Special feature #2
For the first time since 1942 due to the war, this model year, 1947 saw improvements to the bikes. Note the gear shift with a channel on the side of the gas tank and a shock absorber on the front forks.
Harley produced bikes for the police departments, but this 'Servi Car' became a mainstay for the law. With a trunk to store equipment and the ability to turn around in a street, the model worked well and HD sold plenty of them.
Contrarily, Harley dominated the dirt track racing venues with bikes like this, with its narrow gas and oil tanks, thinner clutch and lightened throughout. In 1950 alone, it accounted for eighteen of twenty-four championship wins.
Another example of a practical application for the bike, with a cargo sidecar. The bike worked effectively as a delivery wagon and light duty pickup, far different than the current uses of the bikes.
In 1954, Harley Davidson celebrated its 50th anniversary, and their last American competitor, Indian, folded up their tent. HD could breathe a sigh of relief. Not for long, as the Japanese soon attacked them with a vengeance. This model used the 'anniversary yellow' paint scheme.
Tomorrow we'll see some crazy, crazy bikes. Think two engines, rhinestones, and the back end of a Cadillac. Stay tuned.