The Harley Dream
It definitely was a decisive day in the history of Yank auto culture in 1902, when 2 young mates left their stable roles at a Milwaukee engineering firm to embark on an enterprise that would irrevocably shape the course of bike history forever. This was the day when William S Harley and Arthur Davidson designed and built the 1st single-cylinder engine ( 400CC ) right from a toolshed in Davidson's yard. Though though the 1st motor was trustworthy, it was enlarged as it was underpowered. The first frame was too feeble to hold the new engine so it got replaced with a more robust, more substantial structure that was built similar to the prototype. In 1903 they produced two more bikes and 3 the following year. By 1907, Harley Davidson's growing name for their trustworthy product helped push their yearly rate of production to over 150. The year was also 1907 when Harley Davidson decided it was time to raise money for growth. They changed into a company and divided the shares among 17 workers. They moved themselves out of the Davidson's shed and into a much bigger grounds which is still their location Juneau Avenue in Milwaukee. The early models of Harley-Davidson motorbikes had no lights and no suspension. Within just a few years after production commenced, Harley's shortly had fitted leading link forks a magneto ignition and a carbide gas headlamp. The model five produced in 1909 had about 4bhp from its 494cc inlet over exhaust engine, with a speed of 45mph. Cycle petals were used to start the engine. Once the bike was in motion the leather drive belt was tightened employing a hand lever. ( To have a more up to date view of what harley davidson parts now look like, please visit our web site ).
The 1st V-twin Harley was built in 1909. The V-twin produced close to 7bhp, which was nearly twice as much as the single engine but it was hard to start and had a slipping drive belt. 2 years on, in 1911, they introduced the 45-degree V-twin with a revised valve gear, new frame and had been fitted with a full floating seat and chain drive.
These new enhancements made a big difference which caused the V-twin's recognition to grow. By the year 1913 the model 9E's 1000cc power plant was manufacturing 10bhp which gave the bike a top speed of 60mph.
At first Harley-Davidson was disinclined to get themselves involved in racing,eg trustworthiness runs however, by 1914 they modified their minds and entered a factory team.
The firm's Milwaukee crew, the Wrecking Crew rode tough 8-valve V-twins which were extraordinarily competitive against the rival Merkel and Excelsior, and Indian. This changed into a great period for Harley-Davidson as production rose to over 22,000 bikes and 16,000 sidecars in 1919. These numbers were cut in half in the impending two years principally due to the Model T Ford, which put the bulk of Yankee motorcycle firms into bankruptcy. Harley-Davidson is legendary for its giant capacity V-twins but the smaller 45ci 40 5 played a crucial part in the history of the company. The 40 5, produced in 1928, was the first machine with a total loss oil system. It was restyled and updated nine years on to form the W series. The WLA model proved to be a helpful army machine in which close to eighty thousand were being employed in the second World War. These war bikes were converted for civilian use after the war was over which helped popularize Harley-Davidson internationally. In 1936, while still suffering the effect of the Depression, Harley-Davidson introduced the Model 61E. This model's 61cc V-twin engine was a big advancement over other models due to its overhead valve design and recirculating oil system.
The neat style of the 61E helped it become a massive success. It gave it a technical benefit over its rival Indian and became the ancestor to modern Harley's. What started as a dream, survived the Depression, and is still going robust today. There's nothing quite like hearing the rumble of a Harley as you are going to the road.