While they lack Harley-Davidson sound, they keep Harley-Davidson quality.
Get out of your car and onto a bike. Not just a bike, a motorized eBike. And not just any eBike, a Serial 1 eBicycle powered by Harley-Davidson.
By Reed Berry
Tue, Mar 30, 2021 09:06 AM PST
eBikes are hugely popular right now and some models tend to sell out quickly. I have a feeling that will also be the case with the new line of eBikes from the Serial 1 Cycle Company. Not only are they great looking, but they also have an impressive list of features that lets you know these eBikes have been designed with the same quality and attention to detail you would expect from a Harley-Davidson motorcycle.
I haven’t ridden a bicycle in many years and, to be honest, I rather regret that decision now that I’m peddling around one of SoCal’s most unique cities, Venice, on a Serial 1 eBicycle. Known as a paradise for hipsters, Venice was founded in 1905 by tobacco millionaire Abbot Kinney as a seaside resort.
It is truly a blend of just about everything you can imagine. It’s a little gritty and a bit artsy, decorated with colorful murals and serving as home to street performers and vendors along a pedestrian promenade that stretches two-and-a-half miles.
Venice is also quite picturesque with its beautiful beach, the Muscle Beach outdoor gym and, probably most notably, the historic Venice Canal District. Embedded within the city is a series of man-made wetland canals. Developer Abbot Kinney wanted to recreate the look and feel of the famous canals of Venice, Italy, right here in Los Angeles County. Of the original 13 canals, only 6 remain.
On either side on each canal you will see private residences, some of which are fairly new structures, while others are quite a bit older and seem to show their age. Of course, this unique area will be included in my ride today.
You’ll normally find me driving a car because, like most Angelenos, time is money and I’m always in a bit of a hurry to get from point A to point B. But there’s no doubt about it, you will see more - and enjoy more of what you see - when you slow down from your busy lifestyle and hop on one of these eBikes. And no, the ride won’t wear you out like bike rides used to back in the day. The electric motor does most of the work for you.
Having never ridden an eBike prior to today, I assumed that I would just push a button somewhere on the frame and off it would go. Not the case with the Serial 1 eBikes. There is no throttle to propel the bike, you simply start peddling and the mid-mounted motor provides ample power assistance for a quick, smooth launch.
As you pedal, an electronic torque sensor registers the pressure applied to the pedals and instantly delivers just the right amount of electric assistance.
There are four ride modes to suit your particular needs. Eco Mode gives you a bit of assistance in flat, favorable riding conditions. Tour Mode provides additional assistance in mixed riding conditions. If you encounter rolling hills or want a little extra assistance in cornering, Sport Mode may be more to your liking.
For steep hills or other conditions requiring maximum assistance, Boost Mode will get the job done quite efficiently. Aside from the four ride modes, there’s a handy "walk-assist" feature that provides a low level of forward motion at walking speeds should you ever need to walk your eBike up a hill.
I am certainly enjoying the ride thus far, and I am impressed with the agility and confident handling. These eBikes were designed with a lightweight hydroformed aluminum frame and mid-mounted motor that lowers the center of gravity. And if you're wondering how fast these things will go, three models (MOSH/CTY, RUSH/CTY STEP-THRU and RUSH/CTY) can attain speeds of up to 20 miles per hour, and the top-of-the-line RUSH/CTY SPEED can reach 28 mph.
Each Serial 1 eBike is powered by a lithium-ion battery mounted on the lower frame. It can be charged while on the bike or can be quickly and easily removed for off-bike charging. Depending on the model, it will take approximately 4.75 to 6.6 hours for a full charge.
A portable charger is supplied and can be plugged into any standard 110-volt outlet. Based on variables such as the ride mode you select, the amount of pedal assistance you provide and the terrain you encounter along the way, the range of power assistance you can expect on a full charge is between 35 and 100 miles.
These bikes are loaded with features and the latest in eBike technology. Unlike bicycles and eBikes that uitilize a chain-drive system that requires frequent lubrication, Serial 1 eBikes feature a maintenance-free carbon drive belt for smooth, quiet performance, similar to those on Harley-Davidson motorcycles.
An Enviolo AUTOMATiQ intelligent automatic CVT (Constantly Variable Transmission,) available on select models, adjusts the gear ratio based on terrain and speed changes.
The bikes also feature distinctive integrated lighting, hydraulic disc brakes and ergonomically arranged handlebar controls. Brake lines and electrical wiring have been cleverly routed through the frame for protection from the elements and to add to the clean, sleek appearance of the bike. A smartphone app will allow you to pair with the bike via Bluetooth to access rider data.
Each Serial 1 model is available in fours sizes (S, M, L and XL) for a perfect fit and in a variety of eye-catching colors. The bikes can be ordered online, and Serial 1 offers free shipping within the continental U.S. If you prefer to try before you buy, there will be a network of Dealers as well as mobile demo events around the country. Prices for the various models range from $3,400 to $5,000.
For more information on Serial 1 eBicycles powered by Harley-Davidson: http://www.serial1.com
About The Author
Known professionally as "The Traffic Guy," Reed Berry has been a driver safety educator for over 30 years. Reed has conducted traffic school classes and suspended license workshops throughout California, and has served as keynote speaker at safety conferences and corporate events across America. He has appeared on radio and television programs both in the U.S. and internationally to discuss safety-related issues. A contributor to LA Car since 2003, Reed Berry is a member of Motor Press Guild, the Los Angeles Press Club and SAG-AFTRA.