Thu, Feb 12, 2009 - Page 15 News List

Military refuse to give vintage Harleys marching orders 軍方拒賣絕版老哈雷

A Taiwan military police first generation Harley-Davidson motorcycle on display in this photo taken on Feb. 1, 2009. Harley-Davidson has tried to buy back the 500cc motorcycles, but the offer was turned down.
這張二月一日拍攝的照片中,展示的是憲兵機車連的第一代哈雷機車。哈雷原廠曾想購回一輛此款五百西西的機車,但遭到婉拒。照片:台北時報

PHOTO: HSU SHAO-HSUEN, TAIPEI TIMES

There are an amazing number of devout fans of Harley-Davidson motorcycles in Taiwan, and with some new Harleys costing more than a locally produced car, Taiwan’s market for used Harleys has really taken off. As long as the essentials like cylinders and gearboxes are well maintained, twenty to thirty-year-old vintage Harleys are still able to fly across town like a bat out hell with that distinctive roaring Harley sound.

Taiwan’s military police were using Harleys back in 1983, and these bikes now have a market price of roughly NT$200,000, which means they are better at retaining their value than Mercedes Benzes and BMWs of the same age.

The first three generations of Taiwan’s Military Police Motorcycle Company, which has been established for almost 40 years, used Harley Davidson motorcycles, though the last two generations have made the switch to Yamaha bikes.

The Harley-Davidson company no longer make the models originally used by Taiwan’s military police, and hoped that they could buy back the bikes and place them on display. However, the military police turned the offer down.

A high-ranking military police official said that these bikes are a priceless part of the history of the Military Police Motorcycle Company and cannot be sold. He also said that once the military police museum is opened, the first four generations of bikes would be put on display at the museum.

The Military Police Motorcycle Company is a model unit with extremely strict selection criteria. Apart from coming from a decent family, members have to be at least 180cm tall, must have held a civilian heavyweight bike license for at least one year and must also pass through rigorous training and exams.

OUT LOUD 對話練習

Chuck: What’s with all those brochures?

Pedro: I’m trying to decide whether to buy a motorbike or a car. Any suggestions?

Chuck: Well, if you get a car you’ll be able to use it all year round, even when it gets cold.

Pedro: That’s a good point. Anything else?

Chuck: Cars are safer. If you get into an accident, there’s less chance of getting hurt. But then again, motorbikes look a lot cooler and will help you meet girls.

Pedro: Thanks a lot. I think you’ve just tipped the scales in favor of the bike!

查克:幹嘛拿那麼多廣告小冊子?

佩卓:我在考慮到底要買摩托車還是汽車。有什麼建議嗎?

查克:嗯,買車的話一年到頭都可以開,就算天氣變冷了也一樣。

佩卓:很有道理,還有呢?

查克:汽車比較安全。發生車禍也比較不容易受傷。但摩托車看起來酷多了,也比較容易讓你釣到馬子。

佩卓:多謝啦,衝著這點我決定買摩托車了!

tip the scales 起決定性的作用

If a piece of information tips the scales, it is the factor that causes a decision to be made.

若某項資訊「tip the scales」,就表示它是起決定性作用的因素。


The march-past of the Military Police Motorcycle Company is a major part of the annual National Day celebrations. Members of the unit have said that the Motorcycle Company is not just for show. During a war, the bikes will be stripped of their medals of honor, logos and designs, and will be disguised as civilian vehicles so they can be driven to the front line and be used to gain information on the enemy. (TRANSLATED BY DREW CAMERON)

哈雷機車在國內擁有數量驚人的車迷,由於新車價格比一台國產車還貴,中古車市於是應運而起。一些車齡超過二、三十年的老哈雷,經過細心維修汽缸、變速箱等設備,還是能以哈雷特有的低吼聲招搖過市。

憲兵隊同年份的一九八三年哈雷,市場行情約是二十萬元,比同年份的雙B車還保值。

成軍至今將近四十年的憲兵機車連,前三代都是使用哈雷機車,近兩代則使用山葉機車。

由於原廠已無同型車,哈雷公司曾希望購回展覽,但遭到婉拒。

一位憲兵高階將領說,這些機車是憲兵機車連的歷史,是無價之寶,不能隨便變賣,憲兵史蹟館落成後,前四代車輛都會運進館內展覽。

機車連是憲兵的模範單位,人員挑選非常嚴格,除了身家清白之外,身高都要超過一百八十公分,必須有一年以上民間重型機車的駕照,還要接受嚴格的訓練和考試。

機車連分列式每年都是國慶慶典的重要節目,但軍方說,機車連不是只有好看而已,戰時會把車上所有軍事相關的徽章圖案塗銷,偽裝成民車到前線偵察敵情。(自由時報)

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