Harley-Davidson, United States of America

Harley-Davidson, United States of America

Harley-Davidson, Inc. USA


1903; 114 years ago
William S. Harley, Arthur Davidson, Walter Davidson, William A. Davidson

Milwaukee, Wisconsin, U.S.


Harley-Davidson, Inc. (H-D), commonly know as the Harley is an American motorcycle producer which was founded in the year 1903 in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, United States. Harley is one of the major American motorcycle producer who survived the Great Depression along with the Indian. The company has survived numerous ownership arrangements, subsidiary arrangements, periods of poor economic health and product quality, as well as intense global competition, to become one of the world's largest motorcycle manufacturers and an iconic brand widely known for its loyal following. The company was noted for the style of customization that gave rise to the chopper motorcycle style. Harley-Davidson traditionally marketed heavyweight, air-cooled cruiser motorcycles with engine displacements greater than 700 cm³ and has broadened its offerings to include its more contemporary and middle-weight platforms.



In 1901, William S. Harley drew up plans for a small engine with a displacement of 7.07 cubic inches and four inches flywheels. William S. Harley and Arthur Davidson worked on their motor-bicycle. After testing their power-cycle, Harley and the Davidson brothers found it unable to climb the hills around Milwaukee without pedal assistance. So they quickly wrote off their first motor-bicycle as a valuable learning experiment. Immediately, they started working on the next generation of the motorcycle, in result the first "real" Harley-Davidson motorcycle was produced. Harley-Davidson motorcycle had a bigger engine of 24.74 cubic inches (405 cc³) with 9.75 inches (25 cm) flywheels weighing 28 lb (13 kg). he bigger engine and loop-frame design took it out of the motorized bicycle category and marked the path to future motorcycle designs.

In January 1905 small advertisements were placed in the Automobile and Cycle Trade Journal offering bare Harley-Davidson engines to the do-it-yourself trade. By April 1905, complete motorcycles were in production on a very limited basis. In 1905 and 1906 all the production was single-cylinder models with 26.84 cubic inch engines. In February 1907 at the Chicago Automobile Show a prototype model with a 45-degree V-Twin engine was displayed. These first V-Twins displaced 53.68 cubic inches and produced about 7 horsepower (5.2 kW).


In 1911, an improved V-Twin model was introduced by the company. The new engine had mechanically operated intake valves, as opposed to the "automatic" intake valves used on earlier V-Twins that opened by engine vacuum with a displacement of 49.48 cubic inches. In 1912, Harley-Davidson introduced their patented "Ful-Floteing Seat" which was suspended by a coil spring inside the seat tube. By 1913, the yellow brick factory had been demolished and on the site a new 5-story structure had been built. In 1917, United States entered World War I and the military demanded for the motorcycles for war effort. Harley-Davidsons are already used by the military, but World War I was the first when US military used the harleys for the military use.

After entering in the war the US military purchased over 20,000 motorcycles from Harley-Davidson. In 1917, Harley-Davidson launched a line of bicycles in hopes of recruiting customers for its motorcycles. The production line up for the bicycles are besides the traditional diamond frame men's bicycle, models included a step-through frame 3-18 "Ladies Standard" and a 5-17 "Boy Scout" for youth. Later in 1923, the production of the bicycles are discontinued because of disappointing sale.


By the year 1920 Harley-Davidson was the largest motorcycle manufacturer in the world, they produced 28,189 machines and have dealers in 67 countries. In 1921, a Harley-Davidson was the first motorcycle ever to win a race at an average speed greater than 100 mph (160 km/h) and was ridden by Otto Walker. In 1921, a new V-Twin was introduced with the several improvements such as a new 74 cubic inch, the improvements were put in place during the 1920. In the late summer of 1929, Harley-Davidson introduced its 45 cubic inches (737 cm³) flathead V-Twin to compete with the Indian 101 Scout and the Excelsior Super X. Riders of Indian motorcycles derisively referred to this model as the "three cylinder Harley" because the generator was upright and parallel to the front cylinder. The 2.745 in (69.7 mm) bore and 3.8125 in (96.8 mm) stroke would continue in most versions of the 750 engine; exceptions include the XA and the XR-750.


Buell Motorcycle Company

In 1987, Harley-Davidson associates with the sportbike manufacturer Buell Motorcycle Company and Harley supplied Buell with fifty surplus XR1000 engines. Buell buyed the engines from Harley-Davidson until 1993, when Harley-Davidson bought 49 percent of the Buell Motorcycle Company. In 1998, Harley-Davidson increased its share in Buell to 98% and in 2003 Harley-Davidson completely owns the Buell. Buell develops a low cost and low maintenance motorcycle to attract newcomers to motorcycling, as a result a single-cylinder Buell Blast was introduced in 2000. On 15 October 2009, Harley-Davidson Inc. issued an official statement that it would be discontinuing the Buell line and ceasing production immediately. The stated reason was to focus on the Harley-Davidson brand. The company refused to consider selling Buell.


