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The Serial 1 is a Ho-Hum Harley Ebike

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Harley-Davidson—that mannequin of pink, white, and blue swagger that matches someplace between baseball and apple pie within the American pantheon of icons—began out by attaching motors to bicycles in 1903. Their first mannequin was the Serial Model One. So when it spun off a brand new model devoted to ebikes, what else may that bike be referred to as however the Serial 1?

I seemed ahead to an ebike with Harley swagger. It can be a burly, brawling cruiser, I believed, or perhaps a superlight efficiency bike. After all, Harley has made a couple of sporty bikes—particularly, the Sportster and the Buell—prior to now. But as a substitute of a enjoyable, playful bike, Harley made a smart gentle SUV as a substitute. Instead of a cruiser, the Serial 1 is the Harley model of a Honda CR-V.

It’s Business Time

Photograph: Serial 1

The using place is upright and all enterprise. This bike is a smart grocery getter, not a sporty corner-carver. But you might in all probability inform that from the included fenders and the entrance and rear cargo racks. The racks are on the small facet, however they’re nonetheless usable to hold pannier luggage, and the fenders did an excellent job defending me from highway spray.

There’s an LED headlamp within the vertical head tube below the handlebars, which is a pleasant however more and more customary contact, though not every ebike comes with one. There are additionally two taillamps built-in into the dropouts on the rear body. They look cool, however they sit too low to the bottom. Bikes’ taillights must be excessive in order that site visitors can see them extra simply. Down there, it is easy for drivers and different cyclists to overlook the 2 tiny LEDs.

Other customary options embrace hydraulic disc brakes and a tiny storage compartment within the down tube is constructed to carry an Abus Bordo folding lock. It’s a pleasant contact, regardless that folding locks are my least favorite type of bike lock.

Freespinning

Photograph: Serial 1

My evaluation unit was a Rush/Cty mannequin, a class 2 ebike with no hand throttle and whose electrical motor cuts out at 20 miles per hour.  It makes use of a Gates Carbon Belt Drive system. Rubber belts have benefits over conventional steel chains. For one, they’re smoother and quieter. There’s much less clanking and shock transmitted via the pedals to your toes, and they are much much less prone to pop off throughout a trip. Plus, you do not have to lubricate a rubber belt, so that you’re much less prone to cake a pant leg in soiled grease, as you’d with a series.

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