Military Vehicle – 1999 Harley-Davidson MT500

In America, Dual-Sport, England by Mathieu Guyot-SionnestLeave a Comment

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Post Listing Update: This MT500 did not meet reserve despite 36 bids up to $5,101 in Costa Mesa, California. The seller relisted the bike with a BIN of $7,000 with no interest.


The history of the MT500 is pretty unique. The bike actually finds its origins in Italy at the beginning of the 80’s with the brand SWM (Speedy Working Motors) specialized in the creation of bikes for off-road races. The design was then picked up by the British company Armstrong-CCM (formed in 1971 with the leftovers of BSA’s racing department) that started producing the bike in 1984 and spread its usage for military purposes. Great Britain, Canada and Jordan used them in limited quantity until 2000. At the end of the 90’s, Harley Davidson wanted to get in that juicy military market and seduce the richest army in the world, the US Army. The MT500 seemed to be a great existing choice, so they kept it nearly as-is and just rebadged it with the Harley-Davidson logo to propose them to the US Army.

The major plus on the MT500 is its Austrian Rotax engine, famous for its torque and reliability – ideal for military usage. The 500cc, 4 strokes engine was coupled with a 5-speed gearbox. However, the only way to make the Rotax roar was with a kick starter, no magic button. The whole body is made of nearly indestructible, ultra-thick ABS plastic. Unfortunately for Harley Davidson, around the time they tried to get in the military market in the US, the Army decided to have diesel-only vehicles so they could standardize fuel across the battlefield. The MT was automatically out, losing to the Hayes Diversified diesel conversion of the Kawasaki KLR650. In the end, it is said that only 500 examples of the Harley-Davidson MT500 exist. To get more information about the MT500, refer to Classic British Motorcycles.

The MT500 (VIN: 1HDRLS417XY000148) presented here is in new condition, showing only 5 miles and having never been registered. The bike is all original and the seller includes original documentation and paperwork. Find this MT500 in Costa Mesa, California with bidding up to $1,525 and the reserve not yet met

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