100-year-old Harley-Davidson returns from France to honor U.S. WWI vets
By Emilie Ikeda
via the Fox News web site
MOBILE, Ala. – Christophe de Goulaine presses a small button to prime the carburetor, then gives the starter a kick. It doesn't work. Again, he thrusts his body up and down, foot on the lever. Third time is the charm — the 100-year old Harley-Davidson 1000 18-J motorcycle starts.
“This is a time machine,” de Goulaine told Fox News. No, not in the literal sense, but the WWI-era motorcycle paints an accurate picture of life in the early 20th century.
It was one of an estimated 20,000 olive green Harley-Davidson motorcycles used by American soldiers in the Great War.
French motorcycle enthusiasts de Goulaine and Pierre Lauvergeat spent the past year renovating it. Still, the bike largely holds true to its origins with the same engine, frame and seat it left the factory with.
“It was a non-runner, it was in terrible condition,” de Goulaine said, while showing pictures of bike parts in boxes. “Now the bike is on the road, and we’ll have a little road test for about 5,000 miles.”
5,000 miles — not a typo.
The Model J and its sidecar rolled onto American soil for the first time in a century, kick-starting a nationwide repatriation tour this week.
The pair of Frenchmen are riding from Alabama to Florida, up to Wisconsin, and west to California in the refurbished antique.
Read the entire article, and watch the video report, on the Fox News web site.
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