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Ride that bike

Ride that bike

Which Bike?

The Harley Davidson!

A modest beginning. A dedicated team striving for perfection.
Officially completed in 1903 by the Harley Davidson Company, the journey began unofficially in 1901 with a 21-year-old named William S. Harley.
He sketched out plans for a compact 7.07 cubic inches engine, paired with 4-inch flywheels. The intention was to integrate it into a standard pedal-bicycle frame.
Guided by his friend Arthur Davidson and his brother Walter, they embarked on this venture.
The initial attempt, however, took shape in the machine shop of their friend Henry Melk. This prototype fell short in power to conquer Milwaukee’s gentle slopes; hence, relying on human pedaling.
The inaugural authentic Harley Davidson Motorcycle came into being with the contribution of another Davidson sibling, William. This version featured a larger engine at 24.74 cubic inches, sporting 9-3/4 inch flywheels, weighing 28 pounds.
By September 8, 1904, the upgraded motorcycle was ready, marking its debut in a Milwaukee motorcycle race.
The initial production yielded three motorcycles in 1903, followed by three more in 1904. As the calendar turned to 1905, production escalated to eight completed motorcycles. This landmark enabled Walt Davidson to bid farewell to his railroad job, becoming the company’s first full-time employee. Adding a touch of artistry, his aunt Janice Davidson lent her talent, adorning the bikes in black with exquisite gold trim.

Thus, the birth of a legend, the iconic motorbike.

Ride that bike...The Harley Davidson! A humble begin. A team dedicated to perfection.
Harley Davidson

Harley Davidson’s Evolution: From Modest Beginnings to Global Dominance

In the year 1906, the inaugural factory of the Harley Davidson Motor Company emerged as an unassuming wooden edifice on Chestnut Street, now recognized as Juneau Avenue. This historical location stands firm as the corporate headquarters of the Motor Company, a hub from which its influence has spread across the globe.
The year 1907 marked a significant milestone with William S. Harley’s graduation from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, armed with a degree in mechanical engineering. This juncture also witnessed the expansion of the factory’s premises, leading to a remarkable surge in production, escalating the motorcycle count from 50 to a notable 150.
Notably, 1907 also saw the culmination of a pivotal achievement: the creation of the prototype 45-degree V-Twin engine. Boasting a displacement of 53.68 cubic inches and a power output of approximately 7 horsepower, this innovation doubled the hill-climbing capabilities of the initial motorcycles.
The year 1908 ushered in a production uptick, reaching 450 motorcycles, an ascent that continued to reach an impressive 1,149 in 1909.
The trajectory of success was undeniable. The original factory structure was substituted and expanded upon, propelling Harley Davidson motorcycles to assert their dominance in the competitive realm of motorcycle racing.
By the time 1914 rolled around, the pinnacle of achievement was evident, as production figures soared to a staggering 16,284 units.
The onset of the First World War exponentially escalated the demand for motorcycles, particularly within the military context. Harley Davidson’s factory was instrumental, churning out over 20,000 units to serve military forces.
Following the war’s conclusion, the company persisted in its trajectory of advancement and production prowess. It stood tall as one of the two American cycle manufacturers to withstand the ravages of the Great Depression, a testament to its resilience and enduring appeal.
Even throughout the tumultuous periods of the Second World War and the Korean War, the company’s commitment to the military remained unwavering, as it continued to supply machines. Eventually, the iconic Jeep took the reins of popularity, supplanting the Harley Davidson motorcycles in military utility.
Today, the Harley Davidson Motor Company maintains its robust presence and influence. The moniker “HOG” is now a recognizable entity on the Stock Market, synonymous with prudent investment choices, whether in the form of a bike or a share. The legacy of Harley Davidson’s journey, from its humble origins to its current global stature, is a testament to its enduring appeal and unwavering commitment to excellence.

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4 thoughts on “Ride that bike”

  1. Hello 😉
    This is very informative & helpful article with lots of new & exciting details and things to learn about, great job!

    It was really fascinating learning about Harley Davidson bike history, especially for someone with very little knowdlegde regarding HD bike as myself. I found few details to be very fascinating, like the fact that the first bike was officially completed in 1903 by the Harley Davidson Company, however unofficialy it started by 21-year-old William S. Harley in 1901.
    Also, what I’ve found to be interesting is that the prototype version didn’t have enough power to propel the bike up Milwaukee’s modest hills, so they had to team up with nother Davidson brother- William and improve the specifications and the build of the bike to achieve those wanted results.
    I also didn’t know that there was such huge increase in bike production from 450 motorcycles up to 1,149 in 1909, wow!
    Keep up the good work 😉

    1. Hi Evald! 

      Yes… humble start and what a result over the years. 

      I find it a very inspiring story too.  Never to give up. And also to see how tight family bands overcame all difficulties. 

      Glad you liked the story… still fascinating and a real exploit!

      Thank you


  2. This was a fascinating read! Thanks for your research on motorcycles. I had forgotten that their stock sign is HOG (ha!). Love it. I’m assuming you ride bikes. Do you have a favorite modern Harley? I’m not in the market currently, but it would be a fun hobby to take up sometime in the future. Good to know some American Bike History!

    1. Hi Kevin… 

      Thank you. Fascinating history indeed. 

       My brother just bought one and our neighbour parades with one …  and my grandma used to ride one as well. I do not ride… car injuries won’t allow me. 

      Fascinating bike indeed…. they come in all shapes… just meet your needs. 

      Just make sure to have the boots and protective clothing…  

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Bargain Chopwa

Bargain Chopwa

Welcome to chopwa! A retail e-shop with reviews, references, opportunities, top products, services, bargains and much more! I love the surprise of little shops in our streets, far away from the big ones.View Author posts

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