Harley-Davidson FACTS

2016-04-28 06:00
Photo: supplied Harley-Davidsons are some of the most popular motorbikes ever produced.

Photo: supplied Harley-Davidsons are some of the most popular motorbikes ever produced.

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WHAT is the history behind Harley-Davidson?

In 1903, the first Harley-Davidson motorcycle began its history in Milwaukee, United States where the one-cylinder model was developed by Bill Harley and Arthur W. Davidson.

The first gasoline motor- cycle­ was conceptualised by Merkel, Mitschell and Yale. Powered by a one-cylinder gasoline combustion engine, this motorcycle was originally built for racing. In 1917, when the United States entered into World War I, military demanded and adopted Harleys for combat. About 15 000 machines were used during war time.

What made Harley-Davidson so popular?

The reputation of Harley-Davidson begun to take a defiant turn for its association with outlaw gangs like the Hells Angels. Anti-hero artists like Steve McQueen and James Dean personified the image of Hollywood’s motorcycle rogue.

McQueen was a fan and the proud owner of several Harley-Davidson motorcycles.

He even raced Harleys for pleasure. Released in 1969, Easy Rider, explored the freedom-loving outlook of the sixties.

Starring Peter Fonda, Dennis­ Hopper and Jack Nicholson, it shows two bikers, Fonda and Hopper travelling the American southwest on Harley-Davidson Choppers. Its heavy looks, and distinctive sound made the Harleys extremely popular.

The Harley-Davidson is popular for its heavy designs and unique sound produced by a V-Twin engine.

In the engine, a single crankshaft pin is attached to the piston rods which make them fire at irregular intervals. The company even tried to trademark its sound.

- Supplied.

In 1917, when the United States entered World War 1, military demanded and adopted Harleys for combat. About 15 000 machines were used during war time

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