Thursday, January 9, 2014

BJ Hunnicutt's Motorcycle

I had completely forgotten about the motorcycle B.J. Hunnicutt adopts in the last episode of the TV series M*A*S*H until I saw GeordieBiker's recent post about it. I remember totally identifying with the sense of freedom a motorcycle can provide even though I was relatively young when that episode originally aired.

I couldn't for the life of me remember what make/model that bike was. After looking it up I'm relatively confident it was a 741 Indian Scout (I welcome any and all corrections from the Indian experts out there).  I'd also forgotten about him painting it yellow. I'll have to track that episode and watch it again.

 So, assuming it really is a WWII era 741what is the actual likelihood one would show up surplus in South Korea during the the Korean War era? Is it possible a 741 would have still been in US military service that late? I've seen ads in 50's motorcycle magazines selling surplus WLA's for a song. Would a surplus WWII military bike have been purchased and exported there post WWII? Was Korea involved enough in WWII that a US Military bike might have been left behind?

I was even more surprised to learn that Hawkeye had a prototype BSA Rocket 3 something like 15 years prior to it's production release. That Radar is a guy that that really knows how to get things.


Flathead45 said...

Would you believe that someone just posted a photo of a Husqvarna 120 side valve to the AMCA facebook page,and I think that is exactly what BJ's motorcycle is...

Unknown said...

BJ acquires the bike in the Season 10 episode "Blood and Guts" when a wounded soldier gives it to him in gratitude. It's identified then as an Indian Scout.

Anonymous said...

Not sure about the bike, but remember, it was taken from Korean soldiers. Either the Korean army had them, they had surplus from WWII, or, got Chinese bikes. I think for accuracy, maybe a Chang Giang if they were making it today produced by Matthew Weiner. But not the M72 which was patterned after a Russian bike copied from an older BMW, because that was around 56 it seems.

So, would have been maybe one of these. Although the numbers were maybe too small to have been given to Korans maybe. So, maybe an old American British or Japanese bike left over from WWII.

In 1950, the Peoples Liberation Army Beijing No. 6 Automotive Works developed a military motorcycle by reverse engineering a German Zundapp KS500 motorcycle. The Zundapp-based machine entered production in 1951. 4,248 were built before military motorcycle production was transferred to the Hongdu and Xingjiang machinery plants. Both factories remain subsidiaries of the state-run aeronautics industry to this day.