From a Prominent European Collection,,1921 Harley-Davidson Model W Sport Frame no. 2868 Engine no. 21W1229

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Lot 444
From a Prominent European Collection,,1921 Harley-Davidson Model W Sport Frame no. 2868 Engine no. 21W1229

Sold for US$ 17,825 inc. premium
From a Prominent European Collection,
1921 Harley-Davidson Model W Sport
Frame no. 2868
Engine no. 21W1229
Inspired by the British Douglas that likewise used a horizontally-opposed, twin-cylinder engine, the Harley-Davidson Model W Sport would prove more popular in Europe than in America where the v-twin engine held sway. The Model W was introduced in 1919 and, like Douglas, Harley set its engine lengthwise in the frame. Displacing 584cc, the 6hp twin was installed in a frame of the 'keystone' type, open at the bottom, which used the engine as a stressed element, while other noteworthy features included geared primary drive and a unique type of front fork. Although not overly powerful, the Model W obviously handled well and possessed a decent turn of speed, as evidenced by a number of record-breaking achievements including a new best time for the 'Three Flags' run from Canada to Mexico. Despite these successes the American motorcycling public remained unconvinced of the Model W's virtues and H-D pulled the plug on this promising design after only a few seasons. Production ended in 1923, by which time 9,883 machines had been built, only 60-or-so of which are believed to be on the road today.

This motorcycle is an older restoration that still presents quite well. Starting with a good sound machine, only a minor degree of refurbishment was required. It appears that, based on the bike's front registration plate, this Model W may have been an export model delivered new to Europe. It is a nice, tidy example of a very rare pre-war Harley-Davidson.

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