Welcome to the unofficial Harley Davidson Museum
 
Harley-Davidson survived the depression, the competition, and attribution. They rose above as the only American motorcycle survivor to continue their quest to greatness. Today the journey continues. Say, “Harley-Davidson” and everyone world wide knows…you are talking legend

Motorcycles were for those who wanted to ride alone, to explore the countryside. Then they became a social club event, riding around in groups or with friends. Cycles became a powerful competitor as they joined the racing age. They even went through a phase of the “biker” myth, bringing out the tough guy risk taker in all of us. Typical customers became the business man, craving to be bad boys. Right up there with the actual bad boys, who strongly supported the company. Put on your bandanna, your leather and your boots, and become part of an era.
 Harley Davidson Trike
Harleys first Motorcycle Trike called the Servi-Car first appeared in late 1931 as a '32 model. Built in response to Indian's popular Dispatch Tow three- wheeler. Previously, Sidecar rigs had been modified for various commercial applications, but the Forty-five powered motorcycle trike was a better multi-purpose machine.

Both manufacturers offered optional tow bars with the three-wheelers, which automotive service shops found useful for picking up and returning cars due for service. A single employee could ride to the client's site, tow the Servi-Car back to the shop, return the car, unhook the trike and ride back. The three-wheelers also found wide use as light-duty delivery vehicles and made perfect meter maid vehicles for city police departments..

RIGHT   1932 sees the release of  the Harley Trike
click on image to view enlarged version
Harley Davidson Gas Tank History in Photos
Harley Davidson Gas Tanks
New standard colors introduced in 1933 ushered in a new era in Harley gas tanks Harley gas tanks . Combining intricate tank logos and hand-painted pin striping the Harley gas tank became works of art. The art deco-inspired designs demonstrated the creativity and skill of the company's employees. The tradition of developing new gas tank designs to accompany changing paint schemes became a trademark of Harley-Davidson style.
Harley-Davidson Harley-Davidson Motorcycle     Harley-Davidson Motorcycle   Harley-Davidson Logo
1903-1932
Though colors changed occasionally, the same basic lettering was used on Harley tanks for over three decades.
  1933
The first change to the logo appeared in 1933 when a bird-like scroll surrounded the usual lettering.
  1934-1935
Replacing the 1933 Harley Bird motif that one lasted a short one year was the Flying Diamond
  1936-1939
A new tank logo was released the same year same the Knucklehead motor It lasted only through 1939,
 Growing up in Harley Davidson's Backyard
Growing up in the back yard of Harley-Davidson, it’s easy to take the History, the Magic and the Bikes for granted. But as I get older the more I find myself feeling nostalgic and curious about history of the oldest motorcycle company in my back yard.

Years ago my quest began. I started collecting books, literature, magazines, brochures, and any other motorcycle material I could get my hands on. My plan was to create a website based on motorcycles and their history, beginning with the greatest and longest running motorcycle company out there.

RIGHT  Picture from a 1964 Harley Sportster brochure is taken less then a mile from the farm I grew up on and still live on. Although I was only 3 when this picture was taken, it's riding those exact hills and back roads  that turned  me into a full-blown motorcycle junkie.
click on image to view enlarged version
 Harley Davidson Parts and Accessories

Harley Davidson parts and accessories have become a important ingredient in the success of both the company and dealers. The fact Harley formed A separate parts and accessories department as early as 1912 proves just how early Harley and the Davidson's realized the importance of these items.

Arthur Davidson warned dealers that the company would not tolerate affixing non Harley aftermarket parts on H-D bikes.

The Motor Company's reputation for durability and performance helped Harley-Davidson stand out in an increasingly crowded field of motorcycle manufactures. He knew insisting on genuine parts and accessories would maintain that hard earned reputation.

