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Turning a Cuddly Honda Super Cub into a Beast

By General Posts

by Daniel Patrascu from https://www.autoevolution.com

Cuddly Honda Super Cub Turns Into Beast, Looks Meaner Than Some Harley-Davidsons

Like it or not, even the many fans of the Honda Super Cub have to admit this particular two-wheeler is not exactly custom material. The underbone machine is a huge customer favorite, but most of the time we don’t get to see the results of investments made in customization processes.

The Super Cub is one of the longest-running nameplates in the Japanese bike maker’s portfolio. It was introduced all the way back in the late 1950s, and since that time, it sold over 100 million units, becoming in effect the world’s most-produced motor vehicle (and that includes cars).

Given the huge number of them on the market, it was only natural for some owners to customize their rides even if, as said, we don’t get to see such projects all that often. Yet this week, thanks to a garage called K-Speed, we’re treated to exactly that, a too-good of a Super Cub not to discuss.

The Japanese say this is their first custom Super Cub C125, but even so, they seem to have nailed a look that might even put some Harleys to shame. The conversion rides closer to the ground than its stock siblings, the front end has been completely restyled, and much larger wheels than we’re used to were fitted front and back.

The rear end has been chopped as well, making the motorcycle look more like a vintage bike than an overgrown scooter. The black paint spread head to toe enhances that impression even more.

Click Here to See Details of this custom Honda Super Cub by K-Speed.

K-Speed says no changes were made to the thing’s engine and brakes, but even so, the price is about three times higher than that of a stock machine. Whereas, for instance, you could buy the 2021 Super Cub C125 for just under $4,000, this one has a retail price of over $13,000.

Visit K-Speed Website at: https://k-speed.com/

Launch of Honda CB750 & Dick Mann at AMA Daytona 200-Mile Race

By General Posts

by Todd Halterman from https://www.autoevolution.com

On Twitter by Honda Powersports: Monday’s passing of Dick “Bugsy” Mann, American Honda sends its heartfelt condolences to his family, friends and fans. Mann’s 1970 Daytona 200 win aboard the CR750 (the racing version of the CB750 four-cylinder) was momentous in Honda’s history Thank you, Dick, and godspeed.

The Honda CB750 Changed the Way Motorcycles Were Made, Raced and Sold

Though now highly prized for their potential as re-imagined cafe racer machines, the venerable Honda CB750 was – back in its infancy – the bike that changed the game.

So how did it happen that the Japanese took over the worldwide motorcycle manufacturing industry? To a large extent, it came down to the creation of a single model.

With five consecutive championship titles under their belts, Honda decided to withdraw from the World GP circuit in 1967 with a plan to develop high-performance consumer motorcycles at the forefront of their vision.

While Honda exported more than half of their output back in the mid-’60s, they didn’t make a large-displacement sport bike model which would appeal to the hardcore rider in the U.S.

And it’s not like the honchos at Honda failed to notice that glaring deficiency. Sales of Honda motorcycles in America were flagging in 1966, and the company knew a brand-new worldview was in order. While the company had created the Dream CB450 in 1965, they were still being outgunned by big bikes from other makers. The CB450 sold well, but for the vast majority of American riders, it just didn’t have the requisite zing and bottom-end torque they craved.

What really drove Yoshiro Harada, the head of Honda product development at the time, was hearing the news that Britain’s Triumph was deep in the development process of a high-performance, 3-cylinder 750 cc engine. With the ante thus upped, Honda laid out plans to compete by creating their own 750 cc engine, which would lay down 67 horsepower to overtake the juice you could get from the 66-horsepower Harley-Davidson’s 1300 and the proposed Triumph Triple.

Though Honda was already the industry’s leading maker of motorcycles (due in no small part to the success of the most popular motorcycle in history, the Super Cub), the introduction of the CB750 sought to become the world’s top manufacturer of quality motorcycles as well. They were up against some formidable competition as comparable models from Triumph, BMW, and Harley were already on the road.

