The Coach House Museum is featuring three 80 to 90-year-old Harley-Davidson motorcycles in December, to coincide with Harley-Davidson Feilding’s first birthday celebrations on Saturday.
Three Harley-Davidson's from the 1920s-30s are on display in the Coach House foyer. They are from left: a 1926 Model J, a 1930 Model D, and a 1926 Model BA ('Peashooter').
Harley-Davidson Feilding – New Zealand’s newest Harley-Davidson (HD) franchise, will turn one on Saturday 14 December and has a number of celebrations planned between 9am and 2pm.
The Coach House will temporarily display three older HD machines in the foyer, from 9 December onward, for enthusiasts to enjoy.
The first bike is a 1930 750cc Harley-Davidson Model D, with a V-twin side valve engine.
The Model D was the first of the flathead V-twin engines that inaugurated the iconic lineage of 45 cubic inch (750cc) Milwaukee marvels.
Its appeal was enhanced by the decision to initiate the twin bullet headlight design; as well as the first time use of a vertical generator; its location and physical appearance giving rise to the Model D’s nickname – the three-cylinder Harley.’
The twin headlights were only used on the 1929 and 1930 models because motorists thought they were a car a long way off and motorcyclists got knocked off their bikes. These headlights were discontinued late in 1930.
It was originally repainted bright blue but was quickly changed back to the original HD colour – ‘Olive Drab’.
The HD colour choices had not changed since 1917 – ‘anything the customer wanted, as long as it was ‘Olive Drab’. The owner has restored the ‘D Model’ since 2010.
The 1926 Harley Model BA aka The Peashooter because of its sound like someone blowing peas out of a tube.
The second HD on display is a 1926 Harley-Davidson BA, a 350cc single engine overhead-valve engine, with a 3-speed gearbox.
The ‘BA Model’ was a new racing class established in the United States for motorcycles up to 21.35 cubic inch (350cc). H-D was able to use components from its production 21.1 cubic inch (346cc) Model A and B singles to develop the overhead-valve (O.H.V.) engine.
Model BAs were motorcycles with OHV engines with battery and coil systems.
The model got the nickname ‘Peashooter’ because the exhaust note when the bike was running sounded like someone blowing peas out of a tube.
The ‘Peashooter’ racer made its debut at a Milwaukee race meeting in August 1925.
The Peashooter Model BA (front), 1930 Model D (centre), and the 1926 Model J.
The third vehicle on display is a 1926 Model J, a 1000cc V-twin with inlet-over-exhaust I.O.E), with a three-speed gearbox.
The J Model series was a top-of-the-range model, with the well-regarded 60.32 cubic inch (988cc), I.O.E, pocket-valve, F-head, 45-degree, V-twin – first introduced in 1915, with a three-speed, had-change gearbox and foot clutch, instead of the earlier two-speed hub.
A new frame was introduced in 1925 with a lower riding position, reshaped handlebars, and a repositioned gearshift level. The new frame also enabled the fitment of wider wheels and tyres, which improved the ride and handling. Standard fitment also included a triple tank that holds fuel, reserve fuel and oil, and an ammeter mounted on the tank.
The bike was first registered in New Zealand in 1925 and had about 12 owners before it was brought (with sidecar) by the collector’s family in 1961 for 30 pounds. The owner didn’t like riding with a sidecar and after a few years took the sidecar off and sold it. It was completely restored in 2011.