from the Del Mar, but from there on out it all crashes and burns. The whole hipster retro-cool aesthetic that the Del Mar managed to pull off is straight out the window. Where the former’s headlight was a beautiful feat of minimalistic design, the Mulholland gets just any old generic LED headlight. But dopey. The front indicators are such thin, protruding units, they could be used for landing jet fighters and the rear ones are from the late nineties and mounted vertically. Because, reasons, I guess.

That whole front assembly is tied to what looks like the front suspension off of a Chinese moped. The bars appear to have been transplanted from the otherwise completely different looking Del Mar, but fitted with the highest risers since the dawn of humankind. The seat got stuck halfway into an attempt to climb what would traditionally be the gas tank, which in turn is visually both there and not there. The bar end mirrors, usually installed to create a cleaner look over bigger, factory mounted ones, accomplish exactly the opposite here. The rear fender is, in terms of surface area, the largest slab of nothing we’ve ever seen and the front one looks to be mounted backwards.

Probably the only angle we’ve seen that makes the Mulholland look halfway decent

Looks Are Everything

Nothing really adds up for the Mulholland. The effort comes across as rushed or half-arsed. A problem, surely…

The styling needs to be the draw with one of these, as there is no engine, no sound, no traditional feel or ‘character’. To lure potential converts in, an electric bike better look damn good in shop windows. And the Mulholland just doesn’t. If there was anything positive to say, I would love to say it. But as not even LiveWire’s own press shots can make this thing look anything but ungainly, I am struggling here.