The models have a lightweight, yet stable, hydroformed aluminum frame into which the battery has been integrated
After months of waiting, Harley Davidson’s line of e-bikes are on sale. We took the handlebars of the Mosh Serial 1, a lively, fast city dweller with a range of 150 km.
Those who think Harley Davidson is history will be surprised. The American brand whose signature is a “V” twin, melodious for some, noisy for others, is embarking on a new road. After electric motorcycles, Harley offers electric bicycles.
We tested the Mosh-CTY model, available only a few days ago. If this name can make Francophones smile, they will keep smiling while riding it. The design is not what we would have imagined. Half athletic, half city dweller, it is far from the lines of American motorcycles. On the other hand, it is produced in the purest tradition of Harley Davidson who established the specifications for Serial 1, its subsidiary, to produce it.
The Milwaukee company is also well identified with, at the front, the famous “1” which has embodied it for decades, and its name discreetly affixed to the frame. Mixed aluminum frame (available in four sizes from S to XL), sporty design, matt black paint and welds carried out according to the rules of the art. For the transmission no chain to be lubricated and cleaned, but a carbon belt like on a Harley. There are therefore no gears as on bikes equipped with a belt.
The pilot’s position is comfortable. And despite a weight of 22 kg, the center of gravity is so low thanks to the motor and the battery placed at the level of the crankset, that it drives like a child’s bicycle. Even if it is a question of avoiding a car which leads out without warning – which happened to us during the test – the avoidance is done naturally without any imbalance.
A Harley with German engine
Clearly, it’s a Harley except for one detail. The motor (250W, 90 Nm) and the battery (529 Wh), are not American, but German. They supplied by Brose, a German automotive supplier who, a bit like the French Valeo, has embarked on VAE. It already equips around thirty cycle manufacturers.
This engine doesn’t roar, but it leaps like a cobra. As soon as you switch it on, the bike starts off at the first stroke of the pedal with the eco mode to reach 25 km / h in a few seconds. The other three modes allow you to go faster and climb the odds without too much difficulty. And if older Harleys aren’t really famous for their braking, Tektro’s two-piston hydraulic brakes with front and rear discs provide reassuring and efficient braking.
Presented as an urban bike, the Mosh-CTY is also a road. It offers a range of 55 to 165 km, depending on the ride, the road and the weight of the rider. What not to worry about recharging the battery every day. It only takes two and a half hours to charge it to 75% if it’s empty. Important detail, it is removable and secured by an Abus lock.
Still can do better
Does this bike have it all? Not quite. Sold around 3,550 euros, its equipment is frugal. At the front an efficient LED light and at the rear, in the frame, two position lights. Reflectors have been added. It also has an adjustable crutch to adapt to the leveling of the sidewalks. But that’s all.
The Mosh has no mudguard, and even less luggage rack when bikes sold much cheaper have them. Far from being superfluous, this equipment is more than necessary for urban use. However, they equip the superior range, Rush, whose prices range from 5,000 to 5,600 dollars.
But what we missed perhaps the most was a screen that would show speeds, modes, battery level. No app either, like on the manufacturer’s latest motorcycles.
To change mode or turn on the front light, a simple left-hand commodo on the handlebars. The diodes (white for the modes and blue for the battery level) are small and are not very visible in direct sunlight. Some small touch-ups will need to be done to appeal to a large audience, but is this really Harley Davidson’s wish? Not sure.
Despite these details, the Harley bike had its effect. During our test, in Paris, several passers-by were struck by the design and recognized at a glance the luminous logo installed on the front. Several stopped to learn more about the bike and even to photograph it. Among them, Kad Merad, met by chance in Paris seemed surprised and asked the question: “Is it really a Harley?”. Yes!