Forum Reader’s American Pickers Find

Bryan Harley | January 18, 2011
Old H-D motor circa 1912.
This old motorcycle engine was found in a barn by a friend of a Motorcycle USA message board member. Can you identify it?

Checking out the Motorcycle USA.com message boards, ran across what may be a motorcycle treasure that would have the guys from American Pickers frothing at the mouth.

A member states that his friend found an old single cylinder engine while cleaning out a barn. The post says that identifying markers on it include 6416b, patapldfor and Schebler on the carb. It also has “Harley” printed on it.

The guy who posted it, known only as lawrence1, was asking the general public for help in identifying the relic. He also posted it in the Classic American Iron Forum, where he apparently got the most knowledgeable response. A gentleman that goes by silentgreyfellow believes it is a 1912 model worth about $4000 if it’s complete. If the timing cover wasn’t missing, they’d be able to tell whether it was a model that used a magneto which would bump the price up to around $6K. silentgreyfellow knows what he’s talking about because he’s recently purchased both a 1910 battery model single and a 1911 magneto motor. He posted pictures of both and the latter definitely looks like the one lawrence1’s friend found. Funniest part is, lawrence1 said his friend was thinking about making a lamp out of it. I’m sure he’s thinking otherwise now.

H-D Motor found in a barn  American Pickers style.
A knowledgeable fellow from the Classic American Iron Forum believes this is a 1912 Harley engine that could be worth almost $4000 if it’s complete.

Thanks to shows like American Pickers, we all dream about finding that rare, unusual and valuable item collecting dust in an old barn or sitting in an attic somewhere. There’s romanticism associated with finding lost treasure. I know my grandfather had a Harley topper sitting in his barn for the longest time until my aunt hawked it for a few dollars to feed her addiction. Would love to have that old scooter now. Could have gotten it running and passed it on to my kids when they get older. Instead, I’m relegated to watching American Pickers and staring at rusty cars in overgrown fields on my way home thinking of lost treasure.

Bryan Harley

Cruiser Editor | Our resident road warrior has earned his stripes covering the rally circuit, from riding the Black Hills of Sturgis to cruising Main Street in Daytona Beach. Whether it’s chopped, bobbed, or bored, metric to ‘Merican, he rides ‘em all.

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