We use Slack as our workplace communication tool at Pinkbike and we have a #randoms channel which we use to share an assortment of videos and stories from all corners of the cycling world and beyond... We thought a couple of the moments from the past week were too good not to share with a wider audience, so here are some of the highlights.Harley Davidson's new e-bike
Harley Davidson has been teasing its move into electric vehicles since 2018
and has now taken the plunge with its spin-off Serial 1 Cycle Company. I'm aware that 'Slack Randoms
' is quickly becoming 'Unusual e-Bike
of the Week
' but this one from Harley Davidson is definitely worth some column inches, so here we are once again.
This is the first concept bike from Serial 1 Cycle Company, which will be produced by a spin-off company from Harley. The company will be run by former Harley employees and Harley will be a minority shareholder with venture capitalists owning the majority. The name comes from “Serial Number One,” the nickname for Harley-Davidson’s oldest-known motorcycle.
Details are thin on the ground for the bike but it's clearly targeting a city/commuter market. From the pictures, we can tell it uses a belt-drive, has integrated lights and leather finishing details. Interestingly there's a graphic on the frame that says, "powered by Harley Davidson". Is this just a reference to the parent company or could it also point to a Harley produced motor and battery system? Time will tell and full details are expected to be released when the first Serial 1 bikes are launched in spring 2021.
This may be Harley Davidson's first foray into e-bikes, but they certainly aren't the first motorcycle brand to take an interest in the exploding market. We've seen enduro bikes from Ducatti
, a commuter bike from Triumph and even a motor system from Yamaha
, but why are motorbike companies so interested in the ebike market? The obvious answer, of course, is money. The global e-bicycle market was estimated to be over $15 billion in 2019 and is projected to grow at an annual rate of more than 6% from 2020 to 2025 but there's more to it than that.
Harley Davidson, in particular, has an aging customer base and its main product that seems less and less suited to younger generations. It's something the company has admitted itself with CEO Matt Leviatch telling TheStreet
while talking about electric motorbikes: "These motorcycles are easier to ride than bicycles, they lend themselves to urban environments where our product is maybe less targeted or less suited. They are suited to a generation of people that don’t have the mechanical depth of experience that maybe boomers had with manual transmissions and clutches." Patronising as this may sound, it's clear that when its current generation of customers moves on, Harley will struggle to market itself to younger generations. This move into e-mobility is a way for it to stay relevant with a new generation of customers.
It's clear that e-bike market is a huge growth area and the UCI and FIM's scrap
over the sanctioning of eMTB World Cups is one of many power struggles we're likely to see between the motorbike and cycling industries in the next few years. A custom-built, pneumatic drift bike
How cool is this? 'Make it Extreme', a YouTuber, took apart a kids' BMX and turned it into this super-long, air-powered drift bike. The bike uses two air pistons to lift the rear wheel off the ground so the back end is running only on reduced friction plastic surfaces. The result is a bike that' gets more sideways than a Kade Edwards whip at every opportunity. For a more in-depth read on the bike from the creator, click here
and watch the bike come to life by rewinding the video.Squirt boating: kayaking's sparkly submarine subculture"There’s a subculture of kayaking known by few and understood by fewer. The paddlers don diving goggles and neoprene and slide into thin, uncomfortable boats not meant to float but designed to sink. Below the waterline, their goal is to stay underwater as long as they can. This is squirt boating.
After squirt boating’s heyday in the early 1990s, the scene has all but disappeared. But when it comes to the history of squirt boating, the legend starts with Jim Synder. The Mystery offers a rare glimpse into this obscure sport and the dedicated few who continue to keep the tradition alive.God tier run bike racingAlec Eklow's 540 to fakie
The last time we saw Alec Eklow in Slack Randoms
he was flairing an open loop, now he makes his second appearance with this unreal 540 to fakie. He's promising a 900 coming soon so watch this space for more.Ah yes, the 'Good Old Days'Skate clip of the year?
So good they play it thrice. The ender to Fffurther from Zane Timpson is heavy.