Motorcycles from Harley-Davidson's first years are hard to find, and Harley's 1908 Strap Tank motorcycle is so rare that one of the few remaining examples just fetched $935,000 at auction, making it the most expensive motorcycle ever sold at an auction.
The bike is among the oldest surviving Harleys, according to Mecum Auctions' listing, and it's one of only 450 ever made. Fewer than a dozen 1908 Strap Tanks remain, and none are as intact as the one just sold.
But what makes this motorcycle so special? Well, of the 450 motorcycles produced by Harley-Davidson in 1908, less than a dozen are thought to have survived and even fewer still in as correct condition as this one. 😲— RushLane (@rushlane) February 13, 2023
Harley's earliest models were adorned with nickel-plated steel bands that suspended the fuel and oil tanks from the frame, leading to the Strap Tank name. Because of their ties to the beginnings of the iconic motorcycle manufacturer, Strap Tanks are particularly coveted, which explains the just-shy-of-a-million price tag.
Found in a barn in Wisconsin as a complete motorcycle in 1941, the vintage bike remained in Wisconsin for the next 66 years and was expertly restored in Fort Wayne, Indiana. The ultrarare motorcycle sold with its original tank, wheels, engine belt pulley, seat cover, and muffler sleeve.