So what were the targets? Honda wanted to make a long-range, high-speed touring machine, so they turned to science for answers in the form of a newly-minted paradigm dubbed “ergonomics.”

Those targets included: Stability at highway cruising speeds, a reliable and cooled braking system that would handle frequent rapid decelerations from high speed, minimal vibration, and noise to fight rider fatigue on long hauls with a rider position which complimented the smoother power plant, lights and instruments which were large, gauges which were easy to read, easy maintenance and servicing for all the various modules of the bike and the use of top-quality materials and production techniques.

Perhaps the most significant innovation for Honda’s showpiece bike? The adoption of disc brakes. While that design decision proved costly and time-consuming, it was also a stroke of brilliance and one which made the CB750 a favorite of the serious riding set.

Released to the U.S. public in January 1969, the announcement of the new bike’s retail price, $1,495, was met with stunned silence at a dealer meeting in Nevada. The other shoe had officially dropped. Large-displacement bikes were selling at that time for between $2,800 and $4,000, and the 2,000 dealers on hand for the announcement exploded into applause when they recovered their wits.

And they had good cause for their optimism. The CB750 immediately commanded a premium sales price in dealer showrooms of between $1,800 and $2,000 to get one out the door.

Featuring an integrated crankshaft and metal bearing to replace the split-type, press-fit crankshaft with a needle bearing used in previous Honda motors, the CB750 was a great leap forward in design as well as price.

As great as this new machine was, the company initially had a serious problem. They could only manage to make something like five bikes a day, and that was clearly not enough to meet the demand for what had become a major hit with the market. Production was pushed to 25 units per day and then to 100 units, but that still left an enormous pile of backorders building up under and an entirely expected sales landslide.

It became clear that the production of the original sand-molded crankcases would never meet the rate requirements of mass production, so the factory switched over to producing crankcases of a metal, die-cast construction. The bikes were such a hit with the riding public that the production of engines and chassis was moved to a Suzuki factory in mid-1971. The “sandcast” CB750 models are now fetching enormous prices from collectors of up to ten and fifteen times higher than their new-off-the-line premium price back in the day.

But what really made the bikes a smash hit with the public?

Performance. Pure and dependable performance.

The factory racing team at Honda R&D took the new machines to compete at a 10-Hour Endurance Race in August 1969 to coincide with the commercial launch of the big bike, and Honda dominated, notching one-two finishes with the teams of Morio Sumiya and Tetsuya Hishiki taking first place and Yoichi Oguma and Minoru Sato pulling in a close second.

The deal was done when rider Dick Mann blew away the field on his CR750 during the AMA Daytona 200-Mile Race run during March 1970. The field was now wide open for large-displacement Japanese bikes, and in 1972, Kawasaki launched the 900cc ZI to compete on the big-bike stage…and the rest is, as they say, history.

Concept Motorcycle for the Moon: global debut at ADV Overland exhibition

By General Posts

by Otilia Drăgan from https://www.autoevolution.com

This Spectacular Moon Concept Motorcycle Opens the Door to a New Space Experience

Since the “billionaire space race” has been accelerating, you might have imagined cosmonauts doing a lot of things, but we bet you didn’t picture them riding motorcycles on the moon. Yet, that’s what’s coming, because somebody just built an actual moon motorcycle, one of the most insane concept two-wheelers you’ll ever come across.

Last year, a Russian designer imagined what a “NASA motorcycle” would look like. Just one year later, that concept turned into reality and is about to make its world debut in California. The folks who made this happen are a small team from a German company called Hookie, which specializes in custom moto design and parts. Inspired by Andrew Fabishevskiy’s fantasy motorcycle, they were determined to bring it to life.

This is how Tardigrade, presented as the world’s first moon concept motorcycle, was born. You might wonder why it got the name of an apparently primitive creature, but these nearly-microscopic beings are incredibly resilient and able to adapt to any kind of environment, including outer space. Despite its otherworldly look, the Tardigrade motorcycle was also meant to be resilient and completely functional, “as close as possible to an original concept of a NASA moon rover.”

