The American Motorcyclist Affiliation (AMA) launched 21-inch (350cc) racing in 1925. The small-capacity class shortly gained traction, with Indian and Excelsior preventing for board and dust monitor supremacy. It’s protected to say that Harley-Davidson instantly felt not noted, becoming a member of the brand new class only one yr later, in 1926, with its iconic “Peashooter” racer.
Designated as AA and BA variants, the race fashions got down to dominate the competitors. Because of its overhead-valve (OHV) configuration and vestigial exhaust system, the racing Peashooter gained 50 p.c extra energy than its manufacturing counterpart. That additional oomph equated to a 30-mph benefit and a virtually 100-mph high pace. Oh, by the way in which, Harley maximized the bike’s velocity by foregoing brakes.
H-D couldn’t take such dangers on the manufacturing aspect, nonetheless. Whereas 21-inch racing offered a proofing floor for the mini-Hog, the single-cylinder-powered mannequin additionally opened new markets for the Motor Firm. European nations, Japan, Australia, and New Zealand generally turned to small-capacity motorbikes for reasonable transportation.
Harley met that demand with its Mannequin A and Mannequin B Peashooters. Not like their hopped-up siblings, the manufacturing variants opted for a side-valve format. The A codename pertains to fashions with a magneto whereas the B trim signifies a battery/coil. Even with the arrival of the Mannequin S race bike, Harley continued producing the Peashooter household till the mid-Nineteen Thirties.
With such an illustrious historical past, it’s no marvel Wheels Via Time Museum Affiliate Director Matt Walksler was so blown away when he acquired a serial primary 1931 Peashooter engine. From the race-specific head to the dual-port exhaust, Walksler instantly places his Peashooter information on show.
The uncommon Peashooter engine could require some elbow grease, an identical carburetor, and a complete chassis, however we will’t assist however hope that the tiny, mighty mill anchors a brand new undertaking for the grasp restorer.