Tag

Harley-Davidson Archives — Page 2 of 18 — Bikernet Blog - Online Biker Magazine

Harley-Davidson faces proxy fight with investor Impala

By | General Posts

by Svea Herbst-Bayliss from https://www.reuters.com

The $2.8 billion hedge fund run by Robert Bishop, which owns 1.9 million Harley shares, or 1.2% of the company, has nominated former auto industry executive Brent Dewar and Leo Hindery, Jr., who has public board experience, as directors to Harley’s nine-member board.

BOSTON: Harley-Davidson Inc faces a battle with one of its investors after Impala Asset Management said on Wednesday it will try to install two directors at America’s oldest and best-known motorcycle maker.

The $2.8 billion hedge fund run by Robert Bishop, which owns 1.9 million Harley shares, or 1.2% of the company, has nominated former auto industry executive Brent Dewar and Leo Hindery, Jr., who has public board experience, as directors to Harley’s nine member board.

Harley has rejected the two men, saying in a filing that they would not bring fresh skills and declining to settle with Impala when the hedge fund first approached the company about new nominations to the board.

Impala has criticized the company for losing market share and the board for being slow fixing poor returns. It also pushed for the ouster of former CEO Matt Levatich in January.

“Impala approached the Board and advocated for the removal of then-CEO Levatich and a modest refresh of the Board itself. We believed then, and still believe, that the Company underperformed its potential under Mr. Levatich and that the Board should have taken action on its own,” the hedge fund said in a filing.

Harley tapped long-time board member Jochen Zeitz as interim CEO on Feb. 28.

A German passport holder, Zeitz’s appointment came just days before U.S. President Donald Trump banned some travel from Europe amid the spread of the coronavirus that has sent markets reeling and killed more than 8,700 people so far.

The motorcycle maker said in a statement on Wednesday an employee in one of its manufacturing facilities in Wisconsin had tested positive for the coronavirus, and that it would shut majority of the production at its facilities in Pennsylvania and Wisconsin starting March 18 through March 29.

Automakers Ford Motor Co , General Motors Co and Fiat Chrysler Automobiles NV also confirmed they will shut down U.S. plants to stop the virus’ spread.

Meanwhile, like other Harley executives, Zeitz is working remotely and is communicating by video. In one sent to the company’s dealers and seen by Reuters, he said he is “hitting the ground running.”

A company spokeswoman said Zeitz is “in the process of moving to Milwaukee,” where Harley is headquartered. She declined to offer more details.

Zeitz, a former CEO of German apparel and footwear maker Puma, has lead a push for sustainability at Harley and was a force behind The Live Wire, the company’s first production of an electric bike.

Restored 1st Gen Harley-Davidson Sportster Up for Grabs

By | General Posts

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

In the entire history of Harley-Davidson, which is over a century, the longest-running nameplate has been the Sportster. It was introduced back in 1957 as a successor to the Model K, and it is presently one of the most appreciate bikes in the world.

When they first hit the market, these bikes were a sight to behold, despite the fact they shared much with the Ks that preceded them, from frame to fenders, and the large gas tank and front suspension in between. Powered by a flat-head engine fitted directly on the frame, it proved to be quite a challenge for riders in terms of vibration.

This doesn’t seem to have been such an issue, though, as the bikes were made in this configuration for years, well until 2003 when rubber isolation mounts and tie links were fitted to reduce the vibration felt by the riders.

Because there were so many of them made for so long, finding a Sportster on the open market is a breeze. It might not be so easy finding a Sportster from the very first production year, though, especially one in what seems to be very good condition.

Exactly such a bike popped up on the list of vehicles that went under the hammer last week during the Mecum Glendale auction in Arizona. For reasons unknown, it failed to sell, so it is still up for grabs.

The seller of the bike claims this is a complete restoration of a 1957 Sportster, but provides no actual details on the work that has been done to it.

With the gas tank and fenders painted red, chrome on the handlebars, parts of the engine and exhaust, and skim tires, this Sportster sure is a sight to behold, especially for those with a soft spot for older versions of one of the most popular motorcycles still available today.

