Harley Davidson has unveiled its first e-bike under its new division, Serial 1 Cycle Company. The 117-year old company known for its high powered hogs is cruising into the electronic bicycle business naming its new venture after the very first motorcycle they sold in 1903, the "Serial Number One".
The new division is a separate business entity rather than a subdivision of Harley-Davidson as it prepares to launch its first commercial model in March 2021. The company teased the public with its first prototypes of e-bikes in November 2019 during the Esposizione Internazionale Ciclo Motociclo e Accessori (EICMA ) motorcycle show in Milan.
With the latest prototype borrowing elements from Harley-Davidson's original 1903 design, the e-bike features a sleek black frame, leather saddle and grips along with its signature vintage white tires. The model it revealed this week is not one of the three designs displayed at the Harley-Davidson's Product Development Centre, but 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 said.
Although its new prototype gives good justice to its borrowed elements from Serial 1, the company said it is still a styling exercise and not necessarily intended for mass production, the Daily Mail wrote.
Based on the released images, E-bike enthusiasts speculate the new product prototype will include a mid-drive motor and a belt drive system that resembles the set up of a Gates Carbon Drive. It will also feature frame integrated headlights and taillights with thru-axle wheel hubs and Tektro dual-piston hydraulic disc brakes on 203 mm rotors.
Electric bikes have been gaining popularity with a surge in interest in decreased car congestion. The demand brought global sales to £11.5 billion in 2019. Amid the pandemic, e-bike sales shot up to 190 percent in June 2020 compared to its numbers in June of 2019 as people took to a more sustainable means of transportation, car-free space and and Covid-19 cyclist advocacy..