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Thread: How Many Knuckleheads still kicking

  1. #1
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    Default How Many Knuckleheads still kicking

    Has sthe AMCA ever polled its members to see how many knucks are still in existence? I believe the number may be higher then some would think- this would include ones that became Choppers, Bobbers and such ...

    My un-educated guess is between 2500 on the low end to 6000 or so on the high end ...I bet atleast 500 -1000 have left the States -I base my guess on there being 40,000 total made or there about if that is a wrong or bad number please understand I am not posing as an expert on this !

    I would love to hear more on this if anyone has actually tried to nail down some date

  2. #2
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    I think there are more knucks now, than Harley-Davidson made. . . That's sort of a joke, but the reproduction industry has been very productive making anything knucklehead over the last 35 + years. Much of that reproduction has gone into making complete bikes out of basket cases. I know that is not an answer to your question, but keep in mind that when anyone tries to compile a roster of any motorcycle marque; they encounter the reality that most collectors do not want anyone to know what they have.
    Eric Smith
    AMCA #886

  3. #3
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    Your first statement is probably true ...another worry would be bad #'s
    And your last statement would certainly be a roadblock!

    When you look at different bike events online(not mainstream) different Knucks always pop up- Shoot if I was one of the decision makers at the Motor Co. I would re-issue the bike ala Ford, Chevy and Dodge retro muscle .But I suppose the EPA has a bead on HD as well so it would be hard to re-issue that bike !!

  4. #4
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    I based my reply on Excelsior, and Henderson production data that is still sketchy; despite the profound efforts of Bund/Turek. It seems that history only remembers the things that get into print, regardless of accuracy. For many years, and perhaps still, many people think H-D started in 1903. Herbert Wagner did exhaustive research to present better data that puts that date at (circa) 1905, but H-D has perpetuated the story of 1903 to the point that no one questions them. The bulk of knuckleheads were built in the '30s and I would bet that the real production numbers are only known by studying the complexities of engine, and line bore numbers. The true history of knuckleheads (and perhaps all H-Ds) was lost when AMF (and fate) chose to destroy the mountains of priceless documented factory production data. Again, Herbert Wagner wrote an incredible article about the Lang connection in our magazine a few years ago. He also wrote one of my favorite motorcycle books 'Harley-Davidson 1930-1941'. If you love Harleys, you need to have that book in your collection.
    Eric Smith
    AMCA #886

  5. #5
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    What impact did the scrap metal drive of WW2 have on bikes, especially teens bike. I imagine there were some people interested in them, but the technological advances were so far reaching that by early 40s they were junked?

    Not sure if Knucks would have been impacted by the scrap drives
    Dan Margolien
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  6. #6
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    I don't think the WW2 scrap drives took very many running motorcycles due to the superior fuel mileage of a motorcycle during wartime rationing. I also speculate that any 1915 and later 3 speed motorcycle was ridden into the ground during the great depression because money was tight. As much as I love early motorcycles, the motors just didn't hold up, and not everyone in those days was into the vital routine maintenance that early bikes require.
    Eric Smith
    AMCA #886

  7. #7
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    Andy Verrone, who owned Santa Monica Harley-Davidson, once showed me a cigar box full of CA Titles. Many Knuckleheads titles in that box. When I asked him where the bike were he said they are all in the Sepulveda Landfill. When he took an old bike in on trade he would load it in the back of his truck and dump it on his way home.
    Last edited by Chris Haynes; 08-12-2019 at 12:31 AM.
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  8. #8
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    Well, I'll bet old Andy kicked himself in the ass when the chopper thing hit in the 1960s
    Eric Smith
    AMCA #886

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by exeric View Post
    Well, I'll bet old Andy kicked himself in the ass when the chopper thing hit in the 1960s
    He was still dumping bikes in the '60's.
    Be sure to visit;
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    Also be sure to visit http://www.caimag.com/forum/

  10. #10
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    I heard there were 1800 1936 knuckleheads built, of which 2000 survive...

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