History of the Harley Davidson Patented Design
The history of Harley Davidson begins in 1901. William Harley and his friend Arthur Davidson and his brother William - original founders of the iconic brand - worked on a design for a miniature engine to be attached to a bicycle. The pair took two years to develop this prototype but later abandoned the project when the bicycle was unable to climb the Milwaukee hills in the USA.
Not to be deterred, the pair developed another engine - with a capacity of 405 cc - and the prototype proved to be a success in 1904. Carl Lang of Chicago liked the bike and formed the first dealership with Harley Davidson. The new bike ended up selling three units thus beginning Harley Davidson illustrious streak as a premium motorbike maker.
In 1911 Harley Davidson introduced an improved V-twin model. As opposed to automatic intake valves the new engine used mechanically operated intake valves. Displacement was at 49.48 cubic inches. V-twin Harley Davidson modes followed after 1913. To enable the suit to better accommodate the rider's weight Harley created a patented Full-Floating seat. The design was used until 1958 - you can access the original Harley blueprint art online here. Commercial production was limited due to WWI as the company positioned itself to make bikes for soldiers.
By 1920 Harley Davidson was a renowned brand with dealers in over 67 countries. The company was also the largest motorcycle maker in the world. In 1937 most of the Harley bikes had dry-slump oil recirculation system. During WWII Harley Davidson supplied the army with their 45 cubic inch WL bikes that where called WLA. On request from the army Harley Davidson copied some of the designs from BMW to produce a 750cc shaft driven XA. The model had no similarity to previous Harley models. The model has a superior cooling system that saw it run 56 degrees cooler than the V-twin engines. However, the XA never went to full production and only 1000 where produced.
Between 1948 and 1966 Harley adopted the design for a small German motorcycle called DKW RT 125 and they redesigned it and sold it. In 1960 a fusion of the hummer line and the Model 165 led to the introduction of the topper scooter. They also took over Aermacchi motorcycle division and marketed some of the bikes under the Harley banner. Some of the earlier Harley bikes where replaced with Aermacchi two stroke M-65, M-65 S and Rapido.
Most of the Harley Davidson designs in the 1950s featured a chopper style motorcycle. The chopper style uses modified steering angles lengthened forks to give the bike stretched out appearance. The bikes had higher engine displacements of more than 700 cm3 and where air cooled high performance bikes.
Harley Davidson has established itself as a quality brand when it comes to making bikes. Harley's motorcycle designs are classic and iconic. The original Harley Davidson blueprint art is a popular addition to many motorcyclists homes and offices.