Pages home > Harley-Davidson History

Harley-Davidson History

sissy bar
Harley-Davidson history is long and proud and commenced at the beginning of the twentieth century. The beginnings on this American icon were extremely humble. In 1903, Davidson brothers Arthur and Walter together with William S. Harley built just one cylinder motorcycle within a wooden shed built by cabinet making William C. Davidson. The Davidson brother's aunt Janet painted the pin-stripes for the initial Harleys.

harley davidson

In 1905 the initial Harley to get stated in significant numbers was the Silent Gray Fellow named for its quite operation and grey color. They were 450cc single cylinder bikes by using a bicycle-style frame.To decrease preventing the rider was required to peddle backwards.

Following a official formation in the company in 1907, Arthur registered over 800 dealers in 10 years. These dealers were within America's then 48 states. Just 5yrs following your first Harleys were made and sold the Detroit Police purchased a number of motorcycles. By 1925, over 2,500 police units in the usa were riding Harley-Davidsons.

The very first V-Twin Harley was produced in 1909. It turned out an inlet-over-exhaust belt-driven engine. This primary V-Twin was the Model 5-D. It was the engine that will go on to make Harley famous.

A number of Harley-Davidson history is Harleys contribution to U.S. Military efforts. In 1918 Harley supplied a huge number of motorcycles to the military to be utilized in Ww 1. Up to 50 % coming from all Harley-Davidsons produced that year were sold to the military. The initial American GI to enter Germany was Roy Holtz, riding a Harley-Davidson.

Harley became involved in racing to demonstrate the dependability with their bikes. Harley's first and notable success was in 1908. Walter Davidson won the Jack Pine Endurance run. Not only did the bike prove its dependability, the bike won the economy contest with 188 miles per gallon. In 1921 Harley becomes the 1st motorcycle to win a race with an average speed of 100PMH on a board track in Fresno, CA. Another early success story was the record of Joe Petrali, who set an eye on 136.183MPH at Daytona Beach in 1937. Early Harley racing teams adopted a pig as their mascot and carried it on victory laps. This may are already a sluggish start the word HOG. Racing wasn't always a priority for Harley but their riders also have great success over time.

In 1941 America joins The second world war. Harley produces the Model WLA offering blackout lights, high clearence fenders and metal leg shields. The majority Harley-Davidsons output was specialized in the military from 1941 to 1945. After world war 2, Harley produced 88,000 WLA models for that U.S. Military and around 20,000 for your Canadians.

When examining Harley-Davidson history, we simply cannot forget the many Wwii ex-servicemen who returned to small town America. While Harley-Davidson's civilian production had just about ceased through the war, there have been a good amount of army surplus motorcycles to get bought. Several ex-servicemen started a trend by purchasing and customizing these bikes. They removed or shortened the fenders to cut back weight. These bikes became known as Bobbers. These changes ultimately result in the evolution in the Chopper.

Following a post-war boom, the business's sales were damaged through the influx of cheaper Japanese and British imports. This competition ironically caused an upsurge of curiosity in motorcycles, which the company profited from. Harley was bought by American Machine and Foundry (AMF) in 1969. Harley-Davidson history is stuffed with good and the bad. Many of us are of sufficient age to understand that Harley went through some crisis throughout the AMF years. In 1981 senior management bought the corporation back from AMF.

Harley slowly came back within the 80s and now Harley-Davidson is among the best names on the planet. In 1983 Harley Owners Group (HOG) was formed with 30,000 members inside the 1st year. Finally, there are about millions of HOG members world wide. After 105 years, Harley-Davidson Motorcycles are more popular than ever before.

Last updated 394 days ago by sissybar6