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54 khk, info requested

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thefrenchowl

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Posts: 584

Joined: Fri Mar 10, 2006 3:18 pm

Location: Crewe, Great Britain

Post Wed Apr 05, 2006 3:16 pm

54 khk, info requested

Hi all,

I've had this early '54 trapdoorless KHK for the last 20 years, always wondered about this:

Image

There is a big "C" stamped in front of the # number on the left hand crankcase...

The early Sporty service manuals state that a "D" was stamped on all the KH factory held replacement cases in 1957 when they moded them all to replace their 6 bolts/2 conical dowels trap doors to Sporty 4 bolts/2 cylindrical dowels trap doors but I have not found yet any mentions of what that "C" was meant to acknowledge...

If the factory stamped some "C" and "D", it also implies there were some "A" and "B"...

Anybody out there who might shed a light?

Thanks in advance,

Patrick
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Dave56KHK

Posts: 71

Joined: Sat Feb 05, 2005 1:01 am

Location: Northern IL, USA

Post Tue Apr 11, 2006 12:05 pm

Patrick, Ron Johnson looked at your picture and could only guess that it was to designate a replacement case. So, no help there. It's interesting that you have one of the mysterious 54 KHK's that do not show up in any production records for 1954. I guess it only stands to reason that if there was a 54 KH there could also be a 54 KHK. One of my co-workers also had a 54 KHK at one time. He is wishing he had hung on to it.
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thefrenchowl

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Posts: 584

Joined: Fri Mar 10, 2006 3:18 pm

Location: Crewe, Great Britain

Post Tue Apr 11, 2006 3:32 pm

Hi Dave,

No, not replacement cases for this 54' KHK, right belly code, matching # set...

Yes, I did notice the parts book don't mention 54' KHKs but they do exist...

A theory of mine : "D" deals with trap door issues so I though "C" could be for improved gear sets for KH installed by the factory, not dealers, "A" and "B", although never seen by myself, could be for factory installed K model gear sets????? make sense but I need proof!!!!!!!

Small story: my KHK was found by an Englishman doing a motorbike charity run across the states in the late 70's on a Norton Commando... he came across this junk yard in the deep west and noticed a big H-D gas tank in a derelict bus while looking for british bike bits... ask about it with the site owner who told him it was a flat head... fearing having it stolen, he dismantled it in a thousand bits and hid them all over his site in various vehicles. They agreed on a price and he came back about a year later, on holiday this time, trawled the place for most of the bits and shipped them in G.B...

Kept it sort of reassembled but not running until the summer of 1986 when he advertized it in the classic press as follows:

" H-D KHK 1954, 888cc sv Sportster, indiscutably rare, technically innovative, interesting history, tel xxx, unfinished infatuation"

Got me interested!!! gave him my 1976 Sportster and a bit of cash for it...

I haven't seen him for years, he was a right character, he's now a pagan Druid and looks after a massive man-made stone age mound... but still has some old bikes I believe...

Patrick
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suicideshovel65

Posts: 217

Joined: Thu Feb 10, 2005 1:01 am

Location: Palo Alto, CA

Post Tue Apr 11, 2006 10:07 pm

Patrick, I might ask around myself - curious.

My guess would be similar to yours regarding the letters. I note that the parts manual transitions at particular VINs for some transmission, kicker, and other parts; I wonder if the letter stamped here denotes engines around the transition cutover that were assembled with one or the other uprated / revised components in the factory, or that were re-assembled after the event with the uprated gears by the factory or a dealer?

Or seeing as it's a KHK and probably more specialized than other more stock machines, could the letter denote a particular ratio combination ordered for / installed in that machine? I see in the Competition Manual that there are ratios referred to as C and D (and a whole range of letters).

Cheers,

Simon
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Chris Haynes

Posts: 2620

Joined: Wed Jul 05, 2000 12:01 am

Location: Los Angeles, CA

Post Wed Apr 12, 2006 7:17 am

I have bought several sets of replacement cases from Harley-Davidson. They did not have any additional letters or numbers added to them. They just came with my original number on them. I have also bought many sets of blank cases.
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Chris Haynes

Posts: 2620

Joined: Wed Jul 05, 2000 12:01 am

Location: Los Angeles, CA

Post Wed Apr 12, 2006 7:20 am

That C could have been put there by anybody other than the MoCo. Perhaps a rebuilder marked it?
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thefrenchowl

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Joined: Fri Mar 10, 2006 3:18 pm

Location: Crewe, Great Britain

Post Wed Apr 12, 2006 3:40 pm

Hi All,

Here's the Sportster service manual extract:

Image

One could say that the "D" stands for "door" in which case I would reply that H-D doesn't call them "trap doors" but "access covers"...

...so, in all likelyhood, somebody at the Rev Dept or whatever it was called went to record the mod in a book and saw they already had used A, B and C for these bloody K/KH mods so picked up this D to be stamped on these KH sets of cases held in stock ...

One could also be pedantic and tell me "yes, but look, they think they held K cases with trap door!!! How can you trust them with the meaning of this D?"... We could go on for ever speculating...

It remains that if this D is to be believed, A B and C also exist (also note that my C is stamped exactly where the factory says this D is stamped...)

So I believe my C to be a genuine factory addition for a mod I don't know anything about, can only have a guess at it at this stage...

Patrick
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thefrenchowl

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Posts: 584

Joined: Fri Mar 10, 2006 3:18 pm

Location: Crewe, Great Britain

Post Mon Apr 17, 2006 3:31 pm

Hi All,

see here:

http://cgi.ebay.com/ebaymotors/K-MODEL- ... enameZWDVW

It's a set of 56 KH cases on ebay with the 4 bolt trap door and a stamped "D".... So it's not just on paper, there's at least one of these replacement set out there!!!

Patrick
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Chris Haynes

Posts: 2620

Joined: Wed Jul 05, 2000 12:01 am

Location: Los Angeles, CA

Post Mon Apr 17, 2006 7:12 pm

Those 56K numbers sure look funny. That pfat 5 and curved 6 sure aren't Harley stamps.
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suicideshovel65

Posts: 217

Joined: Thu Feb 10, 2005 1:01 am

Location: Palo Alto, CA

Post Tue Apr 18, 2006 3:26 am

I agree - looks like nothing OEM that I've ever seen.

BTW I've also seen a C stamped on the inside of the LHS cases too, which leads me to believe the location of the stamp wasn't necessarily consistent.

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