You Can Buy This Badass Military-Inspired Harley Right Now

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.

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Acting White House Chief of Staff Mick Mulvaney takes questions during a news briefing at the White House in Washington, U.S., October 17, 2019. (Reuters/Leah Millis)

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Trump and administration officials had denied for weeks that they had demanded a "quid pro quo" - a Latin phrase meaning a favor for a favor - for delivering the U.S. aid, a key part of a controversy that has triggered an impeachment inquiry in the House of Representatives against the Republican president.

But Mick Mulvaney, acting White House chief of staff, acknowledged in a briefing with reporters that the U.S. aid — already approved by Congress — was held up partly over Trump's concerns about a Democratic National Committee (DNC) computer server alleged to be in Ukraine.

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"I'm honored to be considered that by Donald Trump because he also called Meryl Streep an overrated actress," Mattis said. "So I guess I'm the Meryl Streep of generals ... and frankly that sounds pretty good to me. And you do have to admit that between me and Meryl, at least we've had some victories."

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