The story of Harley-Davidson is a classic example of starting from the bottom and beating all odds to become a success.
The company started its journey in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, as a simple engine drawing put down on paper by its founder, William S. Harley, in the early 1900s. He then worked with Walter Davidson and Arthur Davidson to make the first Harley-Davidson motorcycle in 1903. The bike, however, had difficulty moving in hilly areas. This pushed them to make an improved, racer version in 1904, which later become 4th in a 15-mile race held in Chicago. H-D then hired its first full-time employee in 1905 and also sold 3 of their 5 motorcycles through their first dealer, C. H. Lang, in Chicago.
In 1906, the company expanded and moved to its first factory on Chestnut St. in Milwaukie. It also increased production to 150 bikes in its first year and grew to 6 full-time employees. Harley-Davidson was then incorporated in 1907, and the factory also doubled in size. At this time, William A. Davidson joined his two brothers and William Harley as part of the manufacturing team.
Harley-Davidson started making motorcycles for the police department after incorporation, and the fame of their sturdy and robust bikes spread, growing demand. They first used and patented their logo in 1910 and made their first sale outside the country to Japan. The company continued to grow and was the world’s largest producer of motorcycles by 1920. H-D even earned two Army-Navy Awards for supplying products to the United States military during both world wars.
Harley-Davidson has now been in operation for close to 120 years and continues to produce motorcycles unrivaled in both style and handling. The quality, class and innovation that go into all Harley products have propelled the brand to become one of the most iconic in the world.
See How Far We’ve Come
Harley motorcycles of today are a far cry from what they were in the early 1900s. Stop by Las Vegas Harley-Davidson to check out the latest models with state-of-the-art features and technology that can’t be beat. Take a test ride and see for yourself why Harley-Davidson is still the leading producer of motorcycles in America.
For information on our showroom or our inventory, contact us at 888-218-0744 today.