Wednesday, May 27, 2009

HARLEY DAVIDSON MOTORCYCLES





Man on motorcycle
ca 1910-1930
Courtesy The Library of Congress



1909 Model 5A ' Silent Grey Fellow'
Photo from the 'Legend of the Motorcycle'
Concours D'Elegance
Copyright © KHI, Inc.
The 'Harley-Davidson' motorcycle company's humble beginnings can be traced back to a small wood barn in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, back in 1903. After designing a small gas engine for mounting on a bicycle frame, William S. Harley joined with brothers' Arthur and Walter Davidson to build their first motorcycle, the "Silent Grey Fellow." The Silent Grey Fellow was an overnight sucess, and by the 1910s the original 1903 prototype for the Silent Grey Fellow was being used as a promotional mascot, having clocked over 100,000 miles. (1909 Model 5A ' Silent Grey Fellow' shown above)
(Copyright © 2009 TheWorldOfMotorcycles.com)

Motorcycle Illustrated
October 1, 1914
Courtesy The Library of Congress



With the help of a childhood friend named William Harley and a dollop of good old American know-how, Arthur Davidson developed early prototypes of the world-famous Harley-Davidson (HOG) motorcycle a hundred years ago in his Wisconsin toolshed.
Ever since, virtually all Harleys have been made on U.S. turf, including the modern-day "Hogs" with their distinctive Big V-Twin engines, by now a piece of American culture. Many Harley riders wouldn't have it any other way -- one reason the company won't move production outside the U.S., company spokesman Bob Klein says.
The company resolved tense labor disputes at its big York, Pa., plant two years ago, and that plant, along with factories in Wisconsin and Missouri, continue to churn out bikes and accessories sold around the globe. Foreigners buy 30% of the bikes and gear sold by Harley-Davidson, the only major U.S. motorcycle company, helping to keep its 9,300 U.S. workers busy.
(By Michael Brush in © 2009 Microsoft)
In 1901, William S. Harley, age 21, 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.
Over the next two years Harley and his childhood friend Arthur Davidson labored on their motor-bicycle using the northside machine shop at the home of their friend, Henry Melk. It was finished in 1903 with the help of Arthur's brother, Walter Davidson. Upon completion the boys found their power-cycle unable to conquer Milwaukee's modest hills without pedal assistance. Will Harley and the Davidsons quickly wrote off their first motor-bicycle as a valuable learning experiment.
Work immediately began on a new and improved second-generation machine. This 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). The machine's advanced loop-frame pattern was similar to the 1903 Milwaukee Merkel motorcycle (designed by Joseph Merkel, later of Flying Merkel fame.) The bigger engine and loop-frame design took it out of the motorized-bicycle category and would help define what a modern motorcycle should contain in the years to come. The boys also received help with their bigger engine from outboard motor pioneer Ole Evinrude, who was then building gas engines of his own design for automotive use on Milwaukee's Lake Street.
The prototype of the new loop-frame Harley-Davidson was assembled in a 10- by 15-foot (3 by 5 meter) shed in the Davidson family backyard. Most of the major parts, however, were made elsewhere, including some probably fabricated at the West Milwaukee railshops where oldest brother William A. Davidson was then toolroom foreman. This prototype machine was functional by 8 September 1904 when it competed in a Milwaukee motorcycle race held at State Fair Park. It was ridden by Edward Hildebrand and placed fourth. This is the first documented appearance of a Harley-Davidson motorcycle in the historical record.
In 1906, Harley and the Davidsons built their first factory on Chestnut Street (later Juneau Avenue). This location remains the Motor Company's corporate headquarters today. The first Juneau Avenue plant was a 40 by 60-foot (18 m) single-story wooden structure. That year around 50 motorcycles were produced.
In 1917, the United States entered World War I and the military demanded motorcycles for the war effort. Harleys had already been used by the military in border skirmishes with Pancho Villa but World War I was the first time the motorcycle had been adopted for combat service. Harley-Davidson provided over 20,000 machines to the military forces during World War I.
By 1920, Harley-Davidson was the largest motorcycle manufacturer in the world. Their motorcycles were sold by dealers in 67 countries. Production was 28,189 machines.
In 1921, a Harley-Davidson, ridden by Otto Walker, was the first motorcycle ever to win a race at an average speed of over 100 mph (160 km/h).

WLA Pages: New Featured WW2 WLA Picture!

