Type Public company
Traded as NYSEHOG
Founded 1903
Founder(s) William S. Harley
Arthur Davidson
Walter Davidson
William A. Davidson
Headquarters Milwaukee, Wisconsin,
United States
Key people Keith E. Wandell, CEO
Products Motorcycles
Revenue increase US$4.86 billion (FY 2010)[1]
Operating income increase US$259.7 million (FY 2010)[1]
Net income increase US$146.5 million (FY 2010)[1]
Employees 6,300 (December 2010)[1]
Website harley-davidson.com

Harley-Davidson (NYSEHOG, formerly HDI[2]), often abbreviated H-D or Harley, is an American motorcycle manufacturer. Founded in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, during the first decade of the 20th century, it was one of two major American motorcycle manufacturers to survive the Great Depression.[3] Harley-Davidson also survived a period of poor quality control and competition from Japanese manufacturers.[4]

The company sells heavyweight (over 750 cc) motorcycles designed for cruising on the highway. Harley-Davidson motorcycles (popularly known as "Harleys") have a distinctive design and exhaust note. They are especially noted for the tradition of heavy customization that gave rise to the chopper style of motorcycle.[5] Except for the modern VRSC model family, current Harley-Davidson motorcycles reflect the styles of classic Harley designs. Harley-Davidson's attempts to establish itself in the light motorcycle market have met with limited success and have largely been abandoned since the 1978 sale of its Italian Aermacchi subsidiary.

Harley-Davidson sustains a loyal brand community which keeps active through clubs, events, and a museum. Licensing of the Harley-Davidson brand and logo accounted for $40 million (0.8%) of the company's net revenue in 2010.[1]




Clockwise from top left: William S. Harley, William A. Davidson, Walter Davidson, Sr., Arthur Davidson

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 Milwaukee 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.[6]

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 × 15 ft (3.0 × 4.6 m) 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 September 8, 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.[7]

In January 1905, small advertisements were placed in the "Automobile and Cycle Trade Journal" that offered bare Harley-Davidson engines to the do-it-yourself trade. By April, complete motorcycles were in production on a very limited basis. That year, the first Harley-Davidson dealer, Carl H. Lang of Chicago, sold three bikes from the dozen or so built in the Davidson backyard shed. (Some years later the original shed was taken to the Juneau Avenue factory where it would stand for many decades as a tribute to the Motor Company's humble origins. Unfortunately, the first shed was accidentally destroyed by contractors in the early 1970s during a clean-up of the factory yard.)

In 1906, Harley and the Davidson brothers built their first factory on Chestnut Street (later Juneau Avenue). This location remains Harley-Davidson's corporate headquarters today. The first Juneau Avenue plant was a 40 × 60 ft (12 × 18 m) single-story wooden structure. The company produced about 50 motorcycles that year.

1907 model.
Harley-Davidson 1,000 cc HT 1916

In 1907, William S. Harley graduated from the University of Wisconsin–Madison with a degree in mechanical engineering. That year additional factory expansion came with a second floor and later with facings and additions of Milwaukee pale yellow ("cream") brick. With the new facilities production increased to 150 motorcycles in 1907. The company was officially incorporated that September. They also began selling their motorcycles to police departments around this time, a market that has been important to them ever since.[8]

Production in 1905 and 1906 were all single-cylinder models with 26.84 cubic inches (440 cc) engines. In February 1907 a prototype model with a 45-degree V-Twin engine was displayed at the Chicago Automobile Show. Although shown and advertised, very few V-Twin models were built between 1907 and 1910. These first V-Twins displaced 53.68 cubic inches (880 cc) and produced about 7 horsepower (5.2 kW). This gave about double the power of the first singles. Top speed was about 60 mph (100 km/h). Production jumped from 450 motorcycles in 1908 to 1,149 machines in 1909.[9]

By 1911, some 150 makes of motorcycles had already been built in the United States – although just a handful would survive the 1910s.

In 1911, an improved V-Twin model was introduced. The new engine had mechanically operated intake valves, as opposed to the "automatic" intake valves used on earlier V-Twins that opened by engine vacuum. With a displacement of 49.48 cubic inches (811 cc), the 1911 V-Twin was smaller than earlier twins, but gave better performance. After 1913 the majority of bikes produced by Harley-Davidson would be V-Twin models.

By 1913, the yellow brick factory had been demolished and on the site a new 5-story structure of reinforced concrete and red brick had been built. Begun in 1910, the red brick factory with its many additions would take up two blocks along Juneau Avenue and around the corner on 38th Street. Despite the competition, Harley-Davidson was already pulling ahead of Indian and would dominate motorcycle racing after 1914. Production that year swelled to 16,284 machines.

Ralph Hepburn on his Harley racing bike in this 1919 photo.

World War I

In 1917, the United States entered World War I and the military demanded motorcycles for the war effort.[10] Harleys had already been used by the military in the Pancho Villa Expedition[11][12] but World War I was the first time the motorcycle had been adopted for combat service.[citation needed] Harley-Davidson provided about 15,000 machines to the military forces during World War I.[13]


Harley-Davidson 1000 cc HT 1923

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.[14]

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).[15][16]

During the 1920s, several improvements were put in place, such as a new 74 cubic inch (1,200 cc) V-Twin, introduced in 1922, and the "Teardrop" gas tank in 1925. A front brake was added in 1928 although notably only on the J/JD models.[17]

In the late summer of 1929, Harley-Davidson introduced its 45 cubic inches (737 cc) flathead V-Twin to compete with the Indian 101 Scout and the Excelsior Super X.[18] This was the "D" model, produced from 1929 to 1931.[19] Riders of Indian motorcycles derisively referred to this model as the "three cylinder Harley" because the generator was upright and parallel to the front cylinder.[20] The 2.745 in (69.7 mm) bore and 3.8125 in (96.8 mm) stroke would continue in most versions of the 750 engine; exceptions include the XA and the XR-750.[citation needed]

The Great Depression

Harley-Davidson 1,200 cc SV 1931

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 3,703 in 1933. Despite those dismal numbers, Harley-Davidson proudly unveiled its lineup for 1934, which included a Flathead with Art Deco styling.[21]

In order to survive the remainder of the Depression, 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.[18]

