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The First Motorcycle myths and truths

Who really invented the first motorcycle?   Motorcycles are descended from the “safety” bicycle, bicycles with front and rear wheels of the same size, with a pedal crank mechanism to drive the front wheel. Those bicycles, in turn were descended from high-wheel bicycles known as the penny farthing. The high-wheelers …

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Harley-Davidson history – The Birth of Harley-Davidson

FROM HUMBLE BEGINNINGS – Harley-Davidson History 1901 – A 10′ x 15′ shed in the Davidson family’s Milwaukee backyard serves as the birthplace to an American icon and the beginning of Harley-Davidson history. Arthur Davidson, 20, and William Harley, 21, began experiments on “taking the work out of bicycling.” Now …

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The First Harley-Davidson V-Twin

  The trademark Harley-Davidson v-twin debuts in 1909 1909 The trademark 45 degree Harley-Davidson V-Twin engine, introduced in 1909, displaced 49.5 cu in and produced seven horsepower, doubling that of their previous engines. Top speed: 60 mph. 1909 production: 1,149 motorcycles. By 1911 there were over 150 other brands of …

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From The Depression To Knuckleheads And The War Years

The knucklehead enters and goes to war 1929-1933 After the stock market crash of October 1929, Harley-Davidson sales suffered with everyone else’s in the industry. By 1933, production in Milwaukee had dropped to 3,700 motorcycles. Only two motorcycle manufacturers survived the depression, Harley Davidson and Indian. They survived because of …

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Harley-Davidson Postwar – The Second Wave 50 Years Later

The Postwar Years 1953 As Harley-Davidson celebrated its 50th anniversary, its oldest and closest competitor, Indian, went out of business, leaving Harley-Davidson as the sole survivor postwar in a once overcrowded American motorcycle marketplace. 1953 production: 14,050 motorcycles. The 1940s and ‘50s brought changes for Harley-Davidson. The second generation of …

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Harley’s V-Rod Starts A Revolution

Harley-Davidson Water Cooled Revolution The introduction of the V-Rod marks the end of another chapter of Harley-Davidson history, yet heralds in a new era of technology pushing the company forward. It’s at this point that we end our coverage of the historical timeline of the Harley-Davidson Motor Co. ….for now. …

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