You have seen them on the road. You have seen them in stores. You have seen them in the movies. There is nothing like it. They are not even legends anymore. They make legends. The one and only Harley Davidson Motorcycles. Among the legends there are some facts you might not know. Here is just a few of them.
1. 1901 William S. Harley came up with a blue print of an engine that was intended to fit in a bicycle. He was 21 years old at that time. Three years later, William and Arthur Davidson worked in a factory with dimensions of 10X15ft made of wood, where the first ever Harley Davidson motorcycle roared to life.
2. Henry Meyer was the first customer of the Harley bike in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, USA.
3. In 1904, Chicago was the location of C.H.Lang, the first Harley Davidson dealer.
4. 1905, the Harley motorcycle won a race for the first time. 1910 USA, marked a lot of firsts for the Harley in competition as it bagged all first place in hill climbs, endurance and speed races. This was also the time when the first Harley Davidson full time employee was hired in Milwaukee.
5. In 1906, a bigger factory for the HD was constructed on Juneau Ave with now 6 full time employees. The first Harley Davidson catalogue was released in the same year. The name “Silent Gray Fellow” was launched for the first time depicting the color and the silent engine of the motorcycle.
6. The first woman to ride a Harley was Janet Davidson; however it was not confirmed if the motor was running though. Janet is an aunt of the Davidson boys and helped out with pin striping and painting the letters on the motorcycles. Speculation is, one way or the other she climbed onto one of the firsts Harleys making her the first ever woman to ride one.
7. The first v-twin power engine was introduced in 1909 with a 49.5ci and 7 horse power. This is the same engine that produces the trademark Harley engine “potato” sound. This was also the same year when spare parts were made available to the public.
8. The founder of Forbes magazine Malcolm Forbes one of the wealthiest men, began riding Harley Davidson motorcycles at the age of 40 and has loved it ever since. He was so fond of Harleys that he gave them as gifts to friends besides having 50 of his own.
8. 1998 Manaus, Brazil is the first HD assembly operations off USA shores.
9. The first Harley used a tomato can for a carburetor.
10. The most expensive Harley is the CVO Ultra Classic Electra Glide where only 4,200 were made with a whopping 40k price tag.
And the list of Harley facts goes on and on, facts that are made every year with its continuing legacy. No one ever imagined that an improvisation, a dream that was laid on to a racer bike could have come such a long way. As a Harley will always be a Harley, so will a legend continue to be a legend.