Harley-Davidson WL

In the mid 1930s, Alfred Rich Child opened a production line in Japan with the 74 cubic inches (1,210 cc) VL. The Japanese license-holder severed its business relations with Harley-Davidson in 1936 and continued manufacturing the VL under the Rikuo name.[22]

An 80 cubic inches (1,300 cc) flathead engine was added to the line in 1935, by which time the single-cylinder motorcycles had been discontinued.[23]

In 1936, the 61E and 61EL models with the "Knucklehead" OHV engines was introduced.[24] Valvetrain problems in early Knucklehead engines required a redesign halfway through its first year of production and retrofitting of the new valvetrain on earlier engines.[25]

By 1937, all Harley-Davidson's flathead engines were equipped with dry-sump oil recirculation systems similar to the one introduced in the "Knucklehead" OHV engine. The revised 74 cubic inches (1,210 cc) V and VL models were renamed U and UL, the 80 cubic inches (1,300 cc) VH and VLH to be renamed UH and ULH, and the 45 cubic inches (740 cc) R to be renamed W.[24]

In 1941, the 74 cubic inches (1,210 cc) "Knucklehead" was introduced as the F and the FL. The 80 cubic inches (1,300 cc) flathead UH and ULH models were discontinued after 1941, while the 74" U & UL flathead models were produced up to 1948.[24]

World War II

Harley copied the BMW R71 to produce its XA model.

One of only two American cycle manufacturers to survive the Great Depression,[3][26] 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 cubic inches (740 cc) 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.[27] Harley-Davidson received two Army-Navy ‘E’ Awards, one in 1943 and the other in 1945, which were awarded for Excellence in Production.

Harley produced the WLC for the Canadian military.

Shipments to the Soviet Union under the Lend-Lease program numbered at least 30,000.[citation needed] The WLAs produced during all four years of war production generally have 1942 serial numbers. Production of the WLA stopped at the end of World War II, but was resumed from 1950 to 1952 for use in the Korean War.

The U.S. Army also asked Harley-Davidson to produce a new motorcycle with many of the features of BMW's side-valve and shaft-driven R71. Harley largely copied the BMW engine and drive train and produced the shaft-driven 750 cc 1942 Harley-Davidson XA. This shared no dimensions, no parts and no design concepts (except side valves) with any prior Harley-Davidson engine. Due to the superior cooling of the flat-twin engine with the cylinders across the frame, Harley's XA cylinder heads ran 100 °F (56 °C) cooler than its V-twins.[28] The XA never entered full production: the motorcycle by that time had been eclipsed by the Jeep as the Army's general purpose vehicle, and the WLA—already in production—was sufficient for its limited police, escort, and courier roles. Only 1,000 were made and the XA never went into full production. It remains the only shaft-driven Harley-Davidson ever made.

Small Harleys – Hummers and Aermacchis

Harley-Davidson Hummer

As part of war reparations, Harley-Davidson acquired the design of a small German motorcycle, the DKW RT 125, which they adapted, manufactured, and sold from 1948 to 1966.[29] Various models were made, including the Hummer from 1955 to 1959, but they are all colloquially referred to as "Hummers" at present.[30] BSA in the United Kingdom took the same design as the foundation of their BSA Bantam.[31]

1971 Aermacchi Harley-Davidson Turismo Veloce

In 1960, Harley-Davidson consolidated the Model 165 and Hummer lines into the Super-10, introduced the Topper scooter,[32] and bought fifty percent of Aeronautica Macchi's motorcycle division.[32][33] Importation of Aermacchi's 250 cc horizontal single began the following year.[33][34][35] The bike bore Harley-Davidson badges and was marketed as the Harley-Davidson Sprint.[34][35] The engine of the Sprint was increased to 350 cc in 1969[33][36] and would remain that size until 1974, when the four-stroke Sprint was discontinued.[36]

After the Pacer and Scat models were discontinued at the end of 1965, the Bobcat became the last of Harley-Davidson's American-made two-stroke motorcycles. The Bobcat was manufactured only in the 1966 model year.[37]

Harley-Davidson replaced their American-made lightweight two-stroke motorcycles with the Aermacchi-built two-stroke powered M-65, M-65S, and Rapido. The M-65 had a semi-step-through frame and tank. The M-65S was a M-65 with a larger tank that eliminated the step-through feature. The Rapido was a larger bike with a 125 cc engine.[38] The Aermacchi-built Harley-Davidsons became entirely two-stroke powered when the 250 cc two-stroke SS-250 replaced the four-stroke 350 cc Sprint in 1974.[39]

Harley-Davidson purchased full control of Aermacchi's motorcycle production in 1974 and continued making two-stroke motorcycles there until 1978, when they sold the facility to Cagiva.[32]

Tarnished reputation

Replica of the "Captain America bike" from the film Easy Rider.

In 1952, following their application to the US Tariff Commission for a 40% tax on imported motorcycles, Harley-Davidson was charged with restrictive practices.[40]

AMF H-D Electra Glide

In 1969, American Machine and Foundry (AMF) bought the company, streamlined production, and slashed the workforce. This tactic resulted in a labor strike and a lower quality of bikes. The bikes were expensive and inferior in performance, handling, and quality to Japanese motorcycles. Sales and quality declined, and the company almost went bankrupt.[41] The "Harley-Davidson" name was mocked as "Hardly Ableson", "Hardly Driveable," and "Hogly Ferguson",[42][43] and the nickname "Hog" became pejorative.[citation needed]

In 1977, Harley-Davidson produced what has become one of its most controversial models, the Confederate Edition. The bike was essentially a stock Harley with Confederate-specific paint and details.[44]

Restructuring and revival

In 1981, AMF sold the company to a group of thirteen investors led by Vaughn Beals and Willie G. Davidson for $80 million.[45] Inventory was strictly controlled using the just-in-time system.

In the early eighties, Harley-Davidson claimed that Japanese manufacturers were importing motorcycles into the US in such volume as to harm or threaten to harm domestic producers. After an investigation by the US International Trade Commission, President Reagan imposed in 1983 a 45% tariff on imported bikes and bikes over 700 cc engine capacity. Harley Davidson subsequently rejected offers of assistance from Japanese motorcycle makers.[46]

Rather than trying to match the Japanese, the new management deliberately exploited the "retro" appeal of the machines, building motorcycles that deliberately adopted the look and feel of their earlier machines and the subsequent customizations of owners of that era. Many components such as brakes, forks, shocks, carburetors, electrics and wheels were outsourced from foreign manufacturers and quality increased, technical improvements were made, and buyers slowly returned.

