Harley-Davidson is known for its high-powered hogs, but the motorcycle company is getting into the electronic bicycle business with a new division named after it’s first bike.
The 117-year-old company unveiled the Serial 1 Cycle Company, borrowing from the nickname of the very first motorcycle it sold back in 1903, ‘Serial Number One.’
The e-bike’s design includes a sleek black frame, leather saddle and grips, and white tires, which are also a nod to the early design.
It’s being spun off as a separate business, rather than a Harley-Davidson subdivision, with the first commercial model expected in March 2021.
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Harley Davidson’s original 1903 motorcycle (in background) and new Serial 1 bicycle. The e-bike company will be spun off into a separate business, with the first commercial models expected in March 2021
Serial One brand was ‘born as a skunkworks deep inside Harley-Davidson’s Product Development Center,’ according to a statement indicating the e-bicycle business would be ‘a new entity.’
Harley-Davidson first teased prototypes for its e-bikes in November 2019 at the EICMA motorcycle show in Milan.
The model shown this week is not one of the three displayed there, though brand manager Aaron Frank said those are still ‘indicative of what Serial 1 eBicycles may look like.’
‘Great steps are being taken to make the bikes as easy and intuitive to operate as possible, which includes key features like a mid-mounted motor with integrated battery, integrated lighting and internal brake lines and wiring,’ Frank told The Verge.
Harley Davidson’s first motorcycle, the Serial Number One. The vintage machine is the inspiration for the company’s upcoming line of e-bikes
The Serial 1’s white tires, sleek black design and leather grips and saddle hearken back to the company’s early 20th century roots
The latest prototype takes elements from Harley-Davidson’s original 1903 motorcycle and described by the company as ‘a styling exercise, not necessarily intended for mass production.’
Enthusiast site Electrek surmises that, based on the available images, it will include ‘a mid-drive motor, a belt drive system that looks very much like a Gates Carbon Drive setup … frame-integrated headlights and taillights, thru-axle wheel hubs, what appear to be Tektro dual-piston hydraulic disc brakes on 203 mm rotors, a Brooks leather saddle, and beautifully wrapped leather handgrips.’
E-bike sales increased 190 percent in June 2020 compared to June 2019, as commuters avoided public transit during the pandemic
Electric bikes were gaining steam even before the pandemic, with global sales in 2019 estimated to be over $15 billion.
A fear of public access and decreased car congestion has seen interest surge.
E-bike sales increased 190 percent in June 2020 compared to June 2019, according to market research company the NDP Group.
‘A car-free space that would have taken 10 years and 100 community meetings to implement has instead been rolled out in weeks because of the COVID emergency,’ cyclist advocate Matt Brezina told Axios.