This Harley-Davidson That Fits Inside a Car Is Perfect for a Batman Villain

By | General Posts

by Elena Gorgan from https://www.autoevolution.com

Why choose between riding a Hog or driving a classic (-looking) car when you can actually do both? Add looking like a retro Batman villain, and this might just be an offer you could not refuse.

If only it were still on the table.

In December 2010, the 1939 Lincoln Sedan Delivery Deco Liner and Harley Davidson Sportster Deco Scoot (this is the official name and what a mouthful it is!) was sold at a Bonhams auction to the Louwman Museum, The Hague, Netherlands. The Louwman is one of the top automotive museums in Europe, home to some of the rarest and weirdest items ever made.

It fits right in.

Completed in June 2008, it is the work of artist Frank Nicholas and Terry Cook of New Jersey-based Deco Rides. The Deco Liner project represents the culmination of 3 years of hard work for the team. It’s a one-off custom 1939 Lincoln Zephyr built from scratch into a delivery sedan, with a matching, modified Harley-Davidson Sportster in the back.

Not only is the Harley-Davidson removable and fully-working, but when stored inside the car, it becomes an integral part of it. The Deco Liner project isn’t about functionality, with the bright purple paint job and ornate bodywork on both vehicles being the biggest giveway. Deco Rides describes it as a way of presenting “two new concepts to the rodding world:” the “concept of the bike in the car” (duh) and the decorative metal trim, inspired by mid-30s Paris coach cars.

No one would hold it against you if you thought it was inspired by retro Batman villain cars, though. It would make the perfect 2-in-1 getaway vehicle for one such baddie, too.

Bonhams describes it a “virtual Fabergé egg on wheels,” which seems to make light of the amount of work that went into building this thing, but is surprisingly accurate. It’s made up of the Deco Liner and the Deco Scoot, with both receiving countless modifications and fully-handcrafted aluminum bodies that earn them the status of works of sculpture.

The Deco Scoot is a custom 1991 Harley-Davidson Sportster chosen for its height, and then lowered and modified, after the Deco Liner was built by chopping the top off and creating the elongated body. The bike can be loaded into the car by means of a nine-foot long aluminum ramp that is deployed and retracted at the touch of a button. When not in use, the ramp is tucked away inside the car, so it’s not visible.

Once in position, the bike is secured by straps and becomes a part of the car interior – the front fender of the bike comes in between the Viper bucket seats and serves as an armrest. So you’d better make sure you don’t get it all muddied up.

The Deco Liner is a Frankenstein of a car made to resemble the 1939 Lincoln Zephyr. Nicholas and Cook used a 1995 Chevrolet Blazer for the front chassis and then built the rear chassis from scratch to fit and carry the bike, discarding the rest of the Blazer. A General Motors Goodwrench 350 cubic inch V8 crate engine was fitted instead of the original V6 in the Blazer.

The front-wheel-drive Deco Liner comes with power windows, power brakes and power steering (though no one is using any as of the time of writing, being on display at the museum), custom black and silver interior, and a 1960-62 Chrysler “goldfish bowl” instrument cluster.

Before being sold off to the Louwman Museum for $117,000 in 2010, the Deco Liner and Deco Scoot were paraded throughout the U.S., causing quite a sensation at the Sturgis Rally in South Dakota, the Laconia Motorcycle Week in New Hampshire, the Goodguys Rod & Custom event in Columbus, Ohio, and the Detroit Autorama, among others. It is now on display with the original lettering on the side of the delivery removed.

A Hubless Harley-Davidson Chopper Is One Sure Way to Get Attention

By | General Posts

For most riders, a Harley-Davidson is beautiful on its own and, if you add the growl of the engine, there’s enough happening to get attention. But there are other ways you can stand out even more, should you be interested.

Hubless choppers are one such option. They are futuristic, almost alien-looking custom bikes built by hand around a Harley-Davidson frame, with wild-looking paintwork and at least one spoke-less wheel. Invented by Franco Sbarro and most famously used on the 1989 Sbarro Osmos, the center-less wheel is difficult to make, difficult to maintain and has many practical disadvantages.

But it’s bound to get you noticed.

Perhaps the first, most famous chopper to get international media attention is the Hubless Custom by New Jersey-based Howard’s Killer Custom, which was unveiled in late 2007 and is believed to have cost no less than $155,000. It is usually included on lists of most expensive motorcycles in the world.

