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Thursday, August 10, 2023

Unveiling The Topper: Harley-Davidson's Forgotten Scooter Legacy

Forgotten SCOOTER - Perhaps you've ever wondered about the history of Harley-Davidson motorcycles branching out into the realm of scooters, especially in today's sea of motorcycle options. Let's take a moment to step back into the past and delve into this intriguing piece of motorcycle history. 
Left side view of Harley Davidson Topper. (Picture from: BringATrailer)
In a time when scooters were gaining immense popularity in the late 1950s, Harley-Davidson ventured into producing scooters for the domestic market of the United States. This endeavor followed the acquisition of an Italian company named Aeronauticamacchi S.P.A., which specialized in crafting small capacity motorcycles including the Shortster and the Sprint.

The scooter line produced by Harley-Davidson was christened the Topper, designed to cater to the transportation needs of suburban residents. Its aesthetic was in line with the prevailing scooter trends of its era, showcasing an exquisite design that resonated with the times.

An advertising poster of the Harley-
Davidson Topper. (Picture from:
The initial model introduced in its debut year boasted sleek chrome handlebars accompanied by a sophisticated side-panel Topper logo. Subsequent editions featured enclosed handlebars with dark grips, a rectangular Harley-Davidson logo, and more substantial black seats that deviated from the earlier chrome accents.

While the later iterations exuded a denser, more utilitarian aura, the earlier version of the scooter boasted a lighter and more captivating demeanor, accentuated by the abundant chrome embellishments.

Under the hood, the Topper was equipped with a 2-stroke engine with a 165 cc capacity, generating a power output ranging from 5 hp to 9 hp. The scooter sported a recoil starter reminiscent of a lawnmower, and its power was transmitted through a variable-ratio automatic transmission aptly named the Scootaway Drive. Notably, the engine relied on a fuel mixture of gasoline and oil, contributing to a relatively economical fuel consumption rate of 52.5 km/liter.
Engine of Harley Davidson Topper. (Picture from: BringATrailer)
The front suspension featured a simple leading-link fork, complemented by small drum brakes on both wheels. Under the seat's hinged lid lay a capacious storage compartment, and for those requiring more space, an optional luggage rack was made available. The Topper rode on 4.00 x 12 tires, ensuring a stable and smooth ride.
Rear view of Harley Davidson Topper. (Picture from: BringATrailer)
For enthusiasts who sought to go beyond carrying two passengers and luggage, Harley-Davidson provided an option for a sidecar. However, with a full load, the setup would have likely delivered a rather unhurried pace. Additional accessories catering to the "big bike" experience included a passenger's backrest and a windshield.
Floor of Harley Davidson Topper. (Picture from: BringATrailer)
The iconic Milwaukee-based motorcycle manufacturer believed that the technology integrated into the Topper represented a cutting-edge breakthrough in its class. This scooter series was exclusively produced within the years spanning 1960 to 1965.
Despite bearing the prestigious Harley-Davidson name, the Topper encountered modest success in a market rapidly being dominated by Japanese motorcycle brands. The allure of scooters eventually waned, and sadly, the Topper became one of the early casualties of this shift in trend. Wanna see the 4 British classic scooter prototypes.

Kept spur your adrenaline on the power of two-wheeled monster and stay alive with the true safety riding. May God will forgive Your sins and so does the cops......*** [EKA [05102012] | DIH | PIKIRAN RAKYAT 05102012 | BRINGATRAILER | CROCODILLEJOCK ]
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