Harley-Davidson 1912 Model X8 4HP 494cc A.I.V. single engine # 3932AB
Harley-Davidson’s reputation as a manufacturer of high quality motorcycles was established by the sturdy and reliable singles that the company had marketed before the V-twins became dominant. These singles had been developed year after year and by 1912 thousands were sold. Among the new features for 1912 were a reinforced frame that sloped at the rear to create a lower seating position, a spring seat post and side skirts to the front mudguard. For an additional $10 a multi-plate freewheel clutch in the rear hub could be ordered. This clutch was operated by a lever on the left hand side of the tank. The “X” in the model code referred to this practical extra. The machine weighed 80 kg and had a top speed of about 70 km. (Source: Matthias Gerst, Harley-Davidson, all the motorcycles 1903-1983.) The Model 8 was available with battery-and-coil ignition as standard, customers who wanted magneto ignition had to order Model 8A and pay an extra $35, quite a sum on the base price of $200. Drive to the rear wheel is by flat belt and a belt tensioner is fitted. This pretty rare early Harley single has been restored and comes with Jones speedometer, push horn and Pioneer Certificate.