In response to possible motorcycle market loss due to the aging of baby-boomers, Harley-Davidson bought luxury motorhome manufacturer Holiday Rambler in 1986.[47] In 1996, the company sold Holiday Rambler to the Monaco Coach Corporation[48]

Ford F-150 Super Crew
Harley-Davidson edition

The "Sturgis" model, boasting a dual belt-drive, was introduced. By 1990, with the introduction of the "Fat Boy", Harley once again became the sales leader in the heavyweight (over 750 cc) market. At the time of the Fat Boy model introduction a story rapidly spread that its silver paint job and other features were inspired by the World War II American B-29 bomber; and that the Fat Boy name was a combination of the names of the atomic bombs (Fat Man and Little Boy) that were dropped on Nagasaki and Hiroshima respectively. However, the Urban Legend Reference Pages lists this story as an urban legend.[49][50]

1993 and 1994 saw the replacement of FXR models with the Dyna(FXD), which became the sole rubber mount FX Big Twin frame in 1995. The FXR was revived briefly from 1999 to 2000 for special limited editions (FXR2,FXR3 & FXR4).

In 2000, Ford Motor Company added a Harley-Davidson edition to the Ford F-Series F-150 line, complete with the Harley-Davidson logo. This truck was a Super Cab for model year 2000. In 2001, Ford changed the truck to a Super Crew and in 2002 added a super-charged engine (5.4 L) which continued until 2003. The 2003 model bore badges celebrating the 100th anniversaries of both companies. In 2004, the Ford/Harley was changed to a Super-Duty, which continues through 2009. Ford again produced a Harley-Davidson Edition F-150 for their 2006 model-year, as well. The Ford-F150 Harley-Davidson Edition continues in production for the 2011 model year.[51]

Building started on $75 million 130,000 square-foot (12,000 m2) Harley-Davidson Museum in the Menomonee Valley on June 1, 2006. It opened in 2008 and houses the company's vast collection of historic motorcycles and corporate archives, along with a restaurant, café and meeting space.[52]

Buell Motorcycle Company

Buell Lightning XB9SX

Harley-Davidson's association with sportbike manufacturer Buell Motorcycle Company began in 1987 when they supplied Buell with fifty surplus XR1000 engines. Buell continued to buy engines from Harley-Davidson until 1993, when Harley-Davidson bought forty-nine percent of the Buell Motorcycle Company.[53] Harley-Davidson increased its share in Buell to ninety-eight percent in 1998, and to complete ownership in 2003.[54]

In an attempt to attract newcomers to motorcycling in general and to Harley-Davidson in particular, Buell developed a low-cost, low-maintenance motorcycle. The resulting single-cylinder Buell Blast was introduced in 2000,[55] and was made through 2009, which, according to Buell, was to be the final year of production.[56]

On October 15, 2009, Harley-Davidson Inc. issued an official statement that it would be discontinuing the Buell line and ceasing production immediately.[57] The stated reason was to focus on the Harley-Davidson brand. The company refused to consider selling Buell.[58] Founder Erik Buell subsequently established Erik Buell Racing and continued to manufacture and develop the company's 1125RR racing motorcycle.[59]

Claims of stock price manipulation

Harley Davidson Inc (NYSE:HOG) stock price (source: ZenoBank.com)

During its period of peak demand, during the late 1990s and early first decade of the 21st century, Harley-Davidson embarked on a program of expanding the number of dealerships throughout the country. At the same time, its current dealers typically had waiting lists that extended up to a year for some of the most popular models. Harley-Davidson, like the auto manufacturers, records a sale not when a consumer buys their product, but rather when it is delivered to a dealer. Therefore, it is possible for the manufacturer to inflate sales numbers by requiring dealers to accept more inventory than desired in a practice called channel stuffing. When demand softened following the unique 2003 model year, this news led to a dramatic decline in the stock price. In April 2004 alone, the price of HOG shares dropped from over $60 to under $40. Immediately prior to this decline, retiring CEO Jeffrey Bleustein profited $42 million on the exercise of employee stock options.[60] Harley-Davidson was named as a defendant in numerous class action suits filed by investors who claimed they were intentionally defrauded by Harley-Davidson's management and directors.[61] By January 2007, the price of Harley-Davidson shares reached $70.

Problems with Police Touring models

Starting around 2000, several police departments started reporting problems with high speed instability on the Harley-Davidson Touring motorcycles.[62] A Raleigh, North Carolina police officer, Charles Paul, was killed when his 2002 police touring motorcycle wrecked after reportedly experiencing a high speed wobble.[63] The California Highway Patrol conducted testing of the Police Touring motorcycles in 2006. The CHP test riders reported experiencing wobble or weave instability while operating the motorcycles on the test track.[64]

2007 workers' strike

On February 2, 2007, upon the expiration of their union contract, about 2,700 employees at Harley-Davidson Inc.'s largest manufacturing plant in York, PA went on strike after failing to agree on wages and health benefits.[65][66] During the pendency of the strike, the company refused to pay for any portion of the striking employees' health care.[67]

The day before the strike, after the union voted against the proposed contract and to authorize the strike, the company shut down all production at the plant. The York facility employs more than 3,200 workers, both union and non-union.[68]

Harley-Davidson announced on February 16, 2007, that it had reached a labor agreement with union workers at its largest manufacturing plant, a breakthrough in the two-week-old strike.[69] The strike disrupted Harley-Davidson's national production and had ripple effects as far away as Wisconsin, where 440 employees were laid off, and many Harley suppliers also laid off workers because of the strike.[70]

MV Agusta Group

On July 11, 2008 Harley-Davidson announced they had signed a definitive agreement to acquire the MV Agusta Group for $109M USD (€70M). MV Agusta Group contains two lines of motorcycles: the high-performance MV Agusta brand and the lightweight Cagiva brand.[71][72] The acquisition was completed on August 8.[73]

