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didn't invent the chopper but LOCKED IT IN OUR MINDS!

Riding back from Milwaukee for Harley-Davidson 120th anniversary homecoming; I took a detour in my route to stop by a place that will soon be part of our motorcycle history. The National Motorcycle Museum already holds so much history of the motorcycle culture that it is a shame that the doors will be permanently closed come September making the museum history as well.

Captain America Billy Bike Easy Rider
Captain America & Billy Bike

Some may say that the most iconic & famous motorcycles known are these two bikes: Captain America and the Billy Bike!

Easy Rider (1969) is familiar and important to many who ride motorcycles... it holds great meanings, references and the birth of freedom, "wind in your knees", "FTW" mentality. There is an image of Fonda riding the open road that is seared into our memory! During the late 60s the chopper scene already had a roar & the film just popularized the scene! The "chopper" image - panhead motor, springer forks, stretched frontend, rigid hard tail, high handlebars, peanut tank of course with the American Flag, fat rear, sissy bar and even a stepped seat.


Having the opportunity to see this Captain America tribute bike & a Billy Bike replica, plus Easy Rider movie posters were one of the highlights of visiting the National Motorcycle Museum!!


** Interesting fact: The Captain America motorcycle that survived Easy Rider was auctioned off for 1.35 million being billed as The One & Only Authentic Captain America Motorcycle & making it the most expensive motorcycle in the world! Although some will argue that it isn't authentic being that it was rebuilt & probably isn't in the exact condition as it was during the filming of Easy Rider. To make everything more cloudy & confusing... there are rumors that 1 of the original Captain America motorcycles was & wasn't stolen.... hmmmmm!


If you can get away for the day or make a weekend trip to Anamosa, Iowa... stop at the museum! You will not be disappointed! Like I mentioned... they are closing the doors September 5th, 2023!

Captain America Billy Bike Easy Rider
National Motorcycle Museum

Captain America Billy Bike Easy Rider
National Motorcycle Museum

Captain America replica specifications:

  • 1952 Harley-Davidson Hydra-Glide (1949, 1950 & 1952 were used)

  • Engine – Air-Cooled, Overhead Valve, 45 Degree V-Twin

  • Bore & Stroke – 3.44″ x 4.00″

  • Displacement – 74 Cubic Inches / 1208 cc’s

  • Compression Ratio – 8: 1

  • Carburetion – 1.30″ Schebler

  • Horsepower – 52

  • Primary – Duplex Chain

  • Transmission – 4-Speed, Hand Shift

  • Clutch – Dry, Foot operated

  • Final Drive – Chain

  • Brakes – Drum, Rear

  • Electrics – Battery, Coil & Points

  • Frame – Steel Tubular

  • Fork – 12 Inch Extended Hydraulic

  • Rear Suspension – Rigid

  • Wheels/Tires – 3.00 x 21 Inches / 5.00 x 16

  • Wheelbase – 72 Inches

  • Weight – 540 Pounds

  • Top Speed – 95 mph


Billy Bike replica specifications:

  • 1952 Harley-Davidson Hydra-Glide (1949, 1950 & 1952 were used)

  • Engine – Air-Cooled, Overhead Valve, 45 Degree V-Twin

  • Bore & Stroke – 3.44″ x 3.97″

  • Displacement – 74 Cubic Inches / 1200 cc’s

  • Linkert Carburetor

  • Horsepower – 60 @5400 RPMs

  • Primary – Duplex Chain

  • 4-SpeedTransmission

  • 12 Volt/Coil & Points Ignition

  • Frame – Molded Double Down Tube

  • Fork – Extended Telescopic

  • Wheels/Tires – 3.00 x 21 Inches / 5.00 x 16

  • Wheelbase – 70 Inches

  • Weight – 783 Pounds




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