1940 Harley-Davidson U Flathead
Even as motorcycle manufacturers looked to overhead-valve designs for more performance and the motorcycle business began to recover in the later 1930s, there was still a market for a big, simple flathead engine. Less fussy and able to slog along at low rpms, side-valve engines remained the favorite of sidecar riders, delivery boys and police departments.
In Europe, Brough Superior and Matchless both made huge 1,000-cc V-Twins for years, while in the U.S. Indian only built side-valve engines and Harley-Davidson offered the 74-cubic inch VL flathead from 1930 to 1940. Early models were plagued with problems, but they were quickly solved, and in 1936 Harley one-upped the competition with the 1937 ULH model and its giant 80-cubic inch engine.
The ULH model was not continued after World War II, due to the popularity of the OHV knucklehead, making this a rarely seen collectible.
- 1,311 cc V-twin side-valve engine, Schebler carburetor,
- four-speed, hand-shift transmission,
- Meisinger bucket saddle,
- sprung front forks,
- hard-tail rear,
- hand-operated front drum brake,
- foot-operated rear drum brake.
- Wheelbase: 60″
- Uncommon, 80-cubic inch flathead model, recommended for sidecars