Members   Bill Crowe, Missouri   1949 Model 125 Up     
My 'Hummer' Story
by Bill Crowe

"I became the proud owner of a 1949 Harley 125 as a 12 year old boy in 1961. The purchase price of $50 was earned mowing grass and shoveling snow in the St. Louis area. I bought it from a guy who had bought it at an estate auction for $25! I painted it red with a white stripe on the lower part of the gas tank like the 250 Sprint H which I really lusted for.
The rubber bands soon broke and Widman HD in St. Louis said they were unavailable as I recall, so I bought two proper length pull springs from Eime Hardware and used some wire to jerry rig the front suspension to work. It was a hardtail, of course. The headlight reflector was beyond polishing and not having the money to have it replated, I bought a tractor sealed beam, the only size I could find that fit. There was also a clear parking light on the front fender which had a U shaped chrome "fence" (for lack of a better word) around it.
The 6 volt battery soon conked out, so for a time I used a 6 volt lantern battery (non rechargeable). Now more than half a century later, I don't remember whether I ever found or could afford a proper rechargeable battery.
Not being old enough for a drivers' license, I putted around our half acre property, but soon was sneaking out on to the subdivision streets. My dad caught me and chained the bike up, but being a rebellious kid, I cut the chain and rode around anyway from time to time. Other times, I would ride it at my grandparents' rural property. On the morning of my older sister's wedding day in 1962, my soon to be brother in law took it for a spin (his first time driving a motorcycle) and promptly dumped it and got scraped up. My sister held a grudge for years.
Eventually I sold it to a friend for $125, and later bought a Honda 160 and a Maico 360, but haven't owned a motorcycle since high school. Over the years since, I've contemplated buying another, but contented myself with some old Corvettes. These days, my wife and I ride around in our Polaris Ranger on the farm.
Also - and don't ask me how I discovered this - my key to the 125 also fit my grandmother's 1963 Chevy Bel-Air".


  Last updated: February 23, 2019 Up