1939 Harley-Davidson Knucklehead

There’s something special about owning a classic vehicle. The fact that you have to listen to the engine, adjust the choke, or advance the timing while going down the road is foreign to some people. When I pull my classic truck out of its slumber each spring, I forget how different the driving experience is compared to my modern daily-driver. I’ve never owned a pre-war bike, but looking at this 1939 Harley-Davidson Knucklehead, I can imagine it takes some concentration and focus to ride well. It can be found here on eBay with a current bid of over $22,000. Located in Rochester, New York, you can see some snow in the background of the photos. I bet the owner feels the same way about this bike as I do my truck when it starts to turn to riding weather each spring. What do you think?

The bike has been done in a bobber-style which means the front fender is removed and the rear fender is shortened (or bobbed). There isn’t a lot of information in the ad, but the seller does say the frame is from 1938 and it seems like the rest of the bike is a bit of a hodgepodge of pre-war parts. The springer front end is from 1938 or ’39. The transmission is a Panhead 4-speed jockey shift with new internals. The primary and floorboards are Knucklehead. Overall, this is a pretty neat bike that someone will be proud to add to their collection. It looks like a ton of fun to ride and enjoy. What do you think of this Knuck?


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  1. Bob

    An interesting bike with real potential but not 22K worth of potential. I sure hope the new owner knows what he is in for

    Like 5
    • Mike

      Seller says at the bottom of the ad that he will sell at 25k I’m not sure if the bidding will get that high though

      Like 1
      • Brakeservo

        On eBay typically the seller’s friends bid it to just below the reserve, whether reasonable or not.

        Like 4
      • Jesse Mortensen Jesse Mortensen Staff

        That’s a broad assumption Brakeservo. eBay has systems in place to catch that kind of thing so I think if someone did it more than once or twice, they would get caught.

        Like 3
    • Ryan hambrick

      Don’t know about bob here. Bob you know it’s 2020 right? Bike is awesome. Don’t let nobody tell you different

  2. chrlsful

    great 2 C.
    Surprised it runs w/all the wires turminated out in the air.
    My fav is the frnt end, luv springers.
    Clean it up a lill, drive & look for prts that match better
    (at least by yr, no?)…

    Like 2
  3. canadainmarkseh Member

    Well in my opinion you’d have to be a knuckle head to pay $25k for this POS knuckle head.its just a bunch of lose parts thrown together. Big pass for me.

    Like 5
    • Howard A Member

      Good one, I’ve heard that before, it’s good to hear it again. IDK, I could actually see myself riding this, I think you guys are being a bit harsh. I know what I’ve said in the past about riding old bikes, but It looks drivable and is almost 90 years old. It’s the price that naturally is out of line for me, but I think this is one of the more usable old H-D’s I’ve seen, Pickers be darned.

      Like 4
      • Stevieg Member

        Fair enough, it is pretty old and currently rideable. Even for an assembled bike, there is something to be said for that. I must have been crabby yesterday. Not like me to be so hard on a product of my home town lol.

  4. Dusty Rider

    I wonder what that silver thing that’s in the middle of the primary cover is. Is it just an oddball piece that’s used as the inspection cover?


    Dusty, I’m thinking it’s just some oddball primary cover/decoration. This guy is going to be waiting a while for 25k. If it was an all original knuckle, maaaaybe, but like other comments have said , it’s a hodge podge of parts.

    Like 1
  6. Stevieg Member

    I like vintage bikes, but this isn’t one. It is a collection of vintage parts thrown together.
    The seller needs to contact Daniel a out dispatching Mike & Frank to his location.

  7. Jean Vandergucht

    I think its cool. Europe has swallowed up all our vintage stuff and sportsters are next. Hold on to it. Its priceless

    Like 1
  8. mtshootist1

    The center chrome cover is an inspection cover, so you can adjust the primary chain without taking off the entire primary chain cover. For once I have to agree with Howard. I built a pan like this once decades ago. The springer could be any year, the gas tank is an old peanut tank from the 70s, it has a ratchet top on the transmission, which was used with the foot shift linkage, and that didn’t come in until the 1950s. pretty poor bargain for anyone dumb enough to spend this kind of money on a homebuilt. Frame has been trimmed of most of the tabs from what I can see.

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