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What bike is that?

Discussion in 'Bike Reviews, Questions and Suggestions' started by TonyE, Jan 12, 2009.

  1. I came across this photo of a moderately obscure motorcycle. The person who names make and model correctly (or reasonably close) gets to find something equally obscure and post the same question... :LOL:


  2. Looks like an Indian Scout.
  3. That could almost be a BSA insignia on that cover at the rear whell, and of course BSA made a v-twin that looked a lot like that, assuming some home-made changes since the 1920s...
  4. Something about those vintage bikes that makes me just want to keep looking at their pictures. Such nice machines

    anyone else think the same?

    Sorry OP I wish I knew what it was.
  5. Frame is almost 100% 1940's knucklehead.

    Engine however... hmm. Looks a bit like a WLA.

    Don't know my old Harleys. Any experts?
  6. The Oldies are certainly the beauties. Lovely machine indeed :grin:

  7. clue 1. - not built in the Americas (North or South) and not a BSA. It was something of a Harley rip off but significant changes made the company think they needn't pay any licence fees. This is the 1200cc model from 1959.
  8. In that case it'd have to be a Japanese Rikuo.
  9. It's a 1959 Rikuo VLE1200
  10. It looks like a WLA 1942 Harley. Used during WW2 on lend lease to OZ.
    Or it is an Indian, They looked the same back then.
    But I lean towards the Harley. 82 Mph Flat stick.
  11. it's a bmw
  12. Spot on that Ktulu person :LOL:
    your turn to baffle everybody!

    They had a licence to build Harleys in Japan pre war. In fact the entire production line for the EL was packed up and shipped from Milwaukee to Japan. During WWII they produced bikes for police and military. (Yanks in WWII were somewhat surprised to find "Harleys" on the islands they took from the Japanese) Post war they considered that they had made enough changes (like telescopic forks on the 750 and a foot change on all models) that they needn't keep paying licence fees to HD.

    The story is that HD realised they may not win in court so consequently HD got the US government to put pressure on the Japanese government to stop buying them for police use. Without this market they couldn't survive (no market for big expensive bikes in the late 1950's Japan) and went under.
  13. No, Harley did make a BMW copy though during WWII.

    the shaft-drive 750cc 1942 Harley-Davidson XA. (about 1000 were made)

  14. The other story is that HD approached Rikuo after the war to help them update to the Knucklehead engine (in exchange no doubt for suitable royalties to be payed back to HD). Rikuo refused their help and persisted with the existing design - subsequently going broke trying to compete with technologically superior American bikes.
  15. I suspect it was likely a combination of the two. Certainly the US government has never been backward in supporting its manufacturers.
    Although the lack of a solid home market wouldn't have helped and no export market would have bought the bike regardless of the technology. Japanese products did not have the reputation for quality.
  16. That's a line you won't hear about yank bikes too much these days.
  17. Yeah I love the irony.
    It's amazing how quickly the Japanese went from copied German WW2 designs (Yamaha) or clip-on engines for bicycles (Suzuki) to where they are now.
  18. So thats why the Yanks bombed Japan in WW2. HD's idea of pressure on the Japanese government was to bomb the place.

    Pity, they would make a great Grey Import.