Other Books by Herbert Wagner

Harley-Davidson 1930-1941 Revolutionary Motorcycles. This was my first published book and I put my entire heart and soul into it. Unfortunately I signed a very bad book contract and got burned in spite of all my effort. Oh well, live and learn. This wordy, photo-filled book covers that exciting transition period out of the old flathead motor and into the overhead-valve "61 OHV" engine -- the immortal Knucklehead.

Much of the contents of this book are first-hand memories from guys who worked at Harley-Davidson or had some connection with Harley. These were very old men in their 80s and 90s whom I interviewed in their last years. They also provided many fine old photographs seen nowhere else -- about 200 old photos. Most of these old guys have since passed away, but their knowledge and burning love for Knuckleheads lives on in this unique work.

In years to come this book is bound to become a highly valued collector's item because there is nothing else like it and never will be. If you click on the following link you can read one of the best and most entertaining and kick-butt reviews that a book ever received that appeared in Issue #141 (April, 1996) of the old and now defunct Iron Horse magazine. In fact Snow gave it the highly coveted Iron Horse Four Cross Cluster of Iron award.

Biker Lit Crit by Snow: H-D 1930-1941 Revolutionary Motorcycles "Buy This Book"


If you are interested in a copy you might try Schiffler Books to see if any are still available.


Classic Harley-Davidson 1903-1941 is a very nice little book I did in collaboration with Mark Mitchell. I wrote the text and Mark shot the beautiful color photos. The text covers Harley's history up to the 1941 "74 OHV" Knucklehead model. Once again I tried to include as much new material that I could possibly pack into this modest work. However, some of the origin dates for Harley-Davidson given in the first chapter I no longer believe are correct. That story that revolutionizes our understanding early Harley-Davidson is covered in my newest book Harley-Davidson At the Creation.

What I especially like about this little color book are those chapters that investigate the experimental work done by hillclimbers, dealers, and the Harley-Davidson factory with full overhead-valve engines during the 1920s. At that time guys began adapting 21 OHV Single heads to the durable "Two-Cam" V-twin racing engine lower end for hillclimbing purposes. Bill Knuth in Milwaukee followed this up with his "Knuth Special" overhead-valve hillclimbers. The Harley factory got wind of these "Home Brews" and helped Herb Reiber build a few 45-cubic-inch Two-Cam OHVs in 1928 then came out with the totally new factory DAH engine in 1929. This highly interesting material might be termed the "missing link" of the Knucklehead genesis story and updates and greatly adds to my previous book Harley-Davidson 1930-1941 Revolutionary Motorcycles.

Read Clement Salvadori's review of Classic Harley-Davidson that appeared in American Rider!

You can purchase this book at the Motorbooks International website.


Coming soon...

Harley-Davidson Lore Origins through Panhead, Vol. 1


Harley-Davidson Lore Shovelhead to Twin Cam 88, Vol. 2


The Harley-Davidson Century


Willie G.'s 100 Years of Harley-Davidson


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