Exploring the Craftsmanship of Dave Olsen's Ford Flathead V8 Motorcycles-5.webp

Exploring the Craftsmanship

Discover the unique Ford Flathead V8-powered motorcycle, a masterpiece of automotive artistry by Dave Olsen of Olson’s V8 Flathead Motorcycles. This handcrafted bike, built in Maple Park, Illinois, seamlessly blends classic Ford Flathead V8 engineering with innovative motorcycle design.

Equipped with a rebuilt 60 bhp engine, it features a custom tubular steel frame, hardtail rear, and a sprung saddle. Fully road-legal, it’s a testament to American engineering heritage, merging history with modern craftsmanship. Ideal for enthusiasts, this motorcycle showcases Olsen’s dedication to quality and the enduring legacy of the Ford Flathead V8, making it a unique piece of automotive history.

Ford Flathead V8 Motorcycle

Olson’s V8 Flathead Motorcycles, founded by Dave Olsen, specializes in constructing custom motorcycles powered by the iconic Ford Flathead V8 engine. Based in Maple Park, Illinois, the company handcrafts each motorcycle, beginning with a completely rebuilt 60 bhp Flathead V8 engine installed into a bespoke tubular steel frame. These motorcycles feature a hardtail rear and a sprung saddle, balancing durability with comfort.


Dave Olsen ensures that each motorcycle meets road legality standards, equipping them with necessary lighting and safety features for street use. The unique appeal of these motorcycles has reached international markets, including Australia.

The Ford Flathead V8 engine, a cornerstone of American automotive history, powers these motorcycles. First mass-produced by Ford and introduced in the 1932 Ford Model 18, this engine made V8 power affordable to the average American, igniting the hot rod movement. Its production ran until 1954, and it remains a popular choice for custom projects like Olsen’s motorcycles due to ongoing aftermarket support.

Custom Motorcycles

Each motorcycle boasts custom features such as a split fuel tank designed to accommodate the engine’s carburetor and air cleaner. Olsen employs a direct-drive transmission system to leverage the engine’s high torque output, eliminating the need for gear shifting. He prioritizes safety with dual front discs and a single rear disc for braking. Additional features include an electric starter, a Mallory distributor, and a radiator for efficient cooling.

This particular motorcycle discussed is powered by a rare 136 cubic inch (2,228cc) Ford Flathead V8 engine, known for producing 60 bhp and 100 lb-ft of torque. This engine variant, produced for only three years, adds to the motorcycle’s uniqueness.

The key analysis of the Ford Flathead V8-powered motorcycle built by Dave Olsen of Olson’s V8 Flathead Motorcycles includes several notable aspects:

  • Innovation in Motorcycle Design: Olsen’s approach to motorcycle construction is innovative, combining classic automotive engineering with modern motorcycle design. The use of the Ford Flathead V8 engine in a motorcycle is a unique fusion of car and bike cultures.
  • Historical Significance of the Engine: The Ford Flathead V8 engine holds historical importance. It was Ford’s first mass-produced V8 engine and made V8 power accessible to a wider audience. Its introduction in the 1932 Ford Model 18 played a pivotal role in popularizing the V8 engine and catalyzing the American hot rod movement. The continued interest in this engine, including in custom projects like Olsen’s motorcycles, highlights its enduring legacy.
  • Customization and Craftsmanship: Each motorcycle is custom-built by hand, showcasing Olsen’s commitment to craftsmanship. The bespoke tubular steel frame, hardtail rear, and sprung saddle are examples of tailored design elements that cater to both aesthetics and functionality.
  • Road Legality and Global Appeal: These motorcycles are not just showpieces; they are built to be street-legal, equipped with necessary lighting and safety features. Their appeal extends beyond the U.S., with international exports, indicating a global interest in this unique blend of automotive history and motorcycle craftsmanship.
  • Technical Features and Performance: The choice of a direct-drive transmission leverages the high torque output of the Flathead V8, simplifying the design by eliminating the need for gear shifting. The inclusion of dual front and single rear disc brakes addresses the safety requirements of handling a heavy motorcycle. Additional features like an electric starter and a radiator for cooling further enhance the bike’s functionality.
  • Exclusivity and Rarity: The use of the less common 136 cubic inch (2,228cc) Ford Flathead V8 engine adds a layer of exclusivity. This engine variant’s limited production run contributes to the motorcycle’s rarity and potential collectibility.
  • Market Availability: The availability of this motorcycle for sale in Twinsburg, Ohio, presents an opportunity for enthusiasts and collectors to own a piece of combined automotive and motorcycle history.

Olson’s V8 Flathead Motorcycles

Dave Olsen’s Ford Flathead V8-powered motorcycle is a remarkable example of blending historical automotive engineering with custom motorcycle design, resulting in a unique, road-legal, and historically significant vehicle. This project not only showcases Olsen’s craftsmanship but also reflects the enduring appeal of the Ford Flathead V8 engine in modern vehicle customization.

As of the time of the description, this specific motorcycle is up for sale in Twinsburg, Ohio. Dave Olsen’s Ford Flathead V8-powered motorcycles stand out for their innovative combination of classic engine and modern craftsmanship, capturing the essence of both history and contemporary design.


Don’t miss your chance to own a piece of automotive history! If you’re a motorcycle enthusiast or a collector of unique vehicles, this Ford Flathead V8-powered motorcycle by Dave Olsen is a must-have. Experience the perfect blend of classic engineering and custom craftsmanship. Visit our showroom in Twinsburg, Ohio, or contact us for more details and to schedule a viewing. Embrace the legacy of the Ford Flathead V8 in a way like never before. Act now to make this extraordinary motorcycle a highlight of your collection!

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