From:Dave Hennessey
Subject:Oley 2013 AMCA Judging Date:Sat Jun 22 22:24:13 2013
Response to:18571
Following up on my last message about the embossed "H D 125" on Model 125 red taillight lenses, and the stamped "Harley-Davidson 125" on Model 125 taillight/license plate brackets:

At Oley 2013, I stopped by the judging field just to see what bikes were being judged, and somehow got pressed into service to help judge two exquisitely restored Model 125's which belonged to two brothers.

I docked them both for incorrect taillight lens, since I could neither see nor feel the "H D 125" markings.

Had I had my thinking cap on at the time, I would have asked the owners, who were present for the judging, to turn on the lights and step on the brake pedal to make it easier to see the markings if they were truly there.

If you do have the correct lenses, and the above procedure does illuminate that fact (pun intended), I encourage you to bring it to the attention of the judges the next time you have the bikes judged.

Dave Hennessey


The Model 125's had two interesting parts - the taillight & license plate bracket - and the taillight red lens - are different than the ones used on big twin and Model K - they are specifically marked for the 125.

The taillight & license plate bracket has "Harley-Davidson 125" stamped into it. I don't have one currently, but I believe it is on the side facing the front of the motorcycle.

The red lens has "H D" embossed (sticking out) on the outside of the lens, just above the "point" of the bullet shape of the lens, and "125" just below the point. You can just barely feel it with your thumbnail, and it is difficult to see, but it's there. Inside, the lens has a "pebbled" finish, where I think the ones for big twin and Model K have a "ribbed" or "ringed" appearance.

The taillight was offered as an assembly - in the 1949 Spare Parts Catalog as 68000-47 "Tail lamp cpt.", and in the 1951 and subsequent catalogs, it was "replaced by" 68001-47 "Tail lamp cpt with hood". (Perhaps the 68000 did not include the chrome hood and fasteners? I don't know.)

You could NOT buy the bracket separately. They did offer the 68091-20 "Tail lamp red lens" separately, but this would have been the big twin version.

Obviously, they made a certain number of these 125-only ASSEMBLIES. It boggles my mind as to why a cost-conscious company like Harley-Davidson would do such a thing. But so they did.

Ergo, IMHO, all 1948-1952 Model 125's should have these marked "125" taillight brackets and red lenses.

The question now arises - what about 1953 - 1854 - 1955 Model 165's which used similar-appearing taillight brackets and lenses. Did they also say "125"? I don't know. The 1957 Spare Parts Catalog gives the same part numbers as the 1951 book does, but this doesn't mean much. They could have stopped adding the "125" marking to these parts. Perhaps they did, perhaps they didn't. But I can't say for sure.

Perhaps we have some truly original 1953-54-55 Model 165's out there for reference.

Dave Hennessey

Before you let it go, could we have a picture?---
Never knew about them---