Auction house says 1908 Harley-Davidson sets record with $935k sale

Rare bike just one of a few still in existence.

Updated: February 25, 2023 - 5:15pm

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A vanishingly rare Harley-Davidson motorcycle became the most expensive bike ever to be sold at auction this month, a bidding house announced.

Mecum Auctions said in a press release that a 1908 Harley-Davidson Strap Tank “demanded a final sale of $935,000 and became the most valuable motorcycle ever sold at auction.”

So named because of its iconic steel bands that support both the fuel and oil tanks, the Strap Tank was among the earliest bikes designed by the company, one of just two major American motorcycle corporations to survive the Great Depression. 

The example sold at Mecum “is among the oldest surviving models of this extremely rare breed,” the bidding house said, and it was “one of only 450 motorcycles produced by Harley-Davidson in 1908.”

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