January 4, 2009

Hidden Harley – 1977 Harley Confederate Edition Motorcycle

1977 Harley Confederate Edition

Harleys Rare Confederate Edition Emblem

Rare Harley Confederate Edition Gas Tank Emblem

Rare Harey Confederate FL Shovelhead

One of Only 44 Confederate Harley FL Shovelhead Motorcycles

When Harley-Davidson was owned by AMF they tried all sorts of gimmicks to sell Harley motorcycles. Among these techniques to build sales and demand for its motorcycles, Harley-Davidson tried all sorts of limited edition motorcycle models over the years. In 1976 they offered the Harley Liberty Editon motorcycles tieing in with America’s bicentennial celebrations.

For the most part The Motor Company proudly displays and promotes most of the limited edition Harley motorcycles in the Harley history books and at Harley’s museum in Milwaukee. But one group of limited edition Harleys is often left out – the Confederate Edition Harley Sportster, Confederate Edition Harley FX, and the Confederate Edition Harley Sportster. Seldom if ever mentioned in any Harley magazine, these are rare machines indeed.

Only xx Harley Confederate Sportsters Were Made

Only about 350 Harley Confederate Sportsters Were Ever Made

Harley Confederate Editon Shovelhead

Harley Confederate Edition Shovelhead

Easy to create by applying some decals featuring the Stars and Bars flag on the gas tanks and fender, some consider these rare modes asl a last ditch attempt to sell motorcycles in the AMF Harley years. But regardless of the reasons behind this rare Harley, the production numbers were low – reported to be 44 Harley Confederate FLH motorcycless, 228 Harley Confederate Super Glide motorcycles, 299 Harley Confederate Sportster XLs, 45 Sportster XLCHs, and 15 Sportster XLTs.

Harley Confederate Edition Shovelhead FL

Harley Confederate Edition Shovelhead FL

What happened to this rare edition of Harley? Has Harley decided to ignore this part of its past histiry? Are they hidden away due to political correctness? Unconfirmed rumors continue to arise about Harley-Davidson Company management buying up all possible Confederate Edition Harleys and either modifying or destroying them.

On the other side of this issue, we hear there is a man in Virginia who is working on a National Registry of Harley Confederate dition motorcycles.

Filed under History, Motorcycles by Staff Report

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Comments on Hidden Harley – 1977 Harley Confederate Edition Motorcycle

January 16, 2009

VaSteve @ 6:25 pm

I’m the man in Virginia.If you have one of these rare rides,give me a call so I can add you to the registry.Thanks 804-541-4040

January 17, 2009

Buzz_Kanter @ 6:37 pm

Thanks for visiting our on-line classic motorcycle magazine. Is there more information you can add to this interesting story? Most people have no idea Harley ever offered the Confederate edition motorcycles.

January 19, 2009

Micmac @ 12:28 am

As I stated on the forum, I saw 2 of these at the Richmond Bike show around 1991-2. I also think I saw one in Charlotte, NC right after that in the early 1990’s.

January 20, 2009

Fossil @ 11:00 pm

AMF did this as some sort of publicity gimmick for Jimmie Carter becoming president. That was their word at that time. Fossil

February 6, 2009

77confederate @ 11:46 pm

Nice write up. I got one!!

March 23, 2009

roadking @ 9:41 pm

I have a NEW an unused still in the box from harley dealer a 1977 confederate tank! with the fender stickers in box allso it looks like it was made just yeasterday! any ideal what its worth??

March 30, 2009

pigtrician @ 10:21 pm

which one of the bikes is the tank for?

May 6, 2009

mussdog @ 4:44 pm

When I was 17 y/o I was working at Hugo’s Harley Davidson in Wichita, Kansas as a set-up technician (SJB) part-time during the week while attending high school. One Saturday morning, I uncrated a 1977 FXE (Super Glide) with the confederate flag decal located just above the AMF logo. Known as the proverbial dealership smart-a**, I immediately turned to the owner and said, “will we give them [customers] a discount if they show us their KKK membership cards?” Needless to say, the owner Hugo Shea, didn’t find that very humorous and I spent the remainder of the day sweeping floors at the dealership. Nobody ever claimed to see another HD with a rebel flag on it from the factory ever again…hmmm.

Direct your browser to: http://www.goingfaster.com/angst/confederatehd.htm to see a photo of a authentic factory produced Harley Davidson Confederate Edition 1977 Sportster and a rather humorous story by its author. It appears that HD, in the current political climate, has done their best to disavow that they ever produced these bikes.

People always looked at me funny when I mentioned the “Rebel” or “Confederate Edition” HD’s so I guess I’m not the only person to ever see one! Think Al Sharpton might want one?

January 1, 2010

rg1955 @ 12:10 pm

Bought mine From Southside Harley Davidson Indianapolis FLH Rode it to the east coast up thru Maine to Qubec then back to Indianapolis, sold it in 78 got married to fix the house should have stayed single.

January 27, 2010

louisa rebel @ 3:40 pm

Thanks for reviving the history, VaSteve. Never even knew the Confederate Editions existed ’til now; I’d sure like to get my hands on one.

June 14, 2010

luckylon @ 3:25 pm

Hello I have 1977 Confederate Superglide, I purchased in 1979 when I seen it it was fully in tack at the Dealership Lucky’s Harley Davidson in Thomasville, NC the only thing the dumb ass previous owner changed the theme an had a hand painted confederate soldier on the tank. I would like to know if there is anyone that would even have an idea where I could get a tank,fenders, an seat to put it back to its original state.

August 14, 2010

ROBI GUITAR @ 9:54 pm

WOOOHOOO,Just Got Me A 1977 1000cc Confederate Ironhead Sportster,,Needs Some TLC,,But I’ll Have It Rollin In A Few Months..UP YOURS HD!!!!I KNOW THEY MADE EM!!!!

February 26, 2012

jbhome62 @ 8:04 am

Finished restoring after 6 years a 77 flh ce. Entered first show in Nov.2011 and took first place. Charlotte Cba Bike show and swap meet. Currently sitting in Charlotte NC at the International Motorcycle Show. AMCA Display. Since it became an official Antique by club standards I will probably be seen on it even more than my 62 Flh police. It has been a labor of love for me and my best friend and fellow wrench head who also has confederate ancestrial blood coursing through his veins. Pictures available upon request.

[…] decided to pull them and they took thoses and repainted them and sent them out as regular ones. » Hidden Harley – 1977 Harley Confederate Edition Motorcycle http://shovelhead.us/pics/sheets/Iro…onfederate.pdf __________________ 1977 Confederate […]