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Harley Davidson History
It all began in 120 years ago in 1903, Harley Davidson was created by William Harley and Arthur Davidson hence the name of the company. The founders created their first prototype motorcycle by 1904 and actually placed 4th in a race with the machine. The bike boasted a loop-frame pattern frame and 405cc engine or 24.7 cubic inches and was actually Assembled in their back yard.
In April 1905 production started of complete motorcycles for the end user, be it only on a very limited basis. by the end of 1905, 5 Harley Davidsons were built in the same shed in the back yard of their home. In 1906 the first factory was built on Chester street in Milwaukee, the same place where the current corporate headquarters stands today. By the end of 1906 Harley Davidson were turning out 50 motorcycles which was a huge improvement from the year previous.
The very first Harley Davidson v-twin engine was produced in 1907. These were 45 degree engine design and produced 7 horsepower from 880cc and drove the motorcycle all the way up to a top speed of 60 mph. By the end of 1909 Harley Davidson had produced 1149 machines just that year, so growth was happening at a rapid rate.
In WW1 Harley Davidson sold 20,000 motorcycles to the US army, which gained solid recognition for the brand and just made H-D even bigger at the time.
Between the 1950s to the late 70s Harley Davidson was in a rough position, the bikes quality was cut, the Japanese had dominated most of the world with their motorcycles and this led to the company nearly going bust. In 1981 this was turned around thankfully as 13 investors bought into the company and made drastic changes. The new bikes were completely changed in the aspect of better handling, more power and up to date technology, the bikes still kept that retro look and feel of the older bikes and it gradually won back old customers and saved HD.
In the present day Harley Davidson make all types of motorcycles, but now they handle well, are a lot faster than their older siblings and boast modern day reliable electrics!
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