Bo’s Facts and Trivia Dec. 2014


Bo-Fact_TrviaAccording to the Harley-Davidson Archives manager, Bill Jackson,in 1916, the United States was involved in a conflict with Mexican revolutionary Pancho Villa. The United States Army was under the leadership of General Black Jack Pershing, chasing Villa and his men along the U.S.-Mexican border. Among their means of transportation were Harley-Davidson motorcycles with machine guns mounted in the sidecars. The War Department soon ordered a more motorcycles from Harley-Davidson, and a long partnership began.


With the strategic value of motorcycles proven to the military, the War Department relied heavily upon Harley-Davidson following the entry of the United States into World War I. In fact, the first American to enter Germany following the signing of the armistice was riding a Harley-Davidson. By the end of World War I, about one-half of all Harley-Davidson motorcycles produced from early 1917 to the end of the war had gone to the U.S. military. Wartime production also gave rise to the birth of the Quartermasters School at Juneau Avenue in Milwaukee, a school for military motorpool mechanics, which evolved over the years into Harley-Davidson University. At war’s end, some 20,000 Harley-Davidson motorcycles had been used by the military.

Even more astounding numbers came in World War II, when Harley-Davidson produced more than 60,000 WLA motorcycles. About one-third of those bikes were sold to the Russian army, the rest went almost entirely to the U.S. military. The Company’s wartime production was exemplary enough to earn it the Army-Navy “E” Award for excellence in wartime production. Other motorcycles produced in much lower quantities were the WLC (Canadian military), the XA, a shaftdrive motorcycle for desert warfare, the UA model, as well as military G model Servi-Cars. With the peace that followed World War II, Harley-Davidson produced the rarer XLA (military Sportster) and more WLA models, and in more recent years, the MT-350 and MT-500, military motorcycles produced in tandem with the Rotax Company. During the post-World War II years, the Capitol Drive and York factories produced bomb casings and casing lugs on through the Persian Gulf war. Just recently Harley partnered with the WOUNDED WARRIOR PROJECT, I will write more about that next month.


Trivia Question of the Month:


Contrary to popular belief, the motorcycles used in the movie “Easy Rider” we’re not lost or destroyed. One of them, which was wrecked during filming, has been restored by who?  Was it:

A.) Dan Hagerty, who played Grizzly Adams in the TV show of the same name.

B.) Dennis Hopper, who actually rode the bike in the movie

C.) Robert Plant from Led Zeppelin when he was in America promoting their second album.


Answer to last month’s trivia question:

Question: What year does the Duo-Glide get fitted with an electric starter, turning it into the Electra-Glide?

Answer:   In 1965, Harley starts producing Big Twins with a 12 volt electrical system and an electric start, that’s how the Duo-Glide became the Electra-Glide.


Bo’s Monthly Words of Wisdom:

Ride carefully. It’s not only Bikes that can be recalled by their maker.


“Live to Ride or Step Aside”

Written by Bo

“The Hog Shoppe”