From a styling standpoint, the 1916 Harley-Davidson J motorcycle was a great leap forward from the brand's earlier bikes. The fuel tank had rounded rather than square-cut corners, and the motorcycle took on a longer, lower appearance. Also, pedals no longer sprouted from the lower frame on models with the three-speed transmission, which now sported a modern kickstarter.
Other than the kickstarter, however, there were few mechanical changes of note. Forks remained a leading-link design with enclosed coil springs, and the 61-cubic-inch intake-over-exhaust V-twin received only a curved intake manifold to smooth the airflow into the cylinders.
This would be the last year Harleys would wear their traditional grey paint, which had graced the machines since 1906. Its replacement -- Olive Drab -- would be hardly more colorful, yet would enjoy an equally long tenure.
More pictures of the 1916 Harley-Davidson J are on the next page.
For more great motorcycle articles and pictures, check out:
- Classic Motorcycles
- How Motorcycles Work
- Harley-Davidson Motorcycles