1926 Harley-Davidson JD with Sidecar
Engine no. 26J8035
For many, the modern Harley-Davidson motorcycle truly came into its own after 1925 when the entire line was fitted with new frames that lowered riding position by a full three inches, allowing smaller riders to handle the bikes with greater ease. Other changes that made the '25s more comfortable included reshaped handlebars and a repositioned gearshift lever. An additional benefit of the revised frame was that wheels and tires could be wider, which in turn improved both ride and handling, and imparted a modern, more aggressive stance.
Top of the line was the twin-cylinder JD, and as shown on this 1926 example, we see the continuation of Milwaukee's fascination with art-deco streamline styling in the rounded corners of the gas tanks, plus we have the trademark cutouts on the right side to clear the motor's valvegear. Popular for both solo and sidecar work, the JD quickly became a best-seller in the private and police sectors.
The addition of this particular sidecar makes for a unique combination. Fashioned in the canoe-style favored by some British and Continental sidecar makers, the single-seater is mounted on the bike's left side, which also speaks to European derivation. It has a door and flip-up cowl for easy ingress and exit, and a storage compartment behind the seat accessible via an outside hatch. Finished in the same factory olive green as the JD with matching red pinstripes, little is known about the actual build of the sidecar, though it definitely makes for a handsome and distinctive outfit.
- Please note that this motorcycle is titled under its engine number and its title is in transit.