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1961 Harley-Davidson Super 10

1961-harley-davidson-super-10_1

Small and entry level motorcycles were never a big part of Harley-Davidson’s model lineup before World War II. Yes, there have been early 21 cubic inch machines and the 35 cubic inch Sport, but dealers, especially in the 1930’s and after World War II focused more on 45, 54, 61 and 80 cubic inch sport and heavy weight touring machines; their customers demanded them. But along with some European countries, the World War II Reparations Act gave Harley-Davidson the rights to the German DKW RT125 design. We saw the British BSA Bantam and Harley-Davidson S-125 as a result. About 12 years later the Super 10 grew out of the S-125.

It is said that Harley dealers did not much embrace this little two-stroke machine, but sales figures show 10,000 were sold in the first seven months of 1947! Of course it’s likely many riders were young and this sealed a relationship that ensured future sales of bigger machines.

As time went on changes to the chassis and engine were made. After the original S-125 came the Model 165, a 165cc bike. In 1955 the first Hummer came along, but used the smaller 125cc motor and was “no frills.” The Hummer name came from dealer Dean Hummer who was for a time #1 in sales of the little two-strokes. Next came the Super 10 which replaced the S-125 and the Hummer. With rear suspension and a slightly larger engine, the Scat was introduced in 1962, then in 1966 the Bobcat with a fiberglass unit body. About 1960 Harley-Davidson purchased 50% of Aermacchi, the Italian motorcycle manufacturer. This lead to new ranges of two-stroke and four-stroke machines including formidable 250 and 350cc racers. DKW-based and Aermacchi-based, many of these bikes are on display at the National Motorcycle Museum as part of the collection of Harley-Davidsons, numbering over 80.

Specifications:

  • Engine: Two-Stroke Air-Cooled Single
  • Design: Piston Port Induction
  • Bore & Stroke: 60mm x 58mm
  • Displacement: 165cc’s / 10 Cubic Inches
  • Compression Ratio: 6.6:1
  • Horsepower: 5.5HP
  • Lubrication: Pre-Mix in Fuel
  • Primary: Gear Driven
  • Clutch: Multi-Plate
  • Transmission: Three-Speed, Left Foot Shift
  • Suspension: Telescopic Fork / Rigid Rear
  • Wheels: 3.5 x 16 / 3.5 x 16
  • Brakes: Drum, Front and Rear
  • Wheelbase: 50”
  • Weight: 195 Pounds
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3 comments

  1. Paul Alexander

    My neighbor had a few of these. His dad bought them for him to tinker on. His first one was a 125, and then he had I think 3 of the 165′s. My pop didn’t want me riding, so he would never have bought me one; but my friend let me ride his frequently. I will never forget the day his dad brought home a ’41 knucklehead “basket case”! We had it up and running in about 2 weeks!

  2. dave

    I am glad to see someone is preserving this model for future generations.I am looking forward to a road trip from Minnesota to visit your museum.
    I had a 61 Super 10 when I was 14. Fast forward 55 years and I just mostly completed a full restoration of a 62 Scatt. I believe that your history of the bike should say that the rear suspension was introduced in 1963. I believe the last year of the rigid frame was 62 and the 63 had the new rear suspension. Just curious if I am correct. Maybe it switched mid year but my 62 is a rigid frame.
    Just curious

  3. Scott Brice

    I have one in awesome condition and running here in Idaho. I love it

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