Follow Motorbase:
Search Motorbase for

Lot 344: 1931 Harley-Davidson Model V

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

Announced in August 1929 as a replacement for the much-loved two-cam ‘J’ type, the model V was far from an instant success. More massively built and heavier than its predecessor, the V lacked top end power to such an extent that the first examples were recalled for an extensive engine redesign. A larger crankcase accommodating heavier flywheels did the trick and, its problems solved, the 74cu in ‘flat head’ v-twin went on to win the hearts of Harley-Davidson enthusiasts everywhere. Revised with the frame, tank and wheels of the 61cu in overhead-valve ‘Knucklehead’, plus dry-sump lubrication, the V became the Model U in 1937. Production re-commenced after WW2, the old sidevalve ‘74’ finally disappearing from the range at the end of 1948.

The vendor describes this rare, early Harley-Davidson ‘flat head’ as substantially complete and with fuel tank beautifully restored. It is reputed to have been bench tested following overhaul of the engine and gearbox.

Lot Details
Auction Sale of Collectors' Motorcycles
Bonhams & Butterfields, Petersen Museum, Los Angeles, CA
TypeMotorcycle
Lot Number344
Estimate$1500-$3000
Outcome SOLD
Hammer Price$3200
Hammer Price (inc premium)$3680
Year1931
Condition rating
Registration number
Mileage-
Chassis number
Engine number
Engine capacity (cc)
Engine - cylinders
Number of doors