A bit of a rare one, this is a 1951 Harley Davidson engine that was made in Japan by the Rikuō company from 1932 casting equipment.
As a correction, we found more information after filming – and there may actually be a few hundred of these engines in existence.
This color olive, was an “export” color only in 1947. We heard that any Harley that left America this year, no matter what model, came in that color. It was the first year after the war that civilian motorcycles were available again.
These aren’t composite bikes, they were complete bikes that we had in storage for ~30 years. We figured it was finally time to build them for ourselves to celebrate 40 years of service to this company. It’s much better than a watch.
When you’re riding your Knucklehead you don’t care what time it is.
We later found out that it was from a little town in southern Arizona, not sure which one.
This is a rare engine we had in the shop, it’s a 1935 VLDD 80 cubic inch engine.
This 1947 EL was purchased by that the owners of Highway Choppers in 1988. As you can tell from the run-stand video of the motor start-up, they have been working on this personal project for many years. While working on it in between daily customers’ work and other restorations, they were finally able to completely restore it. They are currently working on restoring a second one, a 1947 FL.