1919 Harley-Davidson Horizontally opposed twin 500cc,
Lot 47
1919 Harley-Davidson 584cc Model W Sport Engine no. 19W2246
Sold for £13,225 (US$ 22,215) inc. premium
Lot Details
1919 Harley-Davidson 584cc Model W Sport
Engine no. 19W2246
Inspired by the British Douglas, that likewise used a horizontally opposed twin-cylinder engine, the Harley-Davidson Model W would prove more popular in Europe than America, where the v-twin engine held sway. The Model W was introduced in 1919 and, like Douglas, Harley set its engine lengthways in the frame. Inlet and exhaust manifolds were siamesed on the right-hand side (prevailing wisdom reckoned that heating the incoming charge was a good idea) while the other side was dominated by a large external flywheel and fully enclosed rear chaincase. Ease of maintenance had been a cornerstone of the design; hence the valves were removable via caps in the cylinder heads while the combined barrel/head castings could be removed without disturbing the engine. Displacing 584cc, the 6hp twin was installed in a frame of the 'keystone' type, open at the bottom, which used the engine as a stressed element, while other noteworthy features included geared primary drive and a unique type of front fork. Although not overly powerful, the Model W obviously handled well and possessed a decent turn of speed, as evidenced by a number of record-breaking achievements including setting a new best time for the Three Flags run from Canada to Mexico. Despite these successes the American motorcycling public remained unconvinced of the Model W's virtues and H-D pulled the plug on this promising design after only a few seasons. Production ended in 1923, by which time 9,883 machines had been built. Only 60 are believed to be on the road worldwide today, with only 14 of these in Europe.

A well presented older restoration, this particular Model W was purchased within the past two years.