Harley-Davidson 1921 WJ Sport Model 584cc 2cyl sv 3312



Harley-Davidson 1921 WJ “Sport Model” 584 cc side valve flat twin engine # 21WJ1909

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. 1919 models were only available with magneto ignition and acetylene lighting, from 1920 on the range was split in WF with magneto and WJ with battery-and coil ignition and electric lighting and claxon.
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 less than 10,000 machines had been built. In 1921, 823 WJ machines left the factory. This older-restoration machine is in good overall condition.