This futuristic-looking electric motorcycle blends a lightweight frame with single-sided swing arms, balloon tires, and drive-by-wire steering. With a length of 8.5 feet (2.6 meters), and almost 3-foot (0.9 meters) tall, Tardigrade has a battery range of up to 68 miles (110 km). Its maximum speed of 9 mph (15 kph) is comparable to that of the Moon Buggy. Plus, it’s designed to also carry equipment.

Incorporating 3D-printed parts, in house-developed wheels, plus a Cake drivetrain and sustainable lubricants from Puraglobe, this one-of-a-kind concept is innovative from start to finish. The folks at Hookie have shared glimpses from the building process along their journey, and are now proud to present their creation to the world.

Tardigrade, the moon motorcycle, will make its global debut at the ADV:Overland exhibition, held at the Petersen Automotive Museum in California, in mid-October.

What is Hub-center Steering Motorcycle & Why it is Better

By General Posts

by Todd Halterman from https://www.autoevolution.com

Hub-center steering is one of several different types of front-end suspension and steering mechanisms used in motorcycles and cargo bicycles. It is essentially a mechanism that uses steering pivot points inside the wheel hub rather than a geometry that places the wheel in a headstock like the traditional motorcycle layout.

Perhaps the most venerable example of the idea came in the form of the 1930 Majestic. This Georges Roy design used a novel pressed-steel monocoque chassis, and it incorporated an automotive-type chassis with hub-center steering. Other bikes had already used the configuration in such machines as the Ner-A-Car and the Zenith Auto-Bi, but the Majestic made it lovely to behold.

Another bike, the Vyrus 984 C3 2V Razzetto, was one such motorcycle that used hub-center geometry.

Vyrus is a small Italian motorcycle manufacturer based in Coriano, Italy, and their bikes such as the “Tesi” – Thesis in Italian – had their designs originate from a university engineering project linked to the motorcycle legend Massimo Tamburini. The Tesi, and the Vyrus 984, were instantly identifiable by their use of their hub-center steering front suspension and steering arrangement.

Those fabulously expensive bespoke motorcycles have been called “functional works of art,” and they look a bit like something you might see in a video game.

In hub-centered bikes, the front wheel is attached to a swingarm with a shock and an internal pivot point. Steering is achieved using those linkages to turn the wheel on a pivot point. Hub-center steering has been employed on motorcycles for more than a century, but the design, despite what some engineers say offers a distinct advantage, never took hold.

But the founder of Vyrus, Ascanio Rodorigo, once worked for Bimota as a race mechanic and engineer during the 1970s and his tenure there lasted until 1985. When Rodorigo finally left Bimota, he started his own company but partnered with Bimota on the hub-center-steered Tesi. He then went on to take the steering concept deeper and refined it for his own company’s motorcycles.

A Ducati dual spark bored out to 1,079cc and making 100hp L-twin provides the power for the 319 lbs (145 kg) Vyrus 984 bike, and it’s delivered to the road for via a six-speed transmission.

Now builders like Bryan Fuller of Fuller Moto, Revival Cycles, and others have built beautiful machines which harken back to the hub-centered glory days of the Majestic. Builders such as Stellan Egeland used a hopped-up 1200 boxer engine from a BMW HP2 Sport. He also added his own hub-center steering setup from ISR to a frame he made from a 2391 steel tube. The ISR kit is a thing to behold.

Revival’s ‘The Six,’ which features a ballsy Honda CBX motor, is another take on the hub-steer geometry. It was commissioned by museum owner and bike collector Bobby Haas for his Haas Moto Museum in Dallas and made by Revival’s Alan Stulberg and his crew.

Stulberg said the commission was aimed at paying homage to the Art Deco classic Majestic and added that he and the team became “obsessed with its design language and flow” since they first saw the bike at the Barber Museum.

