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Nightfly
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
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The Harley-Davidson RL 45 was produced between 1932 and 1936. It was their first flathead V-twin and 45 cubic-inch motorcycle. The production of this motorcycle helped Harley-Davidson to become one of only two motorcycle manufacturers to survive the Great Depression. At this time, car manufacturers were using Art Deco stylings on their vehicles. Harley-Davidson copied the idea and featured similar images on the tanks of the Harley-Davidson RL 45. Clark Gable owned a 1936 red Harley-Davidson RL 45.
 

Nightfly
Joined
4,434 Posts
Discussion Starter · #5 ·
I was just recently looking at some old Harley's and how to tell the difference between the flathead, knucklehead, panhead and shovelhead.
Since I bought one it seems like I should learn a little bit about them. ?

That's one of the easiest things to tell about Harley. Don't forget what the call the Blockhead, but I don't know if there is a name for the newer Milwaukee 8.
 

Nightfly
Joined
4,434 Posts
Discussion Starter · #10 ·
I saw a lot of old Harley photos, but I was actually focusing on the later 40's models. Since I started thinking about the bike dad owned years ago, I kind of wanted to see one as I never got to see the one he had.
All I know about his was it had the 74 cubic inch engine, tank mounted shift and, I actually think it was a 1948 model, but not sure about that. Don't know if it was a knucklehead or a panhead either. Doesn't matter a whole lot, I guess.
Late 40's Harley's saw the introduction of the Panhead in 48 and 1200cc (74 cubic inches) in 49. The flathead preceded the Panhead....The side shifter was used or tank shifter, often incorrectly called a suicide shifter, was used up through the late 40's into the early 50's. And some prefer to use it on custom choppers...
 
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