KEY POINTS

  • Serial 1 is a product from Harley-Davidson's Serial 1 Cycle Company
  • Pre-orders and pricing may be available from Nov. 16
  • The e-bike market was estimated at $15 billion in 2019

Motorcycle manufacturer Harley-Davidson (HOG) is venturing into the e-bicycle market with its latest offering, Serial 1, expected to hit the market in March 2021.

The bicycle gets its name from Serial Number One, the nickname for Harley-Davidson's oldest motorcycle.

It is not yet clear how much Serial 1 will cost, but its website suggests that pre-orders and pricing will be available from Nov. 16.

A thin black-framed bicycle with white tires and a brown leather seat, Serial 1 comes from Harley-Davidson's bicycle brand, Serial 1 Cycle Company, which is led by bicycle enthusiasts and Harley-Davison veterans​ Jason Huntsman as president and Ben Lund as vice-president.

"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," Aaron Frank, brand director of Serial 1 Cycle Company, said in a press release Tuesday.

Harley-Davidson first announced its plans to enter the e-bicycle market at an annual dealers' meeting in August 2019, when the biking company presented three e-bike prototypes. The estimated value of the global e-bicycle market was close to $15 billion in 2019. It is expected to grow at an annual rate of over 6% from 2020 to 2025, the company said in the release.

Serial 1 will allow Harley-Davidson to directly compete with other major players in the market like Giant Bicycles, Merida, Riese & Muller and M1 Sporttechnik. Demand for e-bikes is on the rise as people are looking for green modes of transportation, with the Asia-Pacific being the fastest-growing market for e-bikes.

The latest announcement comes as Harley-Davidson navigates through turbulent waters amid the COVID-19 crisis. The company reported a loss of $96 million in the quarter than ended in June, its first loss in a decade. Hundreds of employees were laid off earlier this year. It also announced its exit from India, the world's biggest motorcycle market, hoping to focus on profitable markets like the U.S. and Europe.

Harley Davidson LiveWire The Harley-Davidson LiveWire electric motorcycle is displayed at the Panasonic exhibit during CES 2019 in Las Vegas, Jan. 8, 2019. Photo: DAVID MCNEW/AFP/Getty Images