IT seems to be the way with the modern world that every motorcycle manufacturer and their many dogs want to get in on the E-bike game. With Harley-Davidson, one of the world’s oldest and most famous motorcycle makers, obviously not wanting to miss out on its slice of the pie.
Ducati, KTM, Yamaha, Triumph, and even Aprilia, with the eSR1 scooter, have all built pedal or foot-powered machines design to make urban mobility a little bit easier.
Harley-Davidson LiveWire UK video review
Just before Christmas 2020 though, and images of a new E-bike landed in my inbox and I was genuinely very excited! It was called the Series 1. I wasn’t excited to ride the thing, I’m too lazy for even that, but I was excited because it genuinely looked like one of the first E-bikes that would appeal to us bikers.
The original Series 1, as seen below, was a stunning re-interpretation of what an electric-assisted bicycle could have looked like if the technology existed back in the early 1900s. The frame is finished in luxurious black gloss paint, and there are lovely nickel finishes on the spokes, seat stem, fork legs, and crank. Squint your eyes a bit and you could be looking at a 115-year-old artifact piece in some fancy museum.
Jump back in your DeLorean though and boost it over to 2021 and the world is a less inviting place – don’t get me started! – and the Harley-Davidson offering to the land of the electric bicycle lovers is also, less inviting.
Gone is the slinky-looking black frame. Gone are the nickel finishes. And gone is the retro leather saddle. In its place, we have dour black powered coatings. More black powder coat and an E-bike that could have been built by any one of the established names in the market.
If Harley-Davidson had never shown us what could have been, we probably wouldn’t care so much. The bike is isolation looks pretty good, a little on the pricy side at $3,400, but Harley-Davidson is a premium brand, and not bother with building cheap products.
The problem is, it’s not in isolation, we saw the board tracker inspiration and loved it. The bike that got released today was a bit like telling your kid they are getting a PS5 for Christmas only for them to open their present to find an Atari ST.
Look, I know, it’s true, the Series one with all its nickel plate and white tyres would have been a pricy prospect, and powder coatings are miles cheaper and make total sense. But there is still a part of me that thinks that Harley-Davidson has missed a trick with this one and could have done something really very cool!