One hundred seventeen years after launching its first motorbike, Harley-Davidson has spun off a new electric-bike startup. The new corporate, known as Serial 1 Cycle Company, will disclose its first fashions subsequent month.
Over the previous few years, Harley “in point of fact made a horny competitive push into electrical cars and got here out and made a commentary that they would like to lead the electrification of two-wheeled cars,” says Aaron Frank, logo director for Serial 1 Cycle Company. While creating the Live Wire electric motorcycle, which has been available in the market for round a 12 months, the corporate’s skunk-works staff began on the lookout for alternative ways to use the era.
The second is true for e-bikes, Frank says. “Lithium-ion batteries are getting higher, they’re getting lighter, they’re getting extra dependable, they’re getting more economical.” And whilst the variability on some electrical vehicles continues to be low sufficient that it can be a subject matter for some drivers, a town motorbike—ridden casually, to run errands in the community—doesn’t have the similar necessities for vary. Electric motorbike gross sales also are temporarily rising, particularly right through the pandemic. (In June, e-bike gross sales have been up 190% over the former 12 months.)
A newly unveiled prototype, which Frank says is a styling workout and now not a real fashion, presentations how Harley-Davidson designers means the bicycle in a different way than some others in the marketplace. “If you take a look at a large number of e-bicycles presently, they’re more or less slapped in combination—it’s a standard battery with a hub motor within the entrance or rear wheel, or a battery more or less clumsily located, possibly on a rack over the rear wheel or strapped on to the down tube,” he says. “And it seems like an unsightly expansion popping out of the body.” Harley’s first prototype, which is designed to glance slightly like the corporate’s first motorbike, comprises the battery and motor into the body. The engineers extensively utilized their ergonomic database—made up of a big crew of measurements from its consumers—to design motorcycles that Frank argues will have compatibility a much wider vary of other people than conventional motorcycles.
Though the design paintings got here from Harley-Davidson, the corporate determined to release a separate startup. “As we were given nearer and nearer to coming to marketplace, the conclusion was once made that we might simply be maximum a success as a standalone logo. You know, a bicycle is an overly other product than a motorbike. The buyer, the shopper goal could be very other than a motorbike goal. And the marketplace is totally other.” The corporate expects to have its first motorcycles in the marketplace via the spring of 2021.