You Can Buy This Badass Military-Inspired Harley Right Now

Gear
Bonhams Auctions photo.

Thirty years ago, Harley-Davidson purchased the rights to Armstrong, an English motorcycle manufacturer that had supplied bikes to armies around the world. A few years later, Harley officially announced its arrival into military market with the release of one of the rarest, fastest combat motorcycles ever built: the 1999 MT500.


Let’s make this clear: these things are pure power. Sporting a gorgeous green exterior and gun cases and ammo panniers on either side, the MT500 looks every bit the part of a military hog. They’re proven, too, with earlier versions having combat experience in Desert Storm and the Falklands War between England and Argentina. But to truly appreciate this beast — and understand why Harley-Davidson purchased Armstrong in the first place — you’ve gotta look at the heart of the beast.

The secret behind the MT500 is its 500cc, 4-valve Rotax engine. Austrian-engineered and designed for every possible landscape, this dominant dirt track engine was the ultimate prize for Harley in its acquisition of Armstrong — and the reason these bikes can handle rough terrain and hit 90 miles per hour despite their burly frames.

Unfortunately, these features weren’t enough to make this motorcycle a military staple. Due to its exposed engine’s easily detectable heat profile — which the ammo case panniers were meant to disguise — and other hangups, the MT500 never lived up to its potential. As a result, many estimates claim there are fewer than 500 in the entire world, making this rugged rarity a favorite among collectors.

If you’re in the market for a pristine, never-ridden Harley-Davidson MT500, you’re in luck: there will be one on the block at the Las Vegas Motorcycle Auction on Jan. 26. Have your checkbook ready — the asking price will likely exceed $20,000.

For those of us who don’t have 20 grand lying around, the MT500 will also be on display Jan. 25 at the auction site from 9:00 AM - 6:00 PM. Take a look if you’re in town — you might never lay eyes on one again.

The Pentagon has identified the two soldiers were killed in combat in Afghanistan on Wednesday as members of U.S. Army Special Forces.

Master Sgt. Luis F. DeLeon-Figueroa, 31, and Master Sgt. Jose J. Gonzalez, 35, both died in Faryab Province from wounds sustained from small arms fire, the Pentagon said in a press release. The incident is under investigation.

Read More Show Less

JERUSALEM (Reuters) - Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu hinted on Thursday of possible Israeli involvement in attacks against Iranian-linked targets in Iraq.

A series of blasts in the past few weeks have hit weapon depots and bases belonging to paramilitary groups in Iraq, many of them backed by Israel's regional foe Iran. The groups blamed the United States and Israel for the blasts on Wednesday.

Read More Show Less
White House/Shealah Craighead

President Donald Trump signed an executive order on Wednesday that will make it easier for permanently disabled veterans to have their student loan debt forgiven.

Read More Show Less
Capt. Tranay Lashawn Tanner. (U.S. Air Force photo)

Editor's Note: This article by Oriana Pawlyk originally appeared on Military.com, a leading source of news for the military and veteran community.

Physical fitness tests were briefly suspended earlier this week and outdoor cardio testing will be curtailed for the remainder of the summer at Eglin Air Force Base, Florida, after an airman died Saturday. She had completed her PT test on Friday.

Read More Show Less
(DoD photo)

Navy Secretary Richard Spencer has expanded a review of the Judge Advocate General Corps to include the Marine Corps, a Navy spokesman said on Thursday.

"There is value in applying this review and its subsequent recommendations across the Department of the Navy," Cmdr. Jereal Dorsey told Task & Purpose. "The review's purpose is to confirm the uniformed legal community is structurally and organizationally sound and best supporting the good order and discipline our integrated naval force."

Read More Show Less