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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

AMA Pro GoPro Daytona SportBike Riders Gearing Up For Road America

Thu, 29 May 2014 00:00:00 -0700

The AMA Pro GoPro Daytona SportBike class makes its much-anticipated return to Road America this weekend. The four-mile Wisconsin circuit is a particularly exciting place to watch the middleweight bikes because its long straights and braking zones make passing and lead changes commonplace. More than just a test of man and machine, the races often develop into a strategic battle leading up to the all-important last lap and run up the hill to the checkered flag.

2014 AMA Flat Track: Springfield Mile I Results

Mon, 26 May 2014 00:00:00 -0700

Bryan Smith edged out Kenny Coolbeth Jr. by a mere 0.041 seconds to win the AMA Pro Flat Track Experts Twins race at the Springfield Mile. The ten laps of the race saw Smith and his Kawasaki battling for the lead with Coolbeth and Jake Johnson and Jared Mees sitting close behind waiting for an opening.

HeliBars Installation Service Will Be Half Price At The Americade Rally

Tue, 20 May 2014 00:00:00 -0700

HeliBars, one of the leaders in replacement motorcycle handlebars and riser systems, is pleased to announce that installation labor of its innovative, patented products will be just $100–half price–during the Americade rally, in Lake George, New York from June 2nd to 6th. Americade attendees will have their new HeliBars installed and custom-tailored during the rally by factory certified HeliBars installer, Sportline Power Products, in nearby Queensbury. The shop will have on hand a wide selection of Heli comfort kits, headlined by the just-released Luxury Sport Touring Horizon handlebars for Honda Goldwings and F6Bs.

Airhawk Introduces DS Comfort Seating System For Dual Sport Bikes, Bikes With Narrow Seats

Fri, 16 May 2014 00:00:00 -0700

Airhawk, Inc., has introduced the DS Comfort Seating System, a cushion designed specifically for motorcyclists who ride dual sport bikes or bikes with narrower seats. Features of the DS cushion include a narrow front to match the seat profile of most dual sport/adventure bikes and bikes with narrow seats.  A tapered-down front minimizes unwanted pressure on the scrotum, and a heavy-duty hold-down strap system ensures a secure fit to the bike.  The DS also works well with narrow customized or aftermarket seats that have been installed for the purpose of getting the rider lower to the ground.

Harley-Davidson Hires ex-GM Engineer Federico

Thu, 08 May 2014 00:00:00 -0700

Harley-Davidson has hired a former General Motors engineer and executive, most recently recognized for leading the automaker’s internal investigation of its ignition switch fiasco that resulted in a recall of 2.6 million vehicles. Jim Federico retired from GM on May 5 after working in various roles with the company over nearly four decades, most recently as executive director of global vehicle integration. Federico will join Harley-Davidson on June 2 as vice president of engineering.

New Harley-Davidson Book Ties Together The Company’s Past

Thu, 08 May 2014 00:00:00 -0700

Margie Siegal, former columnist for IronWorks Magazine and motorcycle enthusiast has written a book on the history of the world’s most famous motorcycle, Harley-Davidson. Entitled,  Harley-Davidson: A History of the World’s Most Famous Motorcycle, the book ties together the mechanical evolution of the Harley engines, the social history of Harley and the beautiful visuals associated with Harleys in design, advertising, artful photography and collectibles. Harley-Davidson are words that evoke the open American road and the “Made in America” tradition like no others.

Mustang Introduces Perewitz Signature Series Seats

Tue, 06 May 2014 00:00:00 -0700

Fans of custom bikes are well aware of the creative mind behind Dave Perewitz’s motorcycle creations. Discerning riders are also familiar with the comfort of Mustang Seats’ saddles. Now, Mustang has announced the release of the Perewitz Signature Seat Series, combining these two great New England names.

Perry King To Be Grand Marshal At Second Annual The Greatest Escape Motorcycle Ride Benefit

Tue, 06 May 2014 00:00:00 -0700

Organizers have announced that the much anticipated The Greatest Escape, 2014 in it’s second year, will be led by Grand Marshal, Perry King and a host of celebrities. The Greatest Escape is scheduled for Sunday, August 3, 2014 and will begin with a beautiful ride from Bartels’ Harley-Davidson, 4141 Lincoln Blvd., Marina Del Rey, CA along the Pacific Coast Highway with stunning views of the ocean to the rustic and historic Paramount Ranch, Cornell Road, Agoura Hills, CA. Join Perry King for what will be a wonderful day ending with a concert and BBQ lunch on the ranch. The Greatest Escape, 2014 will include a BBQ lunch by J Wolf BBQ and a concert by The Walking Phoenixes, a Johnny Cash tribute band. The Greatest Escape, 2014, will benefit victims of Mesothelioma and the Pacific Meso Center, in Los Angeles, CA.

Harley-Davidson World Ride Scheduled for June 22–23

Tue, 06 May 2014 00:00:00 -0700

There’s something about sharing in a popular consciousness. Participating in an activity that is also taking place at the same time all over the world adds a special meaning to the event. Begun in 2008 by the Harley Owners Group as Million Mile Monday and renamed and enlarged in 2012 toHarley-Davidson World Ride, this event simply asks all “friends of Milwaukee” to get on their hogs and ride on June 22–23.

Harley-Davidson Breakout Recall Caused by Fuel Tank Angle

Fri, 25 Apr 2014 00:00:00 -0700

An official recall announcement by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration sheds some light on the cause of a recall campaign on 2013-2014 Harley-Davidson Breakout and CVO Breakout models. We wrote about the recall last week, after campaigns were initiated in Canada and Australia to address a problem with the fuel sensors not properly reading the correct volume of fuel. We now know the problem is caused by the angle of the fuel tank.