The A-Z of Harley-Davidson
Harley-Davidson Racing History

1923 Harley-Davidson JDCA Board Track Racer
Rigid frame Harley-Davidson
Oval Track Racing 1000cc OHV V-Twin Motorcycle
Owner: Virgil Elings, California
Photo from the 'Legend of the Motorcycle'
Concours D'Elegance
Copyright © KHI, Inc.



1929 Harley-Davidson Model JDH 1200
Owner: David Reidie, Australia
Photo from the 'Legend of the Motorcycle'
Concours D'Elegance
Copyright © KHI, Inc.



Vintage 1935 Vincent HRD 500cc Comet Motorcycle
Owner: Chris Mcintosh, California
Copyright © KHI, Inc.



1936 Harley-Davidson Model R
Model 36R 750cc Flathead Side-Valve V-Twin
Owner: David Reidie, Australia
Photo from the 'Legend of the Motorcycle'
Concours D'Elegance
Copyright © KHI, Inc.



1948 Harley-Davidson WR 700 'Flathead' Motorcycle
Owner: Bob Fraley, California
Photo from the 'Legend of the Motorcycle'
Concours D'Elegance
Copyright © KHI, Inc.



1950 Vincent Rapide Tourer - Series C Vintage Motorcycle
Owner: David Buttress, California
Copyright © KHI, Inc.



1950 Vincent Series B 500cc Comet
Owner: Eric Engler, Virginia
Copyright © KHI, Inc.



1954 Harley-Davidson 'Hummer' 165 Motorcycle
Harley-Davidson Two-Strokes
Owners: Paul & Renee Reed, California
Copyright © KHI, Inc.



1957 Harley-Davidson XL Sportster 883 OHV 'Ironhead'
Copyright © KHI, Inc.



1959 Harley-Davidson KR Flat Tracker
Harley-Davidson KR750 Flat Track Racer #98
'Marshall "Digger" Helm'
Photo from the Legend of the Motorcycle'
Concours D'Elegance
Copyright © KHI, Inc.



1965 Harley-Davidson M50 Scooter
50cc 2-Stroke by Aermacchi of
Copyright © KHI, Inc.



The racing KR engine was upgraded to the XLR in 1958, and the sportier XLC and XLCH street models were added as well. The 'C' in XLC stood for "compitition," while the 'H' in XLCH meant that it had a higher compression ratio of 9:1. The XLC Sportster had a small "peanut style" gas tank, narrow fenders and open straight pipes.
In 1972, the Sportster's 883cc engine was increased to 61-cubic-inches (1000cc). The Sportster line continued well beyond the Ironhead years, with its powereplant being replaced by the current Evolution, or "Evo" (aka "Blockhead") engine in 1984. The Evo engine's head and cylinders were made of aluminum instead of iron, saving weight and aiding in cooling.
Harley-Davidson 'Shovelhead' (1966 to 1984):
The Panhead engine was upgraded to the "Shovelhead" in 1966, with the main difference being the u-shaped rocker boxes which aided in head cooling. The engine's cylinder head and bottom end remained much the same. From the right side, the Shovelhead's rocker covers and cylinder heads looked similar to the early Sportster XL.
The next significant change came in 1970, with the introduction of the so-called "Cone Shovel" engine, which referred to the cone-shaped ignition cover on the engine's right side. The Shovelhead's external generator was also replaced with an alternator located inside the engine primary case.
Harley-Davidson Evo 'Evolution' (1983 to 1998):
Harley's Evo (V2 Evolution) engine made its way into the Big Twin bikes in 1983, being hailed as a major improvement to the engine's head design. The Evo engine was more reliable, burned less oil, and ran cooler than its predessors.
The Evolution was replaced with the so-called "Twinkie," or "Twin Cam 88" engine, which was the first complete engine redesign since the introduction of the OHV Knucklehead in 1936.
(Copyright © 2009 TheWorldOfMotorcycles.com)
The Great Depression began a few months after the introduction of their 45 cubic inch model. Harley-Davidson's sales plummeted from 21,000 in 1929 to less than 4,000 in 1933. In order to survive, the company manufactured industrial powerplants based on their motorcycle engines. They also designed and built a three-wheeled delivery vehicle called the Servi-Car, which remained in production until 1973.
One of only two American cycle manufacturers to survive the Great Depression, Harley-Davidson again produced large numbers of motorcycles for the US Army in World War II and resumed civilian production afterwards, producing a range of large V-twin motorcycles that were successful both on racetracks and for private buyers.
Harley-Davidson, on the eve of World War II, was already supplying the Army with a military-specific version of its 45" WL line, called the WLA. (The A in this case stood for "Army".) Upon the outbreak of war, the company, along with most other manufacturing enterprises, shifted to war work. Over 90,000 military motorcycles, mostly WLAs and WLCs (the Canadian version) would be produced, many to be provided to allies.[21] Harley-Davidson received two Army-Navy ‘E’ Awards, one in 1943 and the other in 1945, which were awarded for Excellence in Production.
In 1952, following their application to the US Tariff Commission for a 40% tax on imported motorcycles, Harley-Davidson was charged with restrictive practices. Hollywood also damaged Harley's image with many outlaw biker gang films produced from the 1950s through the 1970s, following the 1947 Hollister, CA biker riot on July 4. "Harley-Davidson" for a long time was synonymous with the Hells Angels and other outlaw motorcyclists.
(From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia)

