Harley Davidson 1947 Knucklehead Engine # 47EL11914 Frame # 11914
Harley Davidson made a major departure from their conservative, but very sound motorcycle designs when they introduced the overhead valve ‘knucklehead’ in 1936.
The EL featured an overhead valve, 61 cubic inch powered bike. With increased horsepower and bold styling changes, the motorcycle quickly
earns the nickname of “Knucklehead,” due to the shape of its rocker boxes.
The side-valve V series big flat-head twins that were the company’s main offering were very robust in design, but were modest in performance and still featured total loss lubrication.
The knucklehead offered full circulating dry sump lubrication, and an overhead valve hemispherical cylinder head design with high compression options.
Like many new models, the 1936 ones were plagued with a few problems, such as top end oil leaks, and insufficient braking, given the machine’s potential speed
The knucklehead lead to the eventual downfall of Indian, who never shed their loyalty to the old-fashioned, charming, but less efficient side-valve design on their big Chief.
By 1947, the overhead valve Harley was a dependable and well-developed machine.
This example is the model EL, which is 61ci or 1000cc.
The EL also features springer front suspension.
The rear wheel had no suspension, giving this type of motorcycle the nickname “hard tail”.
This 47EL 61 cubic inch, 1000cc is a good running and reliable motorcycle.