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Lot 403: 1916 Harley-Davidson 11hp Model 16F

Collectors' Motorcycles, Bonhams (16 October 2005)

1909 marked the appearance of Harley-Davidson’s first v-twin, though it was not until the adoption of mechanically operated inlet valves in 1911 (replacing the ‘atmospheric’ type inherited from the single) that production really took off. Known by the soubriquet ‘pocket valve’, this inlet-over-exhaust engine - built in 61 and 74cu in capacities - would remain in production for the next 20 years. The need to make better use of the engine’s power characteristics, particularly for sidecar pulling, prompted the introduction of a two-speed rear hub for 1914, by which time chain drive and a proper clutch had been adopted. Later that same year a conventional, three-speed, sliding-gear transmission with ‘step starter’ was introduced on the top-of-the-range version of the twin which, with full electrical equipment, was listed from now on as the Model J.
The Harley-Davidson v-twin offered here is an example of the three-speed, magneto-equipped Model 16F, which when new was priced at $30 less than the Model J. ‘S 6013’ was acquired by the present owner in 1963 and comes with a fascinating letter from its immediately preceding owner ‘C. D. L. M.’ recalling that it had been bought new in Edinburgh in 1916 by his brother who was serving with the Royal Engineers. The wheel discs were fitted immediately after WWI and the machine used in both solo and sidecar trim before the previous owner’s brother sold it to him in 1925. The Harley was ridden solo extensively for the next 12-or-so years, mainly around Edinburgh and The Borders. Laid up briefly during WW2, it was back in service in 1945 and used regularly thereafter. The previous owner repainted the machine in its current livery in the 1950s.

‘S 6013’ is equipped with acetylene headlight, luggage carrier, Klaxon horn and original tools, and benefits from a recently rewound magneto. Not actively run in recent times because of its owner’s advancing years, the machine is offered with Swansea V5.

Lot Details
Auction Collectors' Motorcycles
Bonhams, Classic & Motorcycle Mechanics Show, Stafford
TypeMotorcycle
Lot Number403
Estimate£12000-£15000
Outcome SOLD
Hammer Price£14500
Hammer Price (inc premium)£16675
Year1916
Condition rating
Registration number
Mileage-
Chassis number
Engine number1775M
Engine capacity (cc)
Engine - cylinders
Number of doors