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The Silent Grey Fellow – Bike Find of the Day – 1912 Harley-Davidson Model B Silent Grey Fellow

The 1912 Harley-Davidson Model “B” “Silent Grey Fellow” featured a leather belt drive and surprising performance for the day.

The Harley-Davidson Motorcycle Company was born in Milwaukee Wisconsin in 1903 as Bill Harley and Arthur Walter Davidson built a one-cylinder motorcycle for their own use. The bike was well built and the pair ended up selling it, an event that put them in the business of manufacturing motorcycles.

The pair kept at it and continued to build motorcycles and by 1908 they’d built 154.

Some time around 1908,  William Davidson joined the company and it his stewardship of the fledgling company led to the hiring of  20 employees and a the construction of a new factory.

In 1909 with things going great guns for the small firm, Bill Harley decided the company needed a new engine.  Harley took on the project of building a V Twin engine, and that motor turned out to be a 1000 cubic centimeter, 45 degree V twin engine which produced a modest seven horse power. The 45 degree V twin became one of the most recognizable symbols of the Harley-Davidson, and the bar and shield logo they designed to grace the latest machines came on in 1910. It’s still with the company to this day, as is the basic design of Harley’s motor.

The F Head engine was introduced in 1911 and was the main power plant until 1929 when it was replaced by the flathead engine.

By 1912 Harley-Davidson was ready to expand again into a new six-story plant.

From 1914 to the 1920’s there was much advancement, such as the addition of a sidecar, the three-speed sliding-gear transmission, and the change in styling, which looked more like the motorcycles of today, but it was the “B” model which began the company’s ascent toward greatness in American manufacturing…

If you want a pristine version of The Silent Grey Fellow now, you’re going to have to find a steamer trunk full of gold coins buried somewhere behind your garage as this one is going for a cool $75,000 or more.

 

Description Very Rare 1912 Antique Harley Manufacturer in Milwaukee, Wisconsin


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