To define something as a sports bike, you have to agree on what defines sport. This Harley Davidson may not have fit the definition of sports bike for 95% of the world, but when you are from Milwaukee, a flat head engine seems to scream sport. So much so that they named it the Sportster. This 1956 KH offered up on eBay now is what The Motor Company thought would satisfy buyers that had an eye to the British bikes offered in the 1950’s.
From the seller
Up for auction is my 1956 Harley KH original paint with 8996 original miles.
Color is pepper red with white tank panels.
I have owned this bike for over 30 years, last started in 2004, as I rode it on the Santa Rosa AMCA road run and the bike ran great for me then.
Clear California title in my name.
Refer to the pictures and if you have any questions please ask them.
Shipping is on you but I will assist in anyway possible.
Selling as is and I reserve the right to end the auction at anytime.
Harley had flat head motors for many years, what made the K model special in 1952 was this was the first time the engine was matched with the transmission as a unit. Harley changed the bore and stroke in 1954 to 885cc from 750cc, but continues with the side valves until 1957. A sports bike with side valves, when European makes had OHC engines in the 1920’s. The road going Sportster may have gotten overhead valves in 1957, but if you went racing with a Harley, the KR kept its side valves until 1969, when the AMA finally allowed OHV engines to compete with larger displacements then 500cc.
Trying to understand why HD called this thier sports bikes you have to look at all the other models they offered. Heavy engines, in heavy frames, with three speed, hand shift transmissions. 400 lbs compared to the 600lbs cruisers. With its four speed transmission and hydraulic suspension, sitting next to any other bike in the Harley showroom, the Sportster would look like a cheetah. 38hp from the Flathead would push the Milwaukee sports bike to 95mph.
I have mentioned before that I think I am growing into the HD demographic. This KH Harley is one that I can see owning. Don’t get me wrong, I would switch out the bars, get a bump stop seat, and put a full fairing on it. Make a Sportster, more of a Sport bike. BB