WWII Motorcycle Training

Soldiers use their motorcycles as shields in a training exercise at Camp Carson, CO, 1943.

Depending on the source, the number of motorcycles produced by Harley-Davidson during WWII can range from 50,000 to 90,000 units.  Regardless of the exact number, the US Military needed to train thousands of soldiers on the operation and maintenance of these machines.  Harley-Davidson stepped up and provided mechanical training at its Service Schools, but the job of teaching soldiers to ride was left to the US Military. Military bases across the US provided various types of training as permitted by their local terrain and resources to prepare troops for duty in Europe.
Motorcycle dispatch rider hands off a message to occupant of 1/2 ton, 4x4 Dodge Command Reconnaissance Car, 28 July 1941. Rider is identified as from New Jersey at the US Army maneuvers in Tennessee.
An Armored Division motorcyclist drops to the ground to take up a defensive position, Ft. Knox, KY, 1942.
Motorcycle maintenance at Ft. Knox, KY, June 1942.
Motorcycle messenger delivers to a moving M3A1 Scout Car, Ft. Riley, KS, April 1942.
Armed motorcyclist serving as a messenger for his platoon of the mechanized cavalry reconnaissance unit, Fort Riley, KS, April 1942.
Motorcycle formation for press coverage of 1st Armored Division, Observation Post 6, Ft. Knox, KY, 24-27 March 1941.
Motorcycle scout of the Motorcycle Platoon, 13th Armored Regiment, 1st Armored Division, Ft. Knox, KY, circa June 1941.
Rider draws a Thompson SMG from its carrying case on this Harley Davidson WLA solo motorcycle, 1942. Photo: Popular Science, September 1942, P119.
General check over and adjustment for one of the Army's motorcycles at Fort Knox, KY, June 1942.
Vehicles of the 107th Cavalry Regiment, Fort Ord, CA, May 1942. Harley Davidson WLA models are in front, with other motorcycles, jeeps and scout cars following.