Harley-Davidson 1919 Model W Sport 584 cc flat twin engine # 19 W 2246
Inspired by the British Douglas, that likewise used a horizontally opposed twin-cylinder engine, the Harley-Davidson Model W would prove more popular in Europe than America, where the v-twin engine held sway.
The Model W was introduced in 1919 and, like Douglas, Harley set its engine lengthways in the frame.
Inlet and exhaust manifolds were siamesed on the right-hand side (prevailing wisdom reckoned that heating the incoming charge was a good idea) while the other side was dominated by a large external flywheel and fully enclosed rear chain case.
Displacing 584cc, the 6hp twin was installed in a frame of the ‘keystone’ type, open at the bottom, which used the engine as a stressed element, while other noteworthy features included geared primary drive and an unusual trailing link type of front fork that acted on a single central coil spring.
Although not overly powerful, the Model W obviously handled well and possessed a decent turn of speed, as evidenced by a number of record-breaking achievements including setting a new best time for the Three Flags run from Canada to Mexico.
Despite these successes the American motorcycling public remained unconvinced of the Model W’s virtues and H-D pulled the plug on this promising design after only a few seasons.
Production ended in 1923, by which time 9,883 machines had been built.
In 1919, the first year of production, 753 machines left the factory.
This unusual HD has been restored with care.