On October 15, 2009, Harley-Davidson announced that it would divest its interest in MV Agusta.[57] Harley-Davidson Inc. sold Italian motorcycle maker MV Agusta to Claudio Castiglioni, ending the transaction on the first week of August 2010. Castiglioni is the company's former owner and had been MV Agusta's chairman since Harley-Davidson bought it in 2008.[74]

Steps towards export to India

The New York Stock Exchange with a Harley-Davidson banner on August 29, 2011

In August 2009, Harley-Davidson announced plans to enter the market in India, where, according to press releases, it expects to start selling its motorcycles in 2010. The company has established a subsidiary to be located in Gurgaon, near Delhi, and has begun the process of seeking dealers.[75] Plans to enter the Indian market have been delayed for several years, due to high tariffs and emissions regulations. The pollution regulations have recently changed, but the tariff problem is yet unresolved.[76]

In 2007, U.S. Trade Representative Susan Schwab and the Minister for Commerce and Industry of India, Kamal Nath, had agreed that Harley-Davidson motorcycles will be allowed access to the Indian market in exchange for the export of Indian mangoes.[77] However, India had not specified emission standards for motorcycles over 500 cc displacement, effectively prohibiting the import of Harley-Davidsons, along with most models of other manufacturers.[78] Plans to export to India were also held up by import duties of 60% and taxes of 30%, which effectively doubled the sale price.[79] A Harley-Davidson spokesman said the company thinks demand is high enough to overcome the tariffs, and chief operating officer Matt Levatich said they would continue to push for lower tariffs.[76]

Harley Davidson is introducing 12 models in India from the range of five motorcycle families, namely Sportster, Dyna, VRSC, Softail and CVO. The motorcycles are completely built units and will be imported to India, thus attracting a tax over 100% in the price range of 695,000 rupees and 3,495,000 rupees ex-showroom. The bookings might start from April 2010 and the motorcycle delivery will commence from June 2010. To begin with, Harley Davidson would have five dealerships (Delhi, Mumbai, Bangalore, Hyderabad and Chandigarh) with the aim of increasing the dealerships to more than 20 in the next five years.[80] In November 2010, Harley-Davidson said that it will start an assembly facility for complete knock down (CKD) kits of its motorcycles in India by the first half of 2011, making it only the second CKD facility outside the US.[81]

Financial crisis

According to Interbrand, the value of the Harley-Davidson brand fell by 43% to $4.34 billion in 2009. The fall in value is believed to be connected to the 66% drop in the company profits in two quarters of the previous year.[82] On April 29, 2010, Harley-Davidson stated that they must cut $54 million in manufacturing costs from its production facilities in Wisconsin, and that they would explore alternative U.S. sites to accomplish this. The announcement came in the wake of a massive company-wide restructuring, which began in early 2009 and involved the closing of two factories, one distribution center, and the planned elimination of nearly 25% of its total workforce (around 3,500 employees). The company announced on September 14, 2010 that it would remain in Wisconsin.[83]

Harley-Davidson engines

1,490 cc V-twin

The classic Harley-Davidson engines are V-twin engines, each with a 45° angle between the cylinders. The crankshaft has a single pin, and both pistons are connected to this pin through their connecting rods.[5]

This 45° angle is covered under several United States patents and is an engineering tradeoff that allows a large, high-torque engine in a relatively small space. It causes the cylinders to fire at uneven intervals and produces the choppy "potato-potato" sound so strongly linked to the Harley-Davidson brand.

To simplify the engine and reduce costs, the V-twin ignition was designed to operate with a single set of points and no distributor. This is known as a dual fire ignition system, causing both spark plugs to fire regardless of which cylinder was on its compression stroke, with the other spark plug firing on its cylinder's exhaust stroke, effectively "wasting a spark". The exhaust note is basically a throaty growling sound with some popping. The 45° design of the engine thus creates a plug firing sequencing as such: The first cylinder fires, the second (rear) cylinder fires 315° later, then there is a 405° gap until the first cylinder fires again, giving the engine its unique sound.[84]

Harley-Davidson has used various ignition systems throughout its history – be it the early points and condenser system, (Big Twin up to 1978 and Sportsters 1970 to 1978), magneto ignition system used on 1958 to 1969 Sportsters, early electronic with centrifugal mechanical advance weights, (all models 1978 and a half to 1979), or the late electronic with transistorized ignition control module, more familiarly known as the black box or the brain, (all models 1980 to present).

Starting in 1995, the company introduced Electronic Fuel Injection (EFI) as an option for the 30th anniversary edition Electra Glide.[85] EFI became standard on all Harley-Davidson motorcycles, including Sportsters, upon the introduction of the 2007 product line.[86]

In 1991, Harley-Davidson began to participate in the Sound Quality Working Group, founded by Orfield Labs, Bruel and Kjaer, TEAC, Yamaha, Sennheiser, SMS and Cortex. This was the nation's first group to share research on psychological acoustics. Later that year, Harley-Davidson participated in a series of sound quality studies at Orfield Labs, based on recordings taken at the Talladega Superspeedway, with the objective to lower the sound level for EU standards while analytically capturing the "Harley Sound."[citation needed] This research resulted in the bikes that were introduced in compliance with EU standards for 1998.

On February 1, 1994, the company filed a sound trademark application for the distinctive sound of the Harley-Davidson motorcycle engine: "The mark consists of the exhaust sound of applicant's motorcycles, produced by V-twin, common crankpin motorcycle engines when the goods are in use". Nine of Harley-Davidson's competitors filed comments opposing the application, arguing that cruiser-style motorcycles of various brands use a single-crankpin V-twin engine which produce a similar sound.[87] These objections were followed by litigation. In June 2000, the company dropped efforts to federally register its trademark.[88][89]

