Web Analytics

 Harley Davidson - 1200 Knucklehead
 Back to brands list

Harley Davidson Knucklehead motocyclette motorrad motorcycle vintage classic classique scooter roller moto scooter
Photo ou archives : F-M. Dumas

Capacity : 1200
Model : Knucklehead
Production : 1946 -
Category : (R) Street Bike

Harley Davidson

1200 cm3 Knucklehead type 74 – 1946

In its 90-year-history, Harley-Davidson could never have been accused of being technically adventurous. But this conservative outlook has saved the Milwaukee company from making disastrous mistakes. In the early Twenties, Harley-Davidson became the world's biggest motorcycle manufacturer, with an annual capacity of 35,000 machines.

Consistent Policy

Since 1909, the firm's hallmark has been the big V-twin, a policy that has ensured the survival of Harley-Davidson when all the other American motorcycle manufacturers have fallen by the wayside. In 1936 the company introduced the valve-in-head 61 cubic inch. (1000cc) Type EL, nicknamed "Knucklehead" because of the shape of its rockerbox castings.

Conservative Specs

The Knucklehead boasted such features as a four-speed gearbox with hand change and foot clutch, a double-cradle frame and pressure lubrication. After the war, America (which had imported only a handful of European motorbikes before the war) discovered the charms of the light, fast British twins. In 1946, America built just 20,000 motorbikes – and imported 9000, of which 8000 were English! To respond to this new scenario, Harley offered the Type 74, a 1200cc derivative of the prewar Knucklehead, which saw the light of day in 1941. It remained in production only until 1948.


Engine: 1208 cc (61x61 mm) four-stroke V-twin

Power output: 53 hp

Valves: overhead valves

Fuel system: single carburetor

Transmission: four-speed gearbox; chain final drive

Suspension: (front) "Springer Forks"; (rear) rigid

Brakes: (front) drum; (rear) drum

Wheels: wire; 16 in balloon tires (optional)

Weight: 560 lb.

Maximum speed: 110 mph

The big Harley offered incomparable comfort, despite its rigid rear end. Other features made up for the awkward stiffness.

Le fichier Moto Passion réalisé par François-Marie Dumas réunit près de deux mille photos accompagnées d'un historique très complet des machines présentées.
Il sera progressivement mis à jour ici et toute information complémentaire est la bienvenue sur info@moto-collection.org.

Cette documentation unique, qui constitue sans doute l'encyclopédie la plus exhaustive jamais écrite sur l'histoire de la moto, a été réalisée avec l'assistance de nombreux spécialistes dont principalement Didier Ganneau, Christophe Gaime, Mick Woollett, Jean Goyard, Bernard Salvat, Christian Rey, Yves Campion, Helmut Krackowizer, Michael Dregni, Michel Montange, etc. que je remercie ici.

Disponible sur demande :
- Les fiches originales sur papier
- Les photos et archives signées de mon nom en haute définition ou les documents originaux.
Me contacter sur info@moto-collection.org pour les conditions et droits d'utilisation.