Posts Tagged ‘harley’

Over the years, there have been many motorcycle manufacturers that have came and gone as well as many motorcycle models as well.  The list below features 10 unique vintage motorcycle models that have left their mark on the world of motorcycling.

(in no particular order)

1. ACE

Featured below is a 1922 Ace Motorcycle manufactured by the Ace Motor Corporation, started by William G. Henderson in 1919.  In 1923, Red Wolverton rode a specially prepared Ace XP-4 and broke a new record by reaching a speed of 129 mph (208 km/h), which was an incredible speed for back then. Production ran until 1924 and ceased operations after filing for bankruptcy and eventually Indian bought the rights and tooling to the Ace Motor Corporation. Because production only lasted for four years, this is an extremely rare, vintage motorcycle.

Ace motorcycle

2. Indian Scout

The Indian Motorcycle Scout was manufactured by Indian, from 1920 to 1949 and is considered Indian’s best motorcycle model ever made.  It was even produced for and used by the US army and allied forces during World War 2. The scout featured an engine size of 745cc in 1927 and was successful in winning several Daytona races.  It has been featured in several Hollywood movies including the film “The World’s Fastest Indian” , which is about Burt Munro and his attempts at beating land speed records with his 1920’s Indian Scout motorcycle.

Indian scout motorcycle

3. BSA Lightning

Designed as an “all round sportbike” the BSA Lightning was planned largely for export to the US market in the 1960’s to complement the Thunderbolt and Spitfire models.  It had a top speed of 110mph and is considered one of the most successful models not just of BSA, but of all British motorcycles. It has also been featured in the James Bond movie “Thunderball”.

BSA Lightning

4. Harley Davidson WLA

The Harley Davidson WLA was produced for the US Army during World War 2.  It’s design was based on the existing civilian model, the Harley Davidson WL.  Productions started in 1940 and ended after the war in 1945, but was revived again as it was needed for use in the Korean War.  Production ran from 1949-1952.  What differentiates it from the civilian models is that it is does not have any chrome mirrors or other chrome parts.  The fenders were modified to reduce mud build up and leg windshield guards were installed as well. Blackout lights as well as many accessories were added including leather scabbards to hold Thompson sub machine guns, cargo racks for radio equipment, and skid plates.  In total 90,000 WLA’s were produced, 30,000 of which were sent to aid the Russian Army fighting against Germany during World War 2.

Harley Davidson WLA

5. Triumph Bonneville

The original Triumph Bonneville was produced from 1959 to 1983 and 1985 to 1988.  It was quite popular in its early years and originally featured a 650cc engine which was later enlarged to a 750cc engine.  It’s named after the Bonneville Salt Flats in Utah, where Triumph made attempts on beating motorcycle land speed records.  In 2001, Triumph started and continues production of the Bonneville again, this time with a 790cc parallel twin engine.

Triumph Bonneville

6. BMW R60/2

Designed to be used as a long distance touring vehicle, this model was unique in that it featured a side car which allowed for two passengers to ride together side by side.  It was designed by BMW and manufactured in Munich.  It featured an engine size of 600cc and offered 30hp.  Over the course of several years, BMW manufactured 20,133 of these models.

BMW R60/2

7. Norton Manx

The Norton Manx is a British racing motorcycle that was produced from 1947 to 1962 by Norton Motors Ltd. Norton was one of the first motorcycle manufacturers along with BMW and Harley.  Norton took part in every Isle of Man TT race from the very first one starting in 1907 up until the 1970s without missing a beat-a record no other motorcycle manufacturer holds. The top speed of the Norton Manx was about 150mph making it quite unique and formidable contender for its time.

Norton Manx

8. BMW R32

The BMW R32 was BMW’s first motorcycle ever produced.  It was manufactured in 1919 and featured a M2B33 engine which had a displacement of 494 cc. The engine produced 8.5 hp (6.3 kW), giving the R32 a top speed of 59mph (95 km/h).  Nearing 100 years old, it is an extremely rare motorcycle and has fetched upwards of $168,000 at a recent auction.

BMW R32

9. Brough Superior SS

The Brough Superior SS 100 was designed and built by George Brough in Nottingham England in 1924.  Sixty nine SS100s were produced in 1925 making this model extremely rare and valuable. Considered the Rolls Royce of motorcycles, all bikes came with a guarantee that they were capable of doing 100 mph (160 km/h). It is unique to note that Brough’s workmanship helped developed the features of the early Harley Davidson forks on their motorcycles.  The most valuable of the Brough models is the1934 Brough Superior 8/75hp.  T.E. Lawrence, aka “Lawrence of Arabia”, was particularly fond of them and had owned 4 of them in during his lifetime.

