When the word motorcycle is mentioned, the first brand that comes to the minds of most people is Harley Davidson. This is because it is such an iconic product. It is so familiar not just because of the name but also because of the quality and caliber of bikes that are produced by the Harley Davidson Motor Company.
The Humble Beginnings
It is hard to imagine that the famous Harley Davidson would have what could be classed as humble beginnings. This is a motorcycle brand that has appeared in a variety of movies. One would expect it to fit in with the action as seen in the movie casino, but this particular bike brand became a big hit in movies like Terminator 2 and Judgement Day. The bike that was so fitting for this particular movie was the 1990 Harley-Davidson Fat Boy.
Going back in time to the beginnings of the Harley Davidson takes one back to when William S. Harley in his mere twenties designed a small engine to be used with a standard pedal type bike frame. His passion for bike building was grown with the help of his friend Arthur Davidson. These two young fellows worked on their motor-cycle keenly but their first attempt failed.
Not giving up, these two along with another friend continued to perfect their design where eventually they developed a prototype of a new loop frame. By 1904 the first bike took part in a motorcycle race where it finished fourth. By 1905 the bikes were still being built in the backyard and a trickle of sales was realized.
As can aptly be seen by the types of Harley Davidson bikes being produced today this business increased in their growth over the next several years. Now they are at the point where their focus is on the environment and going green is a priority.
By 1906 William Harley and Arthur Davidson opened their first formal factory and manufactured fifty bikes during this first year of the factory opening.
The Motorcycle Market
By 1907 Harley Davidson was producing150 bikes a year and their target market was the Police Department. From this point forward, law enforcement has been an important market for the brand.
Up until 1906, all the motors being used on the Harley Davidson Bikes were a single cylinder. Then, in 1907, they showcased the prototype of a 45 degree V Twin Engine. This new production was able to produce twice the power of the single engines and could put out a max speed of 60mph.
Ups and Downs
From 1906 to date, the Harley Davidson company has had its ups and downs and a fair share of business struggles. However, it has always managed to tackle this head-on and put themselves back on track again.