Harley Davidson - Type 18 J
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Harley Davidson D2-492-64-12
Photo ou archives : F-M. Dumas

Capacity : 1000
Model : Type 18 J
Production : 1918 -
Category : (R) Street Bike


1000cc Model J - 1918

"The first Yank to enter Germany"

When the US entered WWI in 1917, Harley-Davidson offered 50 percent of its production to the government. Its Model J was produced in both civilian and military versions. More significant was a 25 percent increase in engine power, thanks to experience on the racetrack – stronger forks were also fitted.

Technically Advanced

When the Harleys of the US Army disembarked in France, they caused a sensation. In a country where 95 percent of the native motorcycles were belt-driven single-speeders, and many still had automatic intake valves, the Harley-Davidson broke new ground.

War Service

France had never seen a 1000cc touring bike. It had mechanically-operated valves, a three-speed transmission with primary and secondary chain drive, a robust clutch and even a full electrical installation with lights, horn and coil ignition. Harley contributed 15,000 bikes to the US war effort, and of those sent to Europe, many were left behind in vehicle dumps and eventually found their way into civilian ownership. In France, they took part in many postwar races, such as the 1920 French GP, in which Verpault won the 1000 sidecar class. And the first US soldier to enter Germany at the end of the war was Corporal Roy Holtz, who inadvertently rode his Harley outfit into enemy territory during a rainstorm on November 9, 1918 and was held captive by a German patrol until after the Armistice was signed two days later.


Engine: 989 cc (84x89 mm) air-cooled 55-degree V-twin four-stroke; total-loss oiling by variable-flow mechanical pump

Power Rating: 14 hp@ 3800 rpm

Valves: F-head; overhead intake, side exhaust

Fuel System: Schebler carburetor

Transmission: 3-speed, twin-plate dry clutch, chain final drive

Suspension: leading-link forks (front); rigid (rear)

Brakes: twin-band brakes (rear)

Wheels: 28x3.00 inch wire clincher (front & rear)

Weight: 375 lb

Maximum Speed: 68 mph

"The first Yank to enter Germany", Cpl. Roy Holtz, made his historic (if accidental) foray into enemy territory on a Harley outfit like this Model J with Chicago-built Rogers sidecar.

Motorcycle encyclopedia Moto Passion, realised by François-Marie Dumas, include almost 2000 photos presented with an exhaustive history of the motorcycles exhibited.

This unique collection has been realised with the participation of many specialists. With many thanks in particular to Yves Campion, Michael Dregni, Didier Ganneau, Jean Goyard, Helmut Krackowizer, Michel Montange, Christian Rey, Bernard Salvat, Mick Woollett, etc

One can order here

  • Original cards on paper (in french)
  • High resolution scans or original documents presented and signed with my name.

Please contact me at info@moto-collection.org for conditions and copyright.

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François-Marie Dumas

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