Duo attempt to start rusty Harley motorcycle abandoned for 60 years

  • The father/son team from Dale’s Wheels Through Time Museum found an abandoned Harley
  • They wanted to start it but had to go through a series of repairs
  • In the end, it finally started

Published on Jul 09, 2024 at 12:03 PM (UTC+4)
by Siddharth Dudeja

Last updated on Jul 09, 2024 at 3:48 PM (UTC+4)
Edited by Tom Wood

Most of us wouldn’t give a second look at an abandoned motorcycle sitting in a junkyard, especially if it was all rusty and beat up — but what if it was a 1947 Harley, which allegedly worked just fine before someone abandoned it?

Well, many would still continue ignoring it, but enthusiasts would at least imagine themselves riding along with the wind in their hair.

A duo from Dale’s Wheels Through Time Museum in North Carolina had the same thought and took it upon themselves to try their luck with this Harley.

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First-look at the 1947 Harley motorcycle

Originally started by founder Dale Walksler, the museum is now run by his son, Matt, and houses relics dating back several decades.

One of these relics was this Harley, which had been in the museum for 15 to 20 years.

From a first look, any sane person’s first analysis would be to let it rest, because – let’s face it – it doesn’t exactly look driveable.

Dale and his son aren’t like that though, and the duo wanted to start the engine and take it out for a spin.

They documented their attempt in a video and posted it on their YouTube channel.

However, when they finally got to making a list of the things that were wrong with it, they realized it was a lot of work.

For starters, almost everything on the outside had an extra-thick layer of rust.

Unlike this rust wrap on the Cybertruck, this was real and only lowered the chances of the bike actually running.

Moreover, the handlebars, fenders, and seat had dents that looked like someone had deliberately attempted to destroy the Harley.

Oh, and it was missing a muffler.

While it was pretty roughed up, fixing old relics like this is all in a day’s work for these guys.

They even tried their hands at flying a 1920s airplane with a Harley-Davidson engine.

After going through a tedious stretch of fixes and repairs, they managed to replace the valves on the engine block, clean the carburetor, and lubricate everything that needed it.

But was it enough?

At that point, they could only hope.

The moment of truth

Matt finally kickstarted the engine, and the Harley roared.

It still wasn’t ready for loud revs, so they turned it off and added a new muffler.

The wheel condition was also not great — it had multiple cracks that made them think it would make the wheels burst.

However, Matt said that these wheels still had five to ten burnouts left in them.

The burnouts would certainly be rough, unlike the ones that this supercharged Ford Coyote Van pulled off.

It was finally time to take the Harley out on the road — if you consider the driveway of their property a road.

The Harley was up and running again, with rust you could spot from a mile away — but it ran.

The dual-clutch system had issues of its own, as the shifter wasn’t exactly smooth, but the duo decided to save it for another day.

Still, it was absolutely fascinating to watch an old crone like this Harley running again, let alone the guys getting it started.

# Tags - Cars, Harley, motorcycle


Siddharth Dudeja

Siddharth is a tech nerd with a secret love of all things cars. He has been writing for a few years now, and on his free time you would find him gaming when he's not procrastinating.