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Harley-Davidson's first e-bikes are surprisingly affordable, and you can order one now

Serial One
(Image credit: Serial One)

Last month, Harley-Davidson announced that it was launching a spin-off company dedicated to e-bikes, Serial One. Now, it's pulled the wraps off its first four bikes, and they're much more affordable than we'd expected.

There are four models in Serial One's debut lineup, all of which are pedal-assisted, meaning they're legally classed as bicycles rather than motorbikes in most territories. They're available to pre-order now, and cheapest in the range costs only a little more than our pick for the best electric bike of 2020, the excellent Ribble Hybrid AL-e, if you opt for the Fully Loaded specification.

The four look quite similar at first glance, with clean modern lines reminiscent of the Specialized Turbo Vado 4.0. You're not going to mistake a Serial One for a conventional bicycle (the chunky downtube containing the battery and drive unit makes sure of that), but they're good-looking machines.

City riding

The MOSH/CTY is the most affordable in the range, and is described as "the ultimate urban playbike". It has a 529Wh battery, a range of 30-90 miles, and a starting price of $3,399 (about £2,600 / AU$4,600).

The RUSH/CTY STEP-THRU has (as its name implies) a step-through frame that makes it a good choice for anyone who wants a bike that's comfortable to mount and ride in everyday clothes.

"The step-thru frame makes it easy to get in the saddle without swinging a leg high over the seat, and to stand flat-footed over the bike at a stop," says Serial One, "an essential urban-commute feature for some riders." It has a 529Wh battery and 30-90 mile range, and is available to pre-order for $4,399 (about £3,300 / AU$6,000).

Serial One

(Image credit: Serial One)

The standard RUSH/CTY is a commuter bike with more sporty geometry and a more powerful battery (706Wh, with a range of 35-115 miles. It's available to order now for $4,499 (about £3,400 / AU$6,200). 

Finishing the set, the RUSH/CTY SPEED is the most powerful of the bunch, with a 706Wh battery, and 25-115 mile range. It's available to pre-order for $4,999 (about £3,800 / AU$6,800). "Providing electric assistance up to 28mph, RUSH/CTY SPEED is designed to bring adventure to errands, excitement to your commute, and more capability to any cycling situation," the company says.

Serial One expects to start shipping bikes to the US and Germany early next year (with free shipping to the contiguous 48 US states), but has yet to announce availability for the rest of the world.