Harley Davidson is an American company that is a manufacturer of motorcycles. The company was founded in 1903 in America, with the headquarters today being located in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, where the very first factory was built. Today the company also manufactures motorcycles outside of the United States in other countries as well. The Harley Davidson brand has extended beyond the motorcycle and also includes clothing, toys, home décor and even video games. The idea for the motorcycle was developed by William S Harley and Arthur Davidson. Davidson’s brothers helped with the later development of the motorcycle.
By World War I, the Harley Davison motorcycles were very popular, largely because the military was ordering them for the war effort. For a period of four years from 1917 to 1921 the company also manufactured bicycles. However, this did not last and the company returned and focused once again on manufacturing motorcycles. The first motorcycles, made in 1906, had a small engine of 26.84 cubic inches, and by 1920 the motorcycles had 45 cubic inch and 72 cubic inch engines. Finally, stranding from 1937, all the motorcycles had a flathead engine and used a dry-sump oil recirculation system.
In later years the company faced competition from other manufacturers including companies from Asia whose motorcycles were being imported into the United States. Despite these difficulties Harley Davidson motorbikes were able to survive and started to increase sales once more by the 1990s.
The classic Harley Davidson motorcycle has a V-twin engine that has cylinders with a 45-degree angle between them, and a dual fire ignition system. The positioning of the cylinders gives the engine a characteristic sound when it is operational. The crankshaft has one pin that the pistons of the engine attach to. Prior to the V-twin engine, a single cylinder engine was used. The original single cylinder design was stopped in 1918 and other engine types were built and included in the motorbike.
Harley Davidson continued to develop new models of motorbike over the years, which has no doubt contributed to their long-term survival in the motorbike industry. For instance, they developed the Dyna model which used a big twin engine. They also designed a sportster family of motorbikes that were designed as racing motorbikes. These bikes were specifically designed and made to be smaller and lighter than the conventional Harley Davidson since the emphasis was on speed. In the early 2000s, Harley Davidson introduced a muscle bike to compete with the motorcycles being imported from overseas. This new Harley Davidson bike was larger and more powerful than previous bikes and was known as the VRSC bike family. The “V-rod” bike that they developed has a distinct sound and a 6-degree V-twin engine. It also uses liquid cooling and overhead cams. Harley Davidson Company is very well-known and associated with biking in America. This company really has shown staying power over the years, largely due to their continued refinements and redesign of previous bike models.