Harley History Home Back to Harley Davidson Boots
Harley Davidson boots, like the bikes, have a long and rich history.
1903-William S. Harley and Arthur Davidson make available to the public the first production Harley-Davidson® motorcycle. The bike was built to be a racer, with a 3-1/8 inch bore and 3-1/2 inch stroke. The factory in which they worked was a 10 x 15-foot wooden shed with the words "Harley-Davidson Motor Company" crudely scrawled on the door. Arthur's brother Walter later joins their efforts.
|1906-||A new factory, measuring 28 x 80 feet, is built on the Chestnut St. site, later renamed Juneau Avenue. Staff size is increased to six full-time employees. Also, the first motorcycle catalog is produced by the Company and the nickname "Silent Gray Fellow" is used for the first time.|
|1909-||The six-year-old Harley-Davidson Motor Company introduces its first V-twin powered motorcycle. With a displacement of 49.5 cubic inches, the bike produces seven horsepower. The image of two cylinders in a 45-degree configuration would fast become one of the most enduring icons of Harley-Davidson history. Also available for the first time from the Motor Company are spare parts for motorcycles.|
|1922||The first 74 cubic inch V-twin engine is introduced on the JD and FD models. Harley-Davidson dealerships are now found in sixty-seven countries.|
|1929||The 45 cubic inch V-twin engine (later to be known as the "flathead") is introduced on the D model. The engine proves to be so reliable that variations of it are available on Harley-Davidson motorcycles as late as 1973.|
|1933||An art-deco "eagle" design is painted on all gas tanks. This marks the beginning of graphic designs on Harley-Davidson motorcycles (with the exception of previously special order-only paint schemes). This styling decision was made in part to stimulate the low sales numbers caused by the Great Depression.|
|1948||New features are added to the 61 and 74 overhead valve engines, including aluminum heads and hydraulic valve lifters. Also new are the one piece, chrome plated rocker covers shaped like cake pans. The nickname "Panhead" only seemed logical.|
|1952||-The side-valve K model is introduced with an integrated engine & transmission to compete with smaller, sportier motorcycles coming mainly from Great Britain. The K will eventually evolve into the Sportster.|
|1956-||The new young star Elvis Presley poses for the cover of the May Enthusiast sitting on a 1956 model KH.|
|1965||The Electra-Glide® replaces the Duo-Glide and is updated with electric starter. The Electra-Glide is the first FL available with electric start, and the Sportster® line would receive electric starters soon after.|
|1966||The first of the "Shovelhead" engines is introduced on the Electra-Glide models, replacing the Panhead|
|1970||-In consideration of new AMA rules for Class C racing, a new Sportster®-based motorcycle, the XR-750 racer is introduced.|
|On the Bonneville salt flats near Wendover, Utah, racer Cal Rayborn breaks the world record for land speed set by a motorcycle. The vehicle is a sixteen foot streamliner powered by a single Sportster engine, and averages just over 265 mph.|
|1984||Harley-Davidson unveils the 1340cc V²® Evolution® engine on five models including the all-new Softail®. The result of seven years of development, the Evolution engine produces more power at every speed, runs cooler, cleaner and is oil-tight. Also witnessed is the debut of the Softail design and its trend-setting method of "hiding" the motorcycle's rear shock absorbers.|
|1990||-Upon its introduction, the FLSTF Fat Boy® almost instantaneously becomes a modern legend of motorcycle design|
|2000||The FXSTD Softail® Deuce™ is introduced to the immediate delight of riders and the motorcycle media|
The Open Road Tour debuts in Atlanta, GA, in July 2002 to celebrate the upcoming Harley-Davidson 100th Anniversary.
Home Back to Harley Davidson Boots