You have to give Harley Davidson credit, even over a century ago, they built a pretty reliable machine, this 1912 Silent Gray Fellow, 104 years later, is still a runner! The machine is not one of those completely restored beauties, it’s exterior color is rust, or as the seller calls it, “earth.” For the early Harley collector, that’s exactly the right finish. Once you start restoration, it’s very easy to go wrong and you can’t get original back once it’s gone.
The Silent Gray Fellow Model 8A, has a 31 cubic inch single cylinder engine. The power is driven through a leather belt to a rear belt wheel that freewheels until you move a hand lever under the seat to engage a clutch which then drives the rear wheel. The hard tail frame relied on springs under the seat to cushion the jolts of the road.
Sure, some of you may look at a motorcycle like this and think, “no way,” but to the Harley collector and investor, it’s a classic diamond in the rough and will bring a surprisingly high sale price.
Don’t dare restore it, it is only original once. This is a great survivor and, if you need something shiny and fresh to ride, there are many more less valuable new motorcycles available for that purpose.
Paul Crowe says
With this one, I’m inclined to agree. It would be a shame to see it last this long without restoration, still be capable of running and then have someone spray shiny new paint all over it. Of course, they would probably put a lot of new parts everywhere, too. It wouldn’t be right. This is the definition of “patina.”
Felipe Zapata says
So, which is it? Grey Fellow or Gray Fellow? The eBay seller spells it Grey. Here it’s spelled Gray.
Paul Crowe says
Grey is the English spelling, gray is the American spelling. Harley Davidson spelled it gray.