1938 Harley-Davidson Knucklehead Runs Like New

by Daniel Patrascu from Harley-Davidson has had a rough patch these past few years, and 2020 was the coronation of its problems, a time when it lost its CEO, a factory overseas, and gave up on its direct involvement in the NHRA Pro Stock Motorcycle series. Earlier this week, the Milwaukee-based company announced a plan for the next five years to turn things around, taking baby steps to make some profit, expand some segments, and reward its workforce. There’s even talk of getting back the public love, although given how not that many new models are planned for the next five years, it’s hard to tell how it could happen. And that’s a shame because, after all, it was public love that kept the company afloat during the Depression years, right alongside Indian. Public love and the technological gambles the bike maker was not afraid of making. Like taking the Flathead-engined VL motorcycle off the market in 1936, before the economic hardship was even over, and replacing it with what came to be known as the Knucklehead. It stayed in production for a little over a decade, right through the war years, and then the Panhead came along and kicked it away. But that decade was enough for the Knucklehead to impress Americans and give birth to an army of followers that are still devoted to it to this day. Followers who keep restoring and then selling them to others who are alike. One particularly fancy Knucklehead is going under the hammer in April, during the Mecum motorcycle auction in Las Vegas. The pre-war model, made in 1938, was the subject of restoration work that got it back in shape, so much so that the 61ci (1.0-liter) engine that gives it its name still spins the wheels. It has […]

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Stainless 1940 Harley-Davidson Knucklehead Has Oil Running Through Its Frame

by Daniel Patrascu from Just like car lovers, motorcycle enthusiasts around the world had to settle for online shows this year. In America, where the bulk of custom shops is located, that was nearly a tragedy in itself. Most of the nation’s summer events – aside from Sturgis, obviously – were either postponed or canceled. Some bike makers, like Harley-Davidson, stepped in and tried their best to ensure people still have a means to show their creations. For the Milwaukee-based company, that aid came in the form of The No Show, a Youtube-based series that featured back in June the machines created by 60 builders from 10 countries. Among them was this 1940 stainless steel Knucklehead, coming our way from Buffalo, NY-based Christian Newman. Built a couple of years back, the bike is the winner of the People’s Champ competition, and the recipient of the prize for best Knucklehead at Born Free. The build has stainless steel frame and fork, housing the slightly-modified 1940 Knucklehead engine, a narrower-than-usual transmission, and a reworked clutch. One of the most important custom touches involves the way in which that engine gets its oil. According to the builder, there are almost no hoses on this bike. The oil gets into the engine directly through the frame, via the right-side chain stay, and gets back into its tank through the front downtubes. Visually, the bike looks like a proper custom build centered around Harley hardware but also blends some elements from the automotive world. The front lens of the headlight, for instance, comes from a 1951 Chevrolet, while the rear lenses (there are two of them) have been taken from Hudson cars made in 1940 and 1941, respectively. As a side note, had this year’s Born Free show taken place at the scheduled date,

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Harley-Davidson Knucklehead Project Brings Back the Cool of Pre-1950s Bikes

by Daniel Patrascu from Very few bike makers out there (and by extension car makers) are innovative enough to give birth to new families of engines that inspire generations. Harley-Davidson is one of those that are, as its powerplants were at times as famous as the bike models assembled in Milwaukee. Say the word Knucklehead, and the mind immediately links that to Harley. And it has done so since 1936, when the engine came into the world. Named so after the shape of valve covers, Knucklehead has come to stand for the type of motorcycles that were made in Milwaukee from 1936 to 1947, when the Panhead engine replace it. The name is still very much alive because bikes powered by this type of hardware are still a craze in the custom bike industry. And you know that to be true when guys like Andreas Bergerforth, the main man of Thunderbike, a German custom shop specializing in Harleys, has one built for himself. Put together close to a decade ago, the Knucklehead Project, as the garage calls this build, has all the traits of a bike of its age. Not only does it stay true to a wartime-era two-wheeler when it comes to shape and tech, but it also brings with it enough patina and beat-down stance to speak volumes about its lineage. We’re told that for this bike to be brought back in shape, the original had to be dismantled “up to the last screw” and only then, after some love and care, put back together – there’s no mention on whether some of the hardware had to be replaced with new one. Because this bike was built for in-house use, Thunderbike makes no mention of cost, but the Germans do say similar builds snatched back in 2012,

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Only 2 Weeks Till Raffle Day

November 9th is only two weeks away, and we’re gearing up for one of the best days of the year. One lucky winner will be taking home this beautiful 1936 Harley-Davidson Knucklehead, not to mention a second prize winner taking home $10,000 and a third prize winner $5,000. Now is the time to get your last minute tickets for the 2019 Raffle Bike. Now until raffle day, we’re giving away 2 separate prizes to two separate winners for everyone who enters the annual raffle at the “Better Deal” Package or higher. We’re offering a chance to win a 3-day 2-night stay at Elk Ridge Cabin and a chance to win our Vintage Racing Jersey! That means you have 2 chances to win one of these prizes from this special! The 2019 Raffle Bike The 2019 Wheels Through Time Raffle Bike is a stunning 1936 Harley-Davidson EL Knucklehead Bobber, painstakingly rebuilt in the WTT Restoration shop by museum founder and curator Dale Walksler and his team. The bike features a first year 61 c.i. OHV engine based around a genuine pair of new old stock replacement knucklehead engine cases mated to a 4-speed transmission in Harley-Davidson’s classic black and vermilion red with gold striping. This marks the second year in a row that Wheels Through Time will be raffling off the Holy-Grail of all American motorcycles. Many of the motorcycle industry’s top vendors collaborated with their parts, service, and expertise. The raffle takes place in front of a live audience on Saturday, Nov 9th, 2019 at the Wheels Through Time Museum in Maggie Valley, NC. Second prize is $10k, and 3rd prize is $5k — you do not have to be present to win. We wish you the greatest luck in the Wheels Through Time Annual Motorcycle Raffle!

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1941 Knucklehead at Auction

1941 FL Harley Davidson at auction now! 1st Year for the 74” Knucklehead In late 1941, America would be plunged into war after the attack on Pearl Harbor, and Harley-Davidson with it. It was also the first year that HD released the FL. The 1941 model had the OHV Knucklehead engine, which replaced the Flathead back in 1936, but this was the first year that the engine size increased from 61 to 74 cubic inches. Your chance to own a super sweet machine! Bid or watch now—auction takes place on October 10th Visit Auction by Clicking HERE

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A little over one month left till raffle day

Raffle Day is almost here. With a little over one month to go, now is the time to get in our annual raffle. This month we have a special offering of $1,000 to one lucky winner that enters in at the “Better Deal” package or higher. All orders of the “Great Deal” package will receive the exclusive 1936 knucklehead print. Hit the button below to get tickets, Nov 9th is coming soon! GET YOUR TICKETS – Click Here The 2019 Raffle Bike This 1936 Harley-Davidson EL Knucklehead Bobber is dressed in Harley-Davidson’s classic black and vermilion red with gold striping and features a first-year 61 c.i. OHV engine based around a genuine pair of new old stock replacement knucklehead engine cases.

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