Marvel Comic's Superhero Captain America
His Harley Davidson WLA

In the process of my hunting down the chopper "Captain America" from the movie "Easy Rider", I bumped into the Marvel Comic hero Captain America. I included a picture of him on his "WLA" Harley, see my column In Search of Captain America…

The article wasn't published a full day before I received email explaining to me that the bike in the picture wasn't a WLA, in fact it was Harley Davidson EVO Soft Tail made up to resemble a WLA. Now how did I miss that, in truth I didn't. But I know things, new motorcycles are cheaper than restored antiques; making movies is usually pretty hard on props and more than one will be required. New motorcycles are cheaper than antiques ones.

The picture was from the movie "Captain America: The First Avenger ", If Captain America was battling Nazis during World War II, the only Harley Davidson he could be on was a WLA; but the motorcycle in the picture was in fact a late model Harley made to resemble a WLA. (Marvel Comics First appearance of Captain America Comics #1 (March 1941) Created by Joe Simon & Jack Kirby)

Captain America on his Harley, protecting America

I guess you think they used a real Indian in the "World's Fastest Indian? ". Or the motorcycle ridden by Mutt Williams (played by Shia LaBeouf) in "Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull", was a real antique Harley too…

Hollywood is good at passing one motorcycle off as another. I can't count the number of motorcycle movies I watched over the years, and they all have one thing in common -- crash scenes. The hero or villain is riding an expensive Harley or other motorcycle when the script calls for him/her to crash. If you look closely enough you see the bike he crashes and sends sliding across the big screen isn't the same one he/she was riding; but a cheaper one or it's a wrecked bike they bought for this scene.

It makes sense when you realize that in a lot of movies the actors are riding their own motorcycles or the motorcycles and cars may be on loan from a dealer or collector…

Most of the time the budget doesn't allow for wrecking multiple $15,000 - 20,000 motorcycles just for the sake of art. If actors can have stunt doubles; props can have doubles too. Besides you can crash a wrecked motorcycle; over and over again and not lose a thing.

Today with the use of Computer-generated imagery (CGI), they can crash a motorcycle and never get the tires dirty… CGI is now the rage in movie making, just check out the scenes in the movie "Torque", where the hero jumps his motorcycle onto the top of moving train and races across the roofs of the train cars and then jumps off the locomotive and races ahead of the train; all the while being pursued by another character on a motorcycle inside the train… the final scenes with the jet bike are all CGI….

Gallery: The 25 Most Badass Movie Motorcycles

The one thing you have to remember is that movies are not real, no matter how factual the story or the characters are it's still a movie, something to entertain you.

The movie "Braveheart" (Mad Max goes to Scotland) starring Mel Gibson was based on a real person, but the movie doesn't actually follow history and in fact has Wallace the Mel Gibson character, in places he never was and had things happened in an order to please the director and producer of the movie.

King Edward I, actually didn't die until some 9 years after Wallace was executed for treason; the movie's dramatic end has both characters dying at the same time….

My point is don't look too hard or expect more from Hollywood the land of make believe.

And by the way the errors in the picture didn't get past me, but the article wasn't about Captain America the super hero's motorcycle.

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