The Harley Davidson Pacer is one of a series of two-stroke, three-speed small displacement thumpers made by HD from 1948 to 1966. After World War II, blueprints for a 125cc bike created by DKW were given to the US, UK, and the Soviet Union as a tiny part of war reparations. In addition to the Pacer, this also resulted in the creation of the BSA Bantam and the MMZ M-1A, better known as the Minsk. Many of you may remember the Minsk as Richard Hammond’s choice of bike to travel across Vietnam as part of a Top Gear special. He likened it to the AK-47 – cheap, reliable, and easy to repair.
The Harley Davidson Pacer was 6th in the series. Produced for only 3 years, (from 1962-1965) it was the first to get a recently-enlarged 175cc engine. After only one year, the frame was heavily redesigned. This bike is a 1962, so it does not benefit from the redesign and it retains the hard-tail frame.
Unfortunately, by this point in time, Japan had started to dominate the small motorcycle market, particularly the 90-250cc bikes coming from Honda. Harley ended up buying the Italian company, Aermacchi, and moved small bike production out to Italy.
This specific Harley Davidson Pacer is the beneficiary of a complete restoration performed two years ago after being discovered in a barn in Kansas. It comes with books, service manuals, and some spare parts. The owner is asking for top-level money, but as long as you can get solid documentation of the restoration, you might be getting one of the best Pacers in the United States. It’s time to find this bike a new owner who will wring it out to its top speed of around 45mph, surrounded in a cloud of two-stroke smoke!
Find this Harley Davidson Pacer here on Craigslist for $6,400 in Ada, Oklahoma.