zaterdag 25 april 2015

HARLEY-DAVIDSON KNUCKLEHEAD FL 74 cubic inch (1200cc).

I think this is the most beautiful bike Harley ever build.

It took the Harley-Davidson Co. about 12 years to develop their motorcycles from a single cylinder belt driven single 3 HP machine to the 45 degree V-twin with 3-speed countershaft gearbox that was marketed in 1915.
This sturdy 989 cc  ( 84x89mm) machine became a popular choice for motorcycle buyers all over the world, private enthusiasts as well as police forces, postal services and other government bodies.
The OHV inlet, side valve exhaust concept was used till 1930, when HD  chose the full side valve engine concept.
By 1936 the company decided it was time to market an OHV machine: the  Model E  “ Knucklehead”   - named after the shape of the polished aluminium rocker shaft covers-  was a slow success for Harley.
They sold just 152 of them in 1936, out of a planned production of 1,600; and only 126 in 1937.
Then, in April 1937, Fred Ham, a Pasadena motorcycle police officer took his own, carefully-broken-in Model E to Muroc Dry Lake (now known as Edwards Air Force Base).
 He outlined a five-mile circle with flags and flare-pots for round-the-clock riding.
Stopping only for fuel, oil, fruit juice, and to change a broken rear chain in the 20th hour, Ham completed 1,825 miles, averaging 76.02mph. He set 43 new speed and distance records for himself and Harley-Davidson's Model E, single-handedly founding the legend of the Knuckleheads.
The engine has a power output of 37 HP @  4800 RPM  which gives the machine a top speed of 100mph.

But what to expect from a bike, nearly 75 years old, made in the 1940’s?
Handling, braking, reliability would be nothing like the standards today.

I once rode a Harley XLCR 1000 from 1975 and was a bit disappointed.

I decided to convert a XR1200 into a XLCR 1200
It had the looks of the old Harley Cafe Racer but handling, reliability and performance was superb.

For more pictures and the build have a look at my Blog (click here)
An article was published in MOTOR MAGAZIN

So how to improve a 1940 Knucklehead?
Better suspension, better brakes.
Reliable engine but still the HD “patato” sound...

So I came across a motorcycle build LASEUR 
Nearly perfect just needs some extra's to fulfill my wishes. 
I came across the pictures on the Laseur website

- Softail frame
- Springer Front End
- Hydraulic Brakes with full floating Disc’s
- Sheet metal from the Knucklehead
- Late Shovelhead engine with Xzotic generator style cam cover
- 5 Speed Gearbox with Kickstarter
- > 90’s Primary with clutch and starter motor
- Belt drive
-  Big Black Wheels with RVS Spokes
KUSTOM TECH Deluxe Clutch Master Cylinder and Clutch in   Aluminium Raw Finish
AT HANDLE BAR  MotoGadget  PUSH BUTTON CONTROLS M-  SWITCH for turn signal lights
     Front: Kellerman Micro 1000 Black Turn signals
     Rear:  M-BLAZE PIN MotoGadget Turn Signals

These are the pictures: Knucklehead the Build

So its a Shovelhead engine we do have to convert to a Knucklehead engine.

If seen this before in a shop nearby, Wingpalace in Uden, Netherlands.

Softtail suspension

Full floating disc's

Turnsignal lights

Turnsignal lights

5 Speed gearbox


Belt drive

Full Floating Disc brakes