‘American Pickers’: Mike and Frank Once Bought a 1934 Harley-Davidson for a Surprising Amount

by Taylor Cunningham

Like nearly all American Pickers fans know, Mike Wolfe and his former co-host Frank have a soft spot for old thyme motorcles. So when a vintage Harley in questionable condition with a touted past came on their radar, they were quick to drop a small fortune despite all risks that they could end up with an upside-down deal.

In a season 10 episode, Danielle Colby sent the guys to a house rumored to have a motorcycle once owned by Bonnie and Clyde. So when they showed up at the door, they were already prepared to make a deal. But their first set of hopes was squashed almost immediately.

As it turned out, Bonnie and Clyde did indeed own the vintage hog, but not the famous outlaws. Instead, Bonnie and Clyde were the names of the current owners.

Nonetheless, the motorcycle did come from the same era as the infamous duo. So, it was still worth the drive.

“So, it’s not the Bonnie and Clyde motorcycle, but hey, I’ll take a 1942 Harley any day,” Frank said in the video. “That was a big year for Harley-Davidson. It was the first year of the big twin VL flathead motor. But we just rolled up on these people. Who knows if they’re interested in showing it to us much less even selling it.”

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Luckily for Frank, the couple was interested in showing off their wheels. So the guys got busy digging it out of an old storage shed. And eventually, they unearthed a bright yellow side-car-clad motorcycle that looked straight out of an old mob flick.

However, the buried treasure was not in mint condition. It had various dents, scratches, and even a hole in its body. The motorcycle also wasn’t in running condition. And worse, it didn’t have a title, which can cause major headaches for the American Pickers staff.

Despite the glaring problems, Bonnie thought the motorcycle was still worth $15,000. And Frank admitted that the amount was actually reasonable. But because they’re in the business of making a profit, the price wasn’t going to work for them.

The obvious repairs were going to cost thousands alone. And Frank had no idea if the bike had more issues that they’d find along the way. So, he came back with a solid $10,000 offer.

Bonnie wasn’t happy with the amount and asked for $13,000, which Frank quickly declined. He said could do $11,000, but that was his final offer.

“It doesn’t run. Does the transmission shift? I mean, there’s a lot of things,” he said. “You can get really stuck and get in over your head.”

Bonnie wasn’t going out that easily though. So she said $11,200 and refused to budge. Initially, Frank said,” no.” But he ended up caving. And he became the proud owner of a 1934 Harley.

At the end of the episode, Frank admitted that he couldn’t believe dropped that much money on a motorcycle that didn’t run. But he still thought he could pocket nearly $4,000 in profit. So he wasn’t too upset about the deal.

“I think the bike found Frankie,” Mike added. “It was a good day.”