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Tuesday 1 December 2020


Serial 1 - "Powered by Harley-Davidson"

Back in the early 1990s Harley-Davidson systematically divested itself of what it then saw as its non-core operations - such as delivery vehicles, golf carts and other 'legacy' enterprises.
By 2010 it had re-grown a couple of extra limbs in the shape of Buell and MV Agusta, but CEO Keith Wandell dispensed with them at the time of the financial crisis - MV Agusta for the princely sum of around $4.00, having bought it for around $109m barely a year earlier.
Wandell had been hired as a Company Doctor, specifically to rescue Harley from impending doom, and fast forward a decade to another new CEO, this time Jochen Zeitz, and drastic surgery is again the order of day in Milwaukee.

This time though, in among the 'Rewire' highlights released alongside Harley's recent Q3 Fiscals, Zeitz has signalled that subsidiaries are back in fashion. Serial 1 Cycle Company is a new Utah based operation established to build on the bicycle and electric bicycle investments made in recent years as part of former CEO Matt Levatich's now abandoned 'More Roads' strategic plan.

"first eBicycles in March of 2021"

As a dedicated brand, Serial 1 will debut its first eBicycles in March of 2021. Taking its name from "Serial Number One," the nickname for Harley-Davidson's oldest known motorcycle, Serial 1 will combine "Harley-Davidson's world-class product development capability and leadership in two-wheel electric propulsion with the agility and innovation of a start-up brand dedicated exclusively to the eBicycle product and customer."

Aaron Frank, Brand Director for Serial 1 Cycle Company, is quoted as saying: "When Harley-Davidson first put power to two wheels in 1903, it changed how the world moved, forever. Inspired by the entrepreneurial vision of Harley-Davidson's founders, we hope to once again change how cyclists and the cycling-curious move around their world with a Serial 1 eBicycle."
Described as having been born at a "skunkworks deep inside Harley-Davidson's Product Development Center," the eBicycle project "began with a small group of passionate motorcycle and bicycle enthusiasts working with a single focus to design and develop an eBicycle worthy of the Harley-Davidson name.
"The decision was made to structure the eBicycle business into a new entity that could focus exclusively on delivering an optimal eBicycle product and experience. The Serial 1 brand is led today by a team of Harley-Davidson alumni including Jason Huntsman, President; Ben Lund, Vice President, Product Development; Aaron Frank, Brand Director; and Hannah Altenburg, Lead Brand Marketing Specialist.

"Combining the freedom and simplicity of a bicycle with the effortless joy of electric power, Serial 1's eBicycles will allow anyone to ride farther, faster and with less effort, making an eBicycle the perfect solution for urban commuting and recreational riding." Harley says that the global eBicycle market was estimated to be over $15bn in 2019 and is projected to grow at an annual rate of over 6 percent from 2020 to 2025.
"The dynamic, fast growing eBicycle space is at the forefront of a global mobility revolution," says Frank. "The formation of Serial 1 allows Harley-Davidson to play a key role in this mobility revolution while allowing Serial 1 to focus exclusively on the eBicycle customer and deliver an unmatched riding experience rooted in freedom and adventure."
Serial 1 Cycle Company, LLC, has been established as a Delaware limited liability company to "offer premium eBicycles that are guided by intelligent, human-centered design and crafted using the most advanced bicycle technology available."