Ride Through Burien On A Vintage Harley

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As many Burienites are aware, on New Year’s Day it’s a custom to hear a deep rumbling roar get closer and closer, until it’s right on top of you.

No, it’s not your hangover headache – it’s simply the sound of the traditional Harley Owner’s Group (HOG for short) New Year’s Day Ride, which stretches through parts of Burien en route to other places.

Unfortunately, this Reporter was out of town on that day, so we missed it.

However, we did find this interesting video of a dude called “Indianjeff” joyriding his way-cool, hybrid human/gas-powered 1912 Harley Davidson “Single” through the Burien area:

According to “How Stuff Works“:

The 1912 Harley-Davidson X8A motorcycle was a far more advanced model than Harley-Davidson’s first motorcycle, built in 1903. That one was little more than a bicycle with a single-cylinder three-horsepower engine mounted within the frame tubes.

Though the V-twins that would make the company famous appeared six years later, single-cylinder machines continued to represent the bulk of Harley’s sales. By 1912, public demand for more power was answered with the X8A, which was powered by a 30-cubic-inch single producing 4.3 horsepower.

1912 harley-davidson x8a motorcycle side view
The 1912 Harley-Davidson X8A addressed the
riding public’s increasing thirst for more power
in its motorcycles.

A hand-operated oil pump was added to augment the existing gravity-feed system, and a magneto ignition was used for easier starting. Also new this year was the “Free Wheel Control,” one of the industry’s first clutch systems. With it, smooth takeoffs from a standing start were possible for the first time.

The issue of comfort was also addressed. Joining Harley’s traditional leading-link front fork was the new “Full Floating” saddle, in which a coil spring mounted inside the vertical frame tube cushioned the seatpost, while the rear of the seat was supported by two more coils.

Though this was hardly a substitute for a real rear suspension, it was as good as Harley riders would get for another 45 years.

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