harley-davidson's first purpose-built v-twin racer, 11K, restored to its original glory
 

harley-davidson's first purpose-built v-twin racer, 11K, restored to its original glory

this harley-davidson 11K, the american company’s first purpose-built v-twin racer, has been restored to its former glory. the bright orange model is one of harley davidson’s 79 exceedingly rare original racers, with a CV that’s just as colourful.

harley-davidson's first purpose-built v-twin racer, 11K, restored to its original glory

images courtesy of mecum auctions

 

 

following harley-davidson‘s first appearance in the press during the milwaukee mile at wisconsin state fair park in 1904 — the company’s first official race — the corporate decision makers went on a ten year hiatus before racing again in 1914. at that time, they hired bill ottoway away from the highly-successful racing department at rival thor, with marching orders to design a new racing machine and set up a factory racing team – hence the purpose-built v-twin racer.

harley-davidson's first purpose-built v-twin racer, 11K, restored to its original glory

 

 

ottaway used the pre-existing model 10 production bike as the base for the 11K. this provided him with an intake-over-exhaust 61 cubic inch V-twin, which ottaway then experimented with by increasing the size of the intake ports and the intake manifold. he fitted a larger carburetor along with stiffer valve springs, a special racing cam, a steel flywheel, and the oil pump cast into the gear case cover.

harley-davidson's first purpose-built v-twin racer, 11K, restored to its original glory

 

 

the model 11K was a purpose-built track racer with no brakes, no gears, no suspension, a highly tuned motor with open breather ports in the cylinders, and a flat-out racing cchebler carb, all for a $300 price tag. this 1915 Model 11K is an extremely rare machine from the heyday of american board-track racing, the most dangerous and romantic era of them all. it was discovered in argentina, where much of the frame had been cut away and was probably abandoned when it dropped a valve, breaking the piston and a rod.

harley-davidson's first purpose-built v-twin racer, 11K, restored to its original glory

 

 

details unique to this model include the 1.25-inch racing intake manifold, 1.25-inch exhaust ports, one-year-only ported cylinders, rocker towers and rockers with top and side oilers. braced racing forks with andré dampers, which are extremely rare, were found with the motorcycle along with the original wheel hubs. the frame had its rear and top cut off, before being expertly rebuilt from the remains of the original engine cradle. the 3.5-gallon racing tank is a reproduction of the original factory racing item, as is the orange color, which was copied from an original bike in a museum. this is an exacting and correct restoration, right down to its Schrader inner-tube valves. over a century old, it continues to grab the glory, winning the 2017 greenwhich cocours d’elegance for most outstanding machine. to find out more or bid for the item, visit the listing here.

harley-davidson's first purpose-built v-twin racer, 11K, restored to its original glory

harley-davidson's first purpose-built v-twin racer, 11K, restored to its original glory

harley-davidson's first purpose-built v-twin racer, 11K, restored to its original glory

harley-davidson's first purpose-built v-twin racer, 11K, restored to its original glory

harley-davidson's first purpose-built v-twin racer, 11K, restored to its original glory

harley-davidson's first purpose-built v-twin racer, 11K, restored to its original glory

harley-davidson's first purpose-built v-twin racer, 11K, restored to its original glory

  • Wish I had the cash. Have a feeling its destined for Jay Leno’s garage.

    Charles says:

have something to add? share your thoughts in our comments section below.
all comments are reviewed for the purposes of moderation before publishing.

comments policy
LOG IN
designboom's comment policy guidelines
generally speaking, if we publish something, it's because we're genuinely interested in the subject. we hope you'll share this interest and if you know even more about it, please share! our goal in the discussion threads is to have good conversation and we prefer constructive opinions. we and our readers have fun with entertaining ones. designboom welcomes alerts about typos, incorrect names, and the like.
the correction is at the discretion of the post editor and may not happen immediately.

what if you disagree with what we or another commenter has to say?
let's hear it! but please understand that offensive, inappropriate, or just plain annoying comments may be deleted or shortened.

- please do not make racist, sexist, anti-semitic, homophobic or otherwise offensive comments.
- please don't personally insult the writers or your fellow commenters.
- please avoid using offensive words, replacing a few letters with asterisks is not a valid workaround.
- please don't include your website or e-mail address in your comments for the purpose of self-promotion.
- please respect jury verdicts and do not discuss offensively on the competition results
(there is only one fist prize, and designboom usually asks renown professionals to help us to promote talent.
in addition to the awarded designs, we do feel that almost all deserve our attention, that is why we publish
the best 100-200 entries too.)

a link is allowed in comments as long as they add value in the form of information, images, humor, etc. (links to the front page of your personal blog or website are not okay). unwelcome links (to commercial products or services of others, offensive material etc. ) will be redacted. and, ... yes, spam gets banned. no, we do not post fake comments.

PRODUCT LIBRARY

a diverse digital database that acts as a valuable guide in gaining insight and information about a product directly from the manufacturer, and serves as a rich reference point in developing a project or scheme.

technology news

×
keep up with our daily and weekly stories
486,365 subscribers
- see sample
- see sample
privacy policy