Hub steering systems don’t dive as much under braking and hard cornering as do conventional telescopic fork setups. They push braking forces back into the chassis more efficiently rather than transferring immense bending forces to a pair of upright forks. The ride experience is exceptional as braking performance throughout corners is greatly enhanced.

It works like this: A wheel hub pitches back and forth on a central pivot and is supported by two large steering arms actuated by handlebars. The handlebars connect to the front steering and swingarm using complex linkages. A fixed arm connects a pull-and-push rod on either side of the hub-center to help steer the bike. The geometry also includes a second pair of static rods to ensure the axle stays level with the bike’s mass.

While hub steering has a number of clear advantages, its downfall is that it is considerably more expensive to manufacture and maintain and requires exceptionally experienced mechanics to tune and repair.

But it does look good, works more efficiently from an engineering standpoint, and directly addresses the most important factor in the motorcycling experience: braking.

The Majestic – Artistic Design from the 1920s
from https://www.odd-bike.com

While the engineering of the Majestic might have been relatively conventional, what was unprecedented was the styling, the hallmark of the Majestic to this day.

All the oily bits were fully enclosed under louvered panels, with partially enclosed fenders covering the wheels at both ends. The rider was completely isolated from the grime and muck of the running gear and powertrain, perched upon a sprung saddle and controlling the machine via levers and bars that poke through the all-encompassing body.

Presented in 1929, the prototype Majestic (which was reported as Roy’s personal machine) featured an air-cooled 1000cc longitudinal four-cylinder engine from a 1927-28 Cleveland 4-61. This would not remain for production, however.

While at least two Majestics were built with a 750cc JAP V-twin (arranged, like a much later Moto-Guzzi , with the Vee transverse and the heads poking through the bodywork) and records note that JAP singles, a Chaise Four, and at least one Gnome et Rhone flat twin were also employed, the majority of production machines coming out of Chartenay featured air-cooled Chaise engines.

These were overhead valve singles featuring unit two or three-speed gearboxes operated by hand-shift, available in 350cc and 500cc displacements. Distinctive for their single pushrod tube that resembles a bevel tower (but contains a pair of tightly-spaced parallel pushrods) and external bacon-slicer flywheel, these powerplants were a favourite of French manufacturers during the interwar period and were used by a variety of marques in lieu of producing their own engines.

The base price of the Majestic was 5200 Francs for a 350 with chain final drive; an extra 500 Francs netted you optional shaft drive.

An additional option that is rarely seen on surviving examples was a fine “craquelure” paint option that was applied by skilled artisans. It involves a process of deliberately screwing up the paint job in the most controlled and flawless way possible, applying a contrasting top coat over a base using incompatible paints that will cause the top coat to crack in a uniform fashion, something like a well-aged oil painting or antique piece of furniture.

The result is spectacular – and perhaps a bit tacky, giving the machine the appearance of a lizard skin handbag. (Maybe a later Rock Star would have loved to ride it as the “The Lizard King” ? )

The Majestic was impeccably stable at higher speeds compared to the other motorcycles of that era.

It was also agile and light footed in a way that similar machines, like the Ner-A-Car, were not.

The relatively low weight, around 350 pounds, carried with a very low centre of gravity made for tidy handling that was more than up to the meagre output offered by the powerplants.

Majestic was targeting a clientele that didn’t really exist: the gentlemanly rider who might desire a superior (read: expensive) machine as a stablemate to their elegant automobiles.

Georges Roy’s previous design produced under the name “New Motorcycle”

Georges Roy’s earlier 1927 brand called New Motorcycle was a far better barometer of things to come, predicting the style and design of machines that would emerge during the 1930s and beyond. The Majestic has far less impact and was more of a curiosity than predictor of trends to come.

Georges Roy’s brilliance as a designer is unquestionable, and deserves more praise than he ever earned during his lifetime.

