1926 Harley-Davidson 21ci Peashooter
Engine no. AA5032
Harley-Davidson joined Indian in producing 21 cubic inch, or 350cc, light weight single cylinder motorcycles beginning in 1925. This was in response to the American Motorcycle Association's new 21-inch class in racing, meant to reduce the costs of competition to the rider. Harley's version was for the 1926 catalog year. Both companies offered simple side valve engines along with more sophisticated over head valve engines. Harley-Davidson's race version, the Model S, made popping noises through its abbreviated exhaust stack and became affectionately known as the "Peashooter". The name stuck and was eventually used on both road models and race bikes. Deemed as having insufficient power for the likes of American riders who preferred the big twins, most of the Peashooters marketed were aimed overseas.
This particular Peashooter may be a converted street version, made into the Model S race type. It may have also been originally changed over to create a legitimate race bike many years ago. The Model AA however is exceptionally rare with only 61 units manufactured for 1926. It has the correct overhead valve top end, magneto and single port exhaust, and carries correct for the Model AA, a Schebler down draft carburetor. At the time of the catalog photographs, the oil pump had not been mounted. The Peashooter's main fork has been altered into a rigid race fork. The foot pedals are correct for the full race version of the Peashooter.
This is a nicely restored representation of a Harley-Davidson Peashooter race bike, one that was perhaps used to introduce a young person into the realm of motorcycle racing. Not everyone could obtain a full factory race machine such as the Model S, attributing this model's make over into a competition bike for an amateur racer. It that respect, it would be perfect for vintage racing or to admire in a collection of racing motorcycles. Offered on a bill of sale.