My brief history with Harley Davidson motorcycles of my youth. You gotta go back in time a bit when motorcycles were American made and we were glad for that. Those pictured here are the old 883 Sportster, 74" Knucklehead, 74" Panhead, and the 80" Flathead. Times were simpler then and the term Milwaukee vibrator had a special meaning for us cyclists.
This is Big Bertha, my old 1956, 74" Panhead. It's features included wishbone hardtail frame, Hogmaster primary belt drive with open clutch, Straight bore pipes, Neptune's trident back rest, original Linkert carb with air ram intake, solid lifters, trusty kick starter only & an 8 ball suicide shift. It was a salvaged Texas Dept of Public Safety bike. It was also popular with the chicks of the day (summer of '77). Colors were black frame with metallic blue tanks and fender. Sorry, no other photos exist and this was in the pre-digital camera days. It was wrecked in August of '77 when an inattentive driver hit me from behind. Spent a year in rehab, if you want to call it that in those days, and the resulting settlement allowed me to finish my college education. Very fun & nice bike. This was my pride and joy. Shown also, is my 6 year old brother helping with the rebuild.
This is Gwendolyn, my first bike, an old 883 Sportster of 1964 vintage. It too, was fast and popular with the chickie babes back in the day. Solid black color with HD eagle on the gas tank. The original front end was traded for the springer and it had hi-compression pistons which made kick starting a beast. This lived up to the reputation of a Milwaukee vibrator. I had fun on this one and made a few trips with it. Also, used to cruise the strip with friends over the weekends.
The 1938 ULH 80" Flathead belonged to a friend who helped supply parts by swap or purchase depending on the donor. A guy named Shelby Withrow ran a cycle repair business and quite often was sought out for his expertise in these matters. Don't know where he is today. The leaking oil from most of these old bikes is nothing more than the chain oiler even though finding a gasket that fit the cases correctly the first time was a challenge with these antiques.
This 1946 FL Knucklehead belonged to a friend of mine. It was bought and rebuilt with the springer style front end as shown. It was difficult to steer on slow sharp turns and had a suicide shift as well. It was later converted back to a stock springer. Our model for this bike is 80 year old Mrs. Swango (1976) and she would give it her best to kick start this old hawg. Businesses that helped with parts and repairs in those days included Conley Harley Davidson of Dallas, Show-n-Go Cycle of Richardson, of course Shelby Withrow, and Brown Cycle of Dallas on old Main Street (some of whom may still be found today).
If you care to share or reminisce please feel free to drop a line - email found on the home page.