When talking about military services, people usually think about tanks, guns, jeeps, and other ammunition which is used by armed forces globally. What role could a motorcycle possibly play in an army? In a battlefield, a bullet can come from any direction and at that moment,a motorcycle seems like a poor choice of an army vehicle. A motorcycle looks quite tiny when placed beside a tank or a jeep, but they have played a very important role in hunting down enemies and helping scouts to deliver their work easily during the world wars.
Motorcycles and World War I: In the First World War, scout riders began replacing motorcycles with horses and it really came off as a huge help for the military. Before this war, Indian Motorcycles were considered every biker’s bike, but during World War I, the manufacturers dedicated nearly all of its production towards the war effort. Harley-Davidson also supported the army during this tough time and increased its production,delivering around 20,000 motorcycles to support the war.
Including motorcycles in an army fleet came with its benefits. These speed demons went where larger vehicles could not. Medical supplies could be transported easily and quickly, patrolling became easier on two-wheels and messages could be sent back and forth in the hands of soldiers on bikes.
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Motorcycles and World War II: At the time of World War II, Harley-Davidson was ready for more. This time they modified their WL model, meant for civilians and converted it into the WLA model. This particular model was tailor-made for the U.S. Army and designed to tackle a few of the difficult situations on the battlefield. Harley-Davidson was not alone in the fray. BMW’s R75 proved to be a worthy contender.The bike came with a sidecar. It could carry three people at once and was very useful for transporting ammunition. This German vehicle became very popular as an out-and-out battlefield motorcycle during World War II because of its new design and great performance.
Nearly 70 years after the World War II, and significant technological advancements, the armed forces still give pride of place to military motorcycles for their versatility and capacity to cover hard terrain quickly. Nowadays, military motorcycles are used to expedite various military duties like transferring orders from one place to another, carrying out administrative work, and as an integral part of the special operation unit.
Look out if you can spot one of these beauties, beasts actually, painted in camouflage coatings and fitted with latest motorcycle accessories for tough times, they even have infrared headlights and a customized bracket for holding a soldier-rider’s personal weapon.
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