First Year Knucklehead – 1936 Harley-Davidson EL

In America, Cruiser, Vintage by AbhiLeave a Comment

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Post Sale Update: This EL sold for $120,000 after 20 bids on eBay.


Harley-Davidson debuted the Knucklehead motor in 1936 (though it didn’t earn the nickname until after the Panhead was released) and just 1,704 first year examples were built. As HD made several changes to production in the first few months, particularly to timing covers and kickstart gearing, some parts can be very hard to find. While this example isn’t 100% perfect, it does look to be a nice example of one of the most important motorcycles in HD’s history.

The “EL” model was the sportier bike compared to the E, with 7:1 compression instead of 6.5:1. With the higher compression, the 988cc V-Twin produced 40 horsepower at 4,800 rpm, enough to get the 515 pound bike up to 95 miles per hour. For more on the Knucklhead, check out this article on Motorcycle Classics.

Or, catch this episode of Jay Leno’s Garage if you want some sounds with your images:

This example was recently acquired by the seller in non-running condition, but he’s “done minor servicing to get the bike running” and it’s now claimed to run great. The seller also notes a few non-original parts: ’55 Panhead gas tank caps and ’37 dash cover along with some reproduction parts: rear brake drum, exhaust, and wiring harness. Some of the metal pieces have clearly seen better days, but the major bodywork looks fantastic.

Find this Knucklehead for sale in Saugerties, New York with bidding up to $100,100 and the reserve not yet met

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