Wanna Ride like the King? The King’s Bike is up for Auction This Month

You ain’t nothing but a hound dog… you ain’t no motorbike. Maybe we’re mishearing the lyrics, or maybe that song was actually all about Elvis Presley’s 1976 Harley-Davidson FLH 1200 Electra Glide. This Big Hunk O’ Love has been on display at the Pioneer Auto Museum for over three decades but will soon be going under the hammer. The big question is Would you pay $2 Million for the King’s Electra Glide? AMERiders poses the question.

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Elvis Presley’s 1976 Harley-Davidson FLH 1200 Electra Glide has been on display at the Pioneer Auto Museum for more than 30 years (Credit: Pioneer Auto Museum)

The full-dress bike is a fetching black and blue (though not suede) and looks in near perfect condition. GWS Auction says the owner has a video of it running and also notes that the bike is still titled in Elvis Presley’s name. The ‘Glide has been enclosed in glass for its entire time at the museum.

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Elvis Presley’s 1976 Harley-Davidson FLH 1200 Electra Glide(Credit: Kruse GWS Auctions)

Elvis wasn’t moving around too much in his twilight years. He also had a habit of buying toys, enjoying them for a short stretch, and then losing interest. Those traits are partially responsible for the unusually pristine condition of this 1976 Harley Davidson FLH 1200 Electra Glide, which The King purchased in August of that year, and sold back to a Harley dealership not long after.

Though the bike remained in Elvis’s name, it was purchased by a new owner, who eventually lent it to Pioneer Auto Museum in Murdo, South Dakota, an extensive collection of eccentric vehicles about an hour east off Badlands National Park. The King’s bike went behind the case over 30 years ago and has been there ever since, with just 126 miles on the odometer. And now, it’s up for auction from GWS Auctions.

Auctioneers expect the rig to pull in a record-breaking $1.7-$2 Million—a mark that will send the previous record for most expensive motorcycle ever sold at auction straight to Heartbreak Hotel. The current record belongs to a 1951 Vincent Black Lightning that sold at Bonhams for $929,000 in 2018. That bike helped Aussie Jake Ehret set a 1953 speed record of 141.5 mph in Australia.

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Marlon Brando was a motorcycle enthusiast and when the 1970 Harley-Davidson FLH Electra-Glide he owned from new went to auction, it sold for $256,000 at a Julien’s Hollywood Legends auction(Credit: Julien’s)

The King’s FLH has been ridden far less often, and far less hard, with only 126 miles on the odometer. Marlon Brando’s 1970 Electra Glide, by comparison, had over 13,000 miles on it when it sold for $256,000 in 2015. While the 1951 Vincent Black Lightning is the current overall record holder, at $929k in January of 2019. Steve McQueen’s 1915 Cyclone Board Track Racer leads the celebrity standings. It went for $852,000 in 2015.

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One of the most enduring motorcycles in popular media was the 1949 Triumph 500cc Trophy ridden by Arthur Fonzarelli (“Fonzie” or “The Fonz”, played by Henry Winkler) during the 11-year run (1974-1984) of the television sitcom Happy Days. it sold for $179,200 at Julien’s in Los Angeles in 2018. That price makes it by far the most expensive Triumph ever to sell at auction, surpassing the 1973 Triumph/BSA Formula 750 Factory Racer that fetched $104,760 in Mecum’s Las Vegas auction in January 2014

If you want a piece of The King, and have a cool $2 mil to blow or can scrounge that much together in the next 18 days, when the bidding starts (no questions here), good luck. Monitor the auction here, bids start at $100k. or check out the Artifacts of Hollywood and Music auction by GWS Auctions. Souvenir collectors and Hollywood enthusiasts will be Playing for Keeps on August 31.

The fact that folks out there are paying nearly a million dollars or more for a motorcycle, even one as significant as The King’s Harley blows my mind. I guess if you have the means … but still.

~And as always…

~Live Free Ride Hard~




Let AMERiders keep you up to date with information on The King’s Bike that is going up for Auction This Month.

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