Harley-Davidson unveils weird, wild collection

The company's museum in Wisconsin pulls some strange items out of storage for a new exhibit.

By Kim Peterson Jun 28, 2011 12:56PM
Credit: (© Stephan Savoia/AP)
Caption: Gas tank of Harley-Davidson motorcycleAn all-leather motorcycle? Harley-Davidson (HOG) has one, but it's not for sale.

The company has a vast archive of weird memorabilia and is putting some of it on display for a new exhibit in its Milwaukee museum. If you're looking for a summer road trip destination, Harley has it covered.

The new exhibit, called "Collection X: Weird, Wild Wonders of the Harley-Davidson Museum," include rare prototype bikes and a rocket engine for drone missiles in the Vietnam War, The Associated Press reports.

The museum also features a 1920s leather aviator face mask, a tiered "cake" from the early 1900s that displays racing trophies and handmade kidney belts for riders. There's a 1978 prototype of a liquid-cooled motocross bike and a three-wheeled cross between a motorcycle and a car.

There's also a motor-sled, a snowmobile of sorts that's 10 feet long and covered in canvas. It was sold as a kit for $38.50 and designed to work with a Harley motorcycle engine inside.

And that all-leather motorcycle? The 3/4-scale model was made in Japan and took 20 people more than two years to complete, AP reports.

The museum opens at a good time for Harley. The Japanese earthquake put a serious dent into its competitors, Honda and Yamaha, causing supply and operational disruptions. And the resulting shortage has caused prices for used motorcycles to go up.

Both of those factors led one Wedbush Morgan analyst to recently raise his price target for the stock to $50 from $48. Harley shares were trading Tuesday at about $38.75 and have risen more than 10% in the past two weeks.

Check out what another analyst has to say about Harley in the following video:


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