Harley Davidson 1957 Hydra Glide



Harley Davidson 1957 Hydra Glide 1200cc 2 cyl ohv Engine # 57FL3399

The Harley Davidson FL continued relatively unchanged until 1948, when the FL and the EL were given redesigned "Panhead" engines.
In 49, the Hydra-Glide was introduced which, by definition, was the first hydraulic suspension bike produced by Harley Davidson. 
The engines had several improvements over the earlier "Knuckleheads", including aluminium cylinder heads to reduce weight and improve cooling and had self-adjusting hydraulic lifters.
In 1949, a year after receiving the "Panhead" engine. The FL was officially called the Hydra-Glide.
This name would change twice in the history of the basic large-framed FL bikes, each time signalling an improvement in the bike’s technology.
With the demise of Indian in 1953, Harley-Davidson entered the 1954 model year as the sole surviving American motorcycle manufacturer. While that might seem like a cause for celebration in Harley’s Milwaukee hometown, the truth was that Harley’s fortunes were in doubt as well, since bikes from across the pond — particularly England — were becoming as much a threat as Indian ever was.
What Harley-Davidson did celebrate that year was its 50th anniversary.
In 1954 the Harley-Davidson FL Hydra-Glide usually sports the hand-clutch/foot-shif arrangement introduced in 1952, though traditionalists — and police departments — could still order one with hand shift . 
This option continued to be offered  until 1978. 
Many preferred the older setup because the bike could be left running with the transmission in gear and the clutch disengaged thanks to the "rocking" clutch pedal.
Two-tone paint (with the tank and fenders in different colors) was optional. 
This `57 FL has the Metallic Midnight Blue and Birch White option. 
The 1957 (and earlier) Harley-Davidson FL Hydra-Glide motorcycle offered options such as color-matched hand grips and kick-start pedal.
In 1957, 1579 units of the 1957 Harley-Davidson FL Hydra-Glide were made. 
Total sales untill 1956 were down from the previous year, and wouldn’t rebound until 1957, when the import-fighting Sportster was introduced.
Also, the 61-cubic-inch 1000cc (EL) version of the Panhead was dropped after 1952 due to lack of interest, leaving the 74-cid FL 1200cc as the only Big Twin.
The FL model featured Harley’s traditional tank-mounted speedometer. 
Note also the dual gas-filler caps. As a cherry on the cake this FL features the beautiful matching Harley Davidson sidecar which makes it the ideal family outfit.
This 1957 "Panhead" is an older restoration and a good runner.
Big and brawny, loud and proud, Harley-Davidson is America on two wheels.