Amelia Island

9 March 2013

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Lot 104

1928 Harley-Davidson JD

  • Engine no. 28JDL14989

Sold for $34,100

74 cu. in. inlet-over-exhaust V-twin engine with Schebler carburetor, three-speed hand-shift transmission, Meisinger bucket saddle and buddy seat, sprung front forks, hard-tail rear-end, hand-operated front drum brake, and foot-operated rear drum brake. Wheelbase: 59.5 in.

  • Recently completed year-long restoration by American Pride in Fort Worth, Texas
  • Correct colors and equipment for 1928 model; rare buddy seat

Harley-Davidson’s first V-twin was introduced in 1909, but it really hit its stride in 1911 with the addition of a mechanical inlet valve—the so-called overhead “pocket valve”. In 61-cubic inch form, it would remain in production for 20 years. By 1914, the V-twin had gained chain drive and a proper clutch, and a three-speed transmission and kick-start (termed step-starter) followed soon after.

When the 74-cubic inch J model was introduced in 1922, the 22JD featured full electrical equipment, while the FD model was fitted with a magneto. It was capable of 40–60 miles per gallon, and the sidecar model had a plate that was fitted below the cylinder to lower compression.

The year 1924 introduced aluminum pistons and Alemite fittings, which meant a grease gun, which was included, could be used to force lubrication into bushings at 500 psi. The spindly look from the teens disappeared in 1926 with a major redesign, including a bigger, rounded tank and more comfortable handlebars.

A new frame lowered the rider by three inches, which improved the center of gravity and the handling, while a drop-forged crucible lower down protected the engine and stiffened the chassis. Later improvements included a front brake, stronger Sager forks, and full pressure lubrication, before the model was discontinued in 1929.

The bike on offer dates from 1928. The seller found a sound, running bike from California and treated it to a year-long, $40,000 restoration by American Pride Choppers in Fort Worth, Texas. It is finished in the correct cream color with red striping, and it has never been started since the work was completed, though it is said merely to need gasoline for that to be possible.

This superb Harley-Davidson presents its next owner with the opportunity to enjoy a “new” 1928 motorcycle, both to ride and show if he or she so desires. It’s bound to be a head-turner where ever it goes.

Please contact our exclusive automotive transportation partner, Reliable Carriers, for a shipping quote or any other information on the transport of this vehicle.

Alexander Weaver

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California, United States

Alexander Weaver joined RM Sotheby’s in 2011 as a Car Specialist after graduating from Furman University in South Carolina. Born... read more

Augustin Sabatié-Garat

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United Kingdom

Augustin Sabatié-Garat joined RM Europe in 2012 as a Car Specialist after more than a decade in the collector car hobby. Gradua... read more

Barney Ruprecht

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Ontario, Canada

Barney’s interest in classic cars began at an early age after being introduced to his father’s all-original 1965 Porsche 9... read more

David Swig

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California, United States

David Swig joined RM Sotheby’s West Coast division as a Car Specialist in May 2015. He is a life-long automobile enthusiast and ... read more

Don Rose

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United States

Don joined RM in 2006 after several years of professionally trading sports and classic cars, and after earning a reputation as a noted... read more

Donnie Gould

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Donnie Gould joined the RM team in 2002 as a partner and Car Specialist after more than two decades in the vintage automobile auction ... read more

Gord Duff

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Gord Duff began his journey with RM Sotheby’s in 1998. Since then, he has gained an intimate knowledge of a variety of marques a... read more

Ian Kelleher

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Jake Auerbach

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Jake Auerbach got his start in the automotive industry at an early age, spending his summers during high school working at a classic c... read more

Jonathan Sierakowski

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Ontario, Canada

Jonathan Sierakowski developed a passion for classic cars while working at a Connecticut restoration shop as a teenager. He graduated with a... read more

Kurt Forry

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Having worked for Bonhams’ Automobilia department for over 10 years, Kurt Forry joined RM Sotheby’s with more than a decad... read more

Matt Malamut

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A long-time car enthusiast and Southern California native, Matt studied Automotive Technology at San Diego Miramar College and complet... read more

Michael Squire

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United Kingdom

Michael Squire joined RM Sotheby’s European Division in the summer of 2016. He comes to RM with a prestigious racing background ... read more

Mike Fairbairn

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Ontario, Canada

As one of the three founding partners of RM Sotheby’s, Mike has a long-standing interest in the classic car industry. Graduating... read more

Oliver Camelin

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United Kingdom

With an extensive background in exotic sports car history and sales, a particular passion for American curves, and fluency in three la... read more

Paul Darvill

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United Kingdom

Paul Darvill joined the RM Sotheby’s European team at the beginning of 2015. Paul holds a degree in French and Politics from the... read more

Pete Fisher

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Pete Fisher was first introduced to antique cars in high school, working for Classic Coachworks in his hometown of Blenheim, Ontario. He att... read more

Peter Wallman

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United Kingdom

Peter Wallman joined RM Europe in 2007 following nearly two decades in the international advertising industry, where he was based out ... read more

Shelby Myers

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Shelby Myers grew up with the classic car industry infused into every aspect of his life. He had the unique opportunity to watch the R... read more

Tonnie Van der Velden

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United Kingdom

Tonnie Van der Velden joined RM Sotheby’s European division in September 2015 as a Car Specialist. A lifelong enthusiast, Tonnie... read more