Big V-twins

Electra Glide "Ultra Classic"
  • F-head, also known as JD, pocket valve and IOE (intake over exhaust), 1914–1929 (1,000 cc), and 1922–1929 (1,200 cc)
  • Flathead, 1930–1948 (1,200 cc) and 1935–1941 (1,300 cc).
  • Knucklehead, 1936–1947 61 cubic inch (1,000 cc), and 1941–1947 74 cubic inch (1,200 cc)
  • Panhead, 1948–1965 61 cubic inch (1,000 cc), and 1948–1965, 74 cubic inch (1,200 cc)
  • Shovelhead, 1966–1984, 74 cubic inch (1,200 cc) and 80 cubic inch (1,345 cc) since late 1978
  • Evolution (a.k.a. "Evo" and "Blockhead"), 1984–2000, 80 cubic inch (1,340 cc)
  • Twin Cam 88 (a.k.a. "Fathead") 1999–2006, 88 cubic inch (1,450 cc)
  • Twin Cam 88B (counter balanced version of the Twin Cam 88) 2000–2006, 88 cubic inch (1,450 cc)
  • Twin Cam 95, since 2000, 95 cubic inch (1,550 cc) (engines for early C.V.O. models)
  • Twin Cam 96, since 2007, Only the Street Bob and Super Glide Dyna Models still use the 96. 96 cubic inch (1,584 cc)
  • Twin Cam 103, 2003–2006, 2009, 103 cubic inch (1,690 cc) (engines for C.V.O. models), Standard on 2011 Touring models such as the Road King Classic and Road Glide Ultra and optional on other Touring Models like the Road Glide Custom and Street Glide. Standard on most 2012 models excluding Sportsters and 2 Dynas (Street Bob and Super Glide)
  • Twin Cam 110, since 2007, 110 cubic inch (1,802 cc) (engines for C.V.O. models)
Evolution Sportster

Small V-twins

  • D Model, 1929–1931, 750 cc
  • R Model, 1932–1936, 750 cc
  • W Model, 1937–1952, 750 cc, solo (2 wheel, frame only)
  • G (Servi-Car) Model, 1932–1973, 750 cc
  • K Model, 1952–1953, 750 cc
  • KH Model, 1954–1956, 900 cc
  • Ironhead, 1957–1971, 900 cc; 1971–1985, 1,000 cc
  • Evolution, since 1986, 883 cc, 1,100 cc and 1,200 cc
V-Rod on the show room floor

Revolution engine

The Revolution engine is based on the VR-1000 Superbike race program, developed by Harley-Davidson's Powertrain Engineering team and Porsche Engineering in Stuttgart, Germany. It is a liquid cooled, dual overhead cam, internally counterbalanced 60 degree V-twin engine with a displacement of 69 cubic inch (1130 cc), producing 115 hp (86 kW) at 8250 rpm at the crank, with a redline of 9000 rpm.[90][91] It was introduced for the new V-Rod line in 2001 for the 2002 model year, starting with the single VRSCA (V-Twin Racing Street Custom) model.[92][93]

A 1,250 cc Screamin' Eagle version of the Revolution engine was made available for 2005 and 2006, and was present thereafter in a single production model from 2005 to 2007. In 2008, the 1,250 cc Revolution Engine became standard for the entire VRSC line. Harley-Davidson claims 123 hp (92 kW) at the crank for the 2008 VRSCAW model. The VRXSE Destroyer is equipped with a stroker (75 mm crank) Screamin' Eagle 79 cubic inch (1,300 cc) Revolution Engine, producing over 165 hp (123 kW).

Model designations

Harley model designations are a sequence of letters and numbers, combined in limited ways. The sequences can be long, as in the 2006 model designation FLHTCUSE.

The first letter may be one of the following:

K (1950s flathead small twin), E, F (1936–* single cam OHV big twin), U, V (1930–48 four cam flathead big twin), D, G, R, W (flathead small twin), X (Sportster OHV), or V (VRSC)

since 1984 only F (Big Twin), X (Sportster) and V (V_ROD) have been used regularly.

Letters are appended singly or in pairs, as follows:

B (BLACKED OUT ie Street Bob, Night Train, and Cross Bones models), C (Classic or Custom), CW (Custom Wide (2008 Softail Rocker)) D (Dyna chasis or Softail Deuce), E (Electric start), F (Fat Boy (1990–present); Fat Bob (2008–present) or Foot-shift (1972 and prior)), H (HANDLE BAR/ FRONT END MOUNTED FAIRING. ie bat wing fairing/quick release windshield.), I (Fuel injection), L (Low Rider)), N {(Nostalgia as in Softail Deluxe/Nostalgia/Special) and Nightster in Sportster family} P (Police), R (Race, Road King, or Rubber-mount), S (Sport, Springer), ST (Softail), T (FRAME MOUNTED FAIRING), WG (Wide Glide), SE (Screamin' Eagle), U (Ultra) X (FLHX Street Glide), sport in Dyna models, and Street Glide in Touring models.) XT (T-Sport Dyna Model).

Custom Vehicle Operations models can also have a number (2,3,4) added.

Note that these conventions for model designations are broken regularly by the company.

Current model designations

2001 883 Sportster Hugger
  • Sportster With the exception of the street-going XR1000 of the 1980s and the XR1200 most Sportsters made for street use have the prefix XL in their model designation. For the Sportster Evolution engines used since the mid 1980s, there have been two engine sizes. Motorcycles with the smaller engine are designated XL883, while those with the larger engine were initially designated XL1100. When the size of the larger engine was increased from 1,100 cc to 1,200 cc, the designation was changed accordingly from XL1100 to XL1200. Subsequent letters in the designation refer to model variations within the Sportster range, e.g. the XL883C refers to an 883 cc Sportster Custom, while the XL1200S designates the now-discontinued 1200 Sportster Sport.
  • Dyna models utilize the big-twin engine (F), small-diameter telescopic forks similar to those used on the Sportster (X), and the Dyna chassis (D). Therefore, all Dyna models have designations that begin with FXD, e.g., FXDWG (Dyna Wide Glide) and FXDL (Dyna Low Rider).
  • Softail models utilize the big-twin engine (F) and the Softail chassis (ST).
    • Softail models that use small-diameter telescopic forks similar to those used on the Sportster (X) have designations that begin with FXST, e.g., FXSTB (Night Train), FXSTD (Deuce), and FXSTS (Springer).
    • Softail models that use large-diameter telescopic forks similar to those used on the touring bikes (L) have designations beginning with FLST, e.g., FLSTF (Fat Boy), FLSTC (Heritage Softail Classic), and FLSTN (Softail Deluxe).
    • Softail models that use Springer forks with a 21-inch (530 mm) wheel have designations that begin with FXSTS, e.g., FXSTS (Springer Softail) and FXSTSB (Bad Boy).
    • Softail models that use Springer forks with a 16-inch (410 mm) wheel have designations that begin with FLSTS, e.g., FLSTSC (Springer Classic) and FLSTSB (Cross Bones).
  • Touring models use Big-Twin engines and large-diameter telescopic forks. All Touring designations begin with the letters FL, e.g., FLHR (Road King) and FLTR (Road Glide).
  • VRSC models utilize the Revolution engine (VR), and the street versions are designated Street Custom (SC). After the VRSC prefix common to all street Revolution bikes, the next letter denotes the model, either A (base V-Rod: discontinued), AW (base V-Rod + W for Wide with a 240 mm rear tire), B (discontinued), D (Night Rod: discontinued), R (Street Rod: discontinued), SE and SEII(CVO Special Edition), or X (Special edition). Further differentiation within models are made with an additional letter, e.g., VRSCDX denotes the Night Rod Special.
    • The factory drag bike, the VRXSE Destroyer, uses X instead of SC to denote a non-street bike and SE to denote a CVO Special Edition

