The Harley-Davidson Knucklehead, Harley’s first production OHV motorcycle, was manufactured and sold from 1936 through 1947 production years.
Here is some basic information on the various 1936 Harley Knucklehead models and quantities.
1936 Production Year
36-E Solo: 61 cubic inch, medium-compression, OHV V-twin with four-speed transmission. Retail price $380. 152 motorcycle production.
36-EL Special Sport Solo: 61 cubic inch, high-compression, OHV V-twin with four-speed transmission. Retail price $380. 1,526 motorcycle production.
36-ES Sidecar Twin: 61 cubic inch, medium-compression, OHV V-twin with four-speed transmission and sidecar gearing. Retail price $380. 26 motorcycle production.
36-EM Specialty Model: 61 cubic inch, OHV V-twin for midget car racing. Retail price unknown. Unknown production numbers.
1936 Harley Factory Options (Dealer prices?)
Standard Solo Group for Knuckleheads $14.00
Deluxe Solo Group for Knuckleheads $34.50
Standard Police Group for Knuckleheads $44.00
Deluxe Police Group for Knuckleheads $80.50
1936 Harley Paint Color Options
Sherwood Green with Silver panels and rims.
Dusk Gray with Royal Buff panels and rims.
Teak Red with Black panels and Red rims.
Venetian Blue with Croydon Cream panels and rims.
Maroon with Nile Green panels and rims.
1936 Harley Knucklehead First Year Items
The series E Harley OHV Big Twins were all new models.
The OHV engine was a 61 cubic inch OHV V-twin with 3-5/16 x 3-1/2 inch bore and stroke.
Dry-sump recirculating oiling system.
Four-speed constant-mesh transmission.
New design heavy-duty clutch.
Saddle-type twin gas tanks.
Oil in separate U-shaped tank behind the motor and below the seat with battery in the center of the U.
Black painted “Skull face” teardrop-style dash with built-in instrument cover and oil-pressure gauge, ammeter, and ignition switch.
Stewart-Warner “White face” 100 mph speedometer was standard.
Art Deco tank transfers.
Standard front safety guards.
Standard 18 inch wheels.
Single-check-valve feed oil pump.
Rectangular folding floorboards.
The motors had rockers and shafts in two separate pieces with the rocker pivoting on the shaft.
Rocker shafts were adjustable for oil flow.
Intake manifold made up of an inlet pipe with two inlet nuts and two inlet nut bushings.
Toolbox was rectangular and mounted on the right rear side and was locked with a key.
Two mounting brackets on twin-lead coil body.
Wheels used “Star hubs”quot; that were interchangeable on front and rear.
"Beehive" style tail light.
Manual-advance single-point timer.
“Winged face” style horn.
2-1/2 inch diameter muffler with a fishtail exhaust.
Three-piece header pipe set has front header pipe, S-pipe, and rear header pipe.
Front header pipe fits inside the exhaust port.
Seven-tooth speedometer drive gear.
Horn switch placed near top of the left handlebar with headlight switch directly below.
Aluminum “knuckle” rocker boss on each cylinder head.
1936 Harley Knucklehead Only Year Items
Air intake was box-like with three horizontal ribs and slash-cut at the rear.
Double down tube cradle frame with sidecar mounts brazed on to continuous frame down tubes.
1936 Harley Knucklehead Changes During Production Year
Early 1936 dashes lack the holes for the speedometer trip meter and speedometer lamp switch. Mid and later year dashed have the tripmeter hole but still lack the lamp switch hole.
120 mph speedometer without tripmeter, the tripmeter became optional in mid-1936.
Frame reinforced on right side, under the transmission.
Rocker-shaft cover nuts replace domed covers.
Air fitting added to front rocker boss.
Pinion-gear shaft revised to improve oil mileage.
Kickstarter gears changed to 16-tooth mainshaft and 24-tooth crank gear.
Two updates of the gear-case cover.
Three types of oil tanks and fittings.
Cylinder-head casting changes.