A 1934 Harley-Davidson motorcycle, an original hardtail, that was stolen 28 years ago in Minnesota has been recovered in Morongo Basin and the owner, now in Wyoming, is "ecstatic," a California Highway Patrol officer said Tuesday.
The 1934 H-D model 34C was originally stolen in July 1985 in St. Paul, Minnesota, in a residential burglary, CHP Officer Alex Scott of the Morongo Basin station said.
Earlier this month, a Joshua Tree resident who is now 66 years old brought the 1934 Harley-Davidson to the CHP office for a VIN inspection, Scott said.
The resident claimed he received the motorcycle in exchange for labor, when he helped a stranger move some belongings in 1985, when he was a Minnesota resident, Scott said.
"We ran the engine number through the National Insurance Crime Bureau," Scott said in a phone interview. "We got the NICB report back yesterday, Oct. 28. With the help of the original stolen vehicle report from the St. Paul Police Department, we tracked the owner down in Wyoming."
The owner of the motorcycle, who is now 55 years old and living in Clarksburg, is "ecstatic that his motorcycle had been recovered and is making arrangements to ship the vehicle home," Scott said.
The model 34C is a single-cylinder, 500cc motorcycle, which originally featured two headlights and a manual oil pump, Scott said. It features a springer front end and a rigid frame. The only rear shock absorbers on the stock model were springs under the seat.
Whoever stole the motorcycle is unknown, Scott said. The man who tried to register it at the Morongo Basin station said he acquired it in an exchange with a stranger and there's no way to disprove his story.