The uses of Harley-Davidson motorcycles on steep hills started out as a means of testing out new vehicles before they were marketed. In the first decade of the 20th century, motorcycles were used in hillclimb competitions at Milwaukee’s Bradford Beach area, and even saw the first known use of a Harley-Davidson v-twin.
By the 1920s and 30s, hillclimbing had entered its heyday. Motorcycles were modified by their owners with more powerful engines, longer frames and chains on the rear wheel. The motorcycles even included a “dead man’s lanyard,” a crude means of cutting the engine if the rider and bike became separated.
The sport became popular enough that Harley-Davidson provided very limited numbers of factory built hillclimbers, just like the model DAH depicted in this sculpture by artist Jeff Decker. Decker based the sculpture on one of only two surviving DAH hillclimbers, owned by a private collector. The other DAH is permanently on display in the Harley-Davidson Museum.
The sculpture is 150 percent of life size, and was commissioned by Willie G. Davidson and his family to celebrate the opening of the Harley-Davidson Museum in 2008.
The cache is not on the statue. Please DO NOT CLIMB ON THE STATUE.