Vintage Heads! The Lost World of HD

Well, they are more than 50 years old, long before you and me were even born and yet they mesmerize us like no other. What is it about HD thats draws bikers like moth to a flame (Cliched!) These age old warriors are sold for thousands of dollars on ebay and like markets. Yes, I know its vintage but look at it! Its BEAUTIFUL! It can easily hold on and score against the MVs and Ducs, dont you think?
Why doesn't HD bring back these beauties, after all everybody is back with New Age Retro. Well, actually HD is doing its own bit. You see the CVO section of HD although they are more tourer and of course not half as beautiful like these raw flesh and bone bikes. But CVO is not the topic here, right? So. lets just salivate and drool over these grand daddies, you know the Sean Connery and Clint Eastwood type, for us guys, its more like Ursula Andrews and Sophia Loren, eh!
For the uninformed, these bikes go by the name of Knucklehead, Flathead, Shovelhead, Panhead, etc. The Harley Davidson Motorcycle Company first introduced knuckle head engines in 1936. The knucklehead is one of seven v-twin engines produced by the company beside (as earlier mentioned) Flathead, Panhead, Shovelhead, Evolution, Twin Cam 88 and Revolution.
All the engines are distinguisable from each other by the head. Well, dont ask me how, I have seen only 3 in my life and I cant say what I saw. But thats what I read. If you have the information, please do share.
The Knucklehead engine was the first overhead valve engine made by Harley Davidson. And it came in 60 and 74 cubic inch sizes producing 40 and 45 horsepower. The Knuckle head engine was designed for the original Harley Davidson chopper, with features like a stainless steel trim on the tank, a shut off rod and a gasket under the tank badge. Later designs introduced the addition of a front safety guard, wide clutch, die-cast aluminum frame and aerodynamic "Speedo face" to the 1941 model. The 1942 model added on a three-stud clutch, sixteen-inch wheels and a aluminum front brake.
Well, it will never be easy to rebuild a knucklehead unless... well unless you are... you get it! The masters of this craft themselves dont promote their rebuilding, after all after the first drive all you will remeber is your aching back and a buffed up right leg, thanks to the kick start. But once the machine roars (take a look at the video), the sweet sound will no doubt captivate you like no other. Okay, lets waste no more time and Yes!, please swipe the floor beneath me, its aching, but I just cant pick up my jaw!
If you want to read and know more about Knuckleheads, visit the link Harley Match. For more info on Panheads, visit the link Panhead Parts. And for more info on Shovelhead, visit Harley Shovelheads.
The all blackbike without headlamp is actually not a 'Head', but the hallowed WR TT from the same time and from it followed the KR and from the KR followed the XR TT, about which you might have read it here. But it is so damn beautiful, I just had to post it.
A special mention to Biker Matchmaking for all the information and links provided here. Thanks. Majority of the photos come courtesy of Carl's Cycle Supply, some from Milestone Vintage Motorcycle Restoration and the ones you see in red below are from Rog1215 on ebay who is selling the bike as of now for around 12 grand. On ebay, you can look for Knuckleheads, Shovelheads, Panheads and all those legends, but be prepared to pay as prices go upto 35 grand and more.


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