Model families

Modern Harley-branded motorcycles fall into one of five model families: Touring, Softail, Dyna, Sportster and Vrod. These model families are distinguished by the frame, engine, suspension, and other characteristics.


Hamburg Police Electra Glide.

The touring family, also known as "dressers", includes Road King, Road Glide, and Electra Glide models offered in various trim. The Road Kings have a "retro cruiser" appearance and are equipped with a large clear windshield. Road Kings are reminiscent of big-twin models from the 1940s and 1950s. Electra Glides can be identified by their full front fairings. Most Electra Glides sport a fork-mounted fairing referred to as the "Batwing" due to its unmistakable shape. The Road Glide and Road Glide Ultra Classic have a frame-mounted fairing, referred to as the "Sharknose". The Sharknose includes a unique, dual front headlight.

Touring models are distinguishable by their large saddlebags, rear coil-over air suspension and are the only models to offer full fairings with Radios/CBs. All touring models use the same frame, first introduced with a Shovelhead motor in 1980, and carried forward with only modest upgrades until 2009, when it was extensively redesigned. The frame is distinguished by the location of the steering head in front of the forks and was the first H-D frame to rubber mount the drivetrain to isolate the rider from the vibration of the big V-twin.

The frame was modified for the 1994 model year when the oil tank went under the transmission and the battery was moved inboard from under the right saddlebag to under the seat. In 1997, the frame was again modified to allow for a larger battery under the seat and to lower seat height. In 2007, Harley introduced the 96-cubic-inch (1,570 cc) engine, as well the six-speed transmission to give the rider better speeds on the highway.

In 2006, Harley introduced the FLHX Street Glide, a bike designed by Willie G. Davidson to be his personal ride, to its touring line.[94]

In 2008, Harley added anti-lock braking systems and cruise control as a factory installed option on all touring models.[95] Also new for 2008 is the 6-US-gallon (23 l; 5.0 imp gal) fuel tank for all touring models.

For the 2009 model year, Harley-Davidson has redesigned the entire touring range with several changes, including a new frame, new swingarm, a completely revised engine-mounting system, 17-inch (430 mm) front wheels for all but the FLHRC Road King, and a 2–1–2 exhaust. The changes result in greater load carrying capacity, better handling, a smoother engine, longer range and less exhaust heat transmitted to the rider and passenger.[96][97] Also released for the 2009 model year is the FLHTCUTG Tri-Glide Ultra Classic, the first three-wheeled Harley since the Servi-Car was discontinued in 1973. The model features a unique frame and a 103-cubic-inch (1,690 cc) engine exclusive to the trike.[98]


2002 Softail Heritage Classic.

These big-twin motorcycles capitalize on Harley's strong value on tradition. With the rear-wheel suspension hidden under the transmission, they are visually similar to the "hardtail" choppers popular in the 1960s and 1970s, as well as from their own earlier history. In keeping with that tradition, Harley offers Softail models with "Springer" front ends and "Heritage" styling that incorporate design cues from throughout their history.


2005 Dyna Super Glide Custom.

Dyna-frame motorcycles were developed in the 1980s and early 1990s and debuted in the 1991 model year with the FXDB Sturgis offered in limited edition quantities. In 1992 the line continued with the limited edition FXDB Daytona and a production model FXD Super Glide. The new DYNA frame featured big-twin engines and traditional styling. They can be distinguished from the Softail by the traditional coil-over suspension that connects the swingarm to the frame, and from the Sportster by their larger engines. On these models, the transmission also houses the engine's oil reservoir.

Prior to 2008, Dyna models typically featured a narrow, XL-style front fork and front wheel, which the manufacturer included the letter "X" in the model designation to indicate. This lineup traditionally included the Super Glide (FXD), Super Glide Custom (FXDC), Street Bob (FXDB), and Low Rider (FXDL). One exception was the Wide Glide (FXDWG), which maintained the thickness of the XL forks and a narrow front wheel, but positioned the forks on wider triple-trees that give a beefier appearance. In 2008, the Dyna Fat Bob (FXDF) was introduced to the Dyna lineup, featuring aggressive styling like a new 2–1–2 exhaust, twin headlamps, a 180 mm rear tire, and, for the first time in the Dyna lineup, a 130 mm front tire. For the 2012 model year, the Dyna Switchback (FLD) became the first Dyna to break the tradition of having an FX model designation: with the fatter fork tubes, wide front tire, and full fender, this new front end resembled the big-twin FL models from previous decades better than the XL.

The Dyna family used the 88-cubic-inch (1,440 cc) twin cam from 1999 to 2006. In 2007, the displacement was increased to 96 cubic inches (1,570 cc) as the factory increased the stroke to 4.375 inches (111.1 mm). For the 2012 model year, the manufacturer began to offer some Dyna models with the 103-cubic-inch (1,690 cc) upgrade.


2002 Sportster 883 Custom
2003 Harley Davidson XL1200 Custom Anniversary Edition

Introduced in 1957, the Sportster family were conceived as racing motorcycles, and were popular on dirt and flat-track race courses through the 1960s and 1970s. Smaller and lighter than the other Harley models, contemporary Sportsters make use of 883 cc or 1,200 cc Evolution engines and, though often modified, remain similar in appearance to their racing ancestors.[99]

Up until the 2003 model year, the engine on the Sportster was rigidly mounted to the frame. The 2004 Sportster received a new frame accommodating a rubber-mounted engine. Although this made the bike heavier and reduced the available lean angle, it reduced the amount of vibration transmitted to the frame and the rider.[100] The rubber mounted engine provides a significantly smoother ride for rider and passenger, allowing longer trips.

