The Evolution of the Harley Davidson

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The Evolution of the Harley Davidson
Nearly a century ago, the first motorized bike was invented. The idea came from two ambitious young men, William J. Harley and Ben Davidson. Upon completion of their first successful prototype in a backyard shed, they were ready to show the world their newest creation. They could have never imagined the fame and fortune that was waiting just ahead of them.

The “swing-arm” frame was built for comfort and tighter handling capabilities, which exploded onto the market. The design constituted two shocks on the rear of the frame, one on either side of the tire. The seat was also made of thicker foam than before. Harley Davidson also introduced the five-gallon “Fat Bob” gas tanks, which enabled the rider to take longer trips without having to stop for gas as often. The new frame design could also house a bigger engine. Therefore, the manufacturers increased the engine size to an eighty cubic inch, 1340 c.c. (Cubic centimeter) V-twin with a four-speed transmission and a foot shifter, using a hand-operated clutch.

By this time, other motorcycle manufacturing companies had emerged everywhere. Japan, England, and Germany started building motorcycles that were basically all alike, other than the name. Dedicated Harley owners considered these foreign bikes “disposable,” since it was cheaper to throw them away and buy a new one rather than to repair them. They could not incorporate the quality that kept the Harley Davidson on top of the consumer’s best-buys list since their existence. Even today, the best selling motorcycle in the world, Harley Davidson, also happens to be the oldest motorcycle company in the world.

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The Evolution of the Harley Davidson. (2018, Sep 17). Retrieved from

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