In 1901, when proper bikes didn’t exist, William S. Harley, who was barely 22 at the time, conceived the idea of an engine and sketched it on paper; the engine was to be attached to a bicycle to make it motorized. In 1903, their efforts bore fruits when William S. Harley and Arthur Davidson produced the first ever Harley-Davidson motorcycle. It was more of a racing bike.
Similar to all great companies Harley-Davidson too had its humble beginning, when they started off from a small wooden shed which was smaller than a normal bedroom. Later on the “company” got a big boost when Arthur's brother Walter later joined them and one of their school friends bought around 1900 bikes from them. In a breakthrough development in 1904, they sold their first three bikes through their first ever dealer, C.H. Lang of Chicago.
Six years later, in 1909, Harley-Davidson Motor Company launched their debut V-twin powered bike. This seven hp and two cylinder bike was a trendsetter for Harley-Davidson. They also started producing the spare parts for their motorcycles. Almost a decade later, their dream came true when Harley-Davidson became the largest motorcycle producer in the world in 1920. By that time they were selling their bikes through a large network of 2,000 dealers around 67 countries globally.
When the Second World War broke out, they started making the bikes for the US military. In 1945, Harley Davidson achieved a milestone as it had produced around 60,000 WLA bikes for the military purpose alone. “W” in WLA stood for family of bikes; “L” meant high compression, and “A” stood for Army. They resumed the civil production soon after. In 1980, the AMA Grand National Championship in dirt track racing was won by a Harley-Davidson racer. Harley Davidson went public in 1986, when they were listed on NASDAQ.
In 2006, they introduced their first ever 6-speed transmissions bike called Dyna. Two year later, they came up with all new frame, a longer wheelbase and lower seating arrangement, which quickly became popular around the world. It had much better maneuverability. Harley Davidson announced their expansion into Indian market in 2009.
Harley-Davidson Bikes models
The famous Harley Davidson models are:
- Forty Eight
- Touring Iron
- SuperLow .
Last Updated on 6/15/2012