Frame question: K versus KHK

Production K Models

Re: Frame question: K versus KHK

Postby chuckthebeatertruck » Thu Sep 13, 2018 3:55 pm

One of the odd things is that a K or any of its variants seem to attract only two types of buyer:

They are either an enthusiast who knows exactly what they are looking at and have a specific price in mind.


They are someone just interested in a "rare old Harley."

95% of the buyers are in camp #2. They are the ones that often will pay stupid money because they automatically think old = valuable and old harley = major cash. You can blow all sorts of smoke up their butts about how Arlen Ness "blessed" your bike or some other such nonsense and they'll buy it lock stock and barrel.

For example, I watched what was billed as a 60CH get bid up. The bike was poorly "restored" and had blown it's motor apart more than once. So, the right case and the left case were replacements -- but the bellies were YEARS apart. And everything else had been either changed out, chromed, or just wholesale replaced with V-twin junk. I knew what I was staring at and wanted a rider . . . the seller wanted #1 restored at Mecum money. Comically enough, he was from Camp 2 and sold the bike ABOVE his asking price to what was likely another Camp 2 person. I bet that bike comes up at an auction in a year or two and is described as "restored to the highest museum quality standards." If you know me; you know what I do for a living and why I laugh so hard at statements like that.

What also really impacts value is WHERE you are located. If you live in the Mid-Atlantic or California; these bikes are easier to find and come up for sale more often. The prices are often more reasonable. If you live in a place like Fargo -- well you get what you get and you have to be patient to get someone to come down on price. So, prices are as much regional as they are the buyer. I've also noticed that folks in the middle of nowhere don't really care how long it takes. They will just wait and wait. I've seen bikes listed several times over a few years. Same story every time I call -- they just won't lower their price.

So, on the right day in the right place -- yeah, you'll get your money back. Of course, the "buyer" if they are in camp two will be all freaked out by the right side shift and no return springs on the throttle -- followed closely by creaming themselves because it's a KICK start and has "gasp" DRUM brakes. Wow-wee!

Now, on the flip side, the enthusiast won't pay you much for an incorrect bike. They'll give you rider money -- not show money.

All that said, my own bike is a 59XLH in a 54 K frame. 19 front and 18 rear wheel. It has got to be one of the BEST bikes I've ever had -- period. The geometry, coupled with the punch of the ironhead is just magic. It's so good I'm redoing the top end this winter just to have an excuse to mount a GBL and this set of Sifton cams that found it's way to me . . .

But, there's no way a collector will give me more than rider money for this thing. An enthusiast might give me more if they understand what it is . . . But, if I ever sell it, I'll make my cheddar off a RUB who only sees an old harley and has no clue my bike isn't even close to stock. It "looks" right, but sure isn't. The bike will then sit in their office/bar/man cave so they can brag how they have this old harley that will "throw you over the bars and break your knee." Sure it will skippy. ;)

Point is, if you want to ride -- RIDE. These bikes are still tremendous on the road and return soooooooo many miles of smiles.
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Re: Frame question: K versus KHK

Postby Mayday53 » Thu Sep 13, 2018 6:07 pm

Yeah, I will continue to do my research into the parts I need to make it correct, or see if I can find a “rolling KHK chassis” without a motor. I am with Dave though, I cannot see getting KHK frame for what I could sell/trade my K frame/forks. It may be best to just drive it as is and put a price on it. If someone comes along to buy it I can sell, if not I have a great bike.
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