Find or Sell Motorcycles & Scooters in USA

Harley-Davidson Motorcycles

About Harley-Davidson

Harley-Davidson Inc (NYSE: HOG, formerly HDI), often abbreviated H-D or Harley, is an American motorcycle manufacturer. Founded in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, during the first decade of the 20th century, it was one of two major American motorcycle manufacturers to survive the Great Depression.

The company sells today only heavyweight motorcycles with over 700 cc, designed for cruising on highways. Harley-Davidson motorcycles, or "Harleys", are noted for the tradition of heavy customization. Harley-Davidson's attempts to establish itself in the light motorcycle market have met little success and have largely been abandoned since the 1978 sale of its Italian Aermacchi subsidiary.

In 1901, William S. Harley, age 20, drew up plans for a small engine with a displacement of 7.07 cubic inches (116 cc) and four-inch (102 mm) flywheels. The engine was designed for use in a regular pedal-bicycle frame. On a practice, though, it was only experiment, somewhat unsuccessful but a start for more. So first "real" Harley-Davidson motorcycle had a bigger engine of 24.74 cubic inches (405 cc) with 9.75 inches (25 cm) flywheels weighing 28 lb (13 kg).

In September 8, 1904, Harley competed in a Milwaukee motorcycle race held at State Fair Park. This is the first documented appearance of a Harley-Davidson motorcycle in the historical record.

Production in 1905 and 1906 were all single-cylinder models with 26.84 cubic inches (440 cc) engines. Starting from 1907, V-Twin engines appeared, having 53.68 cubic inches (880 cc) and producing about 7 horsepower (5.2 kW).

In 1911, an improved V-Twin model was introduced. 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 (811 cc), the 1911 V-Twin was smaller than earlier twins, but gave better performance. After 1913 the majority of bikes produced by Harley-Davidson would be V-Twin models.

By 1920, Harley-Davidson was the largest motorcycle manufacturer in the world, with 28,189 machines produced, and dealers in 67 countries.

During the 1920s, several improvements were put in place, such as a new 74 cubic inch (1,212.6 cc) V-Twin, introduced in 1922, and the "Teardrop" gas tank in 1925. A front brake was added in 1928 although notably only on the J/JD models. In the late summer of 1929, Harley-Davidson introduced its 45 cubic inches (737 cc) flathead V-Twin, "D" model. An 80 cubic inches (1,300 cc) flathead engine was added to the line in 1935, by which time the single-cylinder motorcycles had been discontinued.

After World War II, as part of war reparations, Harley-Davidson acquired the design of a small German motorcycle, the DKW RT 125, which they adapted, manufactured, and sold from 1948 to 1966. Harley experienced changes in ownership in the ‘60s, going public in 1965 and eventually merging with American Machine and Foundry (AMF) in 1969. The ‘80s and ‘90s saw the introduction of model families that continue to this day, like the Softail, FLT and Road King lines, joining classic models like the Electra Glide. The story continues today.

Moto blog

Motorcycle.com Weekly Community Round-up

Fri, 07 Nov 2008 00:00:00 -0800

Here are a few things going on around the Motorcycle.com Forum Network: Do you use your rear brake?? Another double question mark post. mrcubes2u on the Ducati Monster forums asks if you ever use your rear brakes.

7 Motorcycles for Those Who Can’t Stay Balanced

Thu, 30 Oct 2008 00:00:00 -0700

I remember my first bicycle. A blue frame with white handlebars and a long white banana seat for comfort. I was riding a Smurf.

A Man of LOVE

Fri, 24 Oct 2008 00:00:00 -0700

I had a unique opportunity this week to sit down with Oliver Shokouh, the founder of the Love Ride, only days before the 25th anniversary of the purportedly largest one-day rally in the world, kicks-off this coming Sunday, October 26. First and foremost I’m very grateful for Oliver to set aside over half an hour of his precious time so close to the event. Not only does he head-up this massive event, he’s also busy running the very busy and successful Harley-Davidson/Buell of Glendale (California).