Harley-Davidson from 1908 sells at nearly $1m, becoming priciest motorcycle at auction

The bike is believed to be one of only 12 such models in the world

This 1908 Harley-Davidson sold for nearly $1 million. Photo: Alexander Walter / Flickr
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A rare Harley-Davidson motorcycle built in 1908 has become the most expensive one ever sold at auction, according to data compiled by a website that tracks vintage bike sales.

The Harley-Davidson Strap Tank was recorded on vintagent.com as being sold for $935,000 after auction fees last month at the Mecum Auction in Las Vegas, the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reported.

The bike was named Strap Tank because its oil and fuel tanks are attached to the frame with nickel straps.

It is believed to be one of only 12 such models in the world.

A 1907 Strap Tank sold for $715,000 after fees but didn’t go for as much as the record-setting 1908 Strap Tank because it was never restored.

The record-breaking bike had many of its original parts, making it even more rare, said Greg Arnold, motorcycle division manager at Mecum Auctions.

“We marketed the bike well and Harley is by far the most famous American motorcycle brand so we had a feeling it would do well in auction, but obviously you are surprised anytime you sell the most expensive bike ever,” he said.

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Updated: February 12, 2023, 5:43 AM