Harley-Davidson history of Elvis' Motorcycle
– By Pioneer Auto Museum
It was no secret that Elvis Presley was an avid motorcycle rider. He owned numerous motorcycles over the years, and all have gone down in history. His top choice of brand, however, was Harley-Davidson, so his ownership of different motorcycles played a big role in Harley-Davidson history to this day. His motorcycles are memorialized in museum exhibits across the country, including at the Pioneer Auto Show in Murdo, South Dakota. Elvis’ 1976 Harley-Davidson FLH 1200 Electra-Glide. Here is a brief Harley-Davidson history of how this iconic motorcycle came to be part of Elvis Presley’s collection.
Elvis Presley purchased his Electra-Glide on August 11, 1976. At that time, the colors available from Harley-Davidson were Birch White, Black, Chestnut Brown, Sequin Black Metallic, Vivid Blue, Vivid Brown, Vivid Red, and Champagne Silver Metallic. While this motorcycle was dressed much like all of Elvis’ other motorcycles, at some point he would have had it repainted in the custom design is has today.
There are unfortunately no pictures of him on this specific motorcycle, but the paper trail that accompanies the motorcycle shows that he owned it until the day of his death. After he passed, it passed into the hands of a hotel owner in Wildwood, New Jersey who put it on display in the same display case that it is seen in today at Pioneer Auto Show. In 1983, Tony Rakowski from Frankfort, IN traded a 1957 Thunderbird for the motorcycle. He showed the motorcycle until 1954 when it was seen by Dave Geisler in Wisconsin. The motorcycle has been on display ever since at Pioneer Auto Show. Elvis’ motorcycle only has 1200 miles on it to this day and you can purchase copies of the iconic title, which features the misspelling of Elvis’ middle name, a common occurrence in Elvis’ life. Numerous offers to purchase Elvis’ motorcycle have been entertained, but there is so plan for the motorcycle to leave the museum any time soon.
Stop on out to Pioneer Auto Show and see not only Elvis’ historic motorcycle, but also the other 275 classic cars, 60 motorcycles, and 60 tractors that are on display, as well as tons of unique memorabilia collected throughout the years. This piece of Harley-Davidson history is only a small piece of the collection at Pioneer Auto Show.