1952 F

Information on the identification and numbering of frame, motor belly, transmission and other parts
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Fiskis
Posts: 11
Joined: Tue Mar 17, 2009 2:45 pm
Bikes: 1952 FS
Location: Finland, Europe

1952 F

#1

Post by Fiskis » Tue Mar 17, 2009 3:56 pm

According to most litterature, the low compression "F" models were dicontinued before 1952. In spite of that, for poilice use at the Olympic Games in Helsinki there came 4 52FS sidecar units with sequential serials 52F 56xx up. Also they all have the later cam cover. All four still exist.

Regards Fiskis



Speeding Big Twin
Posts: 872
Joined: Wed Dec 31, 2008 2:29 am
Bikes: H-D
Location: Western Australia

Re: 1952 F

#2

Post by Speeding Big Twin » Sat Mar 21, 2009 5:57 am

Bruce Palmer's book has two lists that say the 74 OHV Model F was produced 1941-1950 and he mentions a 74 OHV motor in First Year of Features for 1941. However, he doesn't include the Model F in Last Year of Features for 1950.

A Model F doesn't appear on the 1951 H-D season order blank on page 102 of The Legend Begins and neither does a Model FS. However, production figures on page 205 show that 135 examples of the 1951 Model FS were made and also 186 examples of the 1952 Model FS. Model descriptions on page 224 show that a Model F was made for both 1951 and 1952.

In Classic Harley Big Twins, Greg Field mentions that the 1951 and 1952 H-D order blanks appear to contradict the model descriptions contained in The Legend Begins for those two years and he states: 'Either Legend is in error, or these low-compression machines were special-order or export-only items.' But it seems to me that Field did not read page 198 of The Legend which says: 'There are more models listed per year in the second section than appear on the yearly order blanks. Most likely, these vehicles were not available for the general public.'

I notice you have one of the 1952 models so perhaps you could post some photos of it, including a partial photo of the serial number. And do you have any further info regarding the other 1952 models you mentioned?

Also, although I can't explain the photo below it may be of interest to you. Eric

Image

Fiskis
Posts: 11
Joined: Tue Mar 17, 2009 2:45 pm
Bikes: 1952 FS
Location: Finland, Europe

Re: 1952 F

#3

Post by Fiskis » Sat Mar 21, 2009 5:04 pm

Cheers Eric,

I went to the garage, where the 52 is waiting for the snow to melt. It is so well stuffed away. that I only got my hand with my mobile phone in between the wall and the motor side. So the picture is not that good. All the original four 1952 Harleys in Finland are alike. I bought the two last ones in 1968 that the department had auctioned away in 1964. I still have the one with the lowest serial. The other one was the last of the four. My buddy had #2. That was made into a chopper 1971. I salvaged all the original pieces. #3 is restored pretty original style in silver. Until 1972 these bikes were the newest Harleys in Finland and the only post war speciments. All bikes have the late cam cover and it is certain that they are original equipment. Also the later oilpump and the filter screen in the case, described in "Panhead Service Manual" as late 1952. Hydraulics in the top of push rods. When the last bikes were sold out, all spare parts were dumped into the sidecars. So I have every "low dome" piston and bearing and other stuff that had been substituted during the Police Department era, including service records. As the bikes had sidecars on the right side, there is no old photos showing the cam side of the motor.

As you hopefully can see, there is no "S" in the serial. Also the sidecars probably had sequental frame numbers. As they were shipped dismantled from the bikes, they were mixed on assembly. Fortunately I kept the frame with the same last number as my motor has. My second one was 2 numbers ahead of mine, which would correlate with Panhead #3. One sidecar is reported scrapped, one is bolted to a 78 Shovel in another part of the country, which I'm going to check out one day.

Many years ago I saw another bike with 52F serial, which was a later import. I do not remember if it had the later or earlier cam cover, neither if it had a higher or lower serial.

Lets see if the pics come through...

Fiskis
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Ohio-Rider
Posts: 362
Joined: Tue Jan 25, 2005 3:04 pm
Location: North-East Ohio

Re: 1952 F

#4

Post by Ohio-Rider » Sat Mar 21, 2009 6:17 pm

Thanks for sharing those photo's Fiskis. That bike looks great.

Speeding Big Twin
Posts: 872
Joined: Wed Dec 31, 2008 2:29 am
Bikes: H-D
Location: Western Australia

Re: 1952 F

#5

Post by Speeding Big Twin » Sun Mar 22, 2009 2:02 am

Thanks for the photos, Fiskis. And it's always good to hear stories from other places. The earliest I can remember seeing a Panhead here was a 1965 model (I think) which was owned by a guy who used to park it on the street right outside his motorcycle shop about thirty years ago. It was red and white but some of the red was so faded it was almost pink.

Regarding the lack of an S for sidecar in the serial number, apparently no Panhead had that. Bruce Palmer says he has heard of two examples occurring for 1936-1937 but hasn't seen them. Steve Slocombe says in his V-series book that he only knows of one example of an S for sidecar occurring in a V-series engine serial number and it is 35 VDS 1371. He adds that the bike sits in the Alcazar Military Museum in Toledo, Spain. Eric

Pomike
Posts: 243
Joined: Thu Jul 03, 2008 5:54 pm

Re: 1952 F

#6

Post by Pomike » Sun Mar 22, 2009 6:11 pm

F=Finland?
Mike

Fiskis
Posts: 11
Joined: Tue Mar 17, 2009 2:45 pm
Bikes: 1952 FS
Location: Finland, Europe

Re: 1952 F

#7

Post by Fiskis » Sun Mar 22, 2009 9:59 pm

A couple of years I was in Toledo and wanted to see the museum with the bikes converted to mill grains inside the castle. Unfortunately the whole complex was under restauration and no one on the site knew anything of the two bikes. I might go there next autumn. I am curious on the 35VDS as I happen to own a 35VDS too, and according to Steve this Alcatraz bike is the most original he has seen. It was only one year old when the Spanish Civil War started. My '35 does not have any "S" in the serial either although it is an original sidecar combination, like 99% of prewar Big Twins imported to Finland.

If you like funny Pan-stories from other countries, this is one. In the 1950:ies there was four Hydra-Glides in Finland. With a population of approx 4 million people, that is one special police bike per million inhabitants. Now back to Spain, Generalissimo Franco had his special escort with 44 Hydra-Glides. With the Spanish population of approx. 44 million, that is also one special police bike per million inhabitants.

Fiskis

Fiskis
Posts: 11
Joined: Tue Mar 17, 2009 2:45 pm
Bikes: 1952 FS
Location: Finland, Europe

Re: 1952 F

#8

Post by Fiskis » Sun Mar 22, 2009 10:08 pm

Pomike wrote:F=Finland?
Mike
The code for the Special Finland Only Export Bike was planned to be "FS" (= For Suckers), but some jerk had misplaced the "S" -stamp. So Mike, you are right! :lol:

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