December 25, 2009

1917 Harley-Davidson Motorcycles & Classic Harley History

Classic 1917 Harley motorcycle once belonged to actor Steve McQueen

Classic 1917 Harley V-twin motorcycle once belonged to actor Steve McQueen

Harley-Davidson started the official H-D Service School in 1917 to teach motorcycle mechanics and maintenance to military personnel. It should be noted that roughly half of all the 1917 Harley-Davidson motorcycles were sold to the Army for messenger and traffic duties.

  • Harley 1917 Model 17-B: 35 cubic inch F-head single.
  • Harley 1917 Model 17-C: 35 cubic inch F-head single with three-speed transmission.
  • Harley 1917 Model 17-E: 61 cubic inch F-head V-twin with single-speed transmission.
  • Harley 1917 Model 17-F: 61 cubic inch F-head V-twin with three-speed transmission.
  • Harley 1917 Model 17-J: 61 cubic inch F-head V-twin with single-speed transmission and electrics.
  • Harley 1917 Model 17-S: 35 cubic inch F-head single Stripped Racer.
  • Harley 1917 Model 17-R: 61 cubic inch F-head V-twin Roadster Racer.
  • Harley 1917 Model 17-T: 61 cubic inch F-head V-twin Stripped Stock Racer.

Restored 1917 Harley & classic sidecar

Restored 1917 Harley & classic sidecar

1917 was the first year for Harley to paint the crankcases with olive¬† paint.¬† 1917 was the only year for the Dixie magneto on Harley’s single-cylinder motorcycles, and the first year for the improved 4 lobe cam in the V-twins.

Filed under Classic Harley History, History, Motorcycles by Staff Report

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