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Mileage: 21000 km
Engine Size: 1585 cc
Founded out of a small shed in 1903 by William S. Harley and brothers Arthur and Walter Davidson in Milwaukee, Wisconsin producing traditional cruiser motorcycles utilizing air-cooled V-Twin engines.
When Harley and Davidson produced and sold their first motorcycle in 1903, they were one of many small motorcycle marques springing up across the country. Flash forward more than a century and the Harley-Davidson brand is so rooted in American culture that the history of the company intertwines with the history of America itself.
Harley-Davidson produced many motorcycles for United States Military during both world wars.
In the early '30s, its only surviving domestic rival was Indian. Again H-D expanded in peacetime and found itself producing high quantities of bikes for the American military during World War II [press material cites its wartime motorcycle production at 90,000 units].
Post-war WW2, Harley-Davidson developments include the introduction of the Sportster in 1957, the oldest production model in the current H-D line-up, as well as other signature H-D models.
Harley experienced changes in ownership in the '60s, going public in 1965 and eventually merging with American Machine and Foundry [AMF] in 1969. A decline in fortunes saw AMF sell its stake back to current ownership, which included members of the founding families, in the early '80s. The Davidson family's involvement in the day-to-day running of H-D continues, with direct descendent Willie G. Davidson serving as President of Styling.
The '80s and '90s saw the introduction of model families that continue to this day, like the Softail, FLT and Road King lines, joining classic models like the Electra Glide. In the '90s Harley-Davidson also solidified its hold over Buell motorcycles, taking a controlling stake in the American sportbike/street bike manufacturer and selling Buell motorcycles at many H-D dealers.
One constant of Harley-Davidson, since almost the very beginning, has been the use of 45-degree air-cooled V-Twins.