Things You Might Not Know About Harley Davidson

Travels with Harley

Harley Davidson is a name known all over the world, but what even the most enthusiastic motorcycle fans may not know is how unique that history actually is.

Travels with Harley

 

In 1901, William S. Harley created a blueprint for a motorized bicycle. In 1903, William and Arthur Davidson built the first bike that was made available to the public. A short time later, Arthur’s brothers, Walter and William joined the pair. William quit his job with the railroad in Milwaukee to become part of the Harley Davidson motor company.

Travels with Harley

The very first Harley Davidson was built in a small wooden factory, 10 x 15 to be exact. The name was crudely carved into the front door.

The first buyer of a Harley Davidson was a friend of Arthur and William, Henry Meyer. Hailing from Milwaukee, Wisconsin, he was the first person ever recorded to purchase a new Harley Davidson from the small wood factory in 1903.

Travels with Harley

C.H. Lang in Chicago, Illinois set up the first Harley Davidson dealership in 1904, the same year that the first motorcycle was built.

Not one to rest on its Laurels, the company entered its first race a year later in 1905 winning first place.

Travels with Harley

In 1906, Harley Davidson moved shop and opened its new plant hiring six employees. That same year the company released its first catalog. In 1910, Harley hired its first full time worker.

In 1910, Harley Davidson placed first in every race including speed, endurance and the hill climb.

Travels with Harley

Janet Davidson was the first woman to sit on and ride a Harley Davidson. She was the Davidson brothers Aunt who helped with the pin striping and writing the name Harley Davidson on the bike.

Harley Davidson earned the nickname, “Hogs,” in 1920 because the race team used a pig as a mascot. After every win, the driver would lift a real pig on the tank and drive his victory lap. The Bar and Shield Harley Davidson logo was painted in 1911.

Travels with Harley

Always a cult classic, Malcolm Forbes, founder of the magazine, loved the motorcycles so much that he owned fifty Harley Davidson’s and gave just as many away as gifts.

In 1998, Brazil became the first country outside of the United States to open a Harley Davidson factory.

Travels with Harley

The most expensive Harley Davidson motorcycle, the CVO Ultra Classic Electra Glide, will set you back $40,000.