Harley-Davidson Motor Company Founded

Harley-Davidson Motor Company

The Harley-Davidson Motor Company, founded in 1903, is an iconic American motorcycle manufacturer known for its heavyweight motorcycles and distinctive design. The company has played a significant role in shaping the motorcycle culture and industry over the years.

Dates and Details:

  • Harley-Davidson was founded in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, on August 28, 1903, by William S. Harley, Arthur Davidson, Walter Davidson, and William A. Davidson.
  • The first Harley-Davidson prototype was built in a small wooden shed, with “Harley-Davidson Motor Company” crudely written on the door.
  • The company’s first production motorcycle was completed in 1904, and by 1905, Harley-Davidson began selling motorcycles through dealers.

Harley-Davidson Facts:

  1. The oldest known surviving Harley-Davidson motorcycle is the Serial Number One, housed at the Harley-Davidson Museum in Milwaukee, Wisconsin.
  2. Harley-Davidson produced motorcycles for the U.S. military during World War I and II, with over 20,000 motorcycles provided during WWI and 90,000 during WWII.
  3. The famous Harley-Davidson bar and shield logo was first used in 1910 and has remained largely unchanged.
  4. In 1920, Harley-Davidson became the largest motorcycle manufacturer in the world, with dealers in 67 countries.
  5. The term “HOG” is often used to refer to Harley-Davidson motorcycles. This nickname originated from the Harley Owners Group (H.O.G.) founded in 1983 as a way to connect Harley-Davidson riders and promote the company’s brand.
  6. The Harley-Davidson Museum opened in 2008, showcases the company’s history, motorcycles, and memorabilia.

Effects on Pop Culture:

  • Harley-Davidson has become synonymous with motorcycle culture, particularly in the United States, and has been featured in numerous movies, TV shows, and songs.
  • Though most riders are law-abiding citizens, the company’s motorcycles have been associated with various subcultures, such as outlaw motorcycle gangs.
  • Harley-Davidson has fostered a loyal following and a strong sense of community among its riders, leading to numerous events and rallies worldwide, such as the annual Sturgis Motorcycle Rally.

Prominent People and Countries:

  • Key figures in the Harley-Davidson Motor Company include its founders, William S. Harley, Arthur Davidson, Walter Davidson, and William A. Davidson.
  • The United States has been the primary market for Harley-Davidson motorcycles, with the company also having a significant presence in other countries, including Canada, Europe, and Asia.
  • Famous Harley-Davidson riders include Elvis Presley, Steve McQueen, and Peter Fonda, who rode a custom Harley-Davidson chopper in the 1969 film “Easy Rider.”