In the 2007 model year, Harley-Davidson celebrated the 50th anniversary of the Sportster and produced a limited edition called the XL50, of which only 2000 were made for sale worldwide. Each motorcycle was individually numbered and came in one of two colors, Mirage Pearl Orange or Vivid Black. Also in 2007, electronic fuel injection was introduced to the Sportster family, and the Nightster model was introduced in mid-year. In 2009, Harley-Davidson added the Iron 883 to the Sportster line, the newest in the Dark Custom series.

In the 2008 model year, Harley-Davidson released the XR1200 Sportster in Europe, Africa, and the Middle East. The XR1200 had an Evolution engine tuned to produce 91 bhp (68 kW), four-piston dual front disc brakes, and an aluminum swing arm. Motorcyclist featured the XR1200 on the cover of its July 2008 issue and was generally positive about it in their "First Ride" story, in which Harley-Davidson was repeatedly asked to sell it in the United States.[101] One possible reason for the delayed availability in the United States was the fact that Harley-Davidson had to obtain the "XR1200" naming rights from Storz Performance, a Harley customizing shop in Ventura, Calif.[102] The XR1200 was released in the United States in 2009 in a special color scheme including Mirage Orange highlighting its dirt-tracker heritage. The first 750 XR1200 models in 2009 were pre-ordered and came with a number 1 tag for the front of the bike, autographed by Kenny Coolbeth and Scott Parker and a thank you/welcome letter from the company, signed by Bill Davidson.[citation needed]


V-Rod in a gravel driveway.

Introduced in 2001, the VRSC family bears little resemblance to Harley's more traditional lineup. Competing against Japanese and American muscle bikes and seeking to expand its market appeal, the "V-Rod" makes use of an engine developed jointly with Porsche that, for the first time in Harley history, incorporates overhead cams and liquid cooling. The V-Rod is visually distinctive, easily identified by the 60-degree V-Twin engine, the radiator and the hydroformed frame members that support the round-topped air cleaner cover. Based on the VR-1000 racing motorcycle, it continues to be a platform around which Harley-Davidson builds drag-racing competition machines.

In 2008, Harley added the anti-lock braking system as a factory installed option on all VRSC models.[95] Harley also increased the displacement of the stock engine from 1,130 to 1,250 cc (69 to 76 cu in), which had only previously been available from Screamin' Eagle, and added a slipper clutch as standard equipment.

VRSC Models Include:

VRSCA: V-Rod (2002–2006), VRSCAW: V-Rod (2007–2010), VRSCB: V-Rod (2004–2005), VRSCD: Night Rod (2006–2008), VRSCDX: Night Rod Special (2007–2010), VRSCSE: Screamin' Eagle CVO V-Rod (2005), VRSCSE2: Screamin' Eagle CVO V-Rod (2006), VRSCR: Street Rod (2006–2007), VRSCX: Screamin' Eagle Tribute V-Rod (2007), VRSCF: V-Rod Muscle (2009–2010).


The VRXSE V-Rod Destroyer is Harley-Davidson's production drag racing motorcycle, constructed to run the quarter mile in under ten seconds. It is based on the same revolution engine that powers the VRSC line, but the VRXSE uses the Sceamin' Eagle 1,300 cc "stroked" incarnation, featuring a 75 mm crankshaft, 105 mm Pistons, and 58 mm throttle bodies.

The V-Rod Destroyer is not a street legal motorcycle.

Custom Vehicle Operations

Custom Vehicle Operations (CVO) is a team within Harley-Davidson that produces limited-edition customizations of Harley's stock models. Every year since 1999, the team has selected two to five of the company's base models and added higher-displacement engines, performance upgrades, special-edition paint jobs, more chromed or accented components, audio system upgrades, and electronic accessories to create high-dollar, premium-quality customizations for the factory custom market. The models most commonly upgraded in such a fashion are the Ultra Classic Electra Glide, which has been selected for CVO treatment every year from 2006 to the present, and the Road King, which was selected in 2002, 2003, 2007, and 2008. The Dyna, Softail, and VRSC families have also been selected for CVO customization.

Environmental record

The Environmental Protection Agency conducted emissions-certification and representative emissions test in Ann Arbor, Michigan, in 2005. Subsequently, Harley-Davidson produced an "environmental warranty." The warranty ensures each owner that the vehicle is designed and built free of any defects in materials and workmanship that would cause the vehicle to not meet EPA standards.[103] In 2005, the EPA and the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection (PADEP) confirmed Harley-Davidson to be the first corporation to voluntarily enroll in the One Clean-Up Program. This program is designed for the clean-up of the affected soil and groundwater at the former York Naval Ordnance Plant. The program is backed by the state and local government along with participating organizations and corporations.[104]

Paul Gotthold, Director of Operations for the EPA, congratulated the motor company:

"Harley-Davidson has taken their environmental responsibilities very seriously and has already made substantial progress in the investigation and cleanup of past contamination. Proof of Harley's efforts can be found in the recent EPA determination that designates the Harley property as 'under control' for cleanup purposes. This determination means that there are no serious contamination problems at the facility. Under the new One Cleanup Program, Harley, EPA, and PADEP will expedite the completion of the property investigation and reach a final solution that will permanently protect human health and the environment."[104]

Harley-Davidson has also purchased most of Castalloy, which is a South Australian producer of cast motorcycle wheels and hubs. The South Australian government has set forth "protection to the purchaser (Harley-Davidson) against environmental risks."[105]

Harley-Davidson culture

Harley Davidson Cafe theme restaurant located in Las Vegas

According to a recent Harley-Davidson study, in 1987 half of all Harley riders were under age 35.[106] Now, only 15% of Harley buyers are under 35,[106] and as of 2005, the median age had risen to 46.7.[107][108][109][110]

The income of the average Harley-Davidson rider has risen, as well. In 1987, the median household income of a Harley-Davidson rider was $38,000. By 1997, the median household income for those riders had more than doubled, to $83,000.[106][clarification needed]