It partially started out as a classic 1969 FL Harley-Davidson, which, in the hands of Howard Sofield, became the most famous hubless chopper in the world. Weighing about 700 pounds and able to reach speeds of 100 mph, the Hubless Custom took 4,000 hours to make and two full years of research and design.

According to Sofield, the Hubless Custom started out with a 1974 swing arm frame and a 21-inch front wheel, the 1969 Harley-Davidson Pan Shovel 80ci engine, 1969 & 1974 Harley-Davidson engine cases, and 1982 Harley-Davidson cylinders. The goal was to make the hubless wheel more practical and to create a fully functional bike in-house.

“Using my experience in drafting and automotive industries I was able to come up with a different way to make the hubless wheel work in a more practical way,” Sofield said upon the bike’s introduction. “Combining that with my Father’s extensive machining and fabrication skills, we are able to create our bike entirely in-house and do things that most every other builder would have to outsource. Over 4,000 hours of design and build time went into this project and we could not be happier with how it turned out. It looks and functions perfectly.”

The downside to this hubless chopper: it is difficult to handle.

Some years, later, in 2014, Ballistic Cycles unveiled their own take on the hubless chopper, this time with a spoke-less front wheel and a rear so low it almost grazed the ground. Called the Hubless Harley-Davidson Road King, it won several prizes right after introduction, including Baddest Bagger at Full Throttle Saloon, Deadwoods Nastiest Bagger and Best in Show at the Easy Rider Saloon.

Ballistic Cycles never went public with how much one such Bagger cost.

But the Road King is a stunner, as you can see in the gallery attached. Ballistic Cycles boasts of being the first custom team to put a 30-inch front wheel on a bike – and a spoke-less one, at it! Add the all-aluminum body with the wickedest paintwork and a twin turbo Harley-Davidson air / liquid-cooled engine, and you get yourself one visually arresting machine.

“Cutting necks and adding a few glass parts is one thing, but truly building a ground-breaking motorcycle takes a bit more time, effort, and a planning,” the official website reads. “The entire front end is completely one off and each and every part is custom for this feature. The hubless wheel is machined from a solid piece of billet, and the brake system is integrated into the wheel. The custom air cylinder is designed specifically for the load endured by the wheel and motorcycle. The mechanics behind the hubless wheel features all the latest technology and completely pushes the boundaries of what is possible.”

The good news: Road King was the first of a long line of similar projects, and Ballistic Cycles is still making and selling hubless Baggers. Any rider with deep enough pockets can get a chopper that will make them get all the attention on the road – and then some.

Indian Army canteens to sell Harley-Davidson bikes

By | General Posts

The Indian armed forces can now buy a Harley-Davidson Street at Army Canteen at special prices.

Harley-Davidson has announced that it will retail its Street range through the Indian Army canteen. Indian armed force personnel, ex-servicemen and their dependents in India will be able to purchase both motorcycles at special prices through the Canteen Store Departments (CSD) across the country. Harley-Davidson India stated that through the Initiative, the brand hopes that it will make their models more accessible to servicemen who have long dreamed of owning a Harley.

Sajeev Rajasekharan, Managing Director – Asia Emerging Markets and India, Harley-Davidson, said, “Harley-Davidson shares a long-term alliance with the armed forces across the globe. With both Street motorcycles being included in the inventory at CSD in India, we look forward to providing more access to members of the armed forces and seeing more members of the forces fulfil their desire to own a Harley-Davidson motorcycle.”

The two Harley-Davidson models that will be retailed through the Indian Army CSD will be the Street 750 and Street Rod models. Both models are powered by BS6 compliant 750cc, liquid-cooled, Revolution X V-Twin engine that develops 60Nm of torque. The Street 750 is offered in five colour options and has a seat height of 720mm with a weight of 223kgs. The Street Rod on the other hand is slightly different. The Street Rod is 6kgs heavier, has a seat height of 765mm and offered in four colour options. The Street 750 has a street value of Rs 5.34 lakh while the Street Rod is priced at Rs 6.55 lakh. Now, the members of the Indian Army will be able to purchase the two models at special prices. These are Rs 4,60,332 for the Street 750 and Rs 5,65,606 for the Street Rod (ex-showroom – applicable as per CSD).

