1948 Harley-Davidson FL
Engine no. 48FL3302
Another rare milestone machine from the Pierce museum is this 1948 FL, first year for the new Panhead engine and last year for the original springer forks, which would give way to the telescopic Hydra-Glide front end in '49. While the engine's bottom-end was based on the previous Knucklehead, the top-end, with aluminum heads, hydraulic lifters and its signature pan-shaped valve covers, ran cooler and was both more oil-tight and reliable than the Knuckle. It would remain in production until 1965.
As delivered from the factory, the '48 Pan would have been fitted with black-painted muffler, oil tank, handlebars, brake drums and front crash bar, but typical of many bikes from the era all of those parts were sent off to the chrome-platers. Additional period enhancements include studded leather saddlebags and a luggage rack out back, while up front there's a light bar, handlebar risers and a leather fender flap.
- Please note that this motorcycle is titled under its engine number and its title is in transit.