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add that to my "holy shit!" list. good find!
 

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Saw an original one go for $30K a few years back. Interesting story on those bikes.

Hank
 

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Japanese Harley Davidsons.....a proper fit for the board????

I bought a 77 shovel last month from a collector near titusville....in his shop was not one, but two Rikuo's....Japanese built harleys from decades past....I had heard of them, and seen pics, but this is the first time I've met anyone that actually owns em. He collects japanese motorcycles, and bought both bikes in japan and shipped em to the U.S.......pretty cool stuff..and exciting for me in a historical sense......worth looking at, even if it is japanese.
 

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Re: Japanese Harley Davidsons.....a proper fit for the board????

Motorcycle Classics had a great article about them in an issue that's currently locked in our bathroom due to a teenager. Also had something about Dale Walksler, the Traub and Wheels Through Time.

I think they've got a unique coolness that supercedes the Harleys of the same era.
 

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Re: Japanese Harley Davidsons.....a proper fit for the board????

I think they were a Harley Davidson subsidiary in pre war Jaypan and the guy used half assed design plans that HD gave him. I guess Harley saw how completely silly they stood up next to the real thing that it is was no threat to them...economically...militarily...then came Mitsubishi with their carbon copies of factory blems...but they did the trick.....I could be wrong, but I'm not making this up. I read about it some time ago.

...as far as fitting this board, why not ? I'd like to see what that Honda dude was slapping together when he first got started.
 

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Re: Japanese Harley Davidsons.....a proper fit for the board????

damn, i thought this was gonna be a thread about all those kickass harleys that theyre doing up soooo right in Japan, i cant get enough of those. But, yea, i did these "harley" knockoffs too. i think itd be kinda cool to have one in the same way that after you own a couple american made strats, its cool to have a japan/korean clone- some might not get that, itll make sense to others.
 

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Re: Japanese Harley Davidsons.....a proper fit for the board????

I always wondered about these bikes. Oddly, Wikipedia uses a photo of that exact bike. (Am I right?) Hatch, how did it seem in person? A shady knock-off or convincing repro? After looking at some of the bigger photos it seems quite different than a regular solo.

Poached from the wiki:
History

Harley-Davidson, through the efforts of Alfred Rich Child, shipped tooling and personnel to Japan in the mid-1930s to build HD VL flathead (sidevalve) motorcycles.
When Harley-Davidson was prepared to produce the new EL OHV Knucklehead design, they insisted that the Japanese factory buy the license to produce the EL as well. However Sankyo, Rikuo's parent company, was reluctant to produce the new vehicles and refused to make this commitment.
Almost simultaneously, Japan's government was becoming increasingly militaristic leading up to World War II and eventually suggested that Harley-Davidson employees, including Mr. Child, leave the country. The motorcycle continued production under the name of Rikuo, meaning "Land King" or "Continent King."
Sidecar combinations called Type 97 were produced for military work in the Philippines and Manchuria during the Second World War. Solo machines were supplied to civilian police forces, for example for Osaka in the 1950's.[1]
After the war the remaining factory continued producing the 750cc (45 cubic inch) RQ and 1200cc (74 cubic inch) VLE models still using the old flathead, total-loss lubrication design. The 750 gained a telescopic front suspension and the 1200 model retained springer forks. All of the new motorcycles were made with hardtail rear ends. In 1950 and 1951, the plant produced about fifty 45 cubic inch motors per month and thirty 74's with sidecars. By August 1952 production was estimated at approximately seventy 45's a month while the 74's stayed about the same. The 45 and 74 models are near exact copies of the 1934 Harley Davidson. An OHV version was prototyped, but never produced. [2]
The factory began to use the "Tele-Glide" type front suspension in or around 1950 on the 750cc units, but while updating the sheet metal on the VL type, retained the "Springer" type front suspension on those units. Therefore, the 1950s 750s are basically the Harley-Davidson 45 cu.in. RL of the early 1930s, and the 1950s 1200s are the Harley-Davidson VL of the same era, but both with updated sheet metal (the updated front fork of the RQ/RT notwithstanding).
 

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Re: Japanese Harley Davidsons.....a proper fit for the board????

Were they 100% exact Harley copies, or were the designs modified ?
Not one part from a Rikuo will bolt on to a Harley. Although at first glance they look similar if you look carefully you will see that everything is different. SAE VS Metric for one reason.
 

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Re: Japanese Harley Davidsons.....a proper fit for the board????

These two both tun, saw 'em in action at the AMCA meet in Eustis last year, I'm sure they'll be back next bike week. They are very chintzy compared to American HDs, the chrome plating and the construction remind me of cheap tin toys, but they are still beautiful, just as as any 50s toy robot was.
 

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Re: Japanese Harley Davidsons.....a proper fit for the board????

Greetings, newbie here, and the one who owns the two Rikuos. Or, rather, the one who is owned by the two Rikuos, among others.

Actually, I had to put a new cluster gear into the tranny of the 1200cc bike once I got it running. Second gear was gone. Using the Japanese text parts manual, I found the part number, then found the part at Harbor Vintage with the same part number. There are many parts in the engine and drive train that are Harley parts exactly. The deviations start to occur in body parts, periphials.

There was a four-speed version of the 750cc model produced in some quantity as well, the RTII, and I hope to add one of those eventually. However, it must be noted that the original reason I wanted the four-speed was to give better roadability - neither bike is happy much beyond 45-50mph - only to find that the four-speed top final ratio is the same as that of the three-speed. Alas, I still want one. Perhaps someday I can come up with a different final drive ratio via a larger drive sprocket or smaller rear-wheel sprocket.
 

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Re: Japanese Harley Davidsons.....a proper fit for the board????

Very cool. I have a friend thats into scooters. He has a Mitsubishi Grey(or is it silver?) Pigeon. Its the same story except with Vespa scoots.Well, sorta. I don't think they got any tooling. I think they just got a good look at a vespa. At first glance you'd swear it was itialian, then you start to notice the funny, cheap things. I'll try to get some pics.
 

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Re: Japanese Harley Davidsons.....a proper fit for the board????

so does that mean some of the KILLER Flathead based chops i,ve seen over the years may not be Harley's but clones from the 30,s ?? interesting
 
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