Harley-Davidson Big Rig Camper with 9 wheels weighing 4000 pounds
A museum in North Carolina received what is one of the coolest motorcycle constructions I have seen for a while. The KennyBilt is a 9 wheel motorhome that looks like a mini big rig and has the heart and blessing of Harley-Davidson.
the Wheels through time The Maggie Valley Museum in North Carolina is a truly special place for motorcyclists. It opened two decades ago and its 38,000 square foot facility houses a huge collection of 375 rare motorcycles throughout history. The museum is proud to showcase American engineering, and you’ll even find cars and a locomotive here. Today the museum has acquired one of the most quirky motorcycle constructions you have ever seen.
The current curator of the museum is Matt Walksler, son of late founder Dale Walksler (who died in 2021). He explains that the creation, which is called the KennyBilt 9-Wheel Harley Rig, was completed in 1989 by Kenny Kilpatrick of Huntsville, Alabama. It was a dream come true and somehow he managed to get Harley-Davidson’s approval on the project.
The Motor Company supplied the motor and authorized the use of company logos.
The front of the KennyBilt appears to use parts from a period Harley-Davidson FLT, and a 1340cc Evolution V-twin is saddled right in the middle.
The platform’s “cabin” contains all kinds of buttons and switches to operate the vehicle’s lights.
There is also a tool to activate its air horns and air brakes. Yes, you read that right. This baby has air brakes! Is this the first motorcycle that would technically require air brake approval?
Anyway, where the sleeper would be on a semi-trailer is a bench for two people.
The cabin part is a tricycle with a towing hook at the rear. It is pulling a cart, itself with a gooseneck hitch connected to the trailer. The trailer’s light and air brake connections look like a real semi-trailer, which is a nice touch.
The exhaust comes out of a set of chimneys and if you listen loud enough it looks like an engine semi-brake.
And like I said before, this trailer is not empty. Inside there is a sofa and a beautiful large bed. The walls are lined with photographs and the awards that the platform has obtained. It even has a wraparound skylight. It’s not really a motorhome, but it’s still pretty cool.
After the 30-foot-long platform was completed, she toured the United States and performed in many shows. He even crossed the Atlantic to appear in shows across Europe. It is not known how many shows the KennyBilt has conducted on its own. The museum also does not keep track of the mileage of the platform. The 9 wheel has also evolved over the years and at one point had a second front wheel making it a 10 wheeler.
Walksler’s father was friends with Kilpatrick and tried to convince Kilpatrick to add the truck to the museum’s collection. But naturally, he clung to his dream platform of pride and joy. Unfortunately, Kilpatrick also passed away in 2021 and his widow decided to send the platform to where it would be appreciated.
By the time Wheels Through Time arrived at the platform, it was abandoned in a gravel pit, after sitting for 10 years. Despite this, it is in very good condition. The paint still shines and it rolls and rolls. The tires were flat and rotten, making it a little difficult to extract the 4,000-pound vehicle.
Wheels Through Time makes sure everything in the museum is working and this rig apparently just needs a little work. The function of the air brakes needs to be determined and the transmission may require some work, but that’s probably nothing for a museum that has kept vehicles running for over a century.
If you want to see the KennyBilt it will be on display at Wheels through time Museum when it reopens on April 7.