Harley-Davidson attracts a loyal brand community,[111] with licensing of the Harley-Davidson logo accounting for almost 5% of the company's net revenue ($41 million in 2004).[112] Harley-Davidson supplies many American police forces with their motorcycle fleets.[113]

Harley-Davidson motorcycles has long been associated with the sub-cultures of the biker, motorcycle clubs, and Outlaw motorcycle clubs, or one percenters

Origin of "Hog" nickname

Beginning in 1920, a team of farm boys, including Ray Weishaar, who became known as the "hog boys," consistently won races. The group had a live hog as their mascot. Following a win, they would put the hog on their Harley and take a victory lap.[114] In 1983, the Motor Company formed a club for owners of its product taking advantage of the long-standing nickname by turning "hog" into the acronym HOG., for Harley Owners Group. Harley-Davidson attempted to trademark "hog", but lost a case against an independent Harley-Davidson specialist, The Hog Farm of West Seneca, NY,[115] in 1999 when the appellate panel ruled that "hog" had become a generic term for large motorcycles and was therefore unprotectable as a trademark.[116]

On August 15, 2006, Harley-Davidson Inc. had its NYSE ticker symbol changed from HDI to HOG.[117]

WHQG, a mainstream rock radio station which serves the Milwaukee metropolitan area, uses the moniker in their official callsign (102.9 The Hog) as a tribute to their home town motorcycle manufacturer, as well as its fans and riders.

Harley Owners Group

Harley-Davidson established the Harley Owners Group (HOG) in 1983 to build on the strong loyalty and fraternity of Harley-Davidson enthusiasts as a means to promote not just a consumer product, but a lifestyle. The HOG has also served to open new revenue streams for the company, with the production of tie-in merchandise offered to club members, numbering over one million strong. Other motorcycle brands,[118] and other and consumer brands outside motorcycling, have tried to imitate the Harley-Davidson's success in this endeavor by creating factory-sponsored community marketing clubs of their own.[119] HOG members typically spend 30% more than other Harley owners, on such items as clothing and Harley-Davidson-sponsored events.[120]

In 1991, HOG went international, with the first official European HOG Rally in Cheltenham, England.[121] Today, more than one million members and more than 1400 chapters worldwide make HOG the largest factory-sponsored motorcycle organization in the world.[122]

HOG benefits include organized group rides, exclusive products and product discounts, insurance premium discounts, and the Hog Tales newsletter. A one year full membership is included with the purchase of a new, unregistered Harley-Davidson.[123]

In 2008, HOG celebrated its 25th anniversary in conjunction with the Harley 105th in Milwaukee Wisconsin.

Factory tours and museum

Harley-Davidson Museum in Milwaukee

Harley-Davidson offers factory tours at four of its manufacturing sites, and the Harley-Davidson Museum, which opened in 2008, exhibits Harley-Davidson's history, culture, and vehicles, including the motor company's corporate archives.[124][125]

  • York, Pennsylvania – Vehicle Operations: Manufacturing site for Touring class, Softail, and custom vehicles.
  • Tomahawk, Wisconsin – Tomahawk Operations: Facility that makes sidecars, saddlebags, windshields, and more.
  • Kansas City, Missouri – Vehicle and Powertrain Operations: Manufacturing site of Sportster, VRSC, and other vehicles.
  • Menomonee Falls, Wisconsin – Pilgrim Road Powertrain Operations plant, two types of tours.
  • Milwaukee, Wisconsin – Harley-Davidson Museum: Archive; exhibits of people, products, culture and history; restaurant & café; and museum store.

Due to the consolidation of operations, the Capitol Drive Tour Center in Wauwatosa, Wisconsin was closed in 2009.

Anniversary celebrations

Beginning with Harley-Davidson's 90th anniversary in 1993, Harley-Davidson has had celebratory rides to Milwaukee called the "Ride Home".[126] This new tradition has continued every 5 years, and is referred to unofficially as "Harleyfest," in line with Milwaukee's other festivals (Summerfest, German fest, Festa Italiana, etc.). This event brings Harley riders from all around the world.[127][128] The 105th anniversary celebration was held on August 28–31, 2008,[129] and included events in Milwaukee, Waukesha, Racine, and Kenosha counties, in Southeast Wisconsin.

Video games and pinball machines

There were several games inspired by Harley-Davidson motorcycles. The first was Harley-Davidson: The Road to Sturgis, released for the Amiga in 1990. Several other Harley-Davidson games were released for the PC, PlayStation 2, and the Wii.

Two arcade games that were inspired by Harley-Davidson motorcycles were released by Sega: The first, released in December 1997, was Harley-Davidson & L.A. Riders, which featured five Harley-Davidson models: the 1990 FLSTF Fat Boy, 1948 FL Panhead, FXDWG Dyna Wide Glide, Sportster 1200 Sport, and the 1988 FXRP police motorcycle. A sequel, Harley-Davidson: King of the Road, was released in early 2009.

Two pinball games were also inspired by Harley-Davidson motorcycles. Both were named "Harley Davidson". One was made by Bally in 1991; it was the last Bally game to have alphanumeric score displays. The other was made by Stern in 1999. The Stern pinball machine, which was re-released in 2002 and again in 2005, included scale models of the 1999 FLSTF Fat Boy, the 2000 FLSTF Fat Boy, and the 2001 FLSTS Heritage Springer.

Labor Hall of Fame

Because William S. Harley, Arthur Davidson, William A. Davidson and Walter Davidson, Sr. used and believed in H-D products and relied on the dedication of its employees to produce quality motorcycles, the four men were inducted into the Labor Hall of Fame.[130]

See also

  • List of Harley-Davidson motorcycles
  • Category:Harley-Davidson engines


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  • Bach, Sharon, & Ostermann, Ken, eds. 1993. The Legend Begins: Harley-Davidson Motorcycles, 1903–1969 (Harley-Davidson, Inc.)
  • Mitchel, D. (1997). Harley-Davidson Chronicle – An American Original. Publications International Limited. ISBN 0-7853-2514-X. 
  • Wagner, Herbert, 2003. At the Creation: Myth, Reality, and the Origin of the Harley-Davidson Motorcycle, 1901–1909 (Wisconsin Historical Society Press)
  • Wilson, H. "The Encyclopedia of the Motorcycle" Dorling-Kindersley Limited, 1995 ISBN 0 7513 0206 6

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