Scratch’s Garage 97-point 1940 Knuck­le­head FL

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We first met Scratch back in 2014 when he rode up to our stu­dio on his 1946 Har­ley-david­son FL Knuck­le­head called Jessie. Let me re­peat: He rode into our stu­dio. See, Scratch has owned that bike since his 20s and has been rid­ing it ever since.

When we heard that he had a 1940 Knuck­le­head he had re­stored to show­room con­di­tion, we jumped at the chance to see it. In a world full of week­end war­riors and in­ter­net tough guys, Scratch is the real-deal rider who not only ap­pre­ci­ates these old bikes but can ac­cu­rately bring one back from the dead.


SCRATCH: I’ve been build­ing bikes off and on my whole life, not as busi­ness. I got se­ri­ous about restor­ing bikes af­ter I was done with the tour­ing busi­ness. I’ve been hard at it five to six years now.

It’s nice if you are go­ing to start a restora­tion that you start with a com­plete bike. Un­for­tu­nately, in the case of this Knuck­le­head I only had the mo­tor that came with a ti­tle. I lit­er­ally had to go out and find all the parts, in­clud­ing the frame, han­dle­bars, sheet metal, ev­ery­thing one piece at a time. A lot of these parts were one year only be­cause it was a tran­si­tional year be­tween the early bikes and what would be­come known as the later ’41–’47 Knuck­le­heads.

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