Brando’s bike gets an offer that can’t be refused
He may have had, by his own admission, eyes like those of a dead pig, but they could certainly suss out a good thing when they saw them, especially when it came to motorbikes. A 1970 Harley-Davidson FLH Electra-Glide motorcycle, purchased new in 1970 by Marlon Brando and showing only 13,859 miles on the dial, has sold at auction for $256,000 putting it firmly into the top 50 motorcycles.
Brando won two academy awards, from eight nominations, for best actor and appeared in such classics as A Streetcar Named Desire, The Godfather, Last Tango in Paris, Guys and Dolls, On the Waterfront, Julius Caesar, Apocalypse Now and Mutiny on the Bounty. But it was his role as Johnny Strabler in the 1953 Columbia movie The Wild One that helped catalyse the outlaw biker culture, for which he is best remembered. Brando was a motorcycle enthusiast throughout his life riding in and around New York before and after he became famous.
The following Brando quote further establishes his two-wheeled bonafides: “It still pleases me to be awake during the dark, early hours before morning when everyone else is still asleep. I’ve been that way since I first moved to New York. I do my best thinking and writing then. During those early years in New York, I often got on my motorcycle in the middle of the night and went for a ride-anyplace. There wasn’t much crime in the city then, and if you owned a motorcycle, you left it outside your apartment and in the morning it was still there. It was wonderful on summer nights to cruise around the city at one, two, or three a.m. wearing jeans and a t-shirt with a girl on the seat behind me. If I didn’t start out with one, I’d find one.”