Subject:RE: RE: RE: RE: Looking for embossed 125 HD red taillight lens Date:Sun Jun 23 10:55:05 2013
Response to:18571
Dave, I want to add some knowedge here.

The 1948-49 tail lamp brackets were not stamped with the "Harley Davidson 125". That started in 1950. The stamping was then stamped on the right side of the bracket, facing the license plate (when viewing the bike from the back looking towards the front.) When the bullet cover was added, the stamping moved from the right rear to the left front (when viewing as above) All 1948-1955 models has the 125 emobssed on the red lens . The clear lens on these models were ringed inside, whereas the 34-38 models (and some WLA)the clear lens was smooth glass

There is also a bracket that has the Harley-Davison horizontally and the 125 vertically. I don't have one of these in my collection, but I have seen 2 owned by some other folks on the board here. It appears that the stamps were seperate. The H-D as one stamp and the 125 as a seperate stamp, butit doesn't seem rational for all these brackets to be stamped by hand. It would seem like the stamping would have been done when the bracket was stamped out of the metal sheet? But I can't remember if the weird stamped bracket was a bullet or non bullet type bracket.Maybe one of the owners will post a pic of the bracket.

I do however have all 3 of the tail lamp types. 48-49, 50 Only and 51-55 ( I have 2 NOS of this type). All have the 125 embossd red lens

Also, the 48-50 lamp used a parkerized "wire" retainer to hold in the lenses, but the bullet cover models all used a cadmium plated spiral snap ring. This is gleaned from restoring quite a few really original bikes and also acquiring NOS tail lamps.

I have seen one 48-49 bracket that was stamped, but after striping the paint, it turned out that someone had welded the bullet cover holes in the bracket and then ground them smooth, you could see the dissimilar metal colors at the holes


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---