On April 6, 1931, Harley-Davidson announced that it would begin offering a built-in reverse gear on all 74″ Big Twins. This gear allowed the motorcycle to run backwards, something that wasn’t possible on previous motorcycles. Motorcycles at the time had three-speed gear boxes and the addition of this fourth gear required a design change in the gear box and cover. This meant that anyone wanting the reverse gear had to purchase a new motorcycle, as it could not be added to older machines. Furthermore, the reverse gear was only available on 74″ Big Twin VL models.