Three Owner V-twin: 1913 Harley-Davidson 9E

1913 Harley-Davidson 9E

The seller of this 1913 Harley-Davidson claims that they are only the third owner. If true, that’s an impressive feat considering that this bike is over 100 years old! The last owner reportedly bought it in 1921 and the seller claims that, unlike a lot of older Harleys, it isn’t pieced together from the remnants of multiple motorcycles. This one is fitted with the more powerful v-twin engine and enjoys a racing pedigree. A ride is going to cost you though as it’s listed here on eBay and bidding is currently at $26k!

Harley V-twin

Harley offered a single and a v-twin at the time. This is the later and although it may not look quick, this model did quite well in racing when new. It must have taken a brave man to take this bicycle pedal equipped rocket up to 50 miles per hour! That may not sound that quick today, but remember, this motorcycle was built in 1913. That was really fast for the time.

Harley-Davidson lettering

Corrosion has overtaken the gray paint that once covered the frame and tank of this bike. You can still barely make out the Harley-Davidson lettering though. The v-twin engine looks pretty clean, but it’s currently seized up. The seller has been soaking it in oil, so the next owner will have the pleasure or pain of trying to get it buzzing again!

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Comments

  1. Howard A Member

    Nobody on the 103 year old HD? Well, if you’ve been paying attention to antique bike prices lately, you’d know these, in ANY condition, are priced through the roof. It’s not uncommon for restored ones to go for high 5, even 6 figures. Even one in poor condition is listed in NADA for $18,5 and the seller obviously knows that. When restored, I bet it would be fun to ride, but I’d be scared to death something would happen to it. Belongs in a museum, for sure, just the way it is.

  2. Rob

    My 1st Harley (a 1921 Sport Model-W), with an opposed twin engine of 558cc. Bought her in the ’60’s when I was a teenager, from its original owner for $10. to make it legal, ‘n took me 5+ yrs to restore to this condition. Sadly, I sold it for 5K in the early 70’s to settle an IRS claim.. Just thinking what it would go for these days makes my stomach turn, as looking back, I shoulda borrowed the $$’s, ‘n kept it :(

    • Howard A Member

      Hi Rob, don’t feel bad, laddie, you aren’t alone. I felt that way for a long time about my ’49 Diamond T pickup. Bought it for $100 in 1980, and had to sell it when the ex sued me for back child support in 2004, and got $4,000 for it. Today, that truck is worth $100 g’s. Bottom line, freedom trumps just about anything, and I didn’t want to go to jail. You have your memories, and they can’t take that away.

  3. Fred W.

    I feel your pain Rob! Back then, who could have known these bikes would escalate in price like they have?

  4. geezerglide85

    It seams the big trend now is to leave them as is or do enough work to get it running and rideable. Like they say it is only original once. A lot of these bike have been overestored, chroming things that were never plated, painted non-original colors etc. This bike is probably worth more just the way it is.

  5. geomechs geomechs Member

    In some ways I would agree with the comment about only original once. However, I tend to look at it like: it wasn’t rusty when it rolled off the assembly line so it should be brought back to that condition. Rust to me means oxidizing metal–breaking down. It should be brought back from that to protected. Not overdone but restored to original–as in what once was–condition…

    • Mark S Member

      I couldn’t agree more Geomech the idea that rusted out shabby look is cool just makes no sense. I think this trend started by people that lacked the skill / money to restore. I don’t like over restored either but i do like like correctly restored it represents what things were like in days gone by.

    • Brad

      Totally agree with you, Geomechs, at least in the case of that tired, yellow Jag XKE posted earlier; but I strongly feel THIS bike oughta stay just the way it is.

      The original paint, decal, and tiny screws… all just as they were applied in Milwaukee 100 years ago ~ that has endless appeal on a vehicle like this, especially when the overall look is so uniformly worn.

      There’s seems to be nothing non-functional about it – you could ride it just like this, so when there are so many restored ones… why erase all the history it has accumulated? Go buy a shiny new one!

      • Dave Wright

        The orignal builders and designers of this old girl would roll over in there grave.

      • Brad

        Says you!
        Maybe they’d roll over and smile, incredibly proud that the world loves their bikes SO much, that we restore some… and leave others to proudly wear their age as a badge of honor and a voice from the past. This particular bike is speaking articulately about its past ~ new paint would do nothing but muffle its voice.

  6. Dave Wright

    The builders were craftsmen that took great pride in fit and finish. Not “patina” and rust

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