RIGHT 1912 Harley Davidson parts and accessories catalog
FREE OFFER Extremely Rare 1917 Harley Davidson Brochure
1906 Harley-Davidson
 
This is a very rare Harley Davidson Motorcycles brochure covering the full motorcycle lineup for 1917. Of the three dozen or more books I own covering the Harley Davidson Motorcycle Company not a single one has any images from inside or outside of this brochure

Recently I became aware of just how rare this Harley brochure is. One of the items you receive when becoming a member of the official Harley Davidson Museum is the book: 100 Years of Harley-Davidson Advertising. Surprisingly the book doesn’t have a single image of what is easily the most beautiful engraved color lithograph art work to ever grace a Harley-Davidson Motorcycle Brochure.

Since no other publication ever displayed this, I wasn’t surprised when not a single image from this brochure could be found in the official Harley Davidson Museum, which BTW is beautifully decorated from top to bottom with Harley Davidson advertisement material.
 
Download one of the rarest Harley Davidson Brochure FOR FREE

The download includes large desktop sized wallpapers of the color lithograph cover and center spread along with the other full page images that grace this rare brochure. Yours absolutely free for just signing up to HarleyDavidsonMuseum.com
 
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1906 Harley-Davidson  
1906 Harley Davidson
1906 Harley-Davidson 1906 Harley-Davidson Motorcycle By 1906 the motorcycle industry was already beginning to experience furious competition. The Harley Davidson Motor Company's reputation for durability and performance helped Harley-Davidson stand out in an increasingly crowded field of motorcycle manufactures.

Model: Model 2, 26.8ci (440cc) F-head single
Price: $210
Production: 50
Colors: Black with Gold pinstriping, Renault Grey with Red pinstriping
1907 Harley Davidson
1907 Harley Davidson 1907 Model 3 Atmospheric-Valve Single
The year 1907 was a milestone for Harley-Davidson. The company incorporated in September, selling its first stock to employees and board members. That November the founders rented a booth at the Chicago Auto Show to recruit dealers, offering price breaks as a lure: $30 for every fifth bike ordered. The 1907 bike cost $210. It could travel over 500 miles on one tank of oil, a feature tested personally by co-founder Arthur Davidson when he rode a 1907 model to New England to recruit even more dealers.
1909 Harley-Davidson  

Model: Model 3, 26.8ci (440cc) F-head single
Price $210
Production: 150
Colors: Renault Grey with Red pinstriping, Black
Specification: Sager front fork used, otherwise as 1906
1909 Harley-Davidson   1909 Harley Motorcycle
1909 Harley Davidson
1909 was the first year Harley-Davidson released more than one model, adding its first twin-cylinder engine. However, the first twins were recalled, so single-cylinder bikes like the Model 5 remained the mainstays.
Model 5 - 30ci (500cc) single, 28in wheels, battery ignition Price $210
Model 5A - 30ci F-head single, 28in wheels, magneto Price $250
Model 5B - 30ci F-head single, 26in wheels, battery ignition Price $210
Model 5C - 30ci F-head single, 26in wheels, magneto Price $250
Model 5D - 50ci (819cc) F-head V-twin, magnet Prices Price $325
1909 Harley-Davidson   1909 Harley Motorcycle
1916 Harley Davidson Model J  with Package Truck
Introduced in 1915 as an addition to the successful sidecar line. The Harley Davidson Side Van was basically a wooden box on a sidecar chassis, with a hinged top for loading, and proved very popular with commercial users. Among the Harley factory options was your own company's sign written name on the box, at 10 cents per letter, and a folding top and side curtains to protect the rider from the elements.

Model: Harley Davidson Delivery Van  17-M
Price: $70

Model: Harley Davidson Delivery Van  17-N
Price: $72


1915 Production: 98

  
From the beginning Harley-Davidson motorcycles had been used by police departments. The U.S. Postal Service also found them to be a much better solution for rural routes then horses. An early Harley brochure promotes a relatively new use in the below text:

Fire Department Service Comparatively new in this service, the motorcycle has  One large city in the middle west in which motorcycle equipment is being used has been able to extinguish 70 per cent of its fires by means of the motorcycle equipment before the heavy apparatus arrived.