Replica of the "Captain America" bike from the film Easy Rider
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia


Harley Davidson has earned popularity and a distinct mark among the bike lovers for it's illustrious design and the exhaust note.
They are renowned more for the tradition of heavy customization that paved way for whole new cult of chopper style motorbikes.
The parts that are used by it's manufacturers for the outer design and the inner body are uniquely constructed and till this date it is difficult to emulate the Harley Davidson parts without compromising on its performance.
It is noteworthy to observe how Harley Davidson parts have been used to create a pseudo Harleys model. It is amusing to see people attempting to create a pseudo model using genuine parts, what a paradox!
It wouldn't be an exaggeration to call Harley Davidson as the archetype among the wide range of existing motorbikes in the market.
Manufacturers of the motorbikes and the zealous bikers have made attempts time and again to emulate this magical bike and have tried to incorporate its features and style into other custom made bikes.
However Harley Davidson continues to be the word class and stand apart bike among the umpteen brands that crop up every year around the world. Among the carbon copy creators you will also find the group of Harley Davidsons' aficionado who prefer to remain loyal to this brand.
One of the characteristics that make this bike the most interesting invention in the history of the motorbikes is that it is a Chopper style bike, hence though creating replicas of this bike is next to impossible thing, it was originally meant to be changing and evolving regularly with pace of time and inventive technology.
The original Harley Davidson was created in such a way that it had the inherent potential flexibility and scope to be revised and redesigned by altering the parts and components that came together to create this historical bike.
However though it's virtually impossible to proclaim to have said all about this legendary bike in a single write up, at least one can arrive at the fact that Harley Davidson continues to be an iconic bike not just in US but all around the world.
(By Martin Davies at content4reprint.com)


2001 883 Sportster Hugger
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia



You know it's a Harley as soon as you hear it, before you even see it. The throaty pounding and off-centered drumming beat are part of the signature sound that uniquely defines the persona of the machine and clearly differentiates the manufacturer from its competitors. Owners don't just want transportation to get from one place to another. They want a riding experience which, according to Harley-Davidson, is the sum total of the Harley `Look,' 'Sound' and 'Feel.' One of the biggest parts of the riding experience is the classic sound of the bike. It's all about the "potato potato" rumble riders expect when they rev up the engine.
Few products have such a loyal following. The Harley Owners Group (HOG) numbers more than 660,000 in 115 different countries, making it the largest motorcycle enthusiasts club in the world. They certainly don't hide their passion for the machines or their demands that the bikes retain the characteristic sound these heavyweight motorcycles have had since William Harley and Arthur Davidson built their first one in 1903.
Since the early part of the 20th century, Harley-Davidson motorcycles have been renowned for their 45-degree air-cooled common crankpin V-twin motor. The sound of this engine configuration has become identified with the Company. In the mid1990s, a group was assembled within Harley-Davidson to develop a motorcycle that would attract new riders to the Harley family. It was determined that high performance and handling would be essential to attract new or younger riders. Styling needed to be cutting edge yet identifiable as a Harley-Davidson.
(By Richard Pierson at © 2009 CBS Interactive Inc.)

2009 Harley-Davidson Sportster 1200 Nightster XL1200N
From totalmotorcycle.com



2009 Harley-Davidson FXD Dyna Super Glide
From totalmotorcycle.com



2009 Harley-Davidson FLSTN Softail Deluxe
From totalmotorcycle.com



2009 Harley-Davidson VRSCAW V-Rod
From totalmotorcycle.com



2009 Harley-Davidson VRSCF V-Rod Muscle (New 2009 Model)
From totalmotorcycle.com



2009 Harley-Davidson FLTRSE3 CVO Road Glide
From totalmotorcycle.com


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