“Easy Rider” motorcycle will be auctioned

It’s certain that many dream of driving the “Captain America” Harley-Davidson motorcycle in the “Easy Rider” film on a Route 66 journey.

Now you have the chance to do it, if you have a million bucks or so.

Several media outlets reported a few days ago the now-iconic motorcycle from the 1969 film starring Peter Fonda, Dennis Hopper and Jack Nicholson will be auctioned next month by California-based Profiles in History. The estimated sale price will be $1 million to $1.2 million.

A few details about the legendary chopper emerged:

  • Four such “Captain America” bikes were used in the film, in case one broke down during filming. However, three were stolen before the movie’s release, and their whereabouts remain unknown.
  • The motorcycle was featured in the film’s final scene. It was damaged during that climax, but repaired.
  • The film’s motorcycle mechanic was Dan Haggerty, best-known as the star in the “Grizzly Adams” movie and TV show. Haggerty kept the motorcycle for years after “Easy Rider’s” release.
  • The bike is owned by businessman Michael Eisenberg, who once owned a motorcycle-themed restaurant with Fonda and Dennis Hopper. The bike once was owned by the National Motorcycle Museum in Iowa.
  • It has letters of authenticity from the museum, Fonda and Haggerty.
  • A “significant portion” of the auction’s proceeds will go to the American Humane Association.
  • Yes, it runs.

More photos and details of the motorcycle can be found with the auction house’s book here (you’ll find it on page 382).

A really good website about all the filming locations in “Easy Rider,” including those on Route 66, is here. And you can’t have an “Easy Rider” post without this:

3 thoughts on ““Easy Rider” motorcycle will be auctioned

  1. At one point we explored putting this exact bike in the “Route 66” exhibit at the Autry. But because of space concerns, went with a Corvette. That being said, I would love to see about including it in the European Route 66 exhibition we are planning, if the buyer is interested.

  2. As I recall (memory is suspect) there were indeed 4 bikes made for the movie. Two that Hopper rode and two “Captain America” bikes ridden by Fonda. Both of Hopper’s bikes and the intact Captain America bike were stolen and the other “damaged” one was pretty much just pieces. So the question has long been whether this bike can be called original because it has pieces of the bike Fonda rode or is it a reproduction because the majority of it was replacement parts? Not sure I have a factual answer for that.

    When I went to see “The Art of the Motorcycle” exhibit by the Guggenheim Museum, they had a fantastic reproduction of the Captain America bike and in their book they state the bike was “crashed and destroyed” as a requirement of the script.

    Regardless, it is still a major pop culture icon. Maybe it is best that there was not a survivor Captain America bike to rust and fade away.

  3. of the 4 original bikes, 2 were stolen before the movie was released and parted out before they knew what they had. 2 were blown up in the movie in the final scene.

    They set this bike with a small amount of explosives, launched it off a ramp in Krotz Springs Louisiana, and blew the front forks off.

    Peter Fonda gave Dan Haggerty his bike after it was blown up in the movie. He was one of the caretakers of the bikes during filming, and Dan pieced it back together and later sold it to the Guggenheim.

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