1925 Harley-Davidson FHAC OHV
With the introduction of an expert 750cc class for Hill Climbing in 1926, Harley riders found themselves at a great disadvantage to their Indian and Excelsior rivals. The Milwaukee factory had no 750cc bike of any type in their model range.
Harley Dealer Oscar Lenz from Lansing Michigan solved this problem with this unique machine. Often referred to incorrectly as a Knuth after the specials Milwaukee Harley dealer Knuth built, supposedly in collaboration with the factory. Documentation suggests this machine, ‘The Camel”, was built two years before the Knuth’s appeared on the scene.
Lenz was a first class engineer and went on to develop ‘The Camel’ into a winning machine up to as late as 1929, when on June 23rd he won the 45 inch expert class at Port Huron Michigan. Oscar Lenz was no mean racer and by the mid 1930’s had won 6 Jack Pine Enduro’s.
‘The Camel’ dubbed as such by onlookers because of the unique seat position Lenz installed on the bike giving him a distinctive riding position making him easy to identify. A Harley racing FHAC (25FHAC523) bottom end was used for the power plant to which modified OHV Peashooter cylinders and heads were grafted. It is believed that initially both heads were of dual port configuration but when the front head disintegrated only a single port could be found for replacement. There are alternate theories that with the rear cylinder breathing better, only a single port was needed on the front to make for a smooth running engine. Running gear is an assortment of Harley road and racing parts suitably modified to do one job, get up a hill real fast, as Oscar Lentz invariably did.
Harley City Collection
From the archives
Acknowledgment ‘Classic Harley-Davidson’ by Herbert Wagner.
Photo credit: Allan Reidie
Enjoy the ride…