1912 HARLEY-DAVIDSON X-8-A SINGLE Engine no. 7498B • Magneto model • Restor

1912 HARLEY-DAVIDSON X-8-A SINGLE Engine no. 7498B • Magneto model • Restored in the late 1970s The growth of the Harley-Davidson Motor Company was one of logical development and conservatism. The Harley and Davidson boys looked around them in Milwaukee and gleaned the best ideas in the then current industry standards of 1903. It was right in front of them. Their basis of engineering in those early days was using logical ideas and experiences to construct a reliable motorcycle that would be accepted by the public. The first Harley-Davidsons had a capacity of 24.6 cubic inches and only developed 2 horsepower, but it was enough to get the job done. Three years later in 1906, the engines were increased slightly in displacement to 26.8 ci. A new building allowed them to produce 50 motorcycles and engines for sale. Color changed from Piano Black to Renault Gray which began the “Silent Gray Fellow nickname. Each following year, the company’s production capacity grew, using the same basic motorcycles with incremental improvements. The year 1909 was pivotal as the motorcycles continued to be modernized. The engine now displaced 30 ci, a feature that would remain until 1913. The year1909 brought in the first use of Bosch magnetos, 2-piece gas tanks, a new 50 ci V-twin, and the very first sale to a police force in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. The year 1912 was a breakthrough in the Motor Company’s history. The employee count rose to nearly 1100 factory and office staff, producing 3852 motorcycles. A new frame allowed for a lower saddle height which required new gas tanks which sloped downward at the rear. The pedal crank was now mounted in a bushing which allowed adjustments without upsetting the belt tension to the rear wheel. The most important innovation was the addition of the Free Wheel Clutch to some models. The mechanism was part of the rear wheel and actuated by a lever on the left side of the engine. No longer did a rider need to pedal down the road to get a start. Once the engine was running, he simply engaged the Free Wheel Clutch to depart smoothly. The 1912 Harley-Davidson single being offered is a Model X-8-A where the 8 represents the 30 ci F-head single for the year and the A indicates a magneto model, while the X shows the machine had one of the new Free Wheel Clutches installed. This motorcycle was restored in the late 1970’s and proudly maintained in excellent condition since. The paint finish has a few light scratches and chips from occasional use but is still excellent. The nickel plating shows the patina of years and use but like the paint, is still in very good condition. A completely original machine as it came from the Milwaukee factory, it starts easily with one kick of the right pedal crank and gets exercised numerous times each year since its restoration. Two final drive belts are included in this sale; one composite laminated belt for riding and one leather belt for display. This motorcycle requires nothing except a new home and someone to ride and enjoy it.