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1924 Harley-Davidson Comes with Experimental Racing Engine, Yet Fails to Sell

No matter the year they come from, the model family they belong to, and in most cases, no matter if they’re still stock or not, Harley-Davidson motorcycles always have the potential of selling for big bucks. Add to any Harley something unique like an engine that was never manufactured for the masses, and the sum could be going through the roof.
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That is the case of this 1924 Harley two-wheeler, listed as for sale on the Mecum lot of motorcycles that went under the hammer last week in Monterey. People who own it hoped to get up to $90,000 for it, and even if they failed to sell the motorcycle, this doesn’t diminish one bit the thing’s rarity.

And, as said, that rarity comes in the form of the engine fitted inside the Keystone racing frame. We’re talking about a later iteration of powerplants with spark plugs in the combustion chamber, a design that was tried by Harley racers back in the 1910s.

As the riders of the age were trying all sorts of crazy ideas to gain an edge over the competition, history notes (more on that here) Harley racers went for placing the spark plugs in the combustion chamber, close to the exhaust port, to increase performance.

The design worked for short distances, but proved unreliable for longer rides, as the spark plugs didn’t really liked being placed near the exhaust port, and this idea was never adopted by Harley for its bikes.

Somehow, Harley seems to have revisited the design in the mid 1920s, again without giving the green light for production. Yet prototypes were made, and we’re told this two-wheeler here is one of them. And it looks so shiny because someone was careful enough to restore it and, as said, it is still waiting for a new owner to come along.

Editor's note: This article was not sponsored or supported by a third-party.

 
 
 
 
 

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