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
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
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)
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
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 .
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.
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.