It’s been more than two years since Harley-Davidson announced it was pivoting into the burgeoning e-bike world, but, finally, the wait is over. The century-old nameplate has just announced its new bicycle brand with the launch of an electrifying flagship model.
The Serial 1 Cycle Company and its inaugural two-wheeler, Serial 1, were both named after the very first motorcycle Harley-Davidson’s ever built, called, you guessed it, “Serial Number One.” This svelte beauty from 1903 is miles apart from the low-slung, easy-riding choppers that have become synonymous with Harley. It actually looks more like a modern-day e-bike and has proved to be a fitting muse for the new Serial 1.
The e-bike retains the same simple lines and minimalist styling as its century-old predecessor but, importantly, offers two-wheel electric propulsion. This means it’s way more eco-friendly than its petrol-guzzling, 117-year-old twin. It also means you can ride farther, faster and with less effort than a traditional pushbike, making it an ideal companion for urban commuting.
“When Harley-Davidson first put power to two wheels in 1903, it changed how the world moved, forever,” Aaron Frank, brand director for Serial 1 Cycle Company, said in a press release. “Inspired by the entrepreneurial vision of Harley-Davidson’s founders, we hope to once again change how cyclists and the cycling-curious move around their world with a Serial 1 eBicycle.”
The company will officially debut its first line of electric bicycles in spring 2021 and says the Serial 1 prototype that’s currently making the rounds is “a styling exercise, not necessarily intended for mass production,” as reported by Elektrek. This means that specs are scant. Still, it gives some indication as to what cyclists can expect in terms of aesthetics.
Like the original Serial Number One, the e-bike features a sleek black frame, stark white tires, a Brooks leather saddle and matching leather handgrips. It features a mid-drive motor and a belt drive system that resembles a Gates Carbon Drive setup. It has headlights and taillights integrated into the frame, thru-axle wheel hubs and what could possibly be Tektro dual-piston hydraulic disc brakes on 203 mm rotors.
“The dynamic, fast-growing eBicycle space is at the forefront of a global mobility revolution,” Frank adds. “The formation of Serial 1 allows Harley-Davidson to play a key role in this mobility revolution while allowing Serial 1 to focus exclusively on the eBicycle customer and deliver an unmatched riding experience rooted in freedom and adventure.”
Indeed, the global e-bike market was valued at more than $15 billion in 2019 and is projected to grow at an annual rate of greater than 6 percent from 2020 to 2025. Hopefully, this move will help revive the struggling brand and show that Harley-Davidson can indeed kick it with the new generation.