1928 Harley-Davidson JD Is No Stranger to Fame
Daily Slideshow: This beautifully restored JD model Harley is a star in its own right. But it's also spent plenty of time in the spotlight.
Harley-Davidson had a major hit on its hands when it introduced the Model J. This stylish, reliable motorcycle attracted plenty of celebrities and other famous folks around the world, just begging them to add one to their stable. The Model J was quite the departure from the early days of conservative yet rugged bikes built by H-D, and a welcome one at that.
This beautiful 1928 Harley JD, which we spotted over at Mecum Auctions, is a perfect example of how much this bike appeals to those looking to make a visual statement. In fact, it was formerly owned by Custom Chrome founder Ty Cruze, and even made an appearance on the cover of the company's 1986 parts catalog.
And what better cover model would you want on any catalog or magazine than this vintage Harley? But the Model J wasn't all about looks, of course. It represented a big mechanical upgrade over older models, one that would help propel Harley into the future.
Ahead of Its Time
The Model J was a top of the line model in its day, one that was also the first Harley to sport the new 3-speed transmission with a step starter. It was a reliable motorcycle that received constant updates from Harley due to its popularity.
Engine and chassis upgrades came with seemingly every model year. They included goodies like stronger forks, improved oiling systems, stronger valve gears, and better oil retention. Harley also tweaked the looks of the Model J over time, making it more streamlined in appearance.
By 1928, the Model J even came with a front brake. Which, of course, was more of a nod toward the fact that most of America's roads were now paved. By the time the Model J reached its pinnacle with the JDH, this beloved bike even borrowed parts from Harley's factory race bikes.
The Model J lasted 15 years in production. And during that time, it helped define Harley-Davidson and solidify its future. Today, you won't find many better reminders of that historic period than this gorgeous '28 JD. And for that reason alone, we're glad it's still around and kicking!
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