1999 Harley-Davidson MT500 Frame no. 1HD4RLS16XY000237

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Lot 171
1999 Harley-Davidson MT500
Frame no. 1HD4RLS16XY000237

Sold for US$ 17,250 inc. premium
1999 Harley-Davidson MT500
Frame no. 1HD4RLS16XY000237
• One of fewer than 500 built, showing just 125 miles
• Electric/kick start, original Rotax toolkit
• With factory rifle case and dual front panniers

Harley-Davidsons went to war for the U.S. in 1917 and again in 1941, but the Motor Company has a much more recent involvement with military motorcycles in the form of the rare and little-known MT500, examples of which saw duty in Operation Desert Storm.

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 MT500'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 dirtbike 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 the project to an end, so any remaining MT500s were shipped to select dealers for sale to the public. This 1999 model, #237 of just 355 produced that year, is equipped with a plastic gun case and front-mounted ammo panniers, and has been ridden just 125 easy miles since it was uncrated.

Footnotes

  • As with all Lots in the Sale, this Lot is sold 'as is/where is' and Bidders must satisfy themselves as to the provenance, condition, age, completeness and originality prior to bidding.

Saleroom notices

  • The engine number is 355153.
Contacts
1999 Harley-Davidson MT500 Frame no. 1HD4RLS16XY000237
1999 Harley-Davidson MT500 Frame no. 1HD4RLS16XY000237
1999 Harley-Davidson MT500 Frame no. 1HD4RLS16XY000237
1999 Harley-Davidson MT500 Frame no. 1HD4RLS16XY000237
1999 Harley-Davidson MT500 Frame no. 1HD4RLS16XY000237
1999 Harley-Davidson MT500 Frame no. 1HD4RLS16XY000237
1999 Harley-Davidson MT500 Frame no. 1HD4RLS16XY000237
1999 Harley-Davidson MT500 Frame no. 1HD4RLS16XY000237
1999 Harley-Davidson MT500 Frame no. 1HD4RLS16XY000237
1999 Harley-Davidson MT500 Frame no. 1HD4RLS16XY000237
1999 Harley-Davidson MT500 Frame no. 1HD4RLS16XY000237
1999 Harley-Davidson MT500 Frame no. 1HD4RLS16XY000237
1999 Harley-Davidson MT500 Frame no. 1HD4RLS16XY000237
1999 Harley-Davidson MT500 Frame no. 1HD4RLS16XY000237
1999 Harley-Davidson MT500 Frame no. 1HD4RLS16XY000237
1999 Harley-Davidson MT500 Frame no. 1HD4RLS16XY000237
1999 Harley-Davidson MT500 Frame no. 1HD4RLS16XY000237
1999 Harley-Davidson MT500 Frame no. 1HD4RLS16XY000237
1999 Harley-Davidson MT500 Frame no. 1HD4RLS16XY000237
1999 Harley-Davidson MT500 Frame no. 1HD4RLS16XY000237
1999 Harley-Davidson MT500 Frame no. 1HD4RLS16XY000237
1999 Harley-Davidson MT500 Frame no. 1HD4RLS16XY000237
1999 Harley-Davidson MT500 Frame no. 1HD4RLS16XY000237
1999 Harley-Davidson MT500 Frame no. 1HD4RLS16XY000237
1999 Harley-Davidson MT500 Frame no. 1HD4RLS16XY000237
1999 Harley-Davidson MT500 Frame no. 1HD4RLS16XY000237
1999 Harley-Davidson MT500 Frame no. 1HD4RLS16XY000237
1999 Harley-Davidson MT500 Frame no. 1HD4RLS16XY000237
1999 Harley-Davidson MT500 Frame no. 1HD4RLS16XY000237
1999 Harley-Davidson MT500 Frame no. 1HD4RLS16XY000237
1999 Harley-Davidson MT500 Frame no. 1HD4RLS16XY000237
1999 Harley-Davidson MT500 Frame no. 1HD4RLS16XY000237
1999 Harley-Davidson MT500 Frame no. 1HD4RLS16XY000237
1999 Harley-Davidson MT500 Frame no. 1HD4RLS16XY000237
1999 Harley-Davidson MT500 Frame no. 1HD4RLS16XY000237
1999 Harley-Davidson MT500 Frame no. 1HD4RLS16XY000237
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