Two Wheels

Harley-Davidson creates custom chopper for USS Milwaukee [w/video]

The US Navy just took delivery of the USS Milwaukee. That's not something that happens every day. But rather than celebrate with a special case of beer (which we're guessing it might have as well), Lockheed Martin commissioned Harley-Davidson to make this one-of-a-kind motorcycle.

The custom bike is based on a Harley-Davidson Softail Slim S, customized by the Motor Company's chief designer Ray Drea, inspired by historic WWII-era choppers and his wanderings around the naval shipyard. It has a gray paintjob on the tank and fenders, wire-spoke wheels, blacked-out brightwork, a solo black saddle, and the letters USN emblazoned along the fuel tank. The unique chopper is being displayed as part of the Milwaukee's launch celebrations, after which it will appear at events over the course of the coming year. Once it's tour of duty is complete, the motorcycle will be auctioned off to support the National Military Family Association, which is "dedicated to serving the families who stand behind the uniform."

This is the fifth ship in US naval history to bear the name Milwaukee. It's also the fifth vessel in the new Freedom class of Littoral Combat Ships built by Lockheed Martin at its shipyard in Marinette, WI – less than three hours north of Milwaukee, past Road America in Elkhart Lake and Green Bay. The new breed of multipurpose warships is competing against the more unusual Independence class trimaran built by Austal and General Dynamics. The Freedom-class LCS measures 378 feet from bow to stern, is manned by 50-65 able seamen, and powered by a combination of two Rolls-Royce gas turbines and two Colt-Pielstick diesel engines driving through four waterjets to top out at 47 knots (or 54 miles per hour).

See some footage of the ship and the custom bike it inspired in the video below.

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Lockheed Martin Collaborates with Harley-Davidson on One-of-a-Kind Motorcycle
Custom USS Milwaukee-themed bike to be auctioned off to benefit military families

MILWAUKEE, Nov. 19, 2015 – To commemorate the commissioning of the USS Milwaukee, our nation's fifth Littoral Combat Ship (LCS), Lockheed Martin (NYSE: LMT) has collaborated with Harley-Davidson on a one-of-a-kind motorcycle to honor the U.S. Navy and the city of Milwaukee.

"We wanted to do something special for the occasion and support the families of our military men and women who sacrifice so much to protect our freedoms," said Stephanie C. Hill, Lockheed Martin vice president of Ship & Aviation Systems. "We're excited to collaborate with Milwaukee's own Harley-Davidson, a company that has been fulfilling dreams of personal freedom for over 100 years."

The motorcycle will be on display during USS Milwaukee Commissioning week, followed by appearance at U.S. Navy, industry and STEM events over the next year, culminating with a charity auction to support the National Military Family Association (NMFA).

"We are honored to be a part of this one-of-a-kind endeavor," said NMFA Executive Director, Joyce Wessel Raezer. "Both Lockheed Martin and Harley-Davidson have been such wonderful supporters of the military and their families, and we couldn't be happier to be a part of this commemoration."

Harley-Davidson Chief Stylist Ray Drea designed the motorcycle, drawing inspiration from touring the Fincantieri Marinette Marine Corp. shipyard in Marinette, Wisconsin, where the Lockheed Martin-led industry team builds the Freedom-variant LCS. The design also honors historic WWII-era Harley-Davidson motorcycles to model some of the authentic Navy and military custom details.

The fifth U.S. Navy vessel to bear the name Milwaukee, the ship will transit to its homeport in San Diego, California, where it will be integrated into the fleet and the industry-Navy team will conduct additional program testing and crew training before she begins her first deployment.

About Lockheed Martin
Headquartered in Bethesda, Maryland, Lockheed Martin is a global security and aerospace company that – with the addition of Sikorsky – employs approximately 126,000 people worldwide and is principally engaged in the research, design, development, manufacture, integration and sustainment of advanced technology systems, products and services.

About The National Military Family Association
The National Military Family Association is the leading nonprofit dedicated to serving the families who stand behind the uniform. Since 1969, NMFA has worked to strengthen and protect millions of families through its advocacy and programs. They provide spouse scholarships, camps for military kids, and retreats for families reconnecting after deployment and for the families of the wounded, ill, or injured. NMFA serves the families of the currently serving, retired, wounded or fallen members of the Army, Navy, Marine Corps, Air Force, Coast Guard, and Commissioned Corps of the USPHS and NOAA. To get involved or to learn more, visit

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