1916 Harley Davidson 16J

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This is an interesting project that has just come in;  Fresh from California via Felixstowe

Its a 1916 Harley Davidson model J.  This (J) is the electric model with electric lighting via a generator and an electric horn.  The F came with just a magneto for ignition, the J had a mag-dyno to do the ignition and lighting jobs.  This was the second year of the electric model.

This is a great project with loads of extra parts including spare carbs, clutches, tanks (including one with original paint) AND a year correct side car (16L).

I’ve started ordering up all the missing parts and will either complete the project and sell as a running bike or find the missing parts and sell it as a complete project.

I just need to decide whether to go with the original Remy mag-dyno; very rare but somewhat unreliable or to fit a ZEV magneto; not so rare and can’t run the electric options but much more reliable.

Fitting the mag only is what they did back in the days when the Remy used to fail.

Reading Standard 1920 TE

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I bought the Reading from Yesterdays in Holland as a running bike. I kept her for a year and then sold her back to them in exchange for a few bikes (she was expensive). A great strong bike, built well, solid and fast.

Built better than a Harley but lacking the character somehow.

I wouldn’t sell her if I had her now though. Tastes change.

Famous little 1914 Triumph FK631

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This little three speed Triumph came with a interesting past. Apart from being owned by one of the founders of the VMCC it also appeared in several television programmes from the 70’s and 80’s.

These included “Wings”, “Frenshaw’s People” and “Thomas and Sara”.

It came with a great history file but I didn’t keep copies of anything.

Victorian period dramas as I recall, featuring John Anderton and others.

I bought it for the Centennial 2012 crossing of Australia.


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I bought my first Harley shovelhead in 1984, my first panhead in 86 and my first knuckle in 87 but this was my first teens Harley, acquired in about 1991-2. It took me about 18 months to finish her.

She needed so much doing and had so little decent paint that I did a full ‘Repair and Repaint’.

The metalwork was all cleaned and any new parts were patina-ed, then a repaint but with no ‘ageing’.

I remember that the whole bike cost less than £4,000. The seat was just $50; an original Messenger No. 2.