Harley-Davidson is known for its variety of big motorcycles, but it has only recently begun making mountain bikes again. No matter what kind of bike you buy, most will have a suspension system in place. After all, a vehicle’s suspension helps maintain traction and provides optimal ride quality.
So, what happens when a bike has neither a front nor rear suspension? You would think it might spell disaster, but Harley-Davidson’s new electric bike promises that it’s more convenient this way.
Wait, Harley-Davidson makes electric bikes?
Harley-Davidson’s flagship electric motorcycle, the Livewire, made its debut in 2019. Its electric motor produces 100 horsepower and 84 lb-ft of torque. It’s paired with a special 90-degree gearbox and rides on 17-inch wheels.
According to Harley-Davidson, the Livewire gets an estimated 146 miles of range in the city. With fast charging, you can completely recharge the battery in an hour. Electrek says the Livewire is also quite fast, reaching 60 mph in 3 seconds.
The Livewire still has some flaws that might turn off potential buyers. Electrek warns that the Livewire’s gearbox produces more noise than most motorcycle drivers expect. The Livewire’s price tag is also nearly $30,000 despite its average range and somewhat plain styling.
Meet the Serial 1 BASH/MTN e-bike
Engadget gives us our first look at Harley-Davidson’s newest electric bike. The BASH/MTN looks even more bare-bones, hardly distinguishable from any conventional bike. It was released under Serial 1, the official name for Harley’s electric bicycle division.
The battery is less powerful than the Livewire’s, only supplying a range between 30-95 miles. Its electric motor is paired with a single-speed transmission. The motor’s power can only be utilized if traveling at speeds below 20 mph.
The Serial 1 BASH/MTN is classified as a mountain bike, so you have several terrain modes at your disposal. Shock absorbers suitable for 50mm of travel are also included. However, it doesn’t have any front or rear suspension on its exclusively aluminum frame.
Harley-Davidson says this is reportedly to provide drivers with a simple trail-riding experience. Without worrying about tuning the suspension, you can focus on the journey itself. Engadget also says there’s probably no way to modify the bike with a dropper post.
We’ll reserve judgment about the BASH/MTN’s abilities until more testing from critics has taken place. No suspension doesn’t mean drivers will have no confidence at all. For example, the bike’s integrated lighting system gives drivers a better view of the trails around them.
It should also get excellent traction with its 27.5-inch Michelin tubeless-ready tires. Quad-piston hydraulic disc brakes are also standard.
The Serial 1 BASH/MTN is also more affordable than the Livewire, priced at just $3,999. Only 525 units will be released in the U.S., so you should probably secure yours ASAP. Serial 1 releases, and even new Livewire models, have been known to sell out quickly.
Harley-Davidson isn’t slowing down EV production
Those lucky enough to get the latest Harley-Davidson Livewire generation should have their orders delivered next spring. This scrambler bike is slightly less potent than the original, with 100 miles of range and 80 horsepower on tap. However, its MSRP is only planned to be $15,000.
The Launch Editions could be ordered for about $17,700. The first 100 examples were given exclusive cast-aluminum wheels with unique spokes.
Given the brand’s popularity, we can also expect to see more Serial 1 bikes in the future. One of the city models, the RUSH/CITY Speed, still provides exciting performance despite its lack of suspension. This is a Class 3 e-bike with a lightweight frame, a set of strong disc brakes, and user-friendly controls.