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Thread: 1913 Harley twin engine

  1. #11
    silentgreyfello Guest

    Default vin numbers

    Hi Ross,

    I stand corrected on my earlier vin number post...

    I have two books, "Harley Davidson Motor Company" by David Wright and "Harley Davidson, the Milwaukee Marvel" by Harry Sucher that both say 1911 should have a vin of 7600-10000 followed by an A.

    I just checked some more photos and notes of number-matching 1911 bikes and none of them fit the above description.

    1911 single: 8887
    1911 single: 9325
    1911 single: 9588
    This twin motor: 304A
    1911 twin (Chandler): 922A
    1911 single: 1815A

    See a pattern? Perhaps the 1911 numbering system went like this:

    7600-9999 without the A, then they went to 100A and up. Just a theory without any paper facts.

  2. #12
    silentgreyfello Guest

    Default belly numbers

    belly numbers. also, it is stamped in the mag drive. I count 5 places it says 9588.

  3. #13
    silentgreyfello Guest


    I found two more books with the same numbering system as mentioned before! I think they must all be copying each other.

    1910 is specified as 4200-7600. I used to own a single magneto model that was 6161, so I think they may have got that right.

    In Harry Sucher's book, it specifies that they built 5,625 machines in 1911. No breakdown of single/twin ratio. IF this were true, AND my theory on the numbering is correct (7600-9999, then 100A and up, then the last 1911 number would be 3225A. That would put "304A" about 40% through the year.

    I personally doubt they made that many machines, as they were known to inflate production numbers for bragging rights I guess.

  4. #14
    silentgreyfello Guest


    Here is a picture of the commonly recorded vin numbers for 1911.

  5. #15
    B. Rodencal Guest


    Wouldn't an 11' have plugs 90 degrees to the Cylinder?

  6. #16
    B. Rodencal Guest


    Maybe an 11' bottom with later top?

  7. #17
    Ross Guest

    Default 1911 HD engine

    Hi Bill, If you go to the Gooding and company website and click on the Otis Chandler auction you will see a beautifully restored 1911. Item number # 18. Chandler claims it's one of 4. First production V twin. Apparently it was a good original example before restoration. You'll see that the engine looks like the one I have posted including plug angle from the heads. The story is slowly unfolding. Still looking for guidance from the membership Thanks Ross

  8. #18
    silentgreyfello Guest


    Here is a picture of the Catalog. It shows the plugs at 90 degrees. However, as Ross mentioned, the Chandler bike has the angled plugs similar to 1912. I will try to find a picture of an original paint '11 twin that was at Oley several years ago... I looked for an hour yesterday.... still nothing, but will post if I find it.

  9. #19
    Ross Guest


    Okay guys, here's more food for thought. For silentgreyfello, I've included a closer shot of the pulley shaft side, and also the much debated 45 degree spark plug head.

    I was given a copy of the original 1911 Instructions for the Operation and Care of the Harley-Davidson Twin Cylinder Motorcycle, which has two excellent photos showing the spark plug not at 90 degrees, but at an angle like mine.

    Then, when I felt I had solved the case, I remembered I had a reprint of Victor Page's Early Motorcycles (1916). Lo and behold on the inside page is a picture of a 1911 twin, this time showing the spark plug at 90 degrees.

    Do I believe Mr. Page or do I believe a factory operations manual? I think now that both must be correct. Let's hear it from the experts, cause I need to sit down and have a drink. This really has me bamboozled. You getting all this Landshark?

  10. #20
    silentgreyfello Guest


    I have seen inconsistancies of artist renditions of the new models that would be arriving that conflicted with the actual motorcycle when it finally hit production.

    Another thought is that they initially used the 90 degree angle, only to find that you get a better fuel burn/horsepower with the plug pointed down into the cylinder at an angle. Maybe a mid-year change?

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