Interesting Facts About Harley-Davidson
Harley-Davidson, the 116-year-old motor company in America, is an iconic motorbike brand popular among bike enthusiasts. The brand is known for introducing some of the most powerful motorcycles with a global fanbase.
The company started in 1903 at the dawn of the ‘Motor Age’ when two friends, obsessed about cycles, got together to combine bicycles with new-fangled engines. Today, the company’s market value is nearly $6 billion and is poised to grow.
Let’s get prepared to learn some interesting (and lesser-known) Harley-Davidson facts that you may or may not know.
HARLEY-DAVIDSON FACTS: THE HISTORY
Detailed below are some of the unknown facts about Harley-Davidson from the history
- Four men founded the Harley-Davidson Motor company. The company first operated from a small shed in Davidson’s family backyard. Harley, Davidson, and Davidson’s two brothers by the same last name created the world-class famous company.
- We read it as Harley-Davidson and not as Davidson-Harley because it was Harley, out of the four men, who came up with the original idea of a motorcycle.
- The first Harley-Davidson model was rejected on the grounds of being too weak to handle the roads of Milwaukee. The team was undeterred. They invested in their first factory in 1906 despite the rejection.
- In 1907, Harley received his engineering degree and the factory started to make 150 motorcycles a year.
- In 1909, the company, now at a steady pace, employed 35 workers to produce more than a thousand bikes per year.
- By then, the company’s signature V-Twin engine was also developed. From that time onward, there was significant increase in the production. About 16,284 units of motorcycles were recorded in 1914.
- By 1920, Harley-Davidson motor company had become the largest manufacturer of motorcycles in the state. It was in the 1930s that they began to paint eagle designs on the tanks of all their motorcycles.
EVERYTHING YOU NEED TO KNOW ABOUT HARLEY-DAVIDSON
Here are some fun facts about Harley-Davidson that may interest every Harley enthusiast:
THE COMPANY’S BIKES WERE USED IN WORLD WAR I
In 1917, when the United States of America joined World War I, the government purchased one-third of Harley-Davidson bikes for the battle. After the ceasefire was over, the first US army entered Germany on a Harley-Davidson motorcycle. Soon after this historical event, in 1920, the brand opened up in 67 countries around the globe and was crowned as the largest motorcycle brand in the world.
THE COMPANY MADE TWIN-CYLINDER ENGINES FOR THE ARMY
On the demand of the US Army, Harley-Davidson built the boxer-style twin-cylinder engine exclusively from 1941 to 1945 during World War II. The recorded figures for bikes manufactured during this period was approximately 90000.
POST WORLD WAR FAME
Harley-Davidson motor company made immense highlights during the war. After the end of the war, the company produced another all-new, unconventional motorbike named ‘Sportstar.’ The brand-new Harley-Davidson model launched in the 1950s and brought the company to the next level. It was the world’s first-ever superbike.
FIRST RACING SUPERBIKE
VR-1000 was the company’s first racing superbike. By 2000, Harley-Davidson started the sale of FXSTD Softline Deuce as well. Interestingly, the sound of the bike’s engine is also patented as it is syncopated due to the V-shaped design of the engine. The Harley-Davidson engine gives a sound like this: “pop, pop, stop, pop, pop, stop.”
TOMATO CAN CARBURETTOR
The first Harley-Davidson motorcycle had a single-cylinder engine, sporting a top speed of 25 mph and using a tomato can for a carburettor.
THE COMPANY HAS FACTORIES IN DIFFERENT COUNTRIES
There are three factories of the mega motor company in the United States of America and extends to Brazil, India and Thailand as well. These factories exclusively manufacture and assemble the Harley motorcycles, whereas their parts are also produced in factories of Germany, Japan, Italy, Taiwan and Mexico. The parts of Harley-Davidson bikes are easy to find across the UAE as well. If you own a Harley-Davidson bike, you can easily buy used motorcycle parts in the UAE online.
THE FIRST COMPANY TO AVERAGE OVER 100 MILES PER HOUR
Otto Walker, a racer, was sponsored and signed by Harley-Davidson company in 1914 to participate in the first major 300-mile race taking place in Venice, California. A few years later, Otto Walker, still nominated by the company to race in the competition, broke all records on a Harley-Davidson bike. In the year 1921, it was found out that the average speed of the racer had been over 100 miles per hour for the entire run. At that time, it was the first time that anyone had brought a bike to such a high speed consistently throughout a long race without running into any trouble. That year, the company made another highlight.
