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Men on Motorcycles Picture - 1937 Harley-Davidson Knucklehead EL Stroker

In 1964 I traded my 1960 Plymouth Savoy with a blown transmission for this 1937 Knuckle Head EL Stroker. I rode it to Tex Thorp Harley-Davidson in Bakersfield, CA to see what they would charge me to fix the clutch, which would not disengage. Tex Thorp told me they wouldn't touch it but his 60+ year old mechanic said he knew the motorcycle used to belong to a guy that lived on Bear Mountain and used to race it. He said it did 105 on a 7-mile track. When I opened the engine, I discovered polished rods, ported heads, and lightened and balanced timing gears. It had 19" wheels front and rear and would easily lay down over 100' of rubber. I completely disassembled it and chromed every nut and bolt. I carefully put it together outside in my parents' yard in a rough neighborhood and never gave a thought to anyone stealing it (a different era for sure). This picture was taken after I rebuilt it for the 2nd time in 1968 changing almost everything and adding a Sportster magneto which I had a machine shop marry to my breaker points shaft and mount. As far as I know, this was the 1st application of a magneto on a Harley other than a Sportster. In 1969 it was stolen from my apartment carport in Tungua, CA. I still have the registration. -- Keith Mittan

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