Raffle Bike: 1951 Harley-Davidson FL
Each year, the AMA Motorcycle Hall of Fame raffles off one or more historically significant motorcycles to raise money for the charity. You can receive one ticket for a $5 donation or five tickets for a $20 donation. You must be 18 years or older and a resident of the United States to win.
In 1951, I Love Lucy debuted, the war with Germany was declared officially over, The Catcher in the Rye was published, and like J.D. Salinger’s coming-of-age novel post-war America was finding its identity in a new world. Many Americans were celebrating their prosperity on the open roads, and for many the Harley-Davidson FL was the perfect expression of that freedom.
This 1951 Harley-Davidson FL was powered by the fourth year of The Motor Company’s “Panhead” engine. The 1951 model was updated with chrome-plated piston rings and rocker arms machined with pushrod sockets. It was a 74 cubic-inch V-twin producing over 50 horsepower, more than enough to “turn mountains into molehills…and miles into minutes,” according to Harley-Davidson ad copy from the era.
Also smoothing out those mountains was the hydraulically damped telescopic forks that gave the Hydra-Glide its name. The forks more than doubled the travel of the old springer front end and provided enhanced comfort for riders, whether exploring America’s vast western wilderness or country backroads.
This bike features an optional foot-shift/hand-clutch setup that Harley-Davidson offered at the time.
It was restored by Warren Heir of JR’s Cycle Products in Milwaukee, Wisconsin.
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