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Bill Ottaway Bill Ottaway

Speed tuner manager of H-D Wrecking Crew.

William Ottaway was born in Canada in 1877 and studied mechanical engineering before emigrating to the United States. He joined Thor in 1909, and by 1913--the year William Harley hired him to become his assistant--Ottaway had earned a reputation as a skilled speed tuner. At Harley-Davidson, Ottaway began to improve the basic V-twin, introduced in 1911, and from that basic engine created the sleek 11-K production racer, six of which were entered at the Dodge City 300 in 1914. Ottaway went on to develop more potent racing machinery, including the eight-valve V-twin. He was not just an accomplished engineer and speed tuner, but became noted as a good strategist and tactician as the manager of Harley-Davidson's large Wrecking Crew.