That’s it. Harley-Davidson has been teasing us with the prospect of its own in-house e-bikes for over two years. And today, the bar-and-shield motorcycle maker finally announced its new dedicated e-bike brand known as Serial 1 Cycle Company.
The brand name is a tribute to the very first motorcycle ever built by Harley-Davidson in 1903, named “Serial Number One”.
Back then, motorcycles were basically just bicycles with a small motor placed in front of the pedals.
So it’s fitting that the company’s first e-bike is a nod to that very first HD motorcycle. Check out the two in the video below to see how much they paid tribute.
As Serial 1 Cycle Company Chief Brand Officer Aaron Frank explained in a statement provided to Electrek:
When Harley-Davidson first put power on two wheels in 1903, it forever changed the way the world moved. Inspired by the entrepreneurial vision of the founders of Harley-Davidson, we hope to once again change the way cyclists and cycling enthusiasts navigate their world with a Serial 1 e-bike.
HD’s new brand of e-bikes actually started life as a skunkworks project in Harley-Davidson’s product development center.
As the company explains, they started with “a small group of motorcycle and bicycle enthusiasts working with one goal to design and develop an electric bike worthy of the Harley-Davidson name.”
Ultimately, they decided with HD to turn the brand into a dedicated e-bike company that could focus solely on providing a premium e-bike product and experience.
In addition to Aaron Frank, other major players in HD’s in-house e-bike program who have made the jump to Serial 1 Cycle Company include Jason Huntsman, President; Ben Lund, Vice President; and Hannah Altenburg, Senior Brand Marketing Specialist.
Serial 1 will officially launch its first e-bike models for consumers in March 2021. For now, the company is showcasing its first prototype model, which the brand describes as “an exercise in styling, not necessarily intended for mass production.” .
This prototype was modeled after Harley-Davidson’s original 1903 serial number 1 motorcycle. But interestingly, we can see that it shares the same frame as one of the three original e-bike prototypes I saw last year at the 2019 EICMA Milan motorcycle show.
That means that while this specific style probably won’t see the showroom floors, the bike it’s very much based on could be here this spring.
As we’ve seen before, the design features a mid-motor, belt-drive system that looks a lot like a Gates Carbon Drive setup (which would make sense, since Harley’s other belt-drive motorcycles -Davidson including the all-electric LiveWire also uses belt drive systems from Gates), frame-integrated headlights and taillights, thru-axle wheel hubs, what appear to be hydraulic disc brakes twin-piston Tektro on 203mm rotors, a Brooks leather saddle and beautifully wrapped leather grips.
I still have a lot of questions. Will these parts make it to Serial 1 Cycle Company production models? How powerful is the engine? What is the battery capacity? How much will e-bikes cost?
For these questions and many more, we still don’t have answers. But at least now we have a better idea of when to expect answers and from whom we will receive them. Stay tuned, because as soon as Series 1 has more details for us, we’ll be back to share them with you.
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