If you saw Cry-Baby—a 1990 John Waters film starring Johnny Depp—you probably shed a tear of your own when Wade Walker’s 1955 Harley-Davidson KH was destroyed in the movie. However, this is Hollywood, and the demolished motorcycle was a prop vehicle. The running KH that Depp rode in the picture still exists, and is currently up for auction through GWS Auctions in California.The story behind the Cry-Baby 1955 Harley-Davidson KH is well-documented by GWS Auctions, so there shouldn’t be a concern that you’re getting a counterfeit Depp motorcycle.
Cry-Baby Best Boy Electric crew member Josh Spring bought the motorcycle when the movie was finished, with Picture Car Coordinator Frank Tamburo handling the transaction. Spring has produced two letters of provenance, and a Maryland title in his name.The motorcycle isn’t strictly as-used in Cry-Baby, however. The tachometer was switched out for a speedometer to make it street legal, and a chain guard was added for safety reasons. Otherwise, the KH is the same motorcycle that achieved silver screen immortality.Currently, the Depp-ridden KH is on display in a museum in Branson, Mo. Before that, it had been shown at the Philadelphia Auto Show, with the motorcycle making other appearances over the years.The KH was running when parked, with the current operating condition undetermined.The 1955 Harley-Davidson KH is a lightweight sportbike that was a precursor to the Harley-Davidson Sportster line, which started two years later. The KH was powered by a 52.4 cubic inch flathead V-twin that put out 38 horsepower. This translated to a 14.75-second quarter-mile time for the four-speed.The Johnny Depp Cry-Baby example has plenty of patina reflecting its age, including plenty of rust—especially the foot brake and gear shifter.If you’d like to have the Cry-Baby 1955 Harley-Davidson KH, you’ll have to bid at least $250,000. Online bidding is underway, with in-person bidding happening on June 25 at GWS Auctions’ headquarters in Agoura Hills.Photography courtesy of GWS Auctions
Johnny Depp’s Cry-Baby 1955 Harley-Davidson KH Auction Photo Gallery
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This week, in the first segment Editor Don Williams talks to us about the new Kawasaki Versys 650 LT. It’s the middleweight ADV style machine that uses the same 650 parallel twin motor as the Ninja 650, so it’s an excellent performer in a user-friendly, good looking package.
In the second segment, I chat with one of my dearest industry friends—now retired Honda PR executive, Jon Seidel. Jon’s fascinating career spans some 30 years with Big Red, and gave him some great experiences with some incredible machines. I was fortunate enough to be invited on many of the press launches that he organized. His new project is documenting and saving many of the old archives from years gone by—and incidentally, if you have anything that may be of value to the project, please contact us by email at firstname.lastname@example.org and we’ll pass it all on to Jon.
So on that note, from all of us here at Ultimate Motorcycling, we hope you enjoy this episode!