1930 Harley-Davidson DAR European Road Racer
Little was known of the DAR until accumulative research from enthusiasts in the USA, Germany and Australia was amalgamated about 15 years making a reconstruction of such a machine possible. At least four DAR’s were built in mid-1929 based on Harley’s alcohol burning 750cc OHV DAH Hill climber. A return oil system was added to make the bikes more suitable for the City to City races popular in Europe at the time. None of the originals are known to exist.
German Harley dealer and well respected racer Paul Weyres (right) is documented and photographed picking up his DAR in Milwaukee in late 1929. On this machine Weyres was to run second in the International Klausen Pass Race in Switzerland on 10th August 1930.
Riding our DAR is a blast. With the engine still tight from its superb Michael Lange rebuild we open the throttle barrel Schebler carby give it a squirt of ether then pull back on compression, a push (downhill helps) release the clutch and on first revolution the blat blat rasping exhaust note through the 4 exhaust pipes is instantaneous.
Unique clutch pedal is a delight to use and typical Harley 3 speeder changes like a knife through butter. Light weight makes handling responsive to any inputs. Gearing is tall with large diameter wheels and 40 tooth rear sprocket. Throttle response is excellent and brakes will only improve. One can only attempt to imagine what it would be like to take delivery of a machine of this pace and grace 87 years ago!
Words: David Reidie
Photos: Ben McIntyre
Enjoy the ride…