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Motorcycle wrapped in leather

MILWAUKEE--The Harley-Davidson Museum's Collection X assembles the stranger exhibits from the history of motorcycles and biker culture, including rare motorcycles, artwork, prototypes, concept designs, and machines that managed extreme driving feats.

CNET got to visit Collection X, which will be on display through August 22, during a recent trip to the Milwaukee area to tour both the Powertrain Operations factory and the Harley-Davidson Museum.

A highlight of Collection X is the 2000 Red Moon Evo Chopper. Twenty Japanese artists took two years to hand-stitch fine warm-hued leather over every inch of this high-handlebar motorcycle, including engine parts.

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Eagle sculpture

This huge, robotic eagle sculpture was constructed in 1993 for the opening of New York City's Harley-Davidson Cafe.

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Concept V-Rod drag bike

This chromed-out Harley-Davidson concept V-Rod drag bike was a handcrafted, one-off design that weighed in at 60 pounds--lighter than the standard V-Rod. It included drag-racing controls and an air shifter.

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1981 Nova V4 mock-ups

The 1981 Nova V4 was to be the result of a partnership between Harley-Davidson and Porsche to design and build liquid-cooled motorcycles. But the concept never got out of the design phase. These are preproduction and racing mock-ups.

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1985 FXRP Transamazon

Charles Peet raced 9,000 miles in 26 days across the width of South America in this 1985 FXRP "Transamazon" motorcycle, one of only four bikes to pull off the trip.

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Water-cooled Motorcross Racer

This 1977 Harley-Davidson water-cooled Motorcross Racer was an experimental cousin to the air-cooled MX 250. Designed in conjunction with Italy's Aermacchi, the MX 250 was the last Motorcross bike ever built by Harley-Davidson.

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Three-wheeled design mock-up

Designed by the late hot-rod builder "Lil John" Buttera, this three-wheeler concept came out of Harley-Davidson's Southern California "Skunkworks" styling plant in 1999. It never went into production.

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Penster Prototype

The "Penster" was the code name for this three-wheeler during its design and testing. It never went into production, and this 2006 prototype is one of only four in existence.

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Hawk Vehicles Trihawk

Hawk Vehicles was a subsidiary of Harley-Davidson in the early 1980s. This 1982 Hawk Vehicles Trihawk car-bike crossover had a 1300-cc engine and a fiberglass body. Harley-Davidson suspended production after building less than 100.

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1970 land speed streamliner

Cal Rayborn piloted this land speed streamliner--a custom, missile-shaped Harley-Davidson--to the then land-speed record of 265-plus mph in 1970 at the legendary Bonneville Salt Flats in Utah.

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2008 custom trike

This 2008 prototype was built to introduce Harley-Davidson's Tri-Glide, a three-wheeler introduced in 2009. The Tri-Glide is the first trike produced by the company since 1973.

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Davis motorized mine cart

This Davis motorized mine cart used a Harley-Davidson engine. It was recovered from an abandoned Northern California gold mine in 1990.

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Powered ice saw

Before electric refrigeration, ice was harvested for stores and sold in blocks. This ice saw still has its controls intact and carries a 1915 Harley-Davidson motorcycle engine.

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1940 Mead Cyclone motor sled

These ice sleds could be built from a kit, circa 1940. "Pop's Trolley" was a Mead Cyclone motor sled powered by a 1925 Harley-Davidson engine.

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Historic transformer

No, it doesn't change shape into a superhero robot, but this historic transformer, and others like it, powered the original Harley-Davidson Factory in Milwaukee, circa 1913.

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Captain America's vintage Harley

Harley-Davidson built motorcycles for America's war effort in the 1940s. It's only natural to assume the legendary Captain America would have had his own armed bike as he carried his shield into battle against the Red Skull.

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