1999 Harley-Davidson MT500 Military Engine no. 355461

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Lot 314
1999 Harley-Davidson MT500 Military
Engine no. 355461

Sold for US$ 18,400 inc. premium
1999 Harley-Davidson MT500 Military

Engine no. 355461

• Believed to be 1 of fewer than 500

Many factors determine a motorcycle's place on the ladder of collectability. Rarity certainly counts, as does having an interesting backstory. If the machine in question is unstarted and unridden, with 0 miles just as it came from the factory shipping crate, it naturally moves a few rungs farther up the scale. This Harley-Davidson MT500 checks all those boxes.

As we know from history, Harley is not adverse to gathering smaller brands under the H-D corporate umbrella. Witness Aermacchi in the 1960s and '70s, or more recently MV Agusta, and on the home front there was Buell. The MT's path to Milwaukee was more than a little convoluted, starting in the early 1980s when Italian outfit SWM produced an army bike using the Austrian-built Rotax single for power. Simple and sturdy, the air-cooled Rotax, made in displacements ranging from 350 to 600cc, was well known to dirt bike riders, used in KTMs, ATKs, CCMs and Can-Ams, among others. When SWM faltered financially, UK firm Armstrong-CCM stepped in, already familiar with the engine and desirous of the British Army contact for military bikes. Harley enters the picture in the late '80s, not only to explore the military market but also wanting 'home ownership' of the Rotax engine, at that time used in the factory race team's short-trackers and TT bikes.

While Harley isn't very forthcoming with details about the military bike project, it's believed that fewer than 500 MTs left the company's York, Pennsylvania factory from 1993-2000, making it one of the rarest Harley-Davidson models ever. The U.S. military's requirement that diesel be the common battlefield fuel brought production to an end. This 1999 model, equipped with plastic gun case and front-mounted ammo panniers, was uncrated by a previous owner and has remained unridden in the Carter Collection's care, showing 0 miles on its odometer.

Saleroom notices

  • Listed as a 1999 model, this MT500 is actually a 2000. The odometer now reads 1 mile, from being pushed around warehouse and showroom. The frame number is 1HD4RLS15YY000022. The Title is in transit.
Contacts
1999 Harley-Davidson MT500 Military Engine no. 355461
1999 Harley-Davidson MT500 Military Engine no. 355461
1999 Harley-Davidson MT500 Military Engine no. 355461
1999 Harley-Davidson MT500 Military Engine no. 355461
1999 Harley-Davidson MT500 Military Engine no. 355461
1999 Harley-Davidson MT500 Military Engine no. 355461
1999 Harley-Davidson MT500 Military Engine no. 355461
1999 Harley-Davidson MT500 Military Engine no. 355461
1999 Harley-Davidson MT500 Military Engine no. 355461
1999 Harley-Davidson MT500 Military Engine no. 355461
1999 Harley-Davidson MT500 Military Engine no. 355461
1999 Harley-Davidson MT500 Military Engine no. 355461
1999 Harley-Davidson MT500 Military Engine no. 355461
1999 Harley-Davidson MT500 Military Engine no. 355461
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