Harley-Davidson completed 10 years of operations in India recently, to become the first premium motorcycle manufacturer to do so. Since 2009, Harley-Davidson has sold more than 25,000 units with the Street 750 being the most popular model for the brand. Harley-Davidson has always had special relationship with the armed forces. In India, the American motorcycle manufacturer launched its special Armed Forces H.O.G. (Harley Owners Group) that is dedicated to the Indian armed forces. this H.O.G. includes serving and veteran members from all departments of the forces.

Harley-Davidson celebrates 50th anniversary of XR750

By | General Posts

The 2020 season marks the 50th year since the debut of the XR750, a motorcycle raced, wrenched on, and beloved among the American Flat Track (AFT) paddock to this day.

To celebrate the anniversary, Harley-Davidson Super Twins and Production Twins bikes along with the Harley-Davidson Screamin’ Eagle/Vance & Hines NHRA Pro Stock motorcycles will feature the historic colour of Harley-Davidson competition motorcycles, Jet Fire Orange, along with team haulers, uniforms, and branded accessories.

“The XR750 is the winningest motorcycle in AMA Pro Racing motorcycle history,” said Jon Bekefy, general manager of brand marketing at Harley-Davidson, Inc.

“Harley-Davidson is taking its 50th anniversary as a moment to reflect on the legacy and individuals who have designed, engineered, tuned, and raced the XR750 during its years of competition, and to celebrate Harley-Davidson’s 2020 racing efforts.”

Born in 1970 with the advent of the new AMA Racing equivalency formula, the XR750 was created by Harley-Davidson’s race team manager Dick O’Brian and team to replace the highly successful outgoing KR750.

Using a Harley-Davidson Sportster-based engine, the XR750 utilised modified cast-iron heads and cylinders, a magneto instead of generator, and improved oiling. In 1972 a new, more powerful all-aluminum alloy XR750 engine was introduced.

The perfected machine dominated flat track racing for decades to come. Between 1972 and 2008, the XR750 would go on to win 28 of 37 AMA Grand National Championships. The XR750 racked up more wins than any other motorcycle in AMA racing history and earned the description of being the “most successful race bike of all time.”

In addition, the XR750 became a cultural icon with legendary stuntman Evel Knievel at the handlebars. Evel Knievel began jumping an XR750 at the height of his career from 1970 to 1976, and alongside the exploits of the racing versions of the XR750 inspired a generation to ride.

For 2020, the Harley-Davidson Factory Flat Track team will continue to field Harley-Davidson’s production-based tradition for factory flat track campaigns. The updated Harley-Davidson XG750R flat tracker, powered by the liquid-cooled, fuel-injected and race-tuned 750cc Harley-Davidson Revolution X V-Twin is based on the production engine originally designed for the Harley-Davidson Street 750 motorcycle.

The Top 3 Best Motorcycle Brands in 2020

By | General Posts

Did you know that the ownership of motorcycles in America has increased by 2.5 million since 2009? This isn’t all that surprising since motorcycles are a fast and fun way to commute.

Maybe you already know the joys of owning a motorcycle, or perhaps you’re looking to buy your first. Below, we’ll give you a list of what we believe are the top three best motorcycles brands in 2020.

By the end of this post, you’ll be headed to your nearest dealership to test-ride one of these 2020 motorcycles yourself.

1.) Harley-Davidson

When you think of top motorcycles, Harley-Davidson most likely comes to mind.

This iconic brand is the Mustang of motorcycles and has been a top brand in the industry since 1903. They are one of the only motorcycle brands (along with Indian) to have survived the Great Depression, which has got to say something, right?

Harley-Davidson is recognized for being an all-American brand that produces high-quality motorcycles that are ideal for long rides across the country.

Their motorcycles redefined the industry with their heavy-weight chopper-style bike, and their smooth, durable engines.

2.) Yamaha

Yamaha Corporation has been around since 1887, making it one of the oldest brands in the world. Although they originally started as a piano and reed manufacturer, they now offer a variety of automotive products and services.

These Japanese motorcycles are one of the leading and most recognizable brands in the industry and are widely known in international racing for their rugged sportbikes.

