Details of the 1915 Harley-Davidsons

Told in Non-Technical Language

By Unknown, Photography by Unknown

In Brief

A new twin, of same piston displacement as for 1914, but 11 h.p. and 65 m.p.h. guaranteed, with three-speed sliding gear transmission, integral with free-wheel device and step-starter, on countershaft.

A guarantee of 6 h.p. and 50 m.p.h. for the single, of same displacement as in 1914; this single being with or without rear-hub two-speed gear.

A stripped stock model, for racing, with 11 h.p. guaranteed and “no end of speed” already demonstrated.

A new automatic-mechanical oil pump, constructed to feed right under all conditions; larger motor parts; larger sprockets; wider chains; lower saddle position; quick detachable, much more durable muffler; and so on.

Five models in all-the 11 h.p. 3-speed, $275; 11 h.p. 1-speed, $240; 6 h.p. 2-speed, $230; 6 h.p. 1-speed, $200; 11 h.p. stripped stock, $250. All prices F.O.B. factory.


LADIES AND GENTLEMEN: Permit us to introduce to you the 1915 Harley-Davidson models; five of them-a single, guaranteed to develop 6 h. p. and 50 miles per hour; the same, with the rear-hub two-speed gear; a twin guaranteed to develop 11 h. p. and 65 miles per hour; the same, with a new three-speed gear, integral with the free-wheel device on the countershaft, instead of on the rear wheel; and a 11 h.p. stripped stock model for those who especially want “some” speed, at short or long distances; all of these, with a new automatic mechanical oiler and a right smart lot of other practical improvements, at even lower prices than were charged for 1914 models which had fewer improvements.

Something has been said, on the Coast, about electric equipment. Maybe this is a feature to be divulged at the Chicago show. Maybe it is just a rumor. If it is to be, no doubt it will be at an extra charge.

Look at the illustrations in this issue. Though there are 29 changes and refinements in the 1915 twin motor, the general lines of the Silent Gray Fellow remain the same single or twin. The saddle position is two inches lower, and firmer. The position usually occupied by the clutch lever is now used for the three-speed lever. The two-speed gear on the single remains in the rear hub. In the twin the three-speed gear, step-starter and free-wheel device are all on the countershaft.

The increased horse power does not mean increased piston displacement. This remains the same as it was in the 1914 models, the 8 h.p. and 5 h.p. respectively. The makers claim to be the first to guarantee a given speed and horse power. They are the first makers in the United States to announce motorcycles with three-speed gears. They say that more than 50 per cent of the machines produced for the 1914 market were fitted with two-speeds-more than of all other models combined; and that 75 per cent of their 1915 output will be three-speed.

The Two New Models

Detailed specifications of all the models will be found in the special Harley-Davidson announcement in this issue. A few words about the two new models, 11-F and 11-K, the three-speed for road use and the stripped stock model for short and long distance speed work, respectively.

The New Three Speed

Model 11-F, the new three-speed machine, is described as the logical machine for touring, side car and all-around general usefulness. “As the two-speed twin greatly increased the touring radius of motorcycles and side cars, so will the Harley-Davidson three-speed twin increase the radius over the 1914 standard.”

The Stripped-Stock Terror

Model 11-K, the 11-h.p. stripped stock twin, for speed work, had already established its success before it was placed in the 1915 line. The first appearance of this model was at Dodge City, Kas., July 4, where, in the 300-mile international race, Walter Cunningham covered 120 miles in 105 minutes flat, averaging 68.18 miles per hour. At Rockford, Ill., August 9, Alvin Stratton rode one of these models in the 100-mile race, covering the distance in 97 minutes 2 seconds, averaging 61.8 miles per hour. In the 250-mile event at Sioux City, Ia., September 2, William Brier covered the distance in 3:47:30, averaging 65.93 miles per hour and doing 74 miles in the first hour. At Little Falls, N. Y., July 29, Herman Lewis rode one of these models around a 4 ½ -course in 3:30, averaging 74.69 miles per hour. For prolonged, excessive speed, Model 11-K stands A-1.

New Motor Construction

The carburetor has been said to be the heart of a motor, but the motor is “the main works,” and for several months the runaways performed by a new Harley-Davidson motor, of which the recently announced and marketed improvements (shorter push rods, quicker-opening valves) have been but hints, have been setting the motorcycle public by the ears.

A Bold Guarantee

Now comes the bold announcement that, for the road twins, 11-C (two-speed) and 11-F (three-speed) twins, 11 horse power and 65 miles per hour are absolutely guaranteed; and for the road singles, 11-B (single-speed) and 11-C (two-speed), 6 horse power and 50 miles per hour. The speed of the stripped stock twin has already been plentifully demonstrated.

The company state that the improvements in their motors for 1915 are greater than any they have ever made, and that power curves, which will be illustrated in the catalog, show for the twin a developed horse power of 16.7 at 3400 revolutions, and for the single 7.6 at 3200 revolutions. Both motors, it is stated, are actually developing far in excess of these figures-close to 22 horse power, in fact, for the twin

A New Motor Throughout

The illustration in this issue helps some, but actual comparison with former models will show, even outwardly, the larger dimensions of the manifold, intake passages, oil pump, etc. The increased power and speed, however, are largely due to interior changes. Increasing the diameter of the crank pin and widening the bearing surface has worked wonders. The inlet valve has a 45-degree seat instead of being flat, and has larger diameter. The gasoline feed pipes are larger. Incidentally, the carburetor can be removed without disturbing the manifold; and there are other interesting details. The 1915 Harley-Davidson motor is claimed to be a new motor throughout. For this the changes mentioned are partly responsible, but other important changes are new cylinders, the faster valve mechanism and heavier fly wheels. There is precise lubrication at any speed or crank case pressure; perfect gas combustion; perfect scavenging; elimination of motor vibration. This means increased power, speed, life.

By Unknown
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