Board index Flathead Power-Technical Questions, Answers, and Suggestions Big Twin Flatties 1937 Model U, Oddball or my pennys worth.

1937 Model U, Oddball or my pennys worth.

Posts: 3

I have been offered a 1937 model U, which have not run since 1997. The owner claims its a kind of rarety as it has a single downtube frame.

So im questioning if this indeed a special bike, or just a Model U in a single dowtube frame. (And what is the story about change between single and double downtubes.)

And then the question is if this model U is worth almost 15.000 USD when I havent heard the engine. (Its police gray)

He claims that if I want to buy it, he will garantee that he can fire it up for me, but for the moment its in a display room, and have been there for quite some while.

The original owner who sold it to the dealer came with the traditional "If It doesnt start on the first kick its for free - otherwise its for my price, and apparently he bourght it"


Post Mon Mar 06, 2006 9:56 am

Posts: 304
Location: oklahoma usa
Sounds like a conversion job of sorts. A U motor in a VL frame maybe and would not be worth anywhere near 15k to me anyway.

Post Mon Mar 06, 2006 10:43 am

And the other strong poss is "It's a 1936 engine in a special 1937 frame".
Translation: stock VL.

Post Tue Mar 07, 2006 12:00 am

Posts: 3
Ok Thanks,

So what year span can the frame be. I dont know when the conversion from going from single to twin downtube was done, or if its a different harley model frame.

What would your estimate be on this bike. I can tell you that the engine is dirty as hell, the condition looks to me like how the last user left it. but as mentioned, havent heard it run.

I only have this picture of it:


Post Tue Mar 07, 2006 12:43 am

Posts: 304
Location: oklahoma usa
Well, the pics a bit fuzzy (and I'm old also :) ), but it looks like a U motor in a VL chassis to me. Trans cover, I-beam front fork etc. look like VL and the front exhaust pipe looks like it has an odd bend as the VL and U had different exit points from the cylinders.
Still looks like a hybrid to me and not worth that much.

Post Tue Mar 07, 2006 6:34 am

Posts: 607
Location: Menomonie, Wisconsin, USA
Nice looking bike but I doubt it has much historical value. HD went to the double tube frame in 1936 with the OHV and the new UL's got the double frame in 1937.

If the price is right, buy it and ride the wheels off of it.


Post Tue Mar 07, 2006 12:16 pm

Posts: 65
Location: mckinleyville ca usa
:lol: That looks like a good canditate for a stripped down bobber. It could be a basket case that has not even been taken apart yet,I'd say $9000 tops with title of course :wink:

Post Tue Mar 07, 2006 12:49 pm

Posts: 87
Location: Finland, Europe
Yes it is definitely a hybrid or custom job. I think I can spot a Joe Hunt magneto where the circuit breaker normally is. And the 16-inch wheels came 1940. The spotlights look like 60's design. The engine with its smooth cam cover probably is a '37, which is no everyday find. Obviously together with a 1937 title. So it is no historical freak, like "the first '37 U engines were put in VL frames as they still had a lot around".
But, as Jerry says, it is a nice bike to ride. In my opinion the VL-series handles better than the JD:s or the later heavier UL:s. (I still love, own and ride all of them.) So one of my fantasies is to build a period modified a bit like the pictured bike with the unequaled U-series powerplant, a 4-speed trans and starhub wheels.
But to get a genuine classic you would have to do a lot of parts swapping, and it would be cheaper to buy a more correct bike. If you still want it, you should ask for a 50% discount.

Post Tue Mar 07, 2006 1:10 pm

Posts: 3
Thanks Everyone,

Ill keep the money in my pocket, and look for another bike to spend my hard earned pennys on. But i rely fell for the looks of this one, but also wanted to have an somewhat original one.....

Best Regards
Compression - Denmark

Post Tue Mar 07, 2006 1:18 pm

Posts: 148
Location: Dorothy, NJ. USA

This is the famous Hog in a poke model, designed for suckers!
It sure looks like a U/Vframe conversion and not a bad one at that! Its worth? What someone is willing to pay. If the numbers/title are good nothing would surprise me. I been runnin my u/v for many happy years and wouldn't take
$10K for it. Honest

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