If there is one segment of the two wheel market growing fast it’s eBikes, electric bicycles that provide a pedal assist to varying degrees as the need arises. There are many reasons; the move to electric vehicles of all kinds means more people consider the electric alternative in most any vehicle purchase, eBikes bring bicycle riding into range for people who like the idea of bicycling, but might not be ready to do it all on their own, eBike technology is readily available, creating an eBike requires a much lower investment than any other self powered vehicle and it doesn’t require a huge manufacturing operation to get started. As a result, eBikes are turning up with brand names we’ve never heard of and will continue to do so.
Name brands and bigger companies
In the midst of all of this commotion, some better known names and established companies are stepping forward. Erik Buell has introduced the Fuell brand name with electric motorcycles and eBikes, Ducati now has their own brand of eBikes and Harley Davidson, the name associated with heavyweight highway cruisers, more than anything else, has been dramatically shifting gears with, not only different motorcycles like the Pan America 1250, but with the LiveWire electric motorcycle and now the Serial 1 electric bicycle.
Serial 1 models
There are four models in the lineup, the Rush/Cty Speed, Rush/Cty, Rush/Cty Step-Thru and the Mosh/Cty. All are aluminum framed with a Gates drive belt. All models incorporate a Brose electric motor and controller. The Rush models offer an Enviolo AUTOMATiQ auto-shifting CVT rear hub while the Mosh has a single speed freewheel rear hub. Schwalbe Super Moto tires get the power to the ground.
Who is this for?
Well, what do they say on their website?
The RUSH/CTY SPEED model is the quickest way to navigate any city. Providing electric assistance up to 28 mph, RUSH/CTY SPEED is designed to bring adventure to errands, excitement to your commute, and more capability to any cycling situation
The sophisticated commuter. The RUSH/CTY model is a premium, full-featured eBicycle designed for more convenient and fun commutes. The easiest, most intuitive way to get anywhere, without breaking a sweat.
The RUSH/CTY STEP-THRU is a premium eBicycle loaded with features and exceptional style. The step-thru frame makes it easy to get in the saddle without swinging a leg high over the seat, and to stand flat-footed over the bike at a stop – an essential urban-commute feature for some riders.
The ultimate urban playbike. The MOSH/CTY model is a pedal-assist eBicycle designed for trend-setting adults seeking a stylish and flexible way to move around their fast-paced urban environments. Fly faster and farther, solo or in a pack. It’s quick, nimble and an absolute ripper.
All eBikes have an urban focus and these are no exception. There’s no obvious crossover for a motorcycle rider, these are bicycle alternatives and as such, they fit right in, inner city commutes and errands are their forte, but today’s weird COVID environment makes that a challenge in a whole new way. While a Harley owner might consider one of these if they’re considering a bicycle or an eBike, I would think there’s less connection or logic to a move in the other direction, an owner of one of these later buying a Harley if they don’t own a motorcycle already. It does, however, give the Motor Company a foothold in a whole new market segment whether there is any connection to the rest of their product offerings or not and that can be a good thing. How much of an impact will these have on Harley Davidson as a whole, my guess is not a lot, but I really have no idea on this one.
It’s always interesting when prices are listed, there’s always pushback from those who say it’s too much and for those individuals, it probably is, but it’s whether the target customer thinks so that’s important. These are well made, high quality offerings, but they’re not cheap.
Rush/Cty Speed is $4,999.00
Rush/Cty Step-Thru $4,399.00
All Serial 1 models are available for pre-order now.
As with any new offerings, I hope they succeed beyond their wildest expectations, but this is a market I have little intimate knowledge of, so my predictions carry little weight. What do you think?