Unlike Harley-Davidson, who is notorious for long-distance riding, Yamaha motorcycles are built for speed performance and are great for riding on trails and technical terrain. In fact, they were the first motorcycle brand to introduce a trail bike in 1968 and have been the best in the business since.

If you’re looking for a sporty, off-road bike, take one for a test spin at a Yamaha dealer.

3.) Honda

Honda is another Japanese brand best-known for its automobiles. However, they’re also one of the best motorcycles in 2020.

This brand started selling motorcycles in 1955 and quickly became one of the largest mass-produced motorcycle brands in the world. In 1987, Honda was the first company to produce 50 million motorcycles.

If you’re looking for a motorcycle brand that produces a mix of both off-road and street bikes, this is the brand for you. Honda sells a variety of bikes that can go the distance like Harley-Davidson, while still maintaining a sporty and responsive feel like their competitor, Yamaha.

How to Choose One of These 2020 Motorcycles

Choosing the right motorcycle can be tough, but if you stick to top-selling 2020 motorcycles like Harley-Davison, Yamaha, and Honda, you’re sure to pick a good one.

Once you have a better idea of what you’re looking for, whether it be a street or trail bike, you can narrow down which one of these brands is right for you.

Be sure to state your favorite motorcycle brand below in the comments.

Stripped Down Harley-Davidson Muscle Bike Is the Treat to Wait for in 2021

By | General Posts

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

Despite the fact that it is probably the world’s most famous motorcycle brand, Harley-Davidson seems to be struggling to come to grips with the realities of the age. Plagued by financial problems, Harley recently lost its CEO, and more stormy weather seems to be looming ahead.

There are however plans in place for a turnaround. These plans cover everything from new models to the reinvention of the dealership network.

As far as new products are concerned, we already talked about the two new motorcycles Harley plans to launch by the end of this year. Both – the Bronx and Pan America – are built on a new middleweight platform and use new Revolution Max family of engines.

But perhaps more exciting than anything is the return of the bike maker to the custom scene, with a yet unnamed motorcycle announced for 2021.

Previewed at about the same time with the other two, the custom machine is described as one with “a muscular stance, aggressive, stripped-down styling and 1250cc of pure performance.”

Officially, that’s about it when it comes to this product fom now, but by the way it looks (see in the gallery above) and given the fact that the Pan America will use the same 1250cc Revolution Max engine with 145 hp and 90 lb-ft of torque, we expect the specs on the custom to be even more extraordinary.

All the bikes we mentioned here are part of a plan meant to reinvent the company by 2022 and increase the number of Harley customers by 1 million by 2027, for a total of 4 million in the U.S. alone.

“The bold actions we are announcing today leverage Harley-Davidson’s vast capabilities and competitive firepower – our excellence in product development and manufacturing, the global appeal of the brand and of course, our great dealer network,” said in a statement back in 2019, when the moves were announced, Matt Levatich, at the time the company’s CEO.

“Alongside our existing loyal riders, we will lead the next revolution of two-wheeled freedom to inspire future riders who have yet to even think about the thrill of riding.”

Harley-Davidson’s electric motorcycle LiveWire creating buzz at Daytona Bike Week

By | General Posts

The Harley-Davidson LiveWire’s cool factor seems undeniable among Daytona Bike Week testers, but if you have to buy cool it comes at a $30,000 price.

This is one Harley-Davidson you won’t likely see around town during Bike Week. At least not yet.

And it’s one you definitely won’t hear.

Harley’s new LiveWire, just now winding its way into the market, is a mystery to many, as well as a culture shock — “A Harley without the rhythmic thumping?”

This thing sounds more like a sewing machine.

But so far, if first impressions mean anything, the LiveWire is also a hit. Test rides at Harley’s demo station — outside Daytona International Speedway — are producing one group after another of impressed bikers who, briefly, unsaddled from their traditional Hogs for a proverbial ride into the future.

“As I was riding it, I was thinking this might be my next bike,” says 71-year-old James Lamoureux, a longtime biker from St. Johns County. “Harley, they took a long time, but they did a great job. This thing is cool.”

The cool factor seems undeniable, based on the overwhelmingly positive reviews from testers. But if you have to buy cool, it comes at a price. The LiveWire sells for about $30,000, roughly $10,000 more than you’d pay for a traditional Harley Softail at Bruce Rossmeyer’s Daytona Harley-Davidson.

