Harley-Davidson ‘back to the future’ with Serial 1 e-bicycle
American motorcycle legend Harley-Davidson (HD) is somewhat going back to the future by showing an electric bicycle called Serial 1. The elegant e-bike with its white tires, brown leather saddle, and handgrips is a clear wink at the first Harley ‘Serial Number One’ prototype motorcycle from 1903 while showing the company’s belief in the future of electric bicycles.
Don’t bother rushing to order one, as this bike is rather a ‘one-off prototype’ to introduce the new brand that HD is splitting off in what’s called the ‘Serial 1 Cycle Company’. According to the new company’s Brand Director Aron Frank, the actual e-bikes to be commercialized will be closer to the prototypes shown earlier in October 2019, without reappearing ever since.
Missing an instant hit?
So far, specs or estimated prices for those e-bikes aren’t expected before the springtime launch. No specs either for the showcase prototype Serial 1 built by a team of HD enthusiasts for the brand’s introduction.
With its sleek black frame and integrated battery, a mid-motor and belt drive, integrated lights, white tires, and leather accents, it would be an instant hit undoubtedly. But so far, no word about possible future commercialization.
“When Harley-Davidson first put power to two wheels in 1903, it changed how the world moved, forever,” says Aron Frank, Brand Director for Serial 1 Cycle Company on its website. “Inspired by the entrepreneurial vision of Harley-Davidson’s founders, we hope to change once again how cyclists and the cycling-curious move around their world with a Serial 1 e-bicycle.”
Harley-Davidson is suffering for some time under aging devotees, seeing its motorcycle sales decline, despite trying to turn the tide with the introduction of the fully electric LiveWire. On the other hand, electric bicycle sales are booming in the United States, especially since the pandemic like they are doing in Europe.
Running after Ducati and Triumph
Aron Frank told Forbes he hopes that by offering electric bicycles it would be a driver toward motorcycle sales for people who otherwise wouldn’t take the step to a Harley-Davidson motorbike. And HD isn’t the only motorbike brand starting to offer bicycles.
Italian motorbike brand Ducati already took its chance in 2018 with Italian e-bike manufacturer Thok E-bikes to develop the Ducati MIG-RR. In June this year, British motorcycle brand Triumph showed it is going back to its roots too, introducing the Trekker GT e-bike.
While Triumph started as a bicycle importer 118 years ago, it is the company’s first e-bike. The Trekker GT may lack the company’s retro looks, but Triumph promises it offers the same ‘passion for performance and riding fun’.