I happened to come across an old Harley in someone’s shed while on a job site. (No I’m not a professional thief) I’m a plumber. One thing I noticed is that it was unusually small and very square/flat. I asked her about it and she said she actually forgot it was there. She thinks it’s a 50-something. Judging by bodylines I’d say late-60s. It turns out it’s a Harley-Davidson moped. No engine but she still has it.
My question is, what can I honestly offer her? Is this a rare “bike”? (I’ve never heard of a HD moped!) Will it be worth any value once restored?
That’s all I have right now. We have a Harley dealer nearby so I was gonna ask them some other questions as well.
Please let me know what you think or know!
You’ll spend more restoring it than you’ll ever get selling it.
This might be one of those Italian bikes Harley was selling in the 60s. 250 cc if I remember correctly. Is the kick stand on the right hand side?
I don’t remember a Harley Davidson moped.
I wasn’t around back then, but I do remember reading about H-D making a moped to compete with the Honda Cub.
This would be worth something to a collector somewhere, but you would have to find one who likes to collect things like this, which isn’t the average H-D collector.
I suggest you offer $50 if it is in bad shape, or $100 if it is in good shape. Then you should sell it in its current condition in Ebay. Let whoever wants to collect it fix it up.
I was thinking of the “Sprint,” which was a 250, but apparently there was also a moped and a scooter, the “Topper.”
If you can get it for a few bucks it might be worth it. I wouldn’t pay much, as parts may be hard to find.
Mopeds were picking up in popularity in the “first gas crisis” during the Carter years in the early to mid 70’s. HD tryed to get into the fray by putting their name on someone elses product. Mopeds were quite popular in Europe and there was a movement to liberalize the laws so Mopeds could be legal on America’s roads.
It wasn’t a very good product, HD didn’t sell many. I doubt is has much if any collectable value. Solex was a French company that imported a lot of Mopeds into the US. The Solex had a motor over the front tire that drove the front tire via a friction wheel contacting the tire. Puch was another European moped that was popular and they used a motor near the petals and their moped looked more like a motorcycle with pedals. The HD bike was either a Puch or styled in a similar way.
If this thing looks something like a Vespa then it’s a Harley Topper more than likely.
It does have a bit of value simply because of the Harley nameplate and the rarity.
These things were only made for a few years back in the early 60s and total production was only about 2-3k scooters.
Being a Harley freak, I’d be all over it if I were in your shoes. As to what to offer that’s debateable but I’d easily go a couple or three hundred bucks and see what happens.
(If you’ve seen the Charlie Sheen movie “Hot Shots” now you know where his screen name in that movie (Topper Harley) came from. They simply reversed the 2 words.)
Here’s what I found:
"The Harley-Davidson M50 was more in the style of mopeds with it?s taller wheels and smaller 50cc engine. They sold for around $225 new back in 1965, and were advertised to young folks as ?a way to come and go as you please without asking for the family wheels?.
There were a few different Harley M50 variations available. The regular M50 had a fuel tank mounted moped-style, at an angle sloping downward. The M50-S had a more traditional motorcycle style gas tank. A weird feature of this Harley-Davidson scooter, some may call it a moped, was that the 3-speed transmission was shifted via the left handlebar grip. The rider had to actually rotate the entire left grip and lever assembly to switch gears."
As for value, this one sold recently on Ebay for $501:
The OP says the bike is square and flat in appearance though.
For what it’s worth and way back when, Harley Davidson even manufactured bombs for the government during WWII and if memory serves me right they even built a couple of light airplanes.
If it’s a complete Topper, it’s worth quite a bit more. Complete running Toppers go for $2,000-$3,000 on Ebay. Still not a gold mine, and if it’s incomplete, it’ll cost a lot to restore.
This was Harley’s answer to the 50cc Honda’s which were very hip in California in the 60’s. It is not a moped, no petals. It required a motorcycle registration and you had to have a drivers license to ride one. Many states didn’t have separate licences for motorcycles back in the 60’s.
Harley didn’t make the bike, it was imported from Europe. It might be a Zundap, but it has kind of a Ducati look to it.
ok4450, I am willing to bet, based on the OP’s description, you are right and that is the animal we are talking about.
This is also what I had in mind.
Okay I called the dealership and got ALOT of useful info. Aermacchi and Harley-Davidson built these bikes. Judging from a website, this bike is either a M50S or a Rapido.
One of you guys was in my ballpark for an offer. I was going to offer $50 to begin with but $200 would be my limit.
It doesn’t have a motor but the lady said she still has it, in pieces. The pictures I attached looked similar but the one I’m looking at is a cool orange, possibly the typical HD orange you see all over now?
The Alleta looks kinda similar but the M50S is much closer.
Now after talking to the dealer, I’m not sure I’d want to sell it, unless the price is right. Would be nice to take something like that to a bike or car show rather than a '99 Expedition with carseats and a detachable “bumper dumper”. just kidding!
In all seriousness, thank you all SO much for the info!!!
Ride To Save Gas, Save Gas To Ride.
The Italian-built small Harleys (the dreaded AMF era of HD) are not really worth near what the Toppers are, but if the bike is all there I would think it would be worth a couple of hundred easy.
Fifty is much better though because with most things that are in pieces you can pretty much assume some of those pieces have gone missing in action over the years.
Still, I’d go for it if the price was right.