“It’s very impressive. Everything about it,” says D.J. Richter, part of a group of Indiana visitors who tested the LiveWires as a group.

But at $30,000?

“Thirty?” Richter replied. “It’s not that impressive.”

But the LiveWire, five years in the making after its 2014 conceptual introduction, wasn’t designed to flood the market. At that price, it has no chance to help Harley attract the much younger demographic the manufacturer — and industry as a whole — needs in order to remain viable as the avid motorcyclist population grows grayer each year. Entry level, gas-powered Harleys, after all, are available for well under $10,000.

It’s apparently all part of the marketing strategy.

“Just like the electric car market, Harley released the best of the best,” says Shelly Rossmeyer Pepe, Daytona Harley’s general manager. “In this case, Harley said they would come out with their ‘halo’ bike, the best of the best, then bring out less expensive models, different models without certain components or luxury items.”

DeLand rider Glen Abbott, who writes travel pieces for Harley-Davidson’s H.O.G. Magazine, couldn’t wait for future options. He attended last year’s national dealer show at Harley’s headquarters in Milwaukee. He went through the demo process, which includes becoming familiar with the LiveWire’s instant throttle on a stationary LiveWire atop a dyno, followed by a street ride.

“I have two other Harleys. Had no intention of buying an electric bike, but I took it for a demo ride and just fell in love with it,” Abbott says.

The LiveWire has a range of about 150 miles, so Abbott mostly rides it around DeLand or as far as New Smyrna Beach. Plugging it in to a standard home outlet will recharge the LiveWire overnight. Fast, DC-powered charging is available at Harley dealerships and takes just an hour.

Any concerns about dealing with an electric motors’ charging needs seem to disappear once you ride the LiveWire.

“I started riding Harleys in the early-’90s,” says Abbott, a 62-year-old Rhode Island native. “This is so different than anything you’ll ever ride. It has instant power. You don’t shift. You have 100% of your power right from the get-go. It’s smooth and quiet. I like big loud Harleys too, but this is different.”

Sitting outside the New Smyrna Beach Harley dealership, where he helps with hospitality during Bike Week, Abbott says he occasionally gets some good-natured teasing from friends and fellow Harley riders. He also reads some negative online reactions to the LiveWire from older, traditional Harley riders. But in personal encounters, all is well.

“I think everybody appreciates it,” he says. “No, it’s not for everybody, but I haven’t encountered any negative sentiment.”

Back at the Speedway, Harley employee Meghan Zettelmeier ushers testing riders onto the dyno LiveWire for an explainer on the clutch-free throttle system. From there, it’s on to the test ride.

“It seems like everyone that gets off of it has a big smile on their face,” Zettelmeier says. “We have some people who come in doubting it a little bit, but the second they get off they have a huge smile.”

Sherry Butler, part of D.J. Richter’s Indiana group, was among the smiling reviewers.

“Very fun, very peppy, and so easy to control,” she says.

The one universal issue, among all those testing the LiveWire, isn’t necessarily a bad issue to riders like Butler.

“I kept feeling like I was reaching for the clutch that isn’t there,” she says. “And that’s not a bad thing.”

A few I-95 exits north of the Speedway, Daytona Harley-Davidson has sold four of the LiveWires since December. Until Harley begins mass-producing lower-cost electric motorcycles, Rossmeyer Pepe doesn’t expect to flood the local market with the debut product. But beginning in April, the dealership will begin a summerlong promotional effort to bring people in for a look and, if licensed to ride a motorcycle, a test drive.

“I’m proud to say that Harley really outdid themselves when they created this machine,” she says. “The quality of the machine is unbelievable. The performance, the cool factor, they definitely nailed it.

“Will you see people changing from what they’re currently riding? I don’t see people coming in to trade from their current motorcycles to a LiveWire, I see people adding a LiveWire.”

People like Abbott, whose DeLand garage took on a third motorcycle when he recently added his electric Harley. He sees the LiveWire, and any electric product currently in the pipeline, as a needed attempt to keep Harley-Davidson viable into future generations.

