Monday, October 31, 2016

Rikuo Motorcycles

I've been aware of Rikuo motorcycles for years but only recently learned the translation of the name, "Land King","Continent King" or "Road King." Harley Davidson struck a licensing deal in Japan to build HD's in Japan for the Japanese market following the worldwide economic collapse of 1929. The deal worked well enough until 1936, when the Japanese Harley factory was seized by the investors with government backing. At this point the Rikuo name was adopted and no further royalties were paid to the parent company. Rikuo motorcycles may have been stolen from HD but it appears the "Road King" model name might have been stolen from Rikuo.
In a book I just recently read Rich Child, the salesman who setup the original HD Japanese sales distribution network in 1924, stated Arthur Davidson took him on as a salesman only after insisting that Rich prove he wasn't Jewish. I've heard countless stories like this about Henry Ford but this is the first I've heard like this about the Davidsons.

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