10 Historic Harley Davidson Motorcycles From Central New York On Display
One Holland Patent/Remsen native has contributed to a historic Harley collection that highlights some of the most diverse motorcycles in Central New York.
All these Vintage Harley-Davidson Motorcycles are from Central New York and will be on display through March 31 at Harley Davidson of Utica. My favorite is the Harley J Series in all its original glory. Heres the history leading up to the 1923 J-Series.
Harley History – The Harley J & JD Series Motorcycles 1915-1929 Via Classic American Iron
Harley introduced the first of its J model F Head, V-twin motorcycles as a 1915 model. It was a 61 cubic inch, F-head, V-twin engine with a three-speed transmission and electric lighting. It was the only year model to feature the Remy Model 15 magneto-generator with vacuum-operated battery cutout. The J Model Harley retailed for $310, making it the most expensive Harley motorcycle on the market at the time. Harley built 3,719 Model J motorcycles in 1915.
The price for the 1916 Harley J dropped $15 from the previous year to $295, and sales climbed to 5,898 motorcycles. There were some subtle changes over the previous model, including gas tanks with rounded edges, wider front forks, stronger wheel rims and an improved front wheel hub, and an upgrade to the Remy Model 250 generator with mechanical switch. This was the first year Harley-Davidson stamped the model year into the engine identification number.
1917 saw the Harley J increase back to the original 1915 price of $310 as sales soared to an impressive 8,527 Harley J motorcycles sold. Options included a Schebler Deluxe carburetor, 26 inch wheels, choice of Goodyear Blue Streak or Firestone Non-Skid tires and either the Troxel Jumbo saddle or Troxel Wizard saddle.
In 1918 the Harley J was renamed the J-Solo. The price climbed to $320 as sales trimmed to 6,571 motorcycles.
In 1919 Harley-Davidson added the JS Sidecar Twin to the J Solo motorcycle for the street and on the specialty side – the JA, JB, and JF motorcycles. The JA featured the Harley A motor, the JB featured a Harley B motor, and the JF featured a “500” motor. The J-Solo and J Sidecar each sold for $370 and sold 9,941 machines between the two.
1920 was the year Harley expanded the J series to include the J-Solo and JS-Sidecar (which now has sidecar gearing) plus the JF (“500” motor), JB (B motor), JE (E motor), JA (A motor), and the first JD with the larger 74 cubic inch F-Head V-twin as well as a sidecar version – the JDS. The J and JS sold for $395 and Harley sold 14,192 J model motorcycle.
1921 saw more larger displacement JDs move into the line up, which consisted of the J Solo, the JS – Sidecar, JD Solo and JDS – Sidecar on the street side, and on the specialty side the JA, JDA, and JE. The J and JS models sold for $485, and the JD and JDS sold for $520. Sales declined to 45,26 J models, and 2,321 JDs. The Harley “A” motor was specified as a high speed Police model. The “B” motor was a high compression motor for high altitude use, and the “E” motor was a special racing one.
The J Solo, JS -Sidecar, JD Solo and JDS – Sidecar machines continued in production as 1922 models, as did three specialty models – the JA, JDA and JE. Prices dropped considerably to $365 for the Harley J and JS, and to $390 for the JD and JDS. Production dropped considerably also to only 3,183 Harley J motorcycles and 3,988 Harley JDs.
The line up stays about the same in 1923 with the J, JS, JD and JDS. Specialty models are the JDA, JE and JDCA. Prices continue to drop to $305 for the Harley J and JS and to $330 for the JD and JDS. Sales increased tio 4,802 Harley J motorcycles and to an impressive 7,458 Harley JD motorcycles. The hinged rear fender was added to these motorcycles for convenience when changing the rear wheel.
Get an eye full of 'old hogs' from right here in CNY. You can even have your mugshot taken with your favorite Harley Girl on Saturday, March 24. Stop in a join the fun starting at 11 am. If you don't have Spring Fever yet, then this will get you super sick! Sorry in advance.