It was 1913 and it was Harley-Davidson’s 10th anniversary when this bike originally rolled onto the showroom floor. From their humble beginning and that first bike built in their shed, they had overcome the competition to produce almost 13,000 bikes that year. If you were lucky enough to have an extra $300 back then, you could be rolling down the road with your face in the wind.
In the beginning, the early models featured a single-cylinder motor but the V-twin was introduced in 1907 and by 1913 V-twin models would be the majority of the bikes being built. The primary design change on the 1913 models was the chain drive as all the previous models had been belt driven.
This bike is one of several owned and restored by Pete of Front Range Motorcycles. The engine for this particular bike was discovered in a wooden shed in Massachusetts behind an old stove which was probably somewhat similar to the shed in the Davidson backyard where the first Harley-Davidson motorcycle came to life. The motor was complete but there were several broken fins. “With all I had, it had the potential to be built back as a street bike but everybody’s restoring to the original,” said Pete, so he along with Bryan Van Derlaan and Lonnie Isam of Jurassic Racine in Sturgis, SD converted it to this fine looking racer and it was an appropriate decision since 1913 was the year that Harley-Davidson officially entered the racing scene.
Many thanks go to Pete, Bryan, Lonnie and so many others who through their love of motorcycling seize the opportunity to preserve a piece of our past and provide these reminders to us of what it was like to ride a motorcycle ~ back in the day!