Majestic is a little bit of elegance floating on the sea of staid machines that clutter up the history books.

Georges Roy was a French industrialist and engineer born in 1888 who achieved success in the textile business – specifically in knitting and sewing equipment. He was, however, an early adopter of motorcycling at the turn of the 20th Century – reportedly his first machine was a Werner, a Parisian machine that introduced the term “Motocyclette” in 1897.

Vance & Hines Launches Exhaust for BMW R1250 GS Motorcycles

By General Posts

Vance & Hines Launches Exhaust for BMW R1250 GS Motorcycles and

Announces New Proving Grounds Facility in Mojave Desert

Santa Fe Springs CA – October 1, 2021 – Vance & Hines, America’s premier manufacturer of motorcycle performance equipment, today introduced its first exhaust product for BMW R 1250 GS and GS Adventure motorcycles. In addition, the company announced the opening of a new Off-Road Proving Grounds in the Mojave Desert.

The exhaust for BMW adventure touring motorcycles (ADV) is the company’s second product in this category, following the recent announcement of an exhaust designed for the new Harley-Davidson Pan America.

The Vance & Hines Hi-Output Adventure 500 is the largest capacity exhaust ever made by Vance & Hines, manufactured with a 5-inch diameter, high-grade, 304 stainless steel tube. The system features a brushed, works-style finish, a CNC-machined, billet aluminum endcap, black heat shield, stainless mid-pipe, spring clip assembly, and Vance & Hines new adventure badging, while having a lower weight than the stock exhaust. The stepped exhaust delivers smooth tractable torque throughout the powerband. The glass-wrapped, perforated baffle core design delivers a rich, smooth rumble while still meeting SAE J2825 sound level standards. In addition, the system is 50-state emissions compliant.

The Hi-Output Adventure 500 will be shown to riders at the BMW Motorad GS Trophy Qualifier USA West this week. The challenge is one of two US qualifying events to select riders to compete in the International GS Trophy 2022, the ultimate adventure riding skills competition in Albania next year. Vance & Hines staff will help support the event which is at RawHyde Adventures in Castaic, California.

“BMW riders are the core of the ADV bike world and we know they will love this new Vance & Hines exhaust,” said Mike Kennedy, president of Vance & Hines. “More performance, a great look and more rider comfort are attributes every rider can appreciate.”

The Vance & Hines Hi-Output Adventure 500 is priced at $699.99 and will be available late in 2021.

Vance & Hines Off-Road Proving Grounds to Open Late this Year

Vance & Hines also announced the creation of the Vance & Hines Off-Road Proving Grounds (ORPG) at the well-known Zakar Overland Terrain Park and Event Center in the Mojave Desert, about two hours from the company’s Santa Fe Springs, California headquarters. The ORPG will be the company’s private test site for off-road products. The ORPG will include a test lab and service facility where company R&D staff will develop and evaluate future Vance & Hines Off-Road products.

“We are focused on bringing Vance & Hines exhilaration to all types of off-road riders. Our new proving grounds is an example of our commitment to create a steady flow of great products for off-road fans,” continued Kennedy.

Follow Vance & Hines social media for updates from the GS Trophy Qualifier USA West this weekend. Facebook, Instagram, YouTube

About Vance & Hines
The Vance & Hines brand has always been about enhancing the exhilaration of the motorcycle ride. It started over 40 years ago, when Terry Vance and Byron Hines were two young enthusiasts in the fledgling Southern California motorcycle drag race scene. Terry always wanted to go faster and Byron knew how to make that happen. In short order, their on-track success and innovation drew the attention of other racers, riders and motorcycle manufacturers, which ultimately translated to commercial demand for their products and services. Today, the Company’s mission and activity is the same; make bikes go faster on the racetrack and take those learnings to make impactful products for riders around the world. Since the Company’s inception in 1979, it has run factory race programs in partnership with Suzuki, Yamaha, Ducati and Harley-Davidson in drag racing, road racing and flat track. Vance & Hines is based in Santa Fe Springs CA and has its Racing Development Center in Brownsburg IN. Learn more about the company’s history and products at www.vanceandhines.com.

