Harley-Davidson 1925 “FE” 989 cc IOE V-twin frame # 2020815 engine# 25 FE 5999
1909 marked the appearance of Harley-Davidson’s first v-twin, though it was not until the adoption of mechanically operated inlet valves in 1911 (replacing the ‘atmospheric’ type inherited from the single) that production really took off. Known by the sobriquet ‘pocket valve’, this ‘F-head’ (inlet-over-exhaust) engine – built in 61ci and 74ci capacities (1,000cc and 1,200cc respectively) – would remain in production for the next 20 years. The Harley single’s transmission arrangements – direct drive by means of a leather belt – were continued at first on the twin, but the need to make better use of the engine’s power characteristics, particularly for sidecar pulling, prompted the introduction of a two-speed rear hub for 1914, by which time chain drive and a proper clutch had been adopted. Later that same year a conventional, three-speed, sliding-gear transmission with ‘step starter’ was introduced with full electrical equipment, listed as the Model J (61 cu.inch) or JD (73 cu.inch). From then on two model lines were followed, the electrically equipped “J” series and the magneto model “F” series. Model year 1925 looked completely different from the older models: a new type of frame caused the saddle position to be 3 inches lower than before, the wheels were smaller in diameter and the petrol tank got a “ dynamic” teardrop shape. All in all these new models looked much more modern than their predecessors. In 1925 Harley Davidson sold about 15,000 motorcycles. The majority of the machines sold were of 1212 cc capacity. Some 5500 were 989 cc models, about 1750 of these were equipped with magneto ignition and acetylene lighting.
This 1925 ‘pocket valve’ Harley has been used for many years in numerous European rallies and club runs. The machine is equipped with full acetylene lighting fed by an acetylene gas cylinder and for extra safety the machine has been fitted with drop-centre rims and wired-on tyres. She is a nice and still well presented older restoration. An original H-D sidecar with luggage rack is available if so wished.