Today I’m getting a chance to check out the new range of e-bikes from Harley-Davidson, which are not called Harley-Davidsons for some reason. They’re Serial 1s, named after Harley’s first motorbike, and they’re more interesting than I expected.
I sort of figured that Harley’s entry to the e-bike market would be a cowardly generic and standard bike with low-end components and a painfully high price tag.
Instead, the bikes have reasonably high-end components and are priced in the realm of other big-name e-bikes. That is, they’re cheaper than, say, a Pinarello gravel e-bike but a lot more than, say, the RadPower step-through e-bike that Earther tested not that long ago. Serial 1 is in the realm of what you’d spend on, like, a Cannondale.
Specs for the new Serial 1s are fairly choice. You get a German Brose S Mag motor, the highest-end stuff from the company that also supplies some of the higher-end e-mountain bikes that Germans are obsessed with. That gives you 250W of power, 66 lb-ft of torque (more than a Buell Blast, as one Instagram commenter joked), and it’s supported by an integrated 529 Wh battery that Serial 1 says will charge up to 75 percent capacity in a bit over two hours. Claimed range is somewhat cowardly, as Serial 1 says you could get anything from 35-105 miles on a charge depending on the terrain. That’s... true! I guess.
The other thing interesting about the bike is that it does away with the cost, weight, and complexity of gearing. The base model Serial 1 “Mosh City” is a single speed, and belt-driven. The higher-priced “Rush” models get a CVT hub, but remain very city-oriented, along with the top speeds. All of Serial 1's bikes top out at 20 mph, short of the highest-end “Rush City/Speed” model, which gets a snappier (but not more powerful) Brose TF Mag motor.
Cool. Great! I guess!
The bummer here is that this is what Serial 1 first looked like:
And what’s on sale looks like this:
Instead of gloss black, you get matte black. Instead of polished Praxis cranks, you get jet black ones. The white Schwalbe tires become black, and the nice sprung Brooks Flyer saddle becomes your usual skinny gel foam whatever.
That’s the Mosh City model, the cheapest you can get from Serial 1 at $3,399. Prices go up to about a grand for fenders and step-throughs and the final, fastest version is $4,999.
I’ll be riding these things in Brooklyn’s Prospect Park today, bombing up some hills and hopefully not snapping any aluminum frames in half. I’ll also be bringing a Brooks with me.
What do you want to know about these things? Have you already bought an e-bike? What did you spend on it and what do you think of these bikes’ specs and prices?