’62 Harley Davidson Hummer
It’s no secret to anybody who knows me that I never drank the Harley Kool Aid. I have a good number of friends that are well ensconced in the Harley lifestyle and yet,…can hustle a Dyna Glide or a Sportster along a twisty road leaving supposedly ‘sportier’ motorcycles in their “potato, potato, potato’ wake.
For thirty years now, I have lusted after one particular HD model, the XLCR, it’s really not all that great in any respect performance wise, but it has a cool factor that I can’t resist. Since I started writing about vintage motorcycles and the people who ride them, I have found there is another Harley I would love to have. The Harley Davidson ‘American Lightweight’ series. AKA the Harley Hummer. These little bikes are so cool, I have to find a way to get one someday. I just need a bigger barn, and…permission from the wife.
The little Harley two strokes back at the time were not big sellers except in Omaha Nebraska. A dealer in Omaha was selling the baby Harley’s faster than Omaha Steaks was shipping meat to New York. Dean Hummer, the dealer, for some reason took the little bike under his wing and made a success of it at a time when the rest of the Motor Company dealers couldn’t give them away. Now, this was no mean feat considering that Omaha was the home of Cushman scooters. Here’s a bit of trivia for you, are all the early two stroke Harley’s called Hummer’s? The correct answer is…No. Only the 1955-59 125cc models are actually named Hummer’s in honor of that Omaha dealer. However, the name stuck and all those early lightweights are still referred to as Hummer’s.
My daily search for cool old motorcycles brought me to this little 1962 model, a ‘Pacer’ in the Harley archives. To me, this is the perfect project bike. It runs. Hey, what more do you want?? Really?? Well, if you’re looking ahead to a very cold and bleak winter on the edge of the prairie in western Minnesota, hunkered down in your heated basement trying to do anything but watch American Idol on TV, a total basket case might be more to your liking. Peter Egan are you listening?
The little ’62 Pacer I found hasn’t been laying on its side in a field somewhere with weeds growing in the carburetor, various barn critters haven’t set up home in the air cleaner and, it hasn’t been scavenged for parts that ended up on a Suzuki GN400 Cafe Racer. It’s perfect! Think of all the things you can do with this little bike. Oh sure, you can spend thousands of dollars to restore it to showroom new…that will certainly keep you from the torture of American Idol…it will also force you to choose between paying the cable bill or having the bike repainted perfectly with the logo and stripes hand painted, (go with the paint job…just my opinion). You can customize it to make it look like a BIG Harley? If you were so inclined???
This baby Harley has a good story to go along with it and, it does run and honestly, I think I would just do a little more clean up on it, not a restoration ( I wouldn’t even repaint it ), get some new tubes for the tires so they hold air, and ride it. There is nothing cooler than an old bike that proudly shows its age.
If you’re looking for a classic Harley Davidson motorcycle that isn’t covered in chrome, been chopped, bobbed, stretched, or otherwise customized (?) and, you won’t see at any of your local bike hangout’s, this is your ticket into the world of cool.
Click on the pic’s below for more about this neat little Harley. This is the second one I have found that I like and maybe, just maybe…I can convince the bank manager that the next one I find might live here. A Harley in my garage??? My Triumph friends will desert me.