Harley-Davidson 1915 11-F 986cc 2cyl IOE 3406



Harley-Davidson 1915 “11-F” 986 cc IOE V-twin frame # 9404 engine # 9404 K
The year 1915 was unique in the history of Harley-Davidson. For the first time a three speed countershaft gearbox was fitted and the engine power output grew from 9 HP @ 2400 rpm to 11HP @ 3000 rpm. To accommodate the larger dimensions of the new adjustable valves the engineers had to cut notches in the lower edge of the fuel tank, an identifying feature displayed on the Model 11 we offer here. The 1915 Harley-Davidson was, thanks to the new transmission, edging towards a completely modern state of development yet this was the final year of the antique flat tank design before the introduction of the new streamlined appearance for the 1916 model year. The finish was still their familiar Renault Gray with broad dark gray striping and name Harley-Davidson in red with gold lining.
The 1915 catalogue proudly states:” The 1915 Harley-Davidson ushers in the new motorcycle season with an entirely new model – a new Harley-Davidson creation – a high duty motor with speed to burn – a world of power – flexibility never before attained in any gasoline engine – a unit three speed transmission and clutch, the very climax of ingenuity and efficiency – and a re-designed frame strongly reinforced to handle all the strains incidental to sidecar use. These, with a number of important improvements like the marvellously compact automatic oil pump, the new and highly efficient muffler, make the new Harley-Davidson a stupendous value.”

This sought-after 1915 model probably spent its whole life in Britain. It was restored in the nineteen sixties by Mr Morris Benn from New Malden, Surrey. The accompanying information contains a Pioneer Certificate, issued on his name on August 7, 1967. Apparently the machine was at first incorrectly dated as 1914, but nevertheless Mr Benn rode the Harley in various Pioneer Runs. Pioneer Run programs in Yesterdays Archives show that he took part in 1968 and 1969, and in the accompanying information file are Pioneer Run photos of 1972 and 1978 and newspaper clippings from 1976 and 1978. We understand that Mr Benn kept his trusty Harley for many years. A few years ago it went to a new owner and now it’s available again. This robust and well-aged 11-F comes with acetylene lighting and generator (exactly as was fitted in the photos taken some 50 years ago), foot-operated Klaxon horn and a very nice patina.