Harley Sidecars
Harley Trikes
Harley Gas Tank Picture History
Harley Davidson Sportster
Harley Davidson Accessories
Harley Model List
Harley 1957 Models
Harley 1958 Models
Harley 1959 Models
Harley 1960 Models
Harley Trike

Harley Davidson's Package Truck was offered in a number of configurations. Using a modified version of the sidecar chassis, the frame and body were just a few dollars more than the sidecar.
Model MXP Package Truck shown above, with Harley-Davidson designed snubbers, Alemite fittings, Timken roller bearing hub, 48 inch road tread, $150 at factory. Chassis complete without body, $65 at factory. Prices do not include motorcycle. Harley Davidson also offered other parts and accessoriess
Harley History
1953

Long-time rival Indian Motorcycle Company and the only other remaining American Motorcycle Company ceases production. Leaving Harley-Davidson as the only major U.S. motorcycle manufacturer to fend off the British and soon to come Japanese invasions.

Harley Motor Oil

January 1937 Harley Davidson Enthusiast Promotes the new Harley Davidson Motor Oil. The ad goes on to say: Harley-Davidson engineers have perfected a new Medium Heavy grade of Harley-Davidson oil. The new Medium Heavy Oil is ideally suited to and recommended for the exclusive, year 'round lubrication needs of the 61 " OHV motors. Your Harley-Davidson dealer stocks genuine Harley-Davidson Oil in the refinery sealed handy quart size containers. Accept no substitute to genuine Harley Davidson parts and accessories
Harley Shovelhead
Harley Davidson Shovelhead
Harley Davidson
Shovelhead 1966 - 1984
Shovelhead In 1966 Harley Davidson's valve covers were updated. The modification helped in cooling the V twin Harley Davidson motor. The new rocker cover closely wrapped around the rocker arms but still allowed oil to circulate. The cast aluminum covers resembled the back of a shovel which coined the nickname Harley Davidson "Shovelhead".  

Harley Gas Tank Graphics

After little change for nearly 30 years a new design logo appeared on Harley Davidson gas tanks in 1933.In 1934 the design was replaced again when Harley Davidson gas tanks sported the Flying Diamond design.
Sportster 883
Harley Sportster XLCH
A racier version of the Sportster was introduced in 1959 under the XLCH tag. Intended as a performance-oriented on/off road machine it differed from its street XLH sportster by sporting magneto ignition, high-mounted exhaust pipe, "peanut" fuel tank (barrowed from the hummer) , "bobbed" rear fender, and semi-knobby tires. Tank badges were also different, being of a design shared by some of Harley's contemporary racing bikes. The XLCH also debuted the "eyebrow" headlight cover that remains a Sportster trademark to this day.
Harley
Davidson Panhead

In 1948, the FL, with redesigned rocker covers for the cylinder head, got the name of Panhead. Hydraulic valve lifters caused less engine noise, ran cooler with aluminum heads, and needed less maintenance.

Harley Dealer

In 1907, at age 14, Dudley Perkins rode his first Reading Standard Cycle. Perkins along with Al Maggini opened their own Harley-Davidson dealership in California . They promoted the bikes by racing them. As world war II was coming to an end, Dudley Perkins saw the need to purchase the 80,000 plus bikes produced by H-D for the military. He had them repainted and ready for sale as the war ended. Dealer sales escalated as the veterans demand for bikes came into full swing.  
 

Harley Sportster
The
Harley Sportster era begans in 1957 when Harley Davidson introduced an overhead-valve, 54-cubic-inch engine (883cc). Before that, Harley motorcycles were side-valves (Flatheads). In 1957, Harley Davidson released the overhead-valve cylinder heads, which gave the motorcycle increased horsepower and performance. Today there are many iterations of the Sportster.  

Harley 50th

In 1953 marked the fiftieth year of business for Harley-Davidson. To commemorate the event, a logo was designed, depicting a "V" symbolic of the engine configuration, crossed by the company name and embossed lettering stating "50 years American made." This brass medallion logo would grace the front fenders of all 1954 models.  

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