1910 HARLEY-DAVIDSON MODEL 6-A Engine no. 6741 Early Harley-Davidson histor

1910 HARLEY-DAVIDSON MODEL 6-A Engine no. 6741 Early Harley-Davidson history has always been shrouded in mystique since the beginning years, perhaps intentionally to put its own stamp on history during those days. The Harley and Davidson boys experimented initially with a small engine but soon learned it was underpowered and quickly settled on a 24.7 cubic inch engine of inlet over exhaust design. Working on a shoestring they couldn’t afford to miss their targets so they wisely were conservative in their approach to design, gleaning the best ideas they saw in the new industry. By 1905, new Harley-Davidsons were moving out of their small shop and into the hands of local enthusiasts. They continued to grow as a company and the motorcycle evolved in sensible progressions, proving their ideas were good and the motorcycle reliable. In a few short years, going from a mere handful of motorcycles to 3168 units being produced in 1910 was short of miraculous. The same reliable F-head motor was used but slightly increased in size to 30.2 cubic inches which was good enough to propel the motorcycle to 45 mph. Only single cylinder machines were built that year as the proposed twin cylinder model had teething problems and it was wisely pulled from the lineup for that year. Several models of the single were marketed, based upon wheel size and whether they were offered with either battery ignition of magneto. These primitive F-head motors used atmospheric intake valves for the inlet charge. Using a weak spring, the intake valve was sucked open on the inlet stroke then allowed to close upon compression, power and exhaust strokes, aided by the spring. Until this year, there was no method to increase belt tension on the driving leather belt, on a Harley-Davidson. It also meant that the rider had to kill the engine to stop the machine, and similarly he would have had to push start the motorcycle or pedal off to get the engine running. Now in 1910, a new idler pulley allowed the rider to pedal start the motorcycle but not have any tension on the drive belt. A lever on the left side of the bike allowed tension to be applied to the drive belt, now 1-3/4 inches in width. Also new for 1910, the control wires were hidden inside the handlebars. Back in 1907, Sager-Cushion forks were first used on Harley-Davidsons and they continued for the 1910 model year. This gorgeous 1910 Harley-Davidson 6-A is immaculate. Restored by Larry Woods, the motorcycle is finished in Harley’s Renault Gray with simple red pin striping as on original machines of that year, and highlighted with all-white tires. The single cylinder engine is fired by magneto ignition. The motorcycle is single speed through a flat leather belt final drive. It represents one of the 334 units of this model produced in 1910. The motorcycle has been the subject of numerous motorcycle magazine articles and ridden during many Antique Motorcycle Club of American national meets.