Blind Spot Warnings Display On Motorcycles

By General Posts

from https://www.malaymail.com

How blind spot warnings could be displayed directly in motorcycle mirrors.

Motorcycle manufacturers are exploring ways of alerting riders to the risk of collision with vehicles in their blind spot.

TOKYO, Sept 30 — Yamaha has filed a new project with the Japanese Patent Office for a system that alerts motorcycle or scooter riders when a vehicle is in their blind spot. This solution takes the form of LED strips placed directly behind the mirrors that face the rider. This solution could prove an effective means of alerting riders to this type of danger.

Most motorcycle manufacturers are actively working on blind spot warning systems. Yamaha recently filed a patent revealing a new technology that displays specific icons directly on the bike’s mirrors.

The idea is to be able to alert riders to dangers quickly and effectively. To do this, the Japanese manufacturer relies on displaying warnings on the bike’s mirrors in case of danger. The solution takes the form of a small screen placed behind each of the mirrors in the bike’s two rearview mirrors, capable of displaying a warning icon in the event of a collision risk, i.e., a vehicle in a blind spot. Note that the system could also display the warning on just one mirror, depending on the side where the danger is located.

In addition to the presence of a vehicle in their blind spot, this device could also warn riders of a risk of collision with another vehicle, when they’re breaking the speed limit or when they receive an incoming phone call. It could theoretically be fitted to a motorcycle as well as a scooter. Still, it remains to be seen whether this solution will eventually see the light of day.

Currently, the most advanced solution in this field is undoubtedly Bosch’s Blind Spot Detection (BSD), which is used in many motorcycle models, including BMW, Ducati or KTM bikes. In the event of a risk of impact with a vehicle coming from the rear, the system emits a sound or displays a visual alert on the screen.

Of course, the easiest & safest way to avoid this type of accident is to turn your head before pulling out or changing lanes, to make sure that there are no vehicles in your blind spot.

Vance & Hines Adventure Hi-Output 450 Exhaust for H-D Pan America

By General Posts

by Silvian Secara from https://www.autoevolution.com

It certainly looks great on a technical level, but just wait ‘til you hear the way it sounds.

With its drool-worthy design and brutal power output figures, the Harley-Davidson Pan America is an absolute legend straight out of the box. Its 1,252cc Revolution Max V-twin is capable of producing as much as 150 hp at 9,000 spins per minute, along with 94 pound-feet (128 Nm) of feral twist lower down the rpm range. Needless to say, Milwaukee’s mighty adventure bike isn’t messing around, alright?

However, riders will always be looking for ways to improve their beloved machines, regardless of how sensational the stock motorcycle might be. For instance, replacing a two-wheeler’s standard exhaust system with a high-grade aftermarket alternative is not only going to extract some additional oomph from its engine, but it will also make your two-wheeler sound even more thrilling.

If you happen to be the happy owner of a Pan America, you’ll definitely want to hear about the latest plumbing solution from Vance & Hines! To be more specific, we’re talking about the Adventure Hi-Output 450 – a complete stainless-steel exhaust that’s six pounds (2.7 kg) lighter than Harley’s original module.

When equipped with the Hi-Output setup, the bike’s liquid-cooled V-twin engine will go about delivering an additional 5 hp at the rear wheel, along with 5 pound-feet (6.8 Nm) of extra torque. Vance & Hines’ premium pipes are compliant with emission standards in all 50 states, as well as SAE’s J2825 noise regulations.

The muffler – which sports a CNC-machined billet aluminum end cap – is also compatible with Harley-Davidson’s factory center stand and saddlebags, while the exhaust headers improve boot clearance for the rider.

