You can always count on Jay Leno to make us all feel inadequate. The affable comedian was at it again when he featured his unrestored 1936 Harley-Davidson Knucklehead in the latest episode of Jay Leno’s Garage.

In his own words, Leno believes that the Knucklehead was the bike that launched Harley-Davidson’s company back in the day. Knowing how much he knows about automotive and motorcycle history, it’s hard to argue against that point.

As far as the specific bike itself is concerned, Leno explained how he got possession of the Knucklehead back in the 80’s. Even then, it took him a while - 30 years, by his count - to give the beaten down Knucklehad a little fixer-upper, only to find out that it actually didn’t need anything more than a clean carburetor and a full tank of gas to roar back to life. Leno and his crew did add a few more parts to make it function like new, but the point is that a bike this old shouldn’t work the way it does if it was basically forgotten for the past three decades.

And yet here it is, looking good as new and purring like a kitten the way it once did. It kind of makes you jealous that for all of his cars and bikes, Leno can still stumble into a classic bike like the Knucklehead.

Oh, the episode concludes, as it always does, with Leno taking the Knucklehead out for a spin around the neighborhood. If you didn’t know any better, you would have thought that this Knucklehead was in its dying stage before being taken out to pasture.

But when it comes to classic cars and classic bikes, you don’t underestimate Jay Leno’s uncanny knack to find hidden and neglected gems and bring them back to their old opulence.

Kirby Garlitos
Kirby Garlitos
Automotive Aftermarket Expert -
Kirby’s first exposure into the world of automobiles happened when he caught Knight Rider on television as a five-year old boy. David Hasselhoff didn’t leave much of an impression on him (that happened later on in Baywatch), but KITT certainly did. To this day, Kirby remains convinced that he will one day own a car with the same ‘spirit’ as the original KITT (not the 2008 monstrosity). He doesn't know when that will be, but until then, he’s committed to expressing his love for KITT, and all cars for that matter, here at TopSpeed.  Read full bio
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