“The big challenge they’re facing is an aging demographic,” he says. “They’re trying to appeal to younger riders. Obviously, if they don’t appeal to new markets and new demographics, they’re gonna die off.

“I think it’s short-sighted for people to feel Harley can only build internal combustion engines forever.”

Harley-Davidson Cosmic Starship Is Now World’s Most Expensive Bike

By | General Posts

by Elena Gorgan from https://www.autoevolution.com

Like with everything else in this world, there are bikes and then there are… bikes. The Harley-Davidson we’re going to talk about today falls in the latter category, of machines that are so expensive they are more like objects of art than actual rides.

Whereas most luxury cars and motorcycles remain practical, this one is less much so. Many rides cost a fortune either because of one-off customizations or the fact that they’re limited edition, or simply just that awesome. This Harley-Davidson is pretty much the same as it was when it left the factory, but coated with a new layer of paint.

Make that more than 37 of them. This is the Harley-Davidson Cosmic Starship, also known as the Million Dollar Harley-Davidson or artists Jack Armstrong’s bike. It’s actually a 2002 V-Rod that has been painted in Armstrong’s Cosmic Extensionalism style.

In other words, this Hog is a rolling, roaring piece of art, a painting on the move. If you can afford to risk damaging it by actually taking it on the road, that is.

As of the time of writing, the Cosmic Starship is back on the market, with an asking price between $15 million and $30 million, since it’s a one-off. It’s been listed for sale by its current owner since 2017 and, should it ever find a buyer, it will go down in history, officially, as the world’s most expensive motorcycle.

Even if it doesn’t, based on the last price it changed hands for, it is still among the top five most expensive bikes in the world: $3 million.

So what’s the deal with it? Why is it so pricey?

As noted above, there is nothing outstanding about the bike itself. It’s a V-Rod without any modifications, chosen because Armstrong, a vocal Harley enthusiast himself, believed it was the perfect, most luxurious canvas for his revolutionary painting style, which took 30 years to perfect.

“The style of the 2002 Harley V-Rod was revolutionary, and it was the most futuristic creation in motorcycles I had ever seen,” he said ahead of the introduction of the bike. “For several years between 2003-2004 when I lived in Switzerland I rode V-Rods with seven-time F1 World Champion Michael Schumacher. So the V-Rod was my only choice for the most expensive motorcycle in history.”

The Cosmic Starship was introduced in October 2010 at Bartels in Marina Del Rey, California, in a ceremony that saw it being dropped from the sky while lit up by $100,000 worth of lights. It was billed the Million Dollar Harley from the start, based on the fact that Armstrong painted it.

In 2012, it sold for $3 million, and it popped up on the market again in 2017: Cosmic Harley says it’s asking price is of $15 million, but Star Global International (which actually commissioned the work) puts it at $30 million. They both seem to agree, however, that its value will go up in the coming years: the figure $250 million is casually being thrown around.

It took Armstrong (who is Neil Armstrong’s nephew) 6 years to complete the job. You wouldn’t be able to say by just looking at it in pictures, but there’s an elaborate technique about this style of painting. It reportedly involved lots of acrylic paint and no less than 37 coats of clear coat on top, a method Armstrong needed 3 decades to master.

What makes Armstrong stand out among other artists is his belief in “the energy that coexists in inter planetary and multi-dimensional extensionalism,” which is reflected in his work. In more specific terms, his work stands out for hidden messages when viewed at different angles or in different lights, and extreme use of color, texture and light. Reportedly, Andy Warhol, with whom he was friends, dubbed him “The Last Wizard.”

What also drives up the price on Armstrong’s art, including this Hog, is the fact that he vowed to never make more than 100 pieces to showcase it and never to touch canvas. He’s never used an art dealer either, so he deals directly with the most exclusive clients. With all that, not much is known about his personal life or his body of work, and there are suspicions about claims he made about the former in the past. Either he’s onto something as an artist, or he may just be a major con who has been able to talk his way to the top by selling the illusion of exclusivity.

Back to the bike, even if never sells for the kind of money it’s being listed at, it’s still very expensive at $3 million. The Cosmic Starship is currently being held in a climate-controlled vault and remains in pristine condition. Whether anyone’s ever ridden it remains a mystery, but for this kind of money, would you risk damaging that which makes it so expensive by taking it out on the road?