This Classic Harley Was Built for Sidecar Driving

 One reason people shy away from riding motorcycles is the challenge of balancing on two wheels, which takes plenty of practice. In an era when many drivers don't even want to learn how to use a manual transmission, mastering motorcycle balance isn't a priority. Surprisingly, this isn't a modern attitude; back in 1916, someone had the same thought and paid Harley-Davidson to design a bike that could be driven entirely from the attached sidecar.

They say truth is stranger than fiction, and this vintage Harley-Davidson proves it. Customized in the factory, the handlebars are bent so the right one extends over the sidecar and the left one comes right up alongside it, positioning the driver to sit with their left arm over the edge of the sidecar. As far as we know, this is the only Harley of its kind ever made, and it’s truly bizarre.

We don’t know who ordered this Harley-Davidson, but it’s clear they were nervous about riding for some reason. The Wheels Through Time Museum in Maggie Valley, North Carolina, which houses an impressive collection of vintage motorcycles, found this unique Harley through a friend who bought it at an estate auction in Pennsylvania back in 2006. Amazingly, it survived all that time without any restoration or modifications. Everything from the ratty sidecar seat upholstery to the folding convertible top is original.

This 1916 Harley-Davidson features some interesting design choices. The sidecar is double-wide, a feature the company promoted as a way to transport the family before cars became popular. You can see the brake lever on the one handlebar, but there is also a brake pedal on the floor, along with the kickstarter and clutch. Instead of a seat on the motorcycle, there's a toolbox, with a second toolbox situated on top of the fuel tank.