Finally, the aptly named Adventure Hi-Output 450 is priced at $599.99, and it can be ordered directly from the manufacturer’s official website.

For your viewing pleasure, Vance & Hines created a promotional video portraying just how sweet this bad boy looks and sounds on the Pan Am.

Behind the Scenes with Triumph Motorcycles in latest James Bond Adventure

By General Posts

by Todd Halterman from https://www.autoevolution.com

As the only motorcycle partner in the latest Bond film, No Time to Die, Triumph got their Tiger 900 and Scrambler 1200 motorcycles featured in key stunt scenes of the motion picture. Now you can take a closer look at the bikes and how those epic stunts were filmed in this exclusive behind-the-scenes video from Triumph.

While the novelty of the Bond films may be wearing off slightly, they always manage to come up with something fresh and over the top. This time around Triumph Motorcycles took on some amazing terrain and situations while stunt riders pushed their Triumph Tiger 900 and Scrambler 1200 to their absolute.

Over the years a wide range of Triumph motorcycles has been used by the Bond stunt teams to perform all sorts of daring and outrageous moves. This time around, the British bike maker – long a player in the iconic movie franchise – supplied Tiger 900s and Scrambler 1200s.

Triumph recently announced that the launch of the Tiger 900 Bond Edition, would be limited to just 250 units and go on sale at an undisclosed date. These models feature Matt Sapphire Black paint, special Bond graphics and feature a billet machined handlebar clamp to display a unique limited edition number.

All five 900 models shared core changes for 2020 including those to the engine, chassis, suspension, brakes, and electronics. The DOHC, 4-valve-per-cylinder, Euro 5-spec in-line triple, has been bored out and features a new “T-plane” triple crankshaft – a first in engine design – and a new firing order that bestows the triple with V-twin-like character down low while maintaining top-end power.

The Tiger 1200 Scrambler features the 1,215cc Tiger triple engine which represents the most powerful shaft-driven engine in its class. This time-tested powerplant cranks out 139hp (103.652kw) at 9,350 rpm. Triumph made it happen with a smaller flywheel, a lighter crankshaft, and a magnesium cam cover.

You can see the stunt teams put both bikes through their paces during the filming of No Time to Die in the video below.

Harley-Davidson 9 hp Scooter up for Auction

By General Posts

from https://www.financialexpress.com

The Harley-Davidson scooter was considered ‘highly maneuverable and well balanced’ and definitely looks nice with its identifiable aesthetic from the early 1960s. Now, more than a vehicle, it is a piece of art.

Imagine you’re minding your business selling V-twin motorcycles from Milwaukee and then you see a manufacturer from Japan selling nippy compact imported bikes and little scooters in a market you’d been very popular in. What do you do? Simple, build a scooter yourself. And so Harley-Davidson did when in the late 1950s, Honda surfaced as a competitor.

Harley’s answer was called the Topper.

The Topper remained in production for only five years with production estimates in a four-digit figure, Jalopnik writes in a report. Barring the electric concepts Harley now has, the Topper was the only scooter the manufacturer ever built and also mass-produced. One of these has been found and is now heading for auction at Mecum’s Las Vegas Motorcycles 2022 auction.

Unlike the big V-twin that power H-D motorcycles, the Harley-Davison Topper was powered by a two-stroke single-cylinder that delivered between 5 to 9 hp. It came in three models. It is not known which one of them is heading to Mecum.

All that power was sent to its wheels through a continuously variable transmission. American Motorcyclist magazine from November 1959 mentions a pull start cord hidden in the chrome instrument cluster.

The Topper was considered ‘highly maneuverable and well balanced’ by the same magazine and definitely looks nice with its identifiable aesthetic from the early 1960s. Now, more than a vehicle, it is a piece of art.

Imagine being able to say you own a Harley-Davidson scooter today. And if you want to, you could. Mecum’s auction is set to begin on 25 January 2022 until the 29th of the month. Interested? Look for the Harley-Davidson Heritage Collection.