Conceived and patented by German inventor, Heinrich Ernst Kniepkamp, in June of 1939, Kettenkrads saw service on the Eastern Front, North African theater and throughout Europe. Their primary uses included laying communication cables, pulling heavy loads, carrying soldiers through deep mud and towing aircraft such as the Messerschmitt 262 jet fighter.
One of the first motorcycles manufactured in Japan, the Rikuo was originally built under license and name of Harley-Davidson in the mid-1930s until World War II was imminent. At that time, production continued under the name of Rikuo, which in Japanese means “Road King.”
Sidecar combinations called Type 97 were produced for the military role, serving in the Philippines and Manchuria during World War II.
America’s oldest motorcycle brand, the company was founded as the Hendee Manufacturing Company by George M. Hendee and Carl Oscar Hedstrom in Springfield, Massachusetts in 1901, two years before Harley-Davidson Motor Company.
During World War II, Chiefs served as military couriers and scout transports.