c1941 Harley-Davidson U Model 1200cc Motorcycle
A development of the side-valve Model V 'flathead' range that was the mainstay of Harley-Davidson production during the 1930s, the Model U-series replaced the Model V family in 1937. The revised engines were equipped with a dry-sump oil recirculation system similar to that used in the OHV "Knucklehead", while the engine's internals were almost entirely new, with a larger crankpin, strenghtened connecting rods and a larger flywheel. The adoption of a four-speed gearbox was another plus. The Model V and high compression VLs were replaced by the U and UL respectively, both using the 74-cid motor, while the larger 80-cid VH and VLH became the UH and ULH. Also adopted were the ?Knucklehead? twins' frame, tank, wheels and styling, and with these improvements the 'flathead' continued to win hearts in the immediate pre-war period. Big, strong and dependable the last of the side-valve twins was capable of reaching speeds of 90mph. Although the larger capacity models were discontinued in 1941, Harley-Davidson continued building the U/UL models until 1948.