From a Prominent European Collection,
1915 Harley-Davidson Model 11F
Frame no. 6697
Engine no. 7269
Harley-Davidson's existence in the motorcycle industry of the United States was one of rapid growth, and surely the huge Indian company was their target. In 1914, Harley-Davidson still only produced half the number of motorcycles as did their chief rival, Indian but the models they marketed were the result of careful evolution. The motorcycles were sound in construction and each year incorporated recent innovations. The significant improvement for the 1914 model year was a new two-speed rear hub of Harley's own design. The company made statements to the effect that once a rider tried a two-speed gear change they would never go back to the single speed machines of old.
Further improvements to the mainstay model of the 1915 Harley-Davidson included improvements to the engine and a brand new 3-speed sliding gear transmission. Substantial gains in power output allowed the motorcycle to be faster and more tractable. The new transmission provided an extremely competent mount that made good use of the new found power from the engine. A rider could putt about at a walking pace or put the motorcycle through its paces in higher gears. In a sense, the 1915 Harley-Davidson was the beginning of the modern Harley-Davidson. It proved to be the most popular model of the year's presentation with an attractive price of $275. The company produced 9855 examples of this motorcycle, more than double the number made with electric lighting.
This Harley has been part of a European collection for decades and is offered in quite honest and unmolested condition. The bike has clearly had a quick repaint at some point many years ago but aside from that appears to be quite authentic and original. It is refreshing to see one of these rare and ultra-desirable machines not restored to 100 point condition. It is the new owner's choice to use it as a basis of an authentic restoration or get it running and use it with all its lovely patina, as is.
- Please note that the title for this motorcycle is in transit.