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Lot 318: c1926 Harley-Davidson Model B

Sale of Collectors' Motorcycles, Bonhams & Butterfields (12 November 2005)

Indian’s launch of the single-cylinder 21ci in (350cc) Prince in 1925 prompted Harley-Davidson to return to the roadster singles market in ’26 with a brace of similar-sized machines: one sidevalve, the other with overhead-valve engine. Model designations were ‘A’ (magneto-equipped) and ‘B’ (battery/coil) for the flat-heads and ‘AA’ and ‘BA’ for the overhead-valve equivalents respectively. Looking every inch a scaled-down v-twin, the single featured a similar frame, controls and ‘floating’ saddle, but its engine adopted a detachable cylinder head, an advance not yet seen on the bigger Harley. A 30.5ci in (500cc) flat-head - the Model C - joined the range for 1930, by which time a braked front wheel had become a welcome addition to the specification.

It is clear that someone once restored this early Harley-Davidson to a high standard and subsequently used and maintained it. The machine is finished in the correct khaki green paint with red and gold striping and orange lettering, while the saddle is of tan leather. The engine is clean and well detailed. Wiring and piping appear correct; likewise the running boards although the rubber shows signs of use. This wonderfully restored machine would make a proud addition to any collection of fine motorcycles, with only minor detailing required. Mechanical condition unknown.

Lot Details
Auction Sale of Collectors' Motorcycles
Bonhams & Butterfields, Petersen Museum, Los Angeles, CA
Lot Number318
Outcome SOLD
Hammer Price$18000
Hammer Price (inc premium)$20700
Condition rating
Registration number
Chassis number
Engine numberB10180
Engine capacity (cc)
Engine - cylinders
Number of doors