Brough Superior SS

10.  Moto Guzzi 850 Le Mans

Released in 1976, the Moto Guzzi 850 Le Mans was styled as a cafe racer but built with a V-Twin engine with a longitudinal crank.  The engine pushed out a total of 71 hp, throttling the Le Mans to a max speed of 130mph.  It was named after the 24 hours of Le Mans endurance race track in France.

Moto Guzzi Le Mans

If you have any comments about the motorcycles featured in this list or would like to add to this list, please feel free to comment in the comment section.  Also, don’t forget to check out our huge inventory of motorcycle parts and accessories for vintage makes we have including BSANorton, and Triumph motorcycle models.

Wow! I never knew that about Harley Davidson motorcycles!.

The History Behind the Brand:

Harley Davidson Motorcycles

Harley Davidson is one of the most well known and recognized motorcycle brands on the market today.  Whether you’re a fan of their motorcycles or not, one thing is certain-they have have managed to greatly impact the motorcycle industry and continue to do so to this day.

Having started as a manufacturer of small engines in 1903, Harley Davidson has grown from a small startup business between two friends to becoming an industry leader.  Their designs and innovations have created the classic models we have today which include, the Sportster models-originally conceived for racing, the Softail models, which feature Harley’s Big-Twin engine, and their Touring models which include the Harley Road King, Road Glide, Street Glide, and Electra Glide.

A close look at Harley’s success, reveals an interesting history behind it.  Like many companies, Harley has seen its share of ups and downs.  For a time, Harley was the largest manufacturer of motorcycles in the 1920’s.  During both world wars, they helped the war effort by supplying the US army with motorcycles, and from their big twin motorcycles, came the creation of the chopper and a whole subculture of chopper enthusiasts and riders.

The infographic below takes us back through time starting from Harley’s inception in 1903 to the present day.

10 of the World’s Best Motorcycle Routes to try:

Riding your motorcycle around town can be fun, but if you haven’t taken your bike on a ride on one of these routes yet, then you’re definitely missing out.  The following infograph takes us for a tour through 10 countries around the globe that offer some of the best motorcycle routes for you to burn rubber on, including Greece, Switzerland, and the good old US of A.

Personally, I would also add the winding roads of Monte Carlo in Monaco which is also the spot where Formula One Monaco Grand Prix takes place.  While you’re there, you can also check out their world famous landmark casino, and get your game on, but I digress.  So visit your travel agent and get on your Harley, BMW, Aprilia, Honda, or whatever motorcycle you ride and take a ride on some of the worlds best asphalt-you won’t regret it!

Infograph by Throttler Motorcycle Magazine

FIRST EVER HARLEY DAVIDSON HYBRID MOTO-CAR-CYCLE ( NO THIS IS NOT A JOKE)

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Ever heard of a hybrid between a motorcycle and car? Me neither, but I guess there’s a first time for everything. Why you ask? I don’t know, but maybe this guy just loves motorcycles and priuses?-who knows…

So check it out, this dude took a 2008 Toyota Prius and replaced its original engine with a 1986 Sportster 883 engine, that had been bored out to give 1100cc’s of power. Using a modified Prius differential, the front wheels are able to deliver power to the engine via a chain.  He dropped in a 4 speed transmission and voila: the world’s first ever Toyota-Harley hybrid moto-car-cycle! (Dr. Frankenstein would be so proud!)  Most of the vehicle is part car however, as it has retained its original mirrors, wheels, and car body.

All kidding aside though, the car not only runs, but it was actually used and competed in the 24 hours of LeMons.  For those of you interested in purchasing it, well, you’re in luck, as it’s currently for sale on ebay.

According to the seller,   the description states:

“If you are the type to whine about undisclosed damage after the completion of the sale, don’t friggin’ bid on this. While the title and the donor car itself are 100% clean and (despite appearances) there’s no previous accident for this car, consider it a total POS. That about sums it up.”

The ToyoHog is registered and insured and has never been in an accident. The seller will also throw in the remnants of the original Sportster motorcycle who’s engine was taken and installed in the “ToyoHog”, (though the Harley no longer runs).  The owner also says he will throw in several spare parts including a 1994 1200cc Sportster engine with a five speed transmission and various pistons and cylinder heads.

The one drawback I found however, was that the design kept the original steering wheel and pedals.  I would have loved for the steering and throttle control to have been changed to handlebars and grips, but maybe that will be available in next year’s model.  We’ll have to wait and see!

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