IT’S MORE THAN AN AGE-OLD MOTOR BRAND
Harley-Davidson, after more than a century today, has expanded much more than being just another motorcycle company. To begin with, mega-Hollywood stars like Rihanna, Kanye West, Kid Rock, and Selena Gomez have been brought into the team to represent the brand. It sold $292 million of non-motorcycle merchandise in 2018. Unlike freebies that brands usually send out to build loyalty, Harley-Davidson has such a strong blueprint that the glitterati still bought it eagerly.
The company’s merchandise includes leather jackets, biker boots, T-shirts, and fingerless gloves, to name a few, that proved very functional for riding always. Other products under the brand besides apparel are home décor, ornaments, accessories, toys, bike skull figures, video games, etc. Besides, the brand enthusiasts can also opt to buy Harley-Davidson’s used motorcycle accessories in the UAE online as well as other merchandise. You can also easily buy a Harley-Davidson bike at one of the motorcycle showrooms in the UAE.
THE ‘HOGGING’ OF HARLEY BIKE CAME FROM A REAL HOG
If you are a keen rider of Harley-Davidson, you would know that all fans of the brand prefer to term their method of transport as ‘hog.’ While it may look like a slang nickname, it originally came from a group of boys who would often race on their motorcycles in the 1920s. After winning races, they would get on their bikes along with a pig (hog) for a mascot and would go for victory rides.
Harley-Davidson embraced the term, forming the acronym H.O.G for Harley Owners Group. The company even tried to trademark the term but were denied due to its commonness. They did, however, managed to change their NYSE demarcation from HDI to HOG in 2006.
HARLEY-DAVIDSON TELEVISION SHOW
It isn’t surprising to know that in 2016, a show named Harley and Davidson was released on the Discovery Channel. Based on a true story, the show was a dramatization of the early history of the company and an entertaining watch for all gearheads.
HARLEY-DAVIDSON HAS A MUSEUM
Besides a show, the legendary company has a museum that it operates on its own. It is located in Milwaukee and offers plenty of exhibitions, activities, and tours for people of all ages. There are a ton of hands-on activities for kids on-site while the museum is also full of motorcycles, permitted to be touched, alongside other objects belonging to the history of the Harley-Davidson company.
THE CLASSIC MOVIE, WILD ONE, FEATURED A HARLEY
In 1953, the classic “Wild One” with Marlon Brando featured Harley for the first time on the big screen. Later, in 1969, Easy Rider was launched which was crowned as the quintessential Harley-Davidson motorcycle movie where the bike took centre stage, again.
OTHER COOL FACTS ABOUT HARLEY-DAVIDSON
Let’s find out some other cool facts about Harley-Davidson:
- Besides bikes, the brand owns excellent marketing and advertising techniques across the world.
- There are super-popular, Harley-themed restaurants, clubs, and museums for the youth.
- There are many popular Hollywood movies featuring Harley-Davidson motorcycles including Indiana Jones, Ghost Rider and many others.
- Their bikes are built to last, and when any part needs replacement, they are built to be worked on.
- All the Harley-Davidson models are heavy-weight and have greater rake angles as well as longer wheelbases. This gives them amazing stability and reliability for long rides down the highway. Consequently, Harley-Davidson has a reputation among cross-country travellers as well.
- They are highly customizable. It makes them super easy to work on.
WHAT MAKES HARLEY-DAVIDSON UNIQUE?
The befitting term to use in place of Harley-Davidson is ‘quality.’ It is a brand that never compromises on the brilliance of the bikes, irrespective of the make or model. This is what makes Harley-Davidson unique. All bikes produced under the company’s name have that signature Harley look, style, and design that set them apart from their counterparts. All owners are explicitly passionate about the brand itself and its products.
Now that we have discussed fascinating Harley-Davidson facts about their history to their merchandise, we can conclude that there are far-reaching reasons for their continued success. Their legacy continues to live on, having spread its boundaries from beyond the motorcycle world to becoming a household name with its retro merchandise.
Though in Dubai, motorcycles are not very common, but you will find many Harley-Davidson bike enthusiasts. When the weather is perfect on weekends,10 to 20 bikers with Harley bikes take a ride on one of the main highways and gather at the last exit. Thus, if Harley-Davidson bikes are your first choice being an enthusiast, then you may opt to buy second-hand Harley-Davidson motorcycles in the UAE. Since this company offers various types of motorcycles for bikers with different passions, a few of the options worth considering are:
- Used Chopper bikes for sale in the UAE
- Second-hand Adventure motorcycles in the UAE for sale
- Second-hand Sports Bike in the UAE for sale online
Stay tuned to UAE’s top auto blog for more interesting facts about different automobile brands and other insights.