No announcement yet.

Harley Davidson Period Correct Magnetos

  • Filter
  • Time
  • Show
Clear All
new posts

  • Harley Davidson Period Correct Magnetos

    While this post could go under the Harley-Davidson J/JD heading, I thought that the subject may have arisen in judging discussions.

    For my 21F restoration project I have a 1921 Bosch ZEV magneto. I thought this was a good thing until I thought some more.

    (1)The 1921 motorcycles were assembled in 1920 for shipping across the country (and the world) to H-D's dealerships for selling to customers in 1921..

    (2) H-D would likely have ordered X thousand magnetos from Bosch based on their sales projections for 1921 and therefore their manufacturing program of 1921 machines in 1920. To meet factory production schedules, deliveries of these magnetos would need to have started by the middle of 1920 at the latest. So they would have been manufactured by Bosch in 1920.

    (3) I don't believe that the number of magnetos delivered by Bosch exactly matched the number of machines manufactured in any year, and that the last magneto in the factory store was attached to the last F model to be sent out the factory door at the end of a year's production. So it seems plausible to me that some magnetos manufactured by Bosch in 1919 could have been on the factory shelves and could well have been fitted to the first of the machines in the 1920 production run of 1921 models.

    All this is based on an assumption that Bosch stamped their magnetos with the true year of manufacture - unlike motorcycle companies who stamped their machines with the model year. If that is correct, (can someone confirm this) when a new 1921F arrived at the dealership it would likely be fitted with a 1920, or even a 1919, magneto. But it would be unlikely for it to be fitted with a 1921 magneto.

    Perhaps someone with an original 1919-24 magneto equipped model could, assuming the original magneto is still on the bike, check the year number on the mag.

    Two questions. Does this speculation make sense? And what is the judging standard for a "period correct" magneto for, say a 1921 Harley-Davidson?

    Living in New Zealand I have no agenda, gripe or ulterior motive. I'm just trying to get my restoration, within reason, correct,

    Last edited by MikeW; 11-09-2021, 03:02 AM.