It was in back in 1947 that Harley-Davidson first introduced the classic black motorcycle jacket. It was also the year that approximately 4000 bikers attended a rally in Hollister, California and proceeded to have a good time. Events escalated to the point that it was more than the local law could handle alone so they called in the state patrol for reinforcements and by the time the event was over there were around 60 people injured and numerous arrests made. The media had a heyday and completely blew things out of perspective (imagine that!).
The event also inspired the movie “The Wild One” starring Marlon Brando and both the media coverage of the event and the movie engrained the general public’s “outlaw” view towards motorcyclists.
1947 was also the last year Harley-Davidson produced the “Knucklehead”. The two models that were produced were the EL which is a 61 cubic inch model and the FL, like the one shown, which is a 74 cubic inch model.
Acquired about 15 years ago, this bike had mostly original paint when purchased (there were some parts that had been repainted) and featured some very unique period accessories. When you first look at this bike you immediately notice the items like the rare sergeant stripes cheese-grater front bumper, chrome candy canes on the front fender, chromed front end, hubcaps, chrome plated floor boards, tail-gunner lights on the seat, and cheese-grater rear bumper. The most impressive feature though is the hand made bat wing dual exhausts.
This bike is a daily rider whenever weather permits and you can see why it is definitely an attention getter where ever it goes.
Special thanks to Jeff and Kristal from Iron Horse Livery for preserving this piece of our motorcycling history and giving us a glimpse of the past and what it was like to ride a motorcycle ~ back in the day!