It was back in 1904 at the Milwaukee State Fair Park where Harley-Davidson ran their first race – this was also their first appearance in the press – but the brand decided to not support racing again for another decade when in 1914 they hired Bill Ottaway from Thor to design a new purpose-built racer.
What you see here is that very bike. Dubbed the Harley-Davidson 11K, this 1915 board track racer has been completely restored to its former glory and is now up for auction. Discovered in Argentina of all places, the bike still boasts its 1915 engine complete with 1915 ported cylinders, 1.25-inch exhaust ports, a 1.25-inch racing intake manifold, rocker towers, and rockers with top and side oilers. The frame was also rebuilt, while the 3.5-gallon racing tank is an accurate reproduction of the original factory item. Also, the refurbished orange paint job is an exact copy of the original bike as are the Schrader inner-tube valves. So much attention was given to this ride that it even won the 2017 Greenwich Concours d’Elegance for Most Outstanding Machine. Naturally, this isn’t a street-legal bike since it doesn’t host any brakes, gears, or suspension, but odds are this once $300 racer is slated to go for a lot more once it hits the auction block.