From 1903 Harley produced very capable single-cylinder motorcycles, until the appearance of their first v-twin in 1909. Innovations came thick and fast and in 1911 with the adoption of mechanically operated inlet valves (replacing the ‘atmospheric’ type inherited from the single) that production really took off. Known as the ‘pocket valve’, this ‘F-head’ (inlet-over-exhaust) engine – built in both 61ci/1,000cc and 74ci/1,200cc capacities – would remain in production for the next 20 years. The desire to pull a sidecar prompted the introduction of a two-speed rear hub for 1914, by which time chain drive and a proper clutch had been adopted over the belt drive. Later that same year a conventional, three-speed, sliding-gear transmission with ‘step starter’ was introduced on the top-of-the-range version of the twin which, with full electrical equipment, was listed from now on as the Model JD and subsequent JE. Periodically revised and updated, the model had gained a front brake, a stronger fork and pumped lubrication by the time production ceased in 1929
The JE of 1924 vintage on offer here was restored under prior ownership to very exacting standards. On static display for the last decade in a substantial private California collection, the bike remains in excellent condition throughout.
Sold on a Bill of Sale.