Model Families

Touring :

Touring models of Harley-Davidson use Big-Twin engines and large-diameter telescopic forks. The touring family, also known as "dressers" or "baggers", includes Road King, Road Glide, Street Glide and Electra Glide models offered in various trims. Touring models are distinguishable by their large saddlebags, rear coil-over air suspension and are the only models to offer full fairings with radios and CBs. All touring models use the same frame, which was first introduced in 1980. The frame was modified for the 1994 model year when the oil tank went under the transmission and the battery was moved inboard from under the right saddlebag to under the seat. In 2008, Harley added anti-lock braking systems and cruise control as a factory installed option on all touring models. For 2009 model year touring,  the Harley-Davidson was fully redesigned with several changes, including a new frame,

new swingarm, a completely revised engine-mounting system, 17-inch (430 mm) front wheels for all but the FLHRC Road King Classic, and a 2–1–2 exhaust. In 2014, Harley-Davidson released a redesign for specific touring bikes and called it "Project Rushmore", changes include a new 103CI High Output engine, one handed easy open saddlebags and compartments, a new Boom! Box Infotainment system with either 4.3 inch (10 cm) or 6.5 inch (16.5 cm) screens featuring touchscreen functionality.


Softail :

These big-twin motorcycles capitalize on Harley's strong value on tradition. With the rear-wheel suspension hidden under the transmission, they are visually similar to the "hardtail" choppers which ere popular in the 1960s and 1970s. In keeping with that tradition, Harley offers Softail models with "Heritage" styling that incorporate design cues from throughout their history and used to offer "Springer" front ends on these Softail models from the factory. Softail models utilize the big-twin engine (F) and the Softail chassis (ST). Softail models that use Springer forks with a 21-inch (530 mm) wheel have designations that begin with FXSTS. Softail models that use Springer forks with a 16-inch (410 mm) wheel have designations that begin with FLSTS. Softail models that use 16 inch (410 mm) Front Wheels have designations beginning with FL. Softail models that use 21 inch (530 mm) Front Wheels have designations that begin with FX.


Dyna :

In 1980s and in early 1990s Dyna-frame motorcycles were produced and were debuted in the year 1991. In 1992 the line continued with the limited edition FXDB Daytona and a production model FXD Super Glide. The new DYNA frame featured big-twin engines and traditional styling. The 2006 Dyna models typically featured a narrow, XL-style 39mm front fork and front wheel, as well as footpegs which the manufacturer included the letter "X" in the model designation to indicate. The Dyna family used the 88-cubic-inch (1,440 cm³) twin cam from 1999 to 2006, later, it became to the 96 cubic inches (1,570 cm³) in 2007. For the 2012 model year, the manufacturer began to offer Dyna models with the 103-cubic-inch (1,690 cm³) upgrade.


Sportster :

In 1957, Sportster was introduced, the Sportster family were conceived as racing motorcycles, and were popular on dirt and flat-track race courses through the 1960s and 1970s. The sportsters make use of 883 cc or 1,200 cc Evolution engines and, though often modified, remain similar in appearance to their racing ancestors. Sportster family is smaller in lighter than the other Harley models. The 2004 Sportster received a new frame accommodating a rubber-mounted engine which made the bike heavier and reduced the available lean angle, while it reduced the amount of vibration transmitted to the frame and the rider, providing a smoother ride for rider and passenger. For the 2007 model year, Harley-Davidson celebrated the 50th anniversary of the Sportster and produced a limited edition called the XL50.



In 2001, VRSC muscle bike was introduced and the VRSC muscle bike family bears little resemblance to Harley's more traditional lineup. Competing against Japanese and American muscle bikes in the upcoming muscle bike/power cruiser segment, the "V-Rod" makes use of an engine developed jointly with Porsche that, for the first time in Harley history, incorporates overhead cams and liquid cooling. V-Rod is visually distinctive, easily identified by the 60-degree V-Twin engine. In 2008, Harley added the anti-lock braking system as a factory installed option on all VRSC models. Harley also increased the displacement of the stock engine from 1,130 to 1,250 cc.



Street :

The Street was the Harley-Davidson's newest platform and their first all new platform in thirteen years. The street was designed to appeal to younger riders looking for a lighter bike in the cheaper price. The Street 750 weighs 218 kg and has a ground clearance of 144 mm giving it the lowest weight and the highest ground clearance of Harley-Davidson motorcycles currently available. Street 750 uses the all new liquid-cooled 60° V-twin engine called the Revolution X.  In the Street 750, the engine displaces 749 cc (45.7 cu in) and produces 65 Nm at 4,000 rpm.


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