1. Harley Built an Inline Four-Cylinder Engine


In the mid-sixties, with the popularity of four-cylinder motorcycles growing, especially in Europe, H-D put a transverse inline-Four through the design phase, and had a wooden mock-up made for potential chassis fitment. In the late 1960s, Harley’s marketing department decided the air-cooled, across-the-frame configuration would not be successful in the American market. Then Honda’s CB750 Four arrived in 1969 and blew the minds of gearheads the world over

I recall seeing the mock-up engine when I visited Harley’s Dick O’Brien (pictured) for an interview in 1971. It didn’t look much different from the Honda. Unfortunately, I didn’t snap a picture of it!