Harley-Davidson fans probably know their motorcycles inside out. However, do you know the history of this company? Are you aware that Harley Davidson also produced golf cars or that their first motorcycle was basically a bicycle? These and other interesting facts are in our today's compilation.
Inside the Red Line
The name of the company occurred thanks to Arthur Davidson’s aunt, Jane Davidson, who wrote the Harley-Davidson Motor Company on the doors of a small shed where friends assembled motorcycles. She highlighted the name in red. Later, the shed was moved to the territory of the Harley-Davidson plant in Milwaukee. It had been a place of attraction for the brand’s fans from around the world until in the mid-1970s the shed was mistakenly demolished by a contractor hired to reorganize the plant.
Pedal to the metal
The first Harley-Davidson motorcycle was equipped with an engine of about 2 horsepower. It could not climb the hills around Milwaukee (the production was there) without pedaling.
With a squeal
In the 1920s, a pig was a mascot of the Harley-Davidson racing team. A pilot who achieved victory had to ride the circle of honor holding a squealing pig in his hands. For this reason, the team was nicknamed Harley Hogs. The abbreviation H.O.G. is used even today but now it stands for Harley Owners Group.
In military service
In 1917, the US military fought against Mexican revolutionaries with the help of Harley-Davidson sidecar motorcycles. They were used to mount machine guns.
From 1962 to 1982, Harley-Davidson produced three- and four-wheel golf cars. They were powered by electricity or gas.
241 500 euros
In February 2014, Harley-Davidson Dyna Super Glide was sold at the Bonhams auction in England for 241 500 euros. The bike belonged to the Pope Francis. Also, his biker jacket went under the hammer for 57,500 euros. The tank of the motorcycle featured the inscription Francesco. It was presented to the pontiff a year earlier, during the celebration of the 110th anniversary of the brand.
The second skin
Not only are motorcycles the trademark of Harley-Davidson but also one more symbol of the era, a black leather jacket. This piece of clothing, along with men's biker jewelry, became an unofficial uniform of bike riders and rockers.
The fat boy
The most popular Harley-Davidson motorcycle featured in the Hollywood movies is the Fat Boy. According to a legend, this name is a combination of the names of two atomic bombs, Fat Man and Little Boy, which were dropped on Nagasaki and Hiroshima.
In 2014, Harley-Davidson decided to create an electric motorcycle LiveWire. However, it hasn’t hit the retail market yet, at least not until 2019. So far, the prototype has been tested on the main American motorcycle routes.
6 Years for a Patent
For six years Harley-Davidson Motor Company had tried to patent the sound of its engines as a trademark. Since 1994, the company had been working to make this idea come true, but eventually, it gave up and did not become the second business (after Zippo) to register a sound as a trademark.