The golden age of the Harley Davidson may be just about gone, over and done with, but that doesn't mean there still isn't a vibrant and thriving community built around Harley's, the open road, and all that the lifestyle embodies. It really is a timeless way of life, and everything about it is something that a lot of people could learn from. But, times change, and new countercultures are created for new generations. This has led to a decline in Harley sales over the years, especially compared to their height, but never a complete stop.
As time moves forwards and new things are constantly created by a relentlessly unsustainable institution of industry and consumerism, things fall to the wayside, as they're forgotten, neglected, replaced, or used up completely. This is definitely also true of the motorcycle, and more specifically the Harley. Bikes will last a long time, but they won't last forever, and so they are cast aside and forgotten, left to decay in the trees, in the barns, in the junkyards of the world. Many are gathered meticulously by collectors, only to be forgotten about when the collector dies, like a mass grave of forgotten memories.
In any case, it's an inevitable side effect of our life, that the things we use will soon be abandoned and cast aside, for a later generation to venerate or find fascination with, to hate or to accept. Let's take a look at some Harleys that have been abandoned and left behind to rot.
15 Rusted Out And On Show
At a certain point, an old rusty piece of junk turns into a collectible piece of history. There are a lot of variables behind just what becomes valuable and collectible, and what doesn't, but a lot of it has to do with condition, how well it was stored, and rarity. It seems that this Harley Davidson has met all the qualifications for just that, covered in rust, yet still on display at some sort of show as a collectible.
The best part is that it's all in completely original condition, though it is a bit rusty and in disrepair. At least it looks cool and vintage.
14 Carelessly Left To Decay
This Harley isn't all that old, yet somehow its state is one that's quite far from able to be ridden. It has been carelessly left to decay, neglected from early on its life. There are probably still models exactly like this one still driving the roads, yet this one has been abandoned.
The paint is still in fairly good shape, though it needs quite a few components and likely a large amount of TLC to be able to run again if it ever will. There's a lot of rust on all the exposed metal, and it's clear that this was left behind to rot.
13 Definitely Worth A Restoration
This classic retro hot rod Harley has an even layer of rust across all of it, almost more of a patina than an issue, and it honestly only adds to the vintage aesthetic. A barn find of the century, this massive Harley bike is definitely worth a restoration.
With some serious mechanical work, some minor cosmetic updates and care, a set of new tires, and a few other odds and ends, this bike will likely be worth quite a bit of money, but even more, will bring great happiness to any Harley lover or collector.
12 Burned In A Wildfire
This Harley isn't salvageable, it has definitely been left behind to rot to the point that it's virtually worthless at this point, save for its weight in scrap. This, unlike some of the other Harleys in this list, isn't because someone left it behind or abandoned it when it could have still been maintained.
No, this one became abandoned because it was burned in a wildfire. And once something is burned up in a fire, what's the likelihood that it would be salvageable, let alone worth fixing? Very small, and this rusty shell is all that's left.
11 Forgotten Piles Of Parts
This pile of parts and scrap once was a large number of motorcycles and Harleys that each had their own identity, individuality, owner, and life on the road. But now, as if they were all part of a mass grave, they blend together into forgotten piles of parts.
When a salvage yard goes out of business, what happens to all the salvage? It is a good question, and this pile of motorcycles is a hint as to part of the process behind it. There's a lot of value here in this pile, both recyclable value and monetary value.
10 Harley Police Bikes
This vibrant frame has resisted rust for quite a long time, exposed to the elements, the rain, snow, sun, and abrasion of the wind, but the parts that haven't been painted clearly are a bit worse for wear.
Apart from the frame, in fact, not much of this is left at all, save the engine block and fenders. The rest has dissolved with time, and all that remains is the peaceful growing of earth around the police bikes. Beyond a restoration, that's for sure. Yard art, though.
