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Exclusively for you, our Archivists have assembled a wealth of stories, photos, and artifacts that provide a true insider’s view of the Harley-Davidson legacy. Enjoy your visit, and thanks for being a valued Member of the Harley-Davidson Museum.
Hap Scherer and the Sport Model
H.C. Hap Scherer joined Harley-Davidson in 1915 as the company’s first publicist. Seeing a potential market for bikes that were lighter weight than the big V-Twins, he pushed for the development and promotion of the Sport Twin.
The Sport Twin was the first (and one of only two) opposed-twin engine vehicles built by Harley-Davidson. The marketing literature touted it as the woman’s outdoor companion for its ease of handling and smaller size. However, the Sport had a lot more to offer than just being a good fit for women desiring some git and go from a machine that would respond to the guiding hand of a woman as did the kindest tempered steed of old. The 1921 catalog extolled many of the bike’s other features, such as the automatic lubrication system, which oiled the motor as well as the clutch and transmission without any thought on the part of the rider. The off-road capability, balance, economy and ease of starting were all positive features.
Not wanting a great little machine to be relegated to being only a ladies’ model, Scherer believed that the Sport Twin would appeal to both tourists and endurance specialists (riders who competed in grueling long-distance races). To win over the first market, he wrote several Enthusiast articles extolling the joys of touring. To establish credibility with the racing world, he set several long-distance records on a Sport model.
Hap Scherer’s touring articles for the Enthusiast included practical advice on gear, maintenance, and route planning. He also enjoyed describing the delight and thrill of traveling cross-country on a motorcycle. When it came to promoting touring, Hap Scherer was a poet. He was particularly skilled at describing the virtues the Sport model, calling his own bike my trusty steed and pal. He also broke several timed distance records on his Sport motorcycle: between New York and Chicago, between Denver and Chicago, and the Three Flag, a 1,689-mile course extending along the Pacific Coast between the Canadian and Mexican borders. This last achievement earned Scherer the title of transcontinentalist.
More information about long-distance touring, the Sport Model and The Enthusiast is on display at the Harley-Davidson Museum.
|Adults (18-64 years):||$18|
|Children (5-17 years):||$10|
|Children (under 5):||Free with Adult|
|Seniors (65+):||$12 (with ID)|
|Military & Students:||$12 (with ID)|
|H-D Museum Members:||Free|
Hours and location
Open everyday 9:00 a.m. - 6:00 p.m. and until 8:00 p.m. on Thursdays
400 W Canal Street
Milwaukee, WI 53201
1-877-HD-MUSEUM or 414-287-2789