Welcome to the Cycle Chat - Motorcycle Chat for Harley Davidson & V-Twin Motorcycle Enthusiasts forums.

You are currently viewing our boards as a guest which gives you limited access to view most discussions and access our other features. By joining our free community you will have access to post topics, communicate privately with other members (PM), respond to polls, upload content and access many other special features. Registration is fast, simple and absolutely free so please, join our community today!

Go Back   Cycle Chat - Motorcycle Chat for Harley Davidson & V-Twin Motorcycle Enthusiasts > CycleChat's Motorcycle Hangout > Harley Davidson Motorcycle Forums > Vintage Iron
Register FAQTop Posters Site Rules Members Gallery Members List Calendar Search Today's Posts Mark Forums Read

Vintage Iron Have a Knucklehead, Panhead, or Shovelhead, or maybe something even a bit older. This is the forum to dicuss all the 'Golden Oldies'.

Thread Tools Display Modes
------------ ------------
Old 03-04-2009
GI JOE's Avatar
GI JOE Offline
Supreme Member
Join Date: May 2008
Location: Maldon-England
Gender: male
Posts: 2,310
My Mood:
GI JOE is on a distinguished road
Harley Made in Japan .....


Harley-Davidsons built in Japan? Unthinkable?

Actually, it happened for almost three decades.

It all started in the early 1930s, when the Harley-Davidson Motor Company, like everyone else, was mired in the Great Depression. By 1932, in fact, the Milwaukee factory was running at about 10 percent capacity, and sales were below 4,000 units a year.

One bright spot had been exports, but in Japan, Harley sales were also plummeting, because of an unfavourable exchange rate.

Enter Alfred Rich Child, an independent business agent authorized to represent Harley-Davidson in Japan, China, Korea and Manchuria.

Child figured he could reduce the retail price of a Harley to a Japanese customer if the machines were built in-country. He convinced the home office to sell Harley machine tools and licensing rights to the Japanese Sankyo Seiyako Corporation, which would build Harleys in Japan.

In dire straits, Harley agreed to the deal, and a new, Japanese-built model appeared under the “Rikuo” name. Roughly translated, Rikuo means “Land King,” or “King of Road.”

The deal continued for several years, until Harley-Davidson produced the EL 61 OHV Knucklehead in 1936. Child couldn’t convince Sankyo to buy the licensing rights for the new machine. That disagreement, coupled with the rise of a militaristic government in Japan, put an end to Child’s, and Harley’s, relationship with the Japanese Rikuo company.

Despite that split, Rikuos continued to be built in the Japanese factory. In fact, military versions of the Rikuo were built for the Japanese army during World War II. When civilian production resumed following the war, the motorcycle was limited largely to police and courier use.

As late as the 1950s, though, as many as 2,000 Rikuos were built each year, with the engine having been expanded from the original 750cc to 1,000cc, and then to 1,200cc

Reply With Quote

------------ ------------
Old 03-04-2009
chchfatboy's Avatar
chchfatboy Offline
An intellectual dwarf
Supreme Member
Join Date: Mar 2008
Location: Christchurch, New Zealand
Gender: male
Posts: 6,641
My Mood:
chchfatboy has a spectacular aura aboutchchfatboy has a spectacular aura aboutchchfatboy has a spectacular aura about
Re: Harley Made in Japan .....

Cool.. thats for that Joe. I'd love to get on one of those. Just goes to show that the heritage, xbones and fatboys haven't changed much in styling.
I know I'm in my own world. Thats ok, they know me here.

Why do things that only happen to stupid people keep happening to me?


Reply With Quote
------------ ------------
Old 03-04-2009
BoomerBob's Avatar
BoomerBob Offline
Ride Hard Ride Free
Supreme Member
Join Date: Jan 2009
Location: N.W. Arizona
Gender: male
Posts: 4,714
BoomerBob will become famous soon enough
Re: Harley Made in Japan .....

Looks kinda like a cross between an 80" Flathead (left hand drive) and a K model Sportster. I had a 45" Flathead (right hand drive) which was my first Harley. It was old even then.
2011 Vic XC, 04 Vic Kingpin
Reply With Quote
------------ ------------
Old 03-05-2009
Hitman's Avatar
Hitman Offline
Supreme Member
Join Date: Jul 2004
Location: Bizzarro World
Gender: male
Posts: 22,555
My Mood:
Hitman is just really niceHitman is just really niceHitman is just really niceHitman is just really nice
Talking Re: Harley Made in Japan .....

Thanks, Joe.

Very cool.


Reply With Quote
Challenge Hitman in the Arcade!

Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

vB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
harley davidson 101 reasons dopeydog Humor 22 11-11-2010 12:40
The land that made me, me Firestarter Off Topics 4 01-17-2009 09:01
Harley Davidson Faces Stiff Competition From Johnson Marine Who Introduces A New Line justride Humor 36 01-13-2009 01:46
What are your Dyna mods? M1Tanker Dyna's 65 12-11-2008 08:52

All times are GMT -6. The time now is 11:00.

Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.6.3
Copyright ©2000 - 2015, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.
Copyright 2003-2008 www.CycleSpot.com All rights reserved
The opinions and beliefs in posts are those of the poster and do not necessarily reflect those of the site owners