9 Seat Left To Rot
This Harley Davidson still has its paint intact, in fact, it still looks to be in pretty good shape, as does the engine block. All that points to this being a rather new Harley, versus some of the other features in this lineup, which are much older.
It doesn't take much neglect, especially outdoors, to mean that a bike will need all kinds of work to be rideable again, and even though this one seems to be alright, the seat points to just how much rain and rot this bike has had to face over the years.
8 Inundated With Rust
This frame is missing a wheel, and missing some tires, as well as quite a lot of other things, due to the severe amount of time it spent abandoned on a farm or lot somewhere unknown until its discovery. All that's left is the frame.
And the frame, too, is inundated with rust, covered from front to back, and the likelihood of a restoration of any kind is quite slim. The best this bike can do is to be used as yard art or have its parts used as such, perhaps repurposed for art.
7 Just Plain Rusty
This red vintage Harley Davidson barn find is about as classy as it gets and about as ripe for restoration as any barn find can get. Apart from just plain rusty components, there isn't much else that seems to be in pretty tip-top shape.
With the magical touch of an adept restoration mechanic, as well as the loving eye of an artisan restorer, this bike could look just about as good as new, and just as fun to ride. This is indeed a pretty fabulous barn find if there ever was one.
6 Lost Under The Sea
Buried into the sediment, settled sand, and smooth ocean currents, this old silhouette of a motorcycle rests at the bottom of the ocean, lost under the sea, and it's really much worse for wear because of it. The frame is missing pieces, handlebars, and other vital components.
Indeed this lost ghost of what once was a functional motorcycle has been taken over by the sea, reclaimed and left to rot in silence, smothered in the pressure of the dense water. There will be no return to dry land for this abandoned motorcycle.
5 Truly Old School
This old rusty Harley has held up like a trooper over the years, in surprisingly good shape considering the true age of the bike. With an old tank, faded paint, and rust on every part, it's clear that this one has seen better days.
The likelihood is that it has been kept in a garage or barn for decades upon decades, so the components have been protected from destructive elements like rain, wind, erosion, sunlight, and snow. These old Harleys are often worth a lot of money, so maybe someone might want to restore this one.
4 Washed Up On A Beach In Western Canada
Trade and commerce across the oceans often lead to some seriously bad, though unintentional, fallouts. Whether it's millions of gallons of oil ending up in the ocean, or a massive cargo freight dropping millions of tons of product into the ecosystem to slowly leach poisons into the waters, a boat crash is often a tough event.
In this case, a Harley Davidson went overboard and eventually found its way onto the shores of Western Canada, where it has been washed up by the waves and then buried by sand and rocks.
3 Broken Down And Forgotten
Sometimes time isn't good to something, and in this case, not very good at all. This rusty Harley has seen better days, a lot better days, a time when rust didn't coat every surface, a time when it had wheels.
This Harley has been broken down for some time now and forgotten. The relentless weather and sun have led to this bike losing all semblance of salvageability, beyond hope of a restoration, or even a part out. It's as good as scrap, or perhaps even less.
2 Abandoned In Black And White
This vintage Harley Davidson bike has seen better days, there's no doubt about that, though for its age it's doing alright. The paint is still in pretty good shape. The same can't be said for the rest of the innards, though, as these have rotted out with abandonment and age.
With the amount of rust on the wheels, springs, and engine block, it's clear that this has been abandoned for quite some time, meaning there's a lot of work left to get it running again. But, due to the state of the paint, it seems that this is a garage salvage at best.
1 Buried For 48 Years
Rust has taken away most of what once made this motorcycle a motorcycle at all, two wheels, handlebars, and an engine, that's all a motorcycle needs to embody all that makes motorcycles great, and what Harley Davidson perfected.
The bike was actually dug out after 48 years underground by a guy in Belgium. This was his grandfather's ride - a find he'll surely never forget. Making it that much more special, according to Just A Car Guy, it is a Harley. Although it isn't usable, what a great find this is nonetheless.
Sources: Five Prime, HD Forums & Pexels