Harley-Davidson Knucklehead
Lot 153
1947 Harley-Davidson Knucklehead Engine no. 47E65969
Sold for US$ 29,250 inc. premium

Lot Details
Harley-Davidson Knucklehead Harley-Davidson Knucklehead Harley-Davidson Knucklehead Harley-Davidson Knucklehead
1947 Harley-Davidson Knucklehead
Engine no. 47E65969
Harley Davidson made a major departure from their conservative, but very sound motorcycle designs when they introduced the overhead valve 'knucklehead' in 1936.

The side-valve V series big flat-head twins that were the company's main offering were very robust in design, but were modest in performance compared with offerings from the Indian 'Wigwam', and still featured total loss lubrication. The knucklehead offered full circulating dry sump lubrication, and an overhead valve hemispherical cylinder head design with high compression options. Like many new models, the early ones were plagued with a few problems, such as top end oil leaks, and insufficient braking, given the machine's potential speed. Possibly more than any source outside the Indian 'Wigwam' in Springfield, the knucklehead lead to the eventual downfall of Indian, who never shed their loyalty to the old-fashioned, charming, but less efficient side-valve design on their big Chief.

By 1946, the overhead valve Harley was a dependable and well-developed machine. The example offered for sale is the model E, which is the medium compression 61ci or 1000cc model. It is sufficiently rare, that the company doesn't even have the production records, which leads to the assumption it is included in the figures for the EL model, of which only 2098 were produced.

This is an opportunity to acquire an excellent project bike at well below the price of a restored knucklehead.
Without reserve

Saleroom notices

  • The engine number is 47EL5969.
Auction information

This auction is now finished. If you are interested in consigning in future auctions, please contact the specialist department. If you have queries about lots purchased in this auction, please contact customer services.

Buyers' Obligations

ALL BIDDERS MUST AGREE THAT THEY HAVE READ AND UNDERSTOOD BONHAMS' CONDITIONS OF SALE AND AGREE TO BE BOUND BY THEM, AND AGREE TO PAY THE BUYER'S PREMIUM AND ANY OTHER CHARGES MENTIONED IN THE NOTICE TO BIDDERS. THIS AFFECTS THE BIDDERS LEGAL RIGHTS.

If you have any complaints or questions about the Conditions of Sale, please contact your nearest customer services team.

Buyers' Premium and Charges

For all Sales categories excluding Arms & Armor, Coins & Medals, Motor Cars, Motorcycles, and Wine & Whisky:

Buyer's Premium Rates
25% on the first $100,000 of the Hammer Price
20% from $100,001 to $2,000,000 of the Hammer Price
12% on the excess over $2,000,000 of the Hammer Price

Payment Notices

Payment for purchases may be made in or by (a) cash, (b) cashier's check or money order, (c) personal check with approved credit drawn on a U.S. bank, (d) wire transfer or other immediate bank transfer, or (e) Visa, MasterCard, American Express or Discover credit, charge or debit card. A processing fee will be assessed on any returned checks. Please note that the amount of cash notes and cash equivalents that can be accepted from a given purchaser may be limited.

Shipping Notices

For information and estimates on domestic and international shipping as well as export licences please contact Bonhams Shipping Department.

Lot symbols
Exempt from tax

Zero rated for VAT, no VAT will be added to the Hammer Price or the Buyer's Premium.

Contacts
  1. David Swig
    Auction Administration - Motorcycles
    Bonhams
    Work
    220 San Bruno Avenue
    San Francisco, United States 94103
    Work +1 415 503 3285
    FaxFax: +1 415 391 4040
  2. Eric Minoff
    Auction Administration - Motorcycles
    Bonhams
    Work
    580 Madison Avenue
    New York, United States 10022
    Work +1 917 206 1630
    FaxFax: +1 917 206 1669
  3. Mark Osborne
    Specialist - Motorcycles
    Bonhams
    Work
    220 San Bruno Avenue
    San Francisco, United States 94103
    Work +1 415 503 3353
    FaxFax: +1 415 391 4040
  4. Nick Smith
    Specialist - Motorcycles
    Bonhams
    Work
    7601 W. Sunset Boulevard
    Los Angeles, United States 90046
    Work +1 323 436 5470
    FaxFax: +1 323 850 5843
Similar Items