Secret Prototypes And Oddities At Harley-Davidson Museum

Ever wondered which bikes they were about to launch as new models for your riding pleasure? The ones they scrapped at the last minute for various reasons? What were they thinking? The Harley-Davidson  of Milwaukee is offering a very interesting exhibition of an exotic collection of motorcycling oddities and secret prototypes. The artifacts exhibited here for the first time run the gamut from experimental motorcycles that never made it to market to marketed products that seem downright odd to contemporary sensibilities. Some items document fascinating stories, others are completely mysterious. Together, they tell quite a tale. The exhibit will cover approximately 8,000 square feet and will also include rare films and interactive displays. From June 11 to August 21, 2011 at Harley-Davidson Museum.

4 Responses to “Secret Prototypes And Oddities At Harley-Davidson Museum”

  1. 1 Kirk Perry Mar 31st, 2011 at 12:04 pm

    There’s a “gas tank wall” on the 2nd. floor that’s riveting. Tanks of all ages with limitless paint designs, hand-stripping and only unbelievable, in that, no one really knows WHO designed the 1936-1964 gas tanks.
    Who is (are) the THE (them) person(s)? Does Dr. Rosenblume, the in-house historian know? ….. No, no, my friends. There in lies American dichotomy. We who are so proud of our country, lost it’s rolling stock design roots in the process of evolving. ~ Que Lastima. ~

    We KNOW who designed the Hydra-Glide front fender. He was from the USA. His name was Brooks Stevens. His son is a designer in Milwaukee today. We can trace the front fender, maybe even the trim tips, you can’t never tell.

    Italy knows who chiseled the “David”. Italy is 99.9 % sure, that it was in fact, an Italian name Michelangelo, a mason that lived in a hovel-hut on the outside perimeter of the Duomo in downtown Florence, during the roof raising stage. History indicates so.
    There are compound-curves on Ferrari “Dino’s”, and there are fine curves on other things Italian.

    But, there are no compound, deep drawn, smooth convex, paneled concave, curves on anything American that can equal, or even get close to presenting an entire object, compiled of many parts, that effect the mind and soul like a 1957 Panhead the minute you lay eyes on “It”.
    Go ahead, your standing next to it, …………. reach under the gas tanks dropped edge. Run your fingers from under the tank, and up to the exterior side panel. Smooth isn’t it? Sensual even. Admit it.
    Who designed that tank that fits so well visually with the in-line constructed “stuffed” appurtenances? NO ONE KNOWS. That will be one tough tank to replicate. With a left tank pop-up reserve? And deep dimple emblem screw recesses, w/ spot-welded emblem brackets? $$$.

    Gone forever, except what hangs on rafters in peoples garage’s.

  2. 2 Wiz Apr 1st, 2011 at 2:21 am

    You ‘an that gas tank need to git a room! Yuk-Yuk!! Wiz

  3. 3 nicker Apr 1st, 2011 at 9:12 pm

    Kirk has it spot on!

    The right size (small) HD tank on a pan-head is simply a classic work of art.

    “….With a left tank pop-up reserve?…”

    Stock HD Tank-top reserve and gas-cock actuator is a must.
    After market tank-bottom gas-cocks are a heathens substitute.


  4. 4 Kirk Perry Apr 8th, 2011 at 10:43 am

    And, Nick-a-doo, you can stop any leaks cold in their tracks, by using Hylomar™ (Loctite®) on the (8) sealing surfaces of the shut-off seat (gas cock actuator).
    Zero leaks.

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Cyril Huze