Restored – 1941 Harley Davidson FL Knucklehead

In America, Cruiser by Jeffrey PamerLeave a Comment

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Post Listing Update: This HD did not get any interest at the BIN of $75,000 on eBay.

Harley-Davidson is the most successful American motorcycle manufacturer in the history of motorcycling, but there’s so much more to the story than just that statement. They have been close to shutting their doors on numerous occasions since selling their first bike in 1903. Not evident from the bikes that they are famous for today, the company has a rich racing history, including an intense rivalry on the racetrack and in business with Indian Motorcycles. They also helped the Japanese motorcycling industry in the 1930’s by licensing their blueprints, tools, and dies to the Sankyo Company in an effort to keep the business afloat during the Great Depression. There is 116 years of history to study – this doesn’t make Harley the oldest motorcycle company in America, but they are the one that stands out. You can check out the entire history of HD on the Harley-Davidson Museum website.

In late 1941, America would be plunged into war after the attack on Pearl Harbor, and Harley-Davidson with it. It was also the first year that HD released the FL. The 1941 model had the OHV Knucklehead engine, which replaced the Flathead back in 1936, but this was the first year that the engine size increased from 61 to 74 cu. The Knucklehead would be the primary engine used by HD until 1947 when it would be replaced by the Panhead in 1948 models. Another notable feature of these bike is the iconic tank side gear lever. I first saw one of these when I was about 11 and stumbled on “Born to Ride” on TV, a mostly forgettable John Stamos movie that featured him as an outlaw biker. It’s tough to tell, but it looks like he’s riding a ’41-ish Harley. Here’s the trailer just for reference and a laugh:

This 1941 Harley Davidson FL (VIN: 41FL3586) is a frame up restoration by Mark Jonas of Jonas Builders. The restoration was done for The American Motorcyclist Association Hall of Fame in 2003. It has matching belly pan numbers, and detailed notes/pictures of the restoration. The seller states that the bike has 153 miles though it’s not clear how many are post restoration. The more I look at this posting, the more I’m thinking that the pictures of the bike belong on the wall of my garage under glass. Just a beautiful piece of American made machinery, and an impressive restoration. For reference, this bike sold at the 2018 Mecum Las Vegas auction for $68,200 plus buyer’s premium.

Find this 1941 Harley Davidson FL Touring